How a Hair Dryer Works

The hair dryer is an essential salon tool for every stylist and a must-have for home styling. While the hair dryer’s reputation for damaging your strands may be true (when you blow dry them wrong), when used correctly, it can actually help your strands flourish. This is especially true when using a hair dryer with ionic, ceramic or tourmaline technology, which emit negative ions that reduce frizz and static while speeding up the drying process.

The electric current that powers a hair dryer runs through a wire called a heating element, which is usually made of nichrome—an alloy of nickel and chromium that’s resistant to heat. The heating element is wrapped around an insulating wire, and the combination of these two parts forms the body of the hair dryer, which looks like a coiled spring that’s up to 12 in (30 cm) long.

Depending on the model, there may also be one or more cooling vents, which direct cool air to the scalp and strands for comfort and protection against heat damage. In addition, the hair dryer’s circuitry has a bimetallic strip that’s composed of two sheets of metal that expand at different rates—when one of the sheets hits a certain temperature, it trips a fuse that cuts off power to the heating element and prevents overheating. Some models may also feature a thermal fuse to further protect against overheating and fire. hair dryer

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