A hair dryer, hairdryer or blow dryer is an electromechanical device that blows ambient or hot air over damp hair to speed the evaporation of water to dry the hair. Blow dryers enable better control over the shape and style of hair, by accelerating and controlling the formation of temporary hydrogen bonds within each strand. These bonds are powerful (allowing stronger hair shaping than the sulfur bonds formed by permanent waving products) but are temporary and extremely vulnerable to humidity. They disappear with a single washing of the hair.
Hairstyles using blow dryers usually have volume and discipline, which can be further improved with styling products, hairbrushes, and combs during drying to add tension, hold and lift.
Blow dryers were invented in the late 19th century. The first, stationary, model was created by Alexander F. Godefroy in his salon in France. The handheld, household hair dryer first appeared in 1920. Blow dryers are used in beauty salons by professional stylists and in the household by consumers.
Most hair dryers consist of electric heating coils and a fan that blows the air (usually powered by a universal motor). The heating element in most dryers is a bare, coiled nichrome wire that is wrapped around mica insulators. Nichrome is used because of two important properties: It is a poor conductor of electricity and it does not oxidize when heated.
A survey of stores in 2007 showed that most hair dryers had ceramic heating elements (like ceramic heaters) because of their "instant heat" capability. This means that it takes less time for the dryers to heat up and for the hair to dry.
Many of these dryers have "normal mode" buttons that turn off the heater and blow room-temperature air while the button is pressed. This function helps to maintain the hairstyle by setting it. The colder air reduces frizz and can help to promote shine in the hair.
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