Hair Dryer

Personal and professional hair dryers

Few items are more essential to a woman's morning routine than the hair dryer. Even the most low-key woman tends to have a blow dryer in her bathroom cabinet, whether it's to style her hair or just take the moisture out of it.

As common as they are, however, it would be a mistake to think that hair dryers are all the same. In addition to the numerous brand names to choose from, there are a wide variety of formats, attachments, settings, and features available.

The main distinction to be made, however, is between personal and professional hair dryers.

Personal Hair Dryers

Personal hair dryers are intended for individual home use and are sold through retail outlets. The simplest have low and high settings and, usually, a funnel attachment for directing the heat more precisely over the hair. More advanced versions have multiple temperature settings, including cool, and additional attachments, such as a diffuser for curly hair.

Most personal hair dryers are the handheld, electric "gun" type, large enough to produce the heat necessary to dry hair quickly, but still light enough to be held in one held. For those who want something smaller and lighter, travel hair dryers are just the thing. They're compact size and extra-light weight make them a perfect fit for suitcases and gym bags, but it also requires fewer features and a bit less power. Because these hair dryers aren't intended for regular use, they may overheat or breakdown if used too much or too long.

Professional Hair Dryers

Because hairstylists use their hair dryers several times a day, they require dryers that can stand up to heavy-duty usage. There are two main types of professional hair dryers: handheld hair dryers and hood or bonnet hair dryers. Handheld dryers are essentially the same as personal hair dryers, but with more power and perhaps more features. Often, the same companies produce both personal and professional models. For example, Vidal Sassoon, Hot Tools, and Conair hair dryers are all popular with hairstylists, with similar products available to consumers through retail outlets.

Bonnet or hood hair dryers free up the hairstylist to perform other tasks while the hair is drying and are perfect for lengthy drying tasks, such as setting color or curls. Usually, the bonnet or hood is attached to a chair, though some are portable and can either stand on their own behind a chair or be set on a table or shelf.