Hair Dryers are one of those things that nearly every woman needs, and yet when you go shopping for them, it can seem like an overwhelming task. Do I get the most high tech one? The one that travels well? A space-saver? One that’s pretty?…..the choices are almost limitless, with something for everyone. To help you make good choices, The Cricket Company, known for creating quite a variety of hair styling tools, has de-mystified the most important “buzz words” for hair dryers that you need to know when you’re shopping:
CERAMIC: You might think of this as a piece of pottery, and you’d be half right. Ceramic is a composite material usually made of clay. It can be used in the body of a dryer, the heating element, or as a coating on internal parts. The benefit of ceramic is that it heats up quickly and evenly across its surface.
IONIC: You might think of “outer space” and you’d be half right there, too. Ions refer to any particle with a negative or positive charge. Negative ions interact with wet hair by breaking up the water molecules, allowing the smaller droplets to penetrate the outer layer of the hair shaft. Ionic technology reduces the hair’s surface tension, leaving locks shiny and frizz-free.
TOURMALINE: If you said it is a semi-precious mineral that is one of two October birthstones, and makes for killer jewelry, you’d be correct. But when it comes to hair dryer technology, tourmaline has another function. It generates only negative ions when heated. While some of the best ionic dryers are made with tourmaline, they are not all equally effective. Internal parts of dryers may be molded of tourmaline, or some parts may just be coated with a mineral compound. Because tourmaline is a rare gemstone, the price of these hair dryers can get quite steep, depending on the quantity and the way it is incorporated into the dryer. However, tourmaline dryers can dry hair strands faster than standard ionic dryers.
There are plenty of hair dryers that have all the components, bells and whistles you want, but not all of them are created equal. What’s most important to you?
The sound of a hair dryer, loudly buzzing in the ears adds even more noise to jangle nerves. Our world contains plenty of noise without this! My personal, first choice for a truly luxurious, high-tech hair dryer, is the Centrix Q-Zone Dryer by Cricket. It delivers all three of the high-tech advantages listed above, but it has another benefit that is truly unique: it is quiet. That doesn’t mean it is totally silent, but the sound is more like someone using a vacuum cleaner several stories above you, or if that analogy doesn’t work for you, it is more like the dull hum of a lawn mower being used way down the street.
The dryer looks like a phaser from a sci-fi movie, and has high tech features such as Ionic technology to reduce drying time (tested on my long, thick hair, it really did cut my drying time by at least 8 minutes or more). It also has ceramic tourmaline to help keep frizz down, and add sleekness and shine. The energy efficient and powerful, 1500 watt, 2-speed motor delivers the drying power of 1875 watts. I wasn’t sure this would really work, but it does. And, it also means that less heat is baking your hair, for less amount of time (your hair will thank you and show its gratitude by being less damaged).
The dryer is large but reasonably streamlined. It’s not as lightweight as a travel dryer, but it won’t make your wrist scream for mercy, either. The controls (2 speeds and three heat settings are standard, on the handle where it’s easy to access them, but the cold shot button has a nice feature: it can be activated from either the handle or barrel grip, making it easier for lefties.
The packaging is an impressively large, square, 100% recyclable box, you’ll find a tiny box with a round ring that you affix to the nozzle. That”s the power booster. I’m not sure why it is boxed separately, but maybe it was for packaging reasons. There is also a remove-able nozzle (standard on nearly every dryer) to concentrate the air flow, even more. An 8 foot power cord means you might just be able to reach for something without yanking the dryer out of the electrical socket.
All of this is good news, for your family, room-mates, neighbors and pets (if you’ve ever turned on your hair dryer and watched a cat or dog jump a few feet, you know how jarring the noise can be), and if you have babies around the house, they might even sleep through your hair drying session. Alas, quiet and efficient doesn’t come cheap — the Centrix Q-Zone Dryer retails for $179.95 and is available at select salons or online at www.folica.com. Cricket makes plenty of other hair-loving styling tools. For information, visit www.cricketco.com