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Hairdryers - GFCI

The majority of hair consumers have at some time or other used a hairdryer to dry their tresses and/or style their hair with a concentrator, diffuser, brush or other tools.

Whether they used a hood, bonnet or hood, all should be plugged into an electrical outlet equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI.

Even though a GFCI is a relatively inexpensive device, it is specifically designed to protect hair consumers from extremely severe or fatal shocks when using a hairdryer or other small electrical devices for their hair or personal grooming.

When a hair dryer that is plugged in and operational is dropped into water, it can instantly electrocute the person using the dryer or any additional people in the water when the hair dryer makes contact.

The GFCI interrupts electrocution from happening.  It is a sensitive device that instantly detects and reacts to an electrical current leak or other dangerous event by automatically shutting itself off before grave or fatal damage can occur.

When a hairdryer is plugged into an outlet armed with a GFCI, all power will be shut off instantly.

The National Electric codes require all new homes to have full GFCI protection installed in the bathrooms.  Building codes also require GFCIs installed in the wiring of all businesses including salons, spas, barber shops and related personal service establishments.

If you live or work in a home built before 1975 your building may or may not be up to GFCI regulations and requirements. If that's the case you should have an electrican install a permanent or portable GFCI unit into your home.

All salons and spas converted from other types of businesses built before 1975 will need to have GFCI installed in their locations.

Even though GFCIs have been operational since the 1970s there are still several hundred deaths a year from fatal electrical shocks as a result of hair dryers or other small grooming devices being dropped into inhibited bathtubs.

Regardless of whether you have GFCI installed in your home or not, it is best to always keep your electrical tools and blow dryers unplugged when not in use.  Even better, use them as far away from water as possible.

Immersion Protection Plug

As an added safety measure to the GFCI protection, electric hair dryers are usually equipped with an immersion protection plug on the cord to prevent electrocution if the hair dryer falls into water. Such electric shock protection devices are required by industry standards for all electric hand-held hair dryers.

For more information about hairdryers or related topics don't forget to stop by our  Hair Boutique Tips & Articles section.  Check out the over 10,000+ different hair care and styling tips at

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When blow drying hair always apply a protective leave in conditioner and hold nozzle at least 6 inches away from your scalp. Dry on lowest, coolest setting for extra protection.
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