Monday, April 12, 2010

Find the Right Hair Dryer for You

Recently I bought an expensive new hair dryer, which I purchased online to get the best price. I like online shopping, but you gotta do a lot of research in order to get the right item for you, since you can't see or test anything out before you buy. I'm writing this article so you can figure out what you're looking for in a hair dryer, and maybe get some ideas about which brand or model might be right for you.

If you're looking for a new hair dryer, here are some things you want to consider:

  • Weight: This is something I overlooked until I picked up Ken Paves' Tourmaline Hair Dryer, which weights freakin' 4.5 lbs! That's almost a newborn child! I'm use to hair dryers that weigh around 2 lbs. Anything heavier than that makes it difficult to style my hair with a brush and dryer in each hand. 
  • Traditional vs. Ionic: If you are a bit familar with the lastest hair dryers, you'll see that a lot of them are now ionic. Traditional hair dryers release positive ions, which can open up the hair shaft, making your hair frizzy. Ionic hair dryers release negative ions, which makes the hair cuticle lay flat, so your hair looks smoother. Also, the negatice ions attract the positive ions in water molecules, shrinking the molecule so that you're hair can dry faster. Therefore, you're hair looks shiny and you have to apply less heat to dry you're hair. So why would you opt for a hair dryer that doesn't emit negative ions? Traditional hair dryers give you more volume, and I know some people claim that ionic dryers actually make their hair more frizzy. Go figure. 
  • Tourmaline: Tourmaline is a gemstone that has the ability to release a lot of negative ions. You just read about ionic technology, so I'm sure you can figure out what tourmaline does. Because it releases so many negative ions, you're hair dries even faster. 
  • Ceramic: If you have a hair straighter, then the plates are probably ceramic. Ceramic heats up really fast and, also, evenly. It also won't over-heat, so it can't burn you're hair. Ceramic emits "far infrared heat," which penetrates the hair shaft safely, drying you're hair from the inside-out, so you don't fry the outside of the hair.
  • Nano-Silver: I see this more with hair brushes, but some hair dryers incorporate nano-silver technology. Nano-silver is antibacterial, so it kills the bacteria in your hair that makes it smelly. This is a plus, because the hair dryer cleans your hair while it dries. 
  • Low EMF: EMF stands for electromagnetic fields, which all electronics emit. Really old hair dryers can emit EMFs at dangerous levels, and most modern hair dryers are pretty safe, even if they don't claim to be low EMF. If you find a hair dryer that can claim to be low EMF, great! It's better for you're health, and the environment. But, if not, don't fret. You probably get exposed to more EMFs by sitting in front of the computer, reading blogs. 
  • Heat settings: Some hair dryers will have very few settings, and some will have more than you need. Basically, I change my settings according to what I'm using my hair dryer for. If I'm drying my hair, I'll use a high air-flow setting with a medium heat. If I'm styling my hair and trying to set waves or flips, I'll use a low air-flow with high heat. A cool shot is also a must for setting styles.
All in all, you're perfect hair dryer should have all the functions you need, but you don't want to end up paying for functions that you don't really care for. For great information about hair dryers, vistit Misikko.

The first hair dryer I ever bought was the Conair Ion Shine Travel Styler (retails $24). This hair dryer is a powerful, yet compact, styler. I bought it when I first moved into the dorms, four years ago, and it still works like the day I first turned it on. It was exactly what I needed at the time: small enough to fit inside a drawer, powerful, and offered the latest technology in hair drying (ionic technology). But I'm getting older and more serious about taking care of my hair, so I wanted something that would dry my hair faster with less damage, so my search began... 

Before I finally settled with the hair dryer I purchased, I considered these ones:

Inexpensive, Tourmaline hair dryers:
Tourmaline Tools Tourmaline Hair Dryer (under $80, even in stores): This hair dryer is super lightweight (just over 1 lb) and has three heat and three air flow settings. My roommate has this hair dryer and I've noticed that her hair looks a bit shinier since switching to this one. This dryer is quiet but it doesn't make a blowing sound - more like a warping, or whirling sound, if you know what I mean. The only reason why I didn't go for this one was because my roommate already had it. 

Babyliss Pro Carrera 2 Tourmaline Hair Dryer (under $80):
This hair dryer is really similar to the Tourmaline Tools one, except it is a bit heavier. It has the same number of settings, and the same technology. I really considered this hair dryer because it's professional, but still affordable, but a good number of people claimed that this hair dryer gave out on them after a year.

A Traditional, Professional hair dryer:
Elchim 2001 Professional Hair Dryer (under $100): This hair dryer is a classic. I've seen it in salons befores, most recently on the reality television show,  Jerseylicious. This is also a lightweight hair dryer, and comes in lots of cool colors. It's got seven different air flow and heat setting combinations. I skipped this one because my hair frizzes with non-ionic dryers, but you might want to consider it if you like to style your hair with a hair dryer, because traditional hair dryers get hotter than ionic ones (to me it seems that way, at least). 

Good Professional hair dryers:
SuperSolano 3600 Micro Professional Hair Dryer (under $140):
For awhile I really considered getting this hair dryer. It's got two air flow and five temperature settings. It has tourmaline, silver nano, and ceramic technology, and comes with two fiberglass concentrators. This hair dryer is certified low EMF, also. I didn't end up with this dryer because I didn't like how the buttons were on the side of the unit, and this hair dryer is too heavy for me (2.55 lbs). However, Misikko rated this hair dryer number 1 and I kept hearing reviews that this dryer lasts even after 20 years of use!

Bespoke Labs T3 Tourmaline Evolution Hair Dryer (retails for $300, but $100 on
The Featherweight model by Bespoke Labs is really popular, but I'm the type of the girl who tries to have the best of the best, if I can afford it. This hair dryer is ultra light (about a pound), despite the fact that it looks large. It has two heat settings and four air flow settings. I would beware of this one because a great number of people said this dryer broke after one year, and some people claimed to have gone through two or three of them, even with consumer use!  

Sedu Revolution TGR 4000i Hair Dryer ($140):
This hair dryer honestly has it all. Something unique about this one is that it has the option to turn on or off the ions. It's lightweight, quiet, and emits low EMF. A lot of people seem happy with this hair dryer, and I was just about to order it, but I was able to find the hair dryer I really want for just a few bucks more than this one. However, if I had gone away with this hair dryer, I would have been really happy. 

So, what hair dryer made me forsake all of these dryers I just discussed? 

Velecta Paramount TGR Zen ($184 on FlatIronExperts, but $154 on eBay):
Velecta Paramount is a French company that makes really powerful, professional hair dryers. This hair dryer is about 2 lbs. and has only two heat and two air flow settings. I love this hair dryer, but it took some getting use to. First, it was heavier than my Conair travel styler. Second, the air flow is unbelievable. If I turn the hair dryer away from my head, while it's on high speed, it'll blow shit off my desk or walls! It also doesn't get as hot as my Conair dryer, but it definitely gets hot. I also notice that when the speed is high, the heat gets hotter. 
In the box, this dryer comes with two concentrators and one barrel extender. I usually don't use the barrel extender (which isn't pictured on the unit above), but I've noticed times when I do want to use it. The extender helps funnel the air better, so when I wasn't use to how strong the air flow was, I preferred having the extender on the unit. Also, the extender lengthens the barrel, so the heating element is further away from your hair when you're styling. This protects your hair from being exposed to too much heat. But to be honest, I don't think it matters if you have it on or not because the dryer works great either way. This dryer definitely feels luxurious, and I just feel comforatble knowing I got the best styler for me!! As of now, the eBay seller I got this from has six units left

I was going to do a demo with this dryer, but there are two really good demos on youtube. Feel free to ask any questions about the dryers or information I provided.  :)



  1. I hate heavy hair dryers too. This is a good review, the Velecta Paramount TGR Zen looks good. I will check it out on ebay.

    Just followed your blog, follow mine too?:D
    ...and everything girly under the sun!

  2. The hair dryer is awesome. So expensive tho.. makes me wonder if a hair dryer is just a hair dryer, but I don't see a difference using this product.

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