Just a couple of weeks ago the unthinkable happened to one of our dear clients … her beloved (pricey) blow dryer died. Wet haired and desperate to get dry before work, she ran up to her daughter’s room and nabbed her rarely used grocery store special — a pink $15.99 Conair. She remembered it having many of the same buzz words as other dryers when she bought it, just a better price. So, she switched it on. Nearly a half hour later, hair in a frizzy, tangled mop, she learned a universal truth: tools really matter.
We know in life, if we are keeping it real, that the drugstore (or Target) vs. professional product debate happens on a near daily basis. You, as a person seeking truth and on a budget, must wade through all the information. That and your own trial and error decides once and for all which products are really worth top dollar. Our client saw with her own eyes the professional difference when it comes to the main tool in her hair arsenal.
So what makes some blow dryers work so well that they are worth $75+? Here is what you need to know about the most important features to help you decide if an upgrade is in order for you.
Wattage: The higher the wattage of your dryer the more powerful the heat and airflow. The more power your dryer has, the less time you spend actually drying your hair. This means less heat damage, less frizz, smoother cuticle, which makes for better, faster hair drying. Bottom line: Look for a minimum of 1875 watts. If you have thicker hair, high wattage is really good for speed drying. If you have thinner hair, you may not need a super high watt dryer, but should seek some of the other features we are about to discuss.
Ceramic: Ceramic is a composite made of clay used in the body of a dryer, on the heating element, or as a coating on internal parts. It creates a quick, even, infrared heat that penetrates the hair shaft, preserving hair’s natural moisture and luster. Most drug store dryers have at least this feature, but the higher end the dryer, the better the performance. Bottom line: This is good basic heat protection technology, but not the best you can do for smoothing, shine, and quick drying. Look for it combined with other technologies.
Ionics: Ionic technology reduces the hair’s surface tension by allowing negative ions to interact with wet hair by breaking up the water molecules that then evaporate on the outer layer of the hair quicker, leaving locks shiny and frizz-free. Bottom line: This is better technology. There are some great dryers with ionics and it is especially good for those with kinky, curly hair and thinner hair.
Tourmaline: This semi-precious mineral is not just for earlobes and necklines, but is the best when it comes to dryers. When crushed into a fine powder it generates only negative ions when heated. This closes the cuticle for smoother hair and dries it 40 percent more quickly than dryers with other technologies. Bottom line: The only negative is the price, but if your time is worth it to you, it’s a wise investment, especially if you have thicker hair.
So what did our dryer-challenged client purchase? She has thinner hair that gets oily at the crown so she washes almost daily. Therefore, she went with the Moroccanoil MO2000 PRO SERIES Tourmaline Ceramic dryer. It was worth every penny to fix her “hair disaster” (her words) that just two days of using an inexpensive, low watt dryer created. “I also didn’t realize how much more quickly and smoothly my hair dried with a better dryer!” she added.