The hair dryer is an essential styling tool that allows us to keep our tresses looking healthy and stylish. It is a simple machine that uses an electric current to pass through a metal wire, creating heat.
The wire is usually a bare nichrome, an alloy of nickel and chromium, which can withstand high temperatures and will not rust. It is coiled around an insulating board that prevents electrical current from leaking out of the wire. A circuit then supplies power to the heating element, which is typically a thin flat metal plate or bar. This may be coated in fancier materials like ionic or tourmaline for added hair-health benefits.
Once the heating element is activated, it will heat up and produce a stream of hot air that can cause heat damage. To avoid this, a hair dryer should always be held at least 6 in (15 cm) away from your head. In addition to a low heat setting, a good hair dryer should also have a cool shot button that can provide a quick burst of cold air. This will seal the outer layer of your hair cuticle and help reduce frizz and boost shine.
Hair dryers can be dangerous if misused, and for this reason manufacturers must carefully design safety features into their products. For example, to protect against electrocution, manufacturers must attach warning labels that indicate the hair dryer should not be used near water to the cord. In addition, since 1991 all hair dryers have been required to use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), a type of outlet that will trip if the appliance becomes wet, whether it is on or off. a hair dryer