Differences Between a Professional Hair Dryer and a Regular Hair Dryer
Are there really a lot of differences between professional and non-professional blow dryers? One of the main differences is the price which can be hundreds of dollars. But are the professional dryer really that much better?
Most professional dryer differ from regular dryers as their wattage use is much higher, meaning that the stream of air blown, is much stronger and will dry the hair quicker. Their temperature will also get hotter and this too will shorten the drying time on a head of hair.
Most Hair stylists when asked what they need and want in a blow dryer, mention two things: "heat and power". They are not concerned with all the hoopla about concentrators and diffusers because they are professionally trained in the art of hair styling. Sure, they use the diffusers and concentrators but they are more concerned with "hot and fast".
They can work their magic by using a round brush and a powerful blow dryer because they understand the where, when and how to direct the heat and air to get the results they are looking for.
When you have your hair done professionally, you will notice the stylist will start your drying process using just their fingers in your hair and the powerful air and heat in the dryer. Using the brush on extremely wet hair can cause damage as the cuticle on the hair shaft is still open when the hair is really wet.
Most professional will tell you to do some towel drying before using a hair dryer and ideally, your hair should be 80% dry before using the dryer.
One other difference that I have notice between the one of the best professional hair dryers and a standard one is that the length of the cord on a professional blow dryer is much longer and is of higher quality.
Hair Dryer Buying Factors
Let's talk about the wattage on hair dryers and what you need to look for. For a professional grade blow dryer I would suggest any product with a minimum of 1875 and 2100 watts. With high wattage you can turn down the heat some and still get great drying results with this amount of power. You want to maximize your blow dry time so use a dryer with great wattage. The best hair dryers for thick hair would need to have a minimum of 1875 watts. For thick hair the higher the watts the better.
If your use of a blow dryer is limited to short hair with a quick drying time. I would suggest a smaller wattage dryer that is much less expensive and would suit your needs nicely.
Ionic or Nonionic
With this feature there is a lot of debate. Ions are able to reduce the frizz factor in hair, but only if the frizz is from static. If you use the dryer with ions on dry hair it will calm it down as it returns the hair to a neutral charge. Wet hair can not hold a charge so it would be better to use a type of smoothing cream than to depend on the dryer to get rid of the frizz.
It is yet to be determined that ions can speed up the drying process by breaking up water molecules. Hair dryers do produce ions, but they are just particles of air that are negatively charged. Most all modern blow dryers are ionic so it isn't something I would solely base a purchase on.
What attachment come with a hair dryer? Usually you will get the dryer, a concentrator, and a diffuser head in one package. The concentrator will allow you to be more directive with your heat, making it easy to dry sections of hair in less time. It does what its name says, it concentrates the heat to a specific section of hair.
A professional blow dryer will have a longer cord than the standard type dryer to allow the professional stylist to move about in the salon setting. These cords will be around 8-9 feet long. Some standard hair dryers I have looked at have about three to four foot of cord and they limit your mobility when styling at home.
Most professional blow dryers will also have a removal filter and it is usually located on the back of the product. It is good practice to clean it often to allow your dryer to operate at its highest level of efficiency. As with any product, the better you take care of it, the longer it
Most blow dryers will come with a minimum of two heat setting, those being high and low. If you have really thick or coarse hair, the high heat level would be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you have thin, fragile, or color treated hair that is not in perfect shape, the low heat setting will be the right choice.
The one thing you never want to do with a blow dryer is "over-dry" your hair. There is a fine line between thinking you will give it an extra few seconds of drying and doing some damage. Turn off your dryer and let the hair cool a bit and feel it for moisture content.
There is no law that says you can't turn your hair dryer back on if it isn't all the way dry. Better yet, when your hair is over 80% dry, switch to a cooler setting to finish drying your hair as it will prevent damage.
Speaking of cooler setting, what is the "cool shot" button all about? When you use a cooler setting on your dryer or the cool shot button, you will cause the cuticle on the hair shaft to close and the hair will remain in the style you have dried it in until the next shampoo or if you are in some nasty sticky, or rainy weather--bye bye hair do!
Heating Element Materials
The first material used in heating elements was a metal coil that when turned on would produce the heat needed to dry the hair as it blew across the element.
In recent years, the metal has been coated with either a ceramic, porcelain or both material that will produce a more even heat that is less harsh on our hair. As well, ceramic and porcelain emit negative ions to speed up drying time and smooth out frizz.
Today, some heating elements are made of titanium. Titanium can get very hot and therefore is not recommended for dry, damaged or chemically processed hair.
As far as dryers with tourmaline, tourmaline is a coating on the inside of the dryer. It is a semi precious mineral that produces even more negative ions, which then produces smoother hair and speed up drying time.
The first hand held blow dryer were heavy which was problematic for the stylist to use all day long. A good weight now is 2 pounds of less. Not only do you want a hair dryer to be light in weight, you want one that is easy and comfortable to grip with great ergonomic styling.
Don't be afraid to pick one up and see how it feels in your hand before you buy. Some times the prettiest ones are awkward in your hand and will be difficult to hold over and around your head as you dry the hair.
Try the switches out as you hold the dryer to make sure you can turn it off and on with ease and change the setting without a lot of trouble. If you are going to spend a bunch of money on a blow dryer, make sure it is something you can handle with ease while making yourself beautiful.
Below are short review on nine of the top rated professional hair dryers. These dyers are quality products and which should be of concern to you if you are interested in purchasing this type of dryer. Most of them will have the same features but will differ in price, color, wattage and style. You can use a blow dryer on all types of hair as long as you use the proper products on your hair before and after drying and are using a quality blow dryer. Always be conscious of the level of heat you use and the power of the airflow.
Harry Josh Pro Tools Combo
This Combo and profession blow dryer has won the Allure's Best of Beauty Awards for three consecutive years, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The accessories, comb, clips, and brush are of the highest quality and will enhance your ability to style your own hair like a professional. The style of the dryer and color of the dryer are extremely professional looking also.
The Harry Josh Pro tools Combo features a hair dryer that is powerful enough to reduce drying time by up to 50%. It is ultra-lightweight compared to other dryers and is equipped with multiple heat and speed settings. It has a dual filtration system that reduces energy consumption by 70%. It has a 2-year warranty included when purchased.
The biggest drawback is the price of this product. If you have had to purchase more than two or three dryers in the past, why not just get the one that will last for years, at any price.
- 1875 Watts Of Power
- Blows Air At 80+ MPH
- Comes With Comb, Brush, Clips, Dryer
- Rubber Coated Non-slip Handle
- Handy Loop On Cord For Hanging It Up
Bio Ionic Whisper Light Pro Dryer
This dryer touts its ability to hydrate dry damaged hair with its nanolonic mineral technology and will control the frizz factor. Runs extremely quite and can dry a head of long hair in as little as five minutes. The handle is very comfortable to the hand and all the function buttons are easy to operate. You can turn off the heat element and still run the blower on this model.
Very easy to use and is able to dry the hair in half the time standard dryers take. Operates with 1400 watts of power. Can accept accessories but only comes with a concentrator. Measures 12 inches in length and the cord has a hook that is used to hang it out of your way for storage. Price is very reasonable.
Weights 2.1 pounds and that is a bit heavy to use all day long. Does not come with a diffuser, brush, clip, or comb, just a concentrator head. Has a 60 month limited warranty. For some people this is bad, but it only comes in black.
- 1400 Watts of Power
- Ultra Lightweight
- Extremely Quiet
- Uses Natural Ionic Technology
- Cuts Down on Drying Time
SAM VILLA Light Salon Professional Ionic Blow Dryer
When they say this is a lightweight dryer, that is exactly what they mean, it weights only 1 pound but it still produces a strong flow of air. The curved comfort grip handle is ergonomically designed for hours of anti-fatigue working. It has a removable filter for easy cleaning. It includes a deep bowl diffuser and two different size concentrators. It has built-in ceramic-tourmaline ion generation said to reduce static and gives the hair a smooth finished look.
Very Lightweight, and the ergonomic designed handle make it very easy to control for all day use. It comes with the necessary attachments and even has a loop on the handle for hanging it out of your way. It has 1750 watts of power, 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings. Has ceramic-tourmaline technology for a quicker drying process. The easy to locate filter makes for easy cleaning.
Can't find anything bad about this product but I am still concerned about the truth in ionic technology.
- 1750 Watts of Power
- Curved Comfort Grip Handle
- Professional 9 Foot Cord
- Wisper Quiet
CHI Touch 2 Dryer
This dryer has the newest in technology with its 2.4 inch touch screen controls. You can use the screen to select the heat, power and ion setting that the dryer has to offer. It has 1800 watts of power so you can be sure it will cut down on drying time. The package includes two accessories and two products for the ultimate in hair care. You have everything you need to get a professional looking style, except the hairdresser!
This purchase is a complete package, no need to purchase any extra products before you get started drying your locks. Easy to read and operate the 2.4 inch touch screen. The speed and temperature are set with a unique speedometer on the screen. There is a 2 year warranty on the product from the date of purchase/date of receipt. The weight is only 1.7 pounds according to the manufacturers.
I personally have never used a dryer with a touch screen so I can't say, yay or nay to it. Almost everything else I own has a touch screen so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor in purchasing this dryer.
- Touch Screen Technology
- Comes With Attachments and Hair Products
- Control All Settings With a Touch
- Weights 2.3 Pounds
- 2 Year Warranty
Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic
The Elchim 3900 is one of the best professional hair dryers due to it high wattage of 2000 W. You get two concentrators to accomplish different hair styles. It has a stunning mirror-like finish and its ergonomic design distributes the weight over the forearm to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. There is also a built-in silencer to cut down on noise. The instant cold air shot can help you set a style quickly.
Very attractive product and has a powerful wattage which will cut down on your drying time by 30%. It comes in different colors which is important to some people. It is easy and comfortable to use and has heat settings as well as power settings. One of its best features is its ergonomic design so a stylist could use it all day without getting tired. It has an ionic and ceramic system that is said to hydrate the hair and give it shine. One of the best hair dryer for frizzy hair.
It does not come with a diffuser attachment but you can buy it separately. Its customer rating is only a 3.8 and most of that was to do with the quality of packing of the product.
- 2000 Watts of Power
- Reduces Styling Time by 30%
- Quiet and Lightweight
- Cold Air Button Control
- Ergonomic Handle For Comfort
T3 Featherweight Luxe 2I Dryer
This professional blow dryer was awarded Allure's Best of Beauty for Best Blow Dryer and Best Beauty Breakthrough for 2013. It has a high volume of air at a soft gentle speed. It has two speed setting and 3 heat setting along with a cool shot button. It is equipped with a 9 foot cord and an ergonomic handle for comfort.
Powerful blow dryer that will cut your drying time and is safe for all types of hair. It has an easy to clean filter with a long life motor. The T3 is also fairly light in weight and the motor is quiet. Ergonomic in design, multiple speed and heat setting make this dryer a pro. All the control buttons are conveniently placed on the handle. One of the best hair dryer for frizzy hair.
Not a standout looking product but its beauty does not affect its ability to dry hair.
- 1800 Watts of Power
- Weights 18.5 oz
- Cold Shot Button
- Integrated ion generator
- T3 Tourmaline SoftAire Technology
Paul Mitchell Neuro Dry
This Paul Mitchell product is said to dry the hair from the inside out with its advanced Neuro Dry Technology which reduces frizz while adding shine. It has high wattage along with 4 heat settings and a cool shot button to quickly set the style in the hair. One of its highlights is a smart sense microchip to activate the clean filter light.
Has enough wattage to help you cut down on drying time in half with the professional AC motor. It is easy to read the settings on the LCD display and not the least bit confusing. It is very light in weight and the motor is surprisingly quiet. It does come with a diffuser and a concentrator. to complete the package. The tourmaline ion technology is said to take the frizz out of hair and leave it smooth and silky.
The Price of this dryer is a bit more than some of the others but it is on the list of best professional hair dryers. One other drawback is the fact that if the power is on high so is the heat, if the power is on low, so is the heat so it cuts down on the versatility of the dryer.
- 1875 Watts of Power
- Produces Tourmaline Ions
- Has 4 Heat Settings
- Comes With An LCD Display
- Very Lightweight
Instyler BLU Turbo Ionic Dryer
The BLU is priced really low at under $100 dollars. The exterior of the dryer is really impressive in design and the high powered DC motor and the jet turbine fan produce a great design with high speed air flow that rivals a 2000 watt dryer. The dial allows you to select and control the desired airflow. It uses tourmaline and ceramic technology and does have cool shot setting. It comes with a concentrator and a diffuser and has the much desired 9 foot power cord. This dryer's setting allows you to use it on all types of hair without causing damage.
If you are interested in using new technology, this would be a great dryer to try out. I love the design and the fact that the filter stands out in color as a gentle reminder to keep it clean. To change the amount of heat, just roll something called the infinity dial until your are satisfied with the airflow. Due to its ability to control the heat and airflow this dryer would be compatible with all types of hair and with the cool shot button you can set in your style with no problem. The price is very reasonable for a professional dryer and it comes with a concentrator and a diffuser.
Even with the new technology the wattage that this dryer produces is only around 1500 watts which could be enough for quick hair drying with this style of fan and motor.
- Unique Motor and Fan Are Equal to 1500 Watts of Power
- Dries Hair Two Times Faster Than Other Dryers
- Has A Cool Shot Button To Set In a Style
- Can Select The Amount Of Negative Ions To Use
- You Can Customize The Airflow
Salano Supersalano 3700 Moda
This is an Italian made dryer that has 3 temperature settings with 2 speeds. It has sufficient wattage to dry the hair quickly as it produces infrared heat. It comes with two concentrators than can direct the heat to a concentrated area of the hair. The power cord is one of the longest I've seen, being at 11.5 feet. It is also equipped with a hanging ring for that extra help in storing it out of the way in a salon setting.
Has enough wattage to produce quick drying. The 3 temperature setting and 2 speeds make it an acceptable dryer for all types of hair. The dryer weights 1.2 pounds so it is a tool that can be used for long periods of time without a lot of fatigue. The size is 8 x 2.5 x 8.8 inches so it is not a large bulky dryer.
Some customer have complained about the customer service department not being real pleasant to deal with. The attachments don't seems to stay on as good as other brands of dryer do. The price is a bit high for what you get.
- 1875 Watts of Power
- Includes Two Concentrators
- Three temperature Settings, Two Speeds
- 11.5 foot Power Cord
- Built-in Hook For Hanging Storage
Conclusion On What To Look For When Buying A Hair Dryer.
There are so many variables when looking for the right blow dryer. We need to consider the cost, the wattage, the setting for speed and heat, attachments, power cord, color, weight, etc.
One of the most important things to consider is they type of hair your have and what will work the best for you. One of the secrets to healthy hair is to be aware of your hair type and use products that are good for your hair which in the end will help prevent damage leaving your locks beautiful.
If you have color treated or fine and fragile hair, don't turn the dryer up on its highest setting of heat. Blow dry with the same amount of power but less heat. Use heat protectant no matter what type of hair you have.
If your hair is healthy but long and curly, use the high power and high heat but still use the heat protectant. If you don't, your hair will not stay healthy if you dry it every day on the highest heat setting without heat protectant.
I hope I have provided you with some extra knowledge that will help you when making a decision on the best professional hair dryer to purchase. Best of luck on your purchase, now go make yourself beautiful!
If you want more tip on how to care for and prevent damaged hair check out my page here on Damaged Hair Treatment Tips and Solutions