A hair dryer, also termed as a blow dryer, is an electric device that is used to dry and style hair. An electric fan is used to blow air across a heating coil. While passing through the dryer, the air gets heated up. Until the 19th century, the only way to dry hair was to hope for a sunny or a windy day. However, with the invention of the hair dryer, from the initial vacuum cleaner, things changed drastically. Ever since its first inception, hair dryer has undergone numerous changes, right from its look to its size to its functionality. In fact, today, hair dryers are used with a variety of combs and brushes to achieve different styles. Do you want to explore more interesting and amazing information on the history of a hair dryer, as to how it was invented and evolved? Read on.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Hair Dryers
Before the invention of hair dryer, vacuum cleaners were being used for the purpose of drying and styling hair. The early vacuum cleaners could suck in air as well as blow out air. So, towards the end of 19th century, women used to dry their hair by connecting a hose to the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner. In 1890, a French salon owner Alexandre F. Godefroy invented the first hot air-blast hair dryer. It consisted of a large, noisy motor and tubes that pointed to one’s head and blew warm air. However, it was not widely used, mainly due to its large and cumbersome nature.
The first convenient domestic hand-held hair dryer came up in 1920, in the market. It was made from zinc and steel, with wooden handles and weighed over 2 lbs. Coils of wire ran through the gadget, which produced hot hair when heated. The main drawback was that it only produced 100 watts of power, which was not sufficient to dry the hair. Thus, it was not very successful. After almost a decade, came the gas-heated dryers that were widely used in beauty parlors. However, these dryers produced heat that was harmful to hair and the fumes from the gas made the clients sick, so they were soon rendered out of fashion.
Around 1940s and 1950s, the dome-shaped, helmet style electric dryers came into being. Curly hairstyles were popular during that time. So, women applied curlers and sat under the dryers that circulated warm air to set their curls. As the curly style began to decline, so did the popularity of helmet dryer. In the late 1950s, the first workable hair dryer was made. It consisted of a hand-held dryer, connected to a pink plastic bonnet fitted over a woman’s head. Warm air circulated inside the bonnet. General Electric (GE) made a popular version of this model. It used only 300 to 400 watts (as compared to the modern dryers that use 1,200 to 1,500 watts).
Ever since 1950s, hand-held dryers have undergone many exterior changes, in order to become quieter, lighter and smaller. However, the interior workings remain the same, to a large extent. The modern technology has made improvements to the hair dryer, reducing the heat damage to a person’s hair. For producing shinier, smoother and healthier hair, dryers have been included with negative ion technology that dries hair faster and with less heat. Then, we have ceramic dryers as well, which are similar to the ionic ones, the difference being that they are more effective on frizzy and color-treated hair. Finally, there are far-infrared dryers that dry the hair from inside out.