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A Hair Dryer History

A Hair Dryer History

Conair Nano Blowdryer Set

Hair Dryers, are hot hair tools which are a key component of the hair care and hair styling industry.  Hair Dryers are any type of tool which contains any type of blower which dries hair.  Utilizing this idea, a fan, a hand dryer or a variety of other blowers could actually be considered a hair dryer.

Invention Of The Hair Dryer

The vacuum cleaner was the initial inspiration for the creation of the hairdryer in use today.  Before hair dryers were in existence, men and women commonly dried their hair using vacuum cleaner hoses.

The original vacuum cleaner was invented in 1890 by Alexandre Goldefroy for use in his French hair salon.   Goldefroy's hair dryer was an unsophisticated version of what's available in modern times.

The Goldefroy hair dryer was rigged up so that a man or woman could sit underneath it.  It was not portable in any way and it was not handheld.

1920s Introduction Of Handheld Hand Dryers

In 1920 the US Racine Universal Motor Company as well as the Hamilton Beach Company created handheld hand dryers, eventually referred to as blow dryers, which were released to the professional and consumer hair market.   Although a step in the right direction, the new portable hairdryers were heavy and challenging to use.  In fact, the hair dryers could weigh up to 2 pounds.  Obviously they could be exhausting to use when drying a lot of hair.

Early Image Of Hair Dryer On Wikipedia

The 1920s version of the portable hair dryers, now known as blow dryers, could potentially overheat or cause electrocution.  The new hand held hair dryers were only capable of using 100 watts of heat instead of the 2000 watts currently available.  With the limits on heat wattage, it took a lot longer to dry the hair.

Hair Dryer Evolution

From those first hair dryers released in 1920 the hair dryer has gone through many evolutions.  Although the basic function and mechanism of the hairdryer has not experienced any significant changes since its invention the features have evolved dramatically.

Besides the hand held dryers other major types of blow dryers which were developed included the soft bonnet hairdryer and a rigid-hood style hairdryer.

A soft bonnet style hairdryer was introduced to hair consumers in 1951 which consisted of the traditional motor with hose attachments not unlike vacuum cleaners.   The 50s also saw the introduction of the rigid-hood hair dryer which is the type most frequently seen in salons.  The rigid-hood dryer had a hard plastic helmet that goes over the head. This rigid-hood dryer works similarly to the bonnet hairdryer, but at a much higher wattage.

Hair Dryer Motor Placed Inside The Casing

Conair Hood Dryer

An important change to the hand held hair dryer occurred in 1954 when GEC changed the design of the dryer to move the motor inside the casing.

Another key change occurred in the 1960s with the weight of the blow dryer.  Better electrical motors were introduced at that time along with the lighter plastics.   In the 1970s the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set up hairdryer safety guidelines which addressed past issues with electrocution or overheating.

CPSC Safety Measures

Since 1991 the CPSC has mandated by US law that all dryers must use a ground fault circuit interrupter so that it cannot electrocute a person if it gets wet.  By 2000 deaths by blow dryers has dropped to less than four people a year.  This is a drastic change from the hundreds of electrocution cases which occurred in the past.

Conair Soft Bonnet Dryer

Not only has the appearance of the hairdryer changed dramatically since those early vacuum cleaner tube days, they now are equipped with a dizzying array of options and features ranging from noise reduction and wattage options to a variety of attachments (concentrators, diffusers, attached combs and brushes) to heat settings and dryer speeds.

One way that manufacturers of hair dryers utilize to stand out for consumers is the type of features they offer on each of their different models.

For Additional Details Refer To:

Blow Dry Hair Articles On HairBoutique.com

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