Hair dryer 101: Ceramic, tourmaline, ionic dryers put to the test

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - If you've tried shopping for a hairdryer lately, you know the choices can be dizzying. There's tourmaline, ceramic coated, ionic and infrared technology, just to name a few.

Consumer expert Amy Davis wondered if all those buzz words have any effect on your hair.

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She tested two blow dryers: Dyson's new $400 Supersonic and a Revlon hairdryer for $16.69.

Viewer Veronica Loftis volunteered her head full of curly hair because she wanted to see how the Dyson could help drying, styling and taming it every day.

"I'm looking for something that's faster and healthier than other products," Loftis said.

The Dyson promises faster drying and heat control to leave your hair smoother and healthier than other dryers. 

"The roots are gonna have more volume, more fullness," said Angeliqe Hovver, a stylist at Elektra Hair Studio. Hoover has used the Dyson on her clients for the last four months. 

The Dyson Supersonic dried Loftis' hair in five minutes and 22 seconds. Then we sent her back to the wash basin to wet her locks all over again. This time, Hoover used the nearly $17 Revlon to dry her hair. The blow out took nine minutes and 15 seconds, almost twice as long. Loftis was less impressed with the Revlon because of how it looked after the Revlon blow out. 

"It looks like I've slept on my hair for a few days and I haven't done anything to it," Loftis said.

"It looks dry. That's the difference," Hoover said.

She said Loftis' curls looked healthier and more supple after the Dyson blow out. 
 
Regardless, $400 is a lot of money for anyone. Davis asked Hoover what all those words on dryers -- tourmaline, ionic and ceramic-- mean and which ones consumers need to look for to get a good hair dryer. 

"What those basically mean is they cut down on frizz," Hoover said. "They cut down on fly-away. They allow the hair to have more manageability, and some of those will actually dry the hair faster."  

You should look for a blow dryer between the 1300 to 1875 watts range. Ionic hair dryers help break down the water molecule allowing the blow dryer to dry your hair much faster because you're not only using heat and the force of the air flow, but the ions that help to break down water as well.

Ceramic dryers emit non-damaging infrared heat.

Tourmaline hair dryers emit infrared heat and negative ions, making the heat much gentler on the hair during styling for a shinier and less frizzy finish. It also enables the hair to endure much higher levels of heat without creating damage.

We should note that the $16.69 Revlon hair dryer Hoover tested on Loftis's hair had all of those features, but she still felt like her hair was dry and somewhat frizzy.

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