Although hair dryers have been around for many years, they continually evolve with the latest greatest technologies. At HairBoutique.com we have been selling hair dryers for over 10 years and I watch in amazement every year at the new advances.
(Image of Conair 1875 watt table-top bonnet dryer designed to hold full head of large rollers. Contains variable air feature on top of the hood which adjusts the air flow and volume inside the hood. Perfect for use with heat-activated conditioning products. 1875 watts, 2 heat/speed settings, Extra large hood, Adjustable height, Variable air-flow feature with carry handle - Available at HairBoutique.com Marketplace - All Rights Reserved)
My own use of hair dryers spans a long history with personal use of different types, models, features and price ranges. Since I went to cosmetology school I have used professional models as well as consumer models at home for my own strands.
Buy Hair Dryer Based On Your Personal Hair Type, Texture, Length, Condition
One of the challenges is figuring out how to find the best hair dryer for your hair type (fine/thin, medium, thick), texture (straight, naturally curly, wavy, kinky or combined) length (very short, short, medium, long, extra long) and current condition (normal, healthy, very healthy, damaged, very damaged).
(Image to the side of Conair Soft Bonnet Styling System - Available at HairBoutique.com Marketplace - All Rights Reserved)
Types of Hair Dryers
1. Hard hood style blow dryer like those found in professional hair establishments as well as the latest hood free professional hair drying systems which have retractable components.
3. Soft bonnet hair dryers which are more often used by consumers than professionals
5. Blow dryers designed for hair consumers for use at home.
Difference Between Professional And Non-Professional Hair Dryer Systems
I have personally had the same Conair hairdryer for close to ten years. However, I rarely blow dry my hair due to the fact that I prefer to air dry my very long, naturally wavy/curly hair to prevent heat damage.
(Image of Conair Curl Fusion Hair Dryer With Diffuser Attachement - Available at HairBoutique.com Marketplace - All Rights Reserved)
I figured out that maybe I blow dry my hair 8-10 times a year. When I go to the salon for highlights my hairdresser will blow dry my hair to check the highlights after she washes them out. She blow dries my hair dry about 4 times a year.
Does someone like me who rarely uses a blow dry need a professional hair dryer? Probably not. It would be a waste of my money to invest in an expensive professional model designed for daily use on lots of heads. A consumer model would be perfect for my needs, which is what I have.
Yes, professional blow dryers often have more power than consumer models and are designed for easy handling to save hairdressers from wrist and hand fatigue but the average hairdresser might blow dry anywhere from 4-10 heads of hair per day. They need special features.
If you blow dry your hair every single day, which I am not either condemning or condoning, you may wish to invest in either the top of the line consumer models or a hard core professional model. Of course it depends on your budget.
(Image of Conair Nano Silver Tourmaline Ceramic Style With 3 Attachments - Available At HairBoutique.com Marketplace - All Rights Reserved).
Bottom line when selecting either a professional or consumer hair dry, figure out how often you will use it and how that breaks out in base cost versus projected number of times per year you will be using the dryer.
I also own a consumer hood style dryer which I have used only a few times since I bought it some years ago. It works great for hot oil treatments, wet sets or for taking dampness out of my hair in the winter. Do I need it? Maybe not but it's nice to have. Which is why I have a consumer model rather than a professional model.
In all fairness, I have had both Conair and Elchim professional hairdryers. I loved the Elchim, which is still alive and well after 10 years, because it had a very powerful cool/cold setting rather than just a cold air buttom. Since it is best for me to use cooler settings on my long hair, the Elchim was a good investment.
If you have special hair needs that requires special heat or speed settings not available in consumer hairdryers you may do well to purchase a professional model rather than a consumer brand.
(Image of Conair 2 in 1 Hot Air Styler - 1" Nylon Bristle Brush and 3/4" Brush - Available at HairBoutique.com in the Marketplace. This one-step dry and style product features and aluminum hot air barrel which provides superior heat transfer & longer-lasting styles along with a 3/4" Hard Bristle Brush attachment for medium and tight curls. Has cool tip, On/Off switch, Limited one year warranty)
(Image of Conair TravelSmart 1875-Watt Mini Hair Dryer available at HairBoutique.com Marketplace. Features 1875-watt dryer, dual voltage, folding handle for easy storage, 2 speeds, 2 heat settings, removable air filter, UL listed and 1 year limited warranty. All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
Some of the blow dryer features which have been introduced over the years to give companies the edge include silent dryers, retractable cords, ionic, cold shots and even adjustable heat monitors. You name it, the hair dryer companies will eventually figure out a way to incorporate it as a new feature.
Do you need all the latest and great new features? Maybe, but sometimes you may not. Keep this in mind when evaluating the latest whiz bang options.
Name Brand Dryers Versus Celebrity Brands
This is where celebrities or celebrity hairdressers will make a deal with a hair dryer company to license their names or the celebrity hairdresser will pay manufacturers to add their designs and names to pre-existing models so that the celebrity hairdresser can have their own line of hot tools.
(Image of Remington Gemstone Ionic Dryer - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com. Available in the HairBoutique.com Marketplace)
When a hairdresser, celebrity or not, has their own line of hot tools, they are often manufactured in the same plants along side the big brand names like Conair, Remington and similar.
The hair dryers are the same, the packaging is the only difference. Just like Kroger brands are often the same as the high end name brands sitting next to the Kroger brands on the shelves. Same thing with hair dryers.
(Image of Remington Folding Handle Travel Dryer - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com - Available at HairBoutique.com in The Marketplace).
Keep in mind when celebrities or celebrity hairdressers are selling hot tools they are most likely the same as the Conairs, Remingtons or Wahl dryers you can buy without the branding. Does that change the cost? In many cases it may.
Whether you're buying a professional or consumer hair dryer there is a wide range of both features as well as attachments to consider. Blow dryers can be designed to include an air concentrator, a flat or finger diffuser (long or short finger) or other devices.
If you use a diffuser to dry your hair be sure that the blow dryer you purchase comes with a diffuser made for your dryer. Stand alone attachments may or may not fit all models of blow dryers which can be a problem.
If you don't need special attachments buying a striped down model may save you money. When you are evaluating the price of the dryer look at the same dryer with and without the attachments. If you think you will use attachments, be sure to buy the ones specifically designed for your model to guarantee the highest functionality.
Blow Dryer Heat & Speed Settings
When evaluating blow dryers it is important to figure out how much power, heat and speed you need to dry your hair. Blow dryers generally are equipped with 1875 watts for fast drying. You can usually get blow dryers with less watts, sometimes more, but the norm is 1875.
Most blow dryers contain 2 speeds which are fast and slow. You can find dryers with a range of speeds as well. It depends on what you need to accomplish when you blow dry your hair. Are you going to be using a brush to style why you dry or just do power drying to remove the initial moisture?
Consider the following tips when trying to find the best hair dryer for the best price.
1. Understand your hair drying needs. Consider your hair type, texture, length, condition, overall drying time and decide whether you will need a heavy duty dryer with all the bells and whistles or a stripped down model. Match your hair drying needs to your budget to eliminate brands and models not appropriate to your hair drying goals.
2. Make a list of essential features. If you must have a long finger diffuser, make sure your ultimate dryer comes with the type of diffuser you need for your hair. If you needs a cool/cold setting consider the pros and cons of a cold shot button versus a permanent setting option.
3. Take your time evaluating your options. A great hair dryer or blow dryer when purchased with some time and thought can last you for some time. A well chosen dryer can maximize your investment.
4. Ask your professional hairdresser. Your hairdresser, unless they never dry hair, will have used a variety of hairdressers in their practice. Ask for their opinions about both professional and consumer brand hair dryers for your hair. Ask them for brand recommendations. You don't have to take their advice but it's nice to have their feedback.
5. Review consumer forums. There are lots of places on the web which provide unbiased reviews on hairdryers and will provide feedback on reliability and life expectancy of the brands and models you are most interested in purchasing. Keep in mind that almost every brand and model will receive both good and bad reviews but look for the trend. Are there lots of good reviews versus just one or two bad reviews or is the opposite true?
6. Make A Wish List. Once you have narrowed down your choices to type (professional versus consumer), style (hood, bonnet, blow dryer or hot air device) features (speeds, hot/cold settings, ionic, etc) and available attachments (concentrator, diffusers, combs, brushes, etc.,) look for available manufacturers that fit your dream list.
7. Shop For Savings. After you have a desired manufacturer and model in mind, shop at locations that offer special coupon codes, seasonal sales or other ways to get the very best price for your model. Many websites like HairBoutique.com offer newsletters with special discount coupon codes. Or they will have special sections, like our Beauty Bargains, where items are marked at lower prices and special deals.
8. Check warranties. Most hair dryers, once they are purchased, fall under the manufacturer warranty if the product doesn't work as promised or there is performance malfunctions. Be sure to carefully read all return policies. Many companies will not take back a hair dryer which has been opened or used. However, if there are malfunction issues the manufacturer, if there is a warranty will repair or replace the unit.
Neither the manufacturer or the original distributor take back a hair dryer you don't like for non-technical reasons.
9. When in doubt try it out. Consider buying a used model to try it out. If after all of your evaluations you decide you are still unsure, try to find the model you desire through an auction site for the lowest price possible. Try the dryer at a reduced cost and if you don't like it you have not lost a lot.
Always be sure if you have remaining concerns or questions about your purchase that you call either the manufacturer, visit their website or contact someone at the distributor location to ask for advice and to express your concerns. This may save you return problems after the point of purchase.
What do I recommend? I have always had great results with Conair, Remington and Helen of Troy (HOT) products. That's why we carry those consumer brands at HairBoutique.com. Professionally I have used Elchim, Babyliss and Conair Pro products. When I sent to Paul Mitchell I used the Paul Mitchell hot tools and enjoyed them.
For me, I air dry a lot but if I am blow drying, I trust my Conair blow dryer. It never lets me down.
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