Hair drying and styling industry are booming with innovative technologies that are trying to make your hair drying experience worthwhile.Initially, hairdryers were designed to blow just hot air to dry your hair leaving your hair over dried and frizzy because of the intense heat and the lengthy time it took.
But the scenario changed from the early 2000’s when Ionic hairdryers were brought to the market. It took lesser time to dry and also kept the health and quality of hair in check. Years have passed and now newer technologies have established themselves alongside ionic dryers. But ionic hairdryers are still best-selling hair drying products on the market!
How do ionic blow dryers function? And what are its credentials that makes it so popular even until today? We have answers!
What is Ionic Technology and how does it work?
An Ion is a charged atom that has unequal numbers of electrons and protons. Whether it is negatively charged or positively charged will depend on the numbers of electrons and protons present in that ion. A negatively charged ion has more electrons than protons. You must have learned about ions in your middle school physics classes.
Now, you might be wondering what all these sciences have to do with your Ionic hairdryer. The ionizing starts in your hair dryer with the Corona effect. In typical Ionic hair dryers, a negative voltage is applied to an ion emitter which creates a strong magnetic field. As a result, the acceleration of the motor increases the energy level of the free electrons to the extent, that when they collide with the air molecules, they ionize them.
It more discreetly comes down to how the negative ions interact with the water molecules present in the hair. The negative ions shrink down the water molecules in the hair shaft and help them penetrate through easily. Thus the reduced size of the H2O molecules evaporates much faster. The ions also retain moisture balance in the hair by putting a lot of water molecules back into the hair shaft. The cuticles are remained flat that allows trapping the moisture in. It also neutralizes the static electricity in the hair. As a result, the hair is smoother and frizz free.
Ionic vs. Non-Ionic blow dryers
Ions are particles which cannot be seen with naked eyes and are not material based. When a hair dryer has ionic-technology, it blows these ions to the hair shaft to dry it. On the other hand, non-ionic hairdryers would have more material based hair drying and styling solutions. For example ceramic, porcelain, tourmaline, titanium etc. are the non-ionic alternatives to hair drying. What is common between some of the material based heating and ionic heating is that both emit ions. But Ionic dryers emit particularly negative ions. The following table will help understand the basic differences between ionic and non-ionic blow dryers.
|Ionic Technology||Non-Ionic Technology|
|Nonmaterial based and emits negative ions||Material based and can produce both negative and positive ions|
|Ionizes hair with Corona effect which creates a strong magnetic field to heat up and produce ions||Blows ions to hair by heating up materials like ceramic, tourmaline etc.|
|Has an ion emitter that works with negative voltage||Coated with crushed materials such as ceramic, tourmaline etc.|
|Negative ions seal cuticles very effectively to reduce frizz||Crushed materials seal cuticles with their natural benefits.|
|Negative ions shrinks water molecules and evaporates them||Materials that have ionic bonds emit ions to break water molecules into smaller parts and evaporates them|
Advantages of ionic hair dryers
Ionic dryers have been on the market for quite a long time and are still popular, and the reasons are its long-term benefits over other types of dryers. Although other technologies are now taking over, the benefits of ionic dryer have made it sustain for the very long.
These blow dryers claim to dry hair healthily and with lesser time. Negative ions smoothen the cuticles and seal them to reduce frizz. Negative ions also put back needed water molecules into the cortex to retain necessary levels of moisture.
Disadvantages of Ionic hair dryers
Although ionic technology is well established, with time and technological advantages there are many other types of blow-dryers with bigger claims to dry hair keeping the health of the hair intact.
Non-ionic material based alternatives are proving to be better at frizz reduction and control, also are giving more nature-based solutions over mechanical ones. Tourmaline, ceramic, titanium, porcelain etc. are giving more precise results in hair smoothening, drying and styling.
The strong magnetic field that it creates can be hazardous to health especially for young children which are concerning.
What can make ionic technology win over its disadvantages?
Although Ionic hair dryers have its disadvantages, they are catching up with the booming technologies pretty well. Ionic dryers these days are being marketed in collaboration with Ceramic, Porcelain, Tourmaline, Titanium and other material based technologies. These dryers are therefore versatile in use, well suited for almost all hair types, solving a wide variety of hair drying and styling problems.
What varieties of ionic hair dryers are available based on our hair types?
Every hair type and their basic cell structure have three layers which are Medulla, Cortex, and Cuticle.
- Medulla is the innermost layer which functions like the marrow or pith of the hair.
- Cortex is the mid-layer which is 75% of hair cells and holds moisture and pigment of the hair.
- Cuticle Layer is the outermost layer that is fibrous in texture and is translucent to let the hair pigment show through it. This layer shields the cortex and protects it from getting damaged.
Based on the density and volume of the layers of cells, hairs are generally of four types which are: Fine/Thin hair, thick/Coarse hair, curly hair and African-American/Natural hair. What are the available ionic hairdryers that can effectively work on each hair type and how? Following explanations may help you find out.
Got fine hair? Try Porcelain, Ceramic, and Pearl Ceramic hair dryers with Ionic technology
Very thin or fine hair has a lesser volume of hair cells comparing to other types of hair. Although all hair types have three layers of tissues in hair, which are Medulla, Cortex and Cuticle, very fine hair may have the Medulla divided into fragments or even be absent. Although this kind of hair is easier to maintain, its structure is weaker and can be damaged by friction or overheat. Heat can easily penetrate through the thin layers of fine hair drying the hair unnecessarily which breaks the cuticle layer causing frizz.
Although Porcelain and Ceramic are used synonymously they do have differences in terms of their properties and their effectiveness on fine hair. Ceramic infused with pearl extracts and ionic conditioning, on the other hand, seems to give the best results with fine hair.
Ceramic is a nonmetallic inorganic material which is mostly available in clay form. Apart from pottery, ceramic these days are also popularly used in hair dryers. Ceramic in hair dryers are incorporated by making a fine powder of ceramic and then coating major components of the hair dryers. Ceramic creates even infrared heating and dries fine hair gently and gives protection to hair from getting overheated. It is also said that ceramic works great for curly hair, but it is not very clear how. Ceramic has gentler heat which should not be enough for thick or curly hair.
Ceramic has ionic covalent bonds that also generate ions to dry hair quickly without exposing your hair to heat for a longer time.
Although porcelain is more widely known as another variety of ceramic clay, it has a different composition that allows it to be a fast hair drying element. Porcelain is tougher, stronger and more translucent comparing to ceramic. It emits natural ions when heated that can remove static electricity and frizz no matter how dense your hair is.
The pearl ceramic technology used in hair dryer nourishes, controls and dries hair with the natural benefits of pearl and ceramic combined. Pearl in this hair dryer gives the lustrous shine and smoothness by preventing frizz from happening by repelling humidity, while ceramic creates even heat to dry hair coherently and more quickly. Pearl and Ceramic together seal moisture inside the hair cuticles. Because of having ceramic in it and its even heating, this is best suited for fine hair. Pearl, however, makes it more versatile and makes this technology worthy of other hair types as well.
Porcelain and Ceramic and pearl ceramic dryers are available in the market infused with ionic technology which along with the benefits of ceramic, porcelain and pearl to enhance the quality of your hair and fast dry them at the same time.
Ceramic is better for fine hair and porcelain hair dryers are well suited for all hair types. You might want to stick to Pearl Ceramic ionic hair dryer for its proven benefits on fine hair and other hair types for a more versatile personal and home use.
Thick and naturally curly hair? Try Nano-Titanium hairdryers with Ionic technology
If your hair is not very delicate and it gives you a hard time to dry and care for your hair at the same time, then Titanium is the right solution for your hair.
Comparing to thin hair, thick hair has a larger amount of hair cells. This means, if your hair is thick, you have a more defined medulla, a cortex with more volume, and larger cuticle layer to protect the inner layers. Although this kind of hair has a stronger structure, heating for a longer time and styling it excessively will cause it to lose its moisture by chipping the cuticle layer letting it pass through. Also, the humidity will build and rebuild more hydrogen bonds because of the thicker cortex and in a higher rate that will make the shape and length of the hair fluctuate. Thus frizz will occur and make your thicker hair harder to tame.
Titanium is an alternative to ceramic dryers for coarse and curly hair since ceramic does not give the best results in such hair types. It is a metal that heats up very quickly and dries your thick hair way faster than ceramic dryers. Titanium leaves a great frizz-free smoothness of your hair and does it very fast.
Titanium seals the cuticles of thicker hair and gives a frizz-free smoothness. It maintains a constant temperature which dries your hair is lesser time than its other alternatives like ceramic. Lesser drying time saves your hair from further frizz and damage caused by overheating. Titanium is lighter than many other metals, or even materials like Ceramic and thus, hairdryers with titanium are very lightweight as well.
For African American and other types of curly hair, try Tourmaline-Ionic blow dryers
Tourmaline is the blooming technology that works great for all types of hair. Because of the natural quality of crushed tourmaline to create negative ions in abundance and far infrared heating to dry hair without having to penetrate the layers of hair cells, it is a great alternative to hair dryers that overheat the hair to dry them.
If you have African American hair, your hair is more non-linear in shape than other hair types. Its extra curly and zigzag texture has more cross-sectional points and thus are more prone to breakage and frizz.
When your afro hair comes in contact with the crushed tourmaline, it creates a continuous stream of negative ions and infrared heat that seals the chipped hair cuticles and thus gives your hair a smooth frizz-free finish. Tourmaline works great especially for black hair but it also equally effective for other hair types. Thus Tourmaline-ionic can easily be titled the most versatile hair-drying technology.
Tourmaline- Ionic hair dryers keep the quality of your hair in check by naturally taking care of the layers of your hair using tourmaline while fast-drying them by 30% to 40% reduced time through ionizing them.
Titanium hair dryers infused with ionic technology gives a very sleek finish to thick and curly hair. Your thick hair becomes velvety smooth and curls become softer with the smoothening qualities of ion-infused titanium.
Titanium-ionic hairdryers are recently more popularly sold as ‘Nano titanium’ hair dryers. Nano titanium refers to a finer layer of titanium in the blow-dryer than in the previous versions that claim to give a more precise drying and styling results.
What features should you look for?
Your dryer incorporated with ionic technology must have some features for you to take benefits from it to the fullest.
Speed and heating options
It must have at least 2-speed settings along with 3 heating options making it usable for all hair types. Dry your hair with high speed in the beginning and switch to lesser speed when most of the wet patches have decreased. Heating options should include low to medium, medium to high heat for more effective results. Normal or fine hair can dry well with medium heat settings while thick, curly or afro hair will be needing high heating options. For better results after drying, switch to lower heat for styling.
Unless you have plenty of time, you need a dryer that will save your time. To dry your hair with the speediest results, you need a dryer that has at least 1800 to 1850 watts.
High Torque DC motor
Motors rotationally accelerate components of the hair dryer. Higher torque will provide more acceleration which is essential for a good blow-dryer to avoid internal damage to the machine saving you repair costs.
For your hair to set and stay that way for a long time the cool-shot option is a must! Switch to the cool shot option when your hair is 75% to 80% dry. Use your ionic dryer to the fullest with this option.
Concentrator Nozzle Attachment
Instead of blowing your strands all over the place, you can adjust the nozzle and flow the right amount air to the areas that need it. For voluminous hair, aim the nozzle from the roots of the hair to see great results! It is also of great use for styling and smoothening the hair along with hairbrush.
To save your hair from the frizz, especially if you have curls and waves, diffuser attachment is mandatory to decrease the velocity of the air flow from your dryer for smoother and softer curls with a frizz-free finish.
The 3 best ionic hair dryers for all hair types
Although there are many ionic hairdryers that are popular without the combination of material based technologies, the following list contains hair dryers with the suitable substances used for great results in all hair types.
Remington AC2015PP Pearl Pro Ceramic Dryer: The Most Durable Ionic hair dryer for fine hair
This hair dryer has an AC motor which has the average life-span or 4 to 6 years and thus durability of this hair-dryer more than average hair dryers. It is also available with the warranty of 2 to 3 years which will save you the worry to spend on reparations.
This Remington hair dryer is incorporated with Pearl Ceramic and Ionic Technology which naturally heals damaged hair and controls frizz with the benefits of pearl extracts and ceramic combined with negative ions.
Because of even heating of Ceramic, it is best suited for fine hair. Fine hair has really thin layers of hair cells and thus needs more delicate drying technology. Ceramic gives maximum damage control with fine infrared heat that works perfectly for thinner hair.
Pearl naturally rejuvenates and fortifies hair cells and repels humidity, and thus it smoothens the hair cuticles and gives it a lustrous, shiny and frizz-free silky texture. Ionic technology gives faster drying by shrinking water molecules.
It also comes with 3 heat and two-speed settings, cool shot option and a concentrator nozzle to give a great frizz-free fast drying and styling experience.
Wazor Professional ionic-Ceramic-Tourmaline Hairdryer: The strongest salon-grade blow-dryer for thick and curly hair
This Wazor professional hair dryer will take perfect care of your curls. It comes with the triple benefits of ionic technology and a fine coating of crushed ceramic and tourmaline to nurture your natural curls and smoothen the thick layers of cuticles.
This hair dryer has tourmaline and ceramic combined to smoothen hair cuticles for both thick and curly hair and give the frizz-free finish. Thick hair has a thicker cortex and a larger cuticle area which requires strong elements to smoothen them. Naturally-curly hair is also thicker in texture, plus, it has a nonlinear shape with more cross-sectional points to break hair and thus create frizz. Far infrared heat will dry your hair faster. It will penetrate your hair up to the cortex with very even heating which will protect your hair from heat-induced damage but also quickly dry it at the same time.
This hair dryer has an 1875 watt AC motor which has a 4 times longer life span than average motors. Also, this motor gives a strong airflow of 90 kilometers per hour that gives salon-grade fast drying. Its durable AC motor and strong airflow make it one of the strongest hairdryers for great professionally styled curls.
Its tourmaline infused ionic technology will accelerate fast and healthy drying further by emitting negative ions of heated tourmaline to ensure healthy cuticles but also reducing the drying time by 30% to 40% less.
The bonus is, this comes with a diffuser attach which is an absolute necessity for curls and also has concentrator nozzle and comb attachments for great styling options. Cool shot button and 2 speed and 3 heat settings will lock your style in your desired way.
BayBilissPRO Tourmaline Titanium 3000 Dryer: The Most Durable Tourmaline-ionic blowdryers for Afro Hair
This BayBillissPRO hairdryer best suited for thick and African-American hair will last longer than expected and hence this is the most durable tourmaline-ionic hair dryer.
Thick hair has a larger number of cuticle cell that requires stronger heating and smoothening materials for fast drying. The Tourmaline-Titanium technology in this dryer promises shinier and healthier thicker hair. Titanium is the better and lighter alternative for Ceramic in dryers. Ceramic is best suited for thin hair, however, it is challenging to dry thicker hair faster with this technology. Titanium will ensure the same benefits of faster drying with smooth and silky finish with even heating for thick hair just like Ceramic does for thin hair.
African-American hair, on the other hand, has a nonlinear shape that makes the hair more voluminous and has a rougher texture and requires stronger and more powerful elements to smoothen them and fast dry them. Tourmaline-Titanium works perfectly to solve the problems of drying afro hair and give them the perfect finish keeping the integrity of the cell layers intact.
It has a high-torque ultra-weight motor with a wattage of 1900. High torque DC motors have an average life-span of 4 years which means you do not have to worry about replacing the motors for a long time. Its higher torque will provide more acceleration which is essential for a good blow-dryer to avoid internal damage in the machine and will save you repair costs. The exterior of the dryer has a rubbery finish which gives it extra protection from unexpected falls and gives a better grip for users. Its strong interior will keep the heating elements intact for years. It also comes with a limited 24 months warranty.
It’s Tourmaline infused Ion generator will ensure healthy hair drying with infrared heating which will save your hair from getting frizzy.
For best frizz-free perfect afro-curls also purchase Hairizone Universal Hair Diffuser. This diffuser will ensure the evenness of heat and blow the unwanted frizz away from your gorgeous curls.
There are a wide variety of ionic hair dryers available in the market with the varying price range. It is a wiser idea to have a decent budget to get a better quality blow dryer than to buy a cheap one and having to replace it sooner than you should. However, do not jump to conclusions based on the clever advertisements, rather be your own judge and do your own studies before purchasing. Doing your own little research on which dryers are doing great will make every penny worthwhile.
- Stan Megraw, What’s up with ionic hairdryers? Are they really better for your hair?
- PopSugar Beauty, How Does an Ionic Hair Dryer Work?, March 16, 2009
- HAI BEAUTY CONCEPTS, Tourmaline vs. Ionic Hair Dryers: How to Choose, December 21, 2016