How do Hairdryers Work?

Hairdryers are a popular household appliance used by both men and women simply because no one likes to walk around with wet hair. The hairdryer has two main purposes. The first is to evaporate all the water from your hair, and the second is to use the hairdryer as a styling product to push the hair into position while creating volume. People with longer hair almost have to use a hairdryer if they don’t want their hair being weighed down for over an hour by excess moisture. I personally use one almost every day in order to speed up my hair’s drying process and keep my hairstyle with a longer hold lasting throughout the entirety of the day. Many people, including myself, have probably never bothered to ask the question of how their many common appliances function.

The Science Happening Inside 

The hairdryer is an electromagnetic machine which means that it uses electricity as its power source. Turning a hairdryer on causes electricity to power on the motor that spins a fan located inside the hairdryer. The fan is what brings the room temperature air inside the hairdryer.

The physical components of the hairdryer that help to get rid of water from your hair are the electric fan and the heating component. Both of which are located inside the hairdryer. Room temperature air comes into the hairdryer through the vents. The air then passes a nichrome wire which is used as the heating element. Nichrome is an alloy that is combined with both nickel and chromium. The nichrome wire acts as a resistor of the electric energy, which in turn creates the heat that the room temperature air passes through to become hot enough to get the moisture out of your hair. The hot air is then blown out the end of the barrel and onto your hair.

How does the hairdryer create so much power?

On most basic hairdryers there is multiple options for the strength of air such as low, medium, and high. The way these different power options are created is with the blades centrifugal motion. The air is blown in with holes that have a safety screen on top that protect your hair from also being caught by the hairdryer. The more power used by the fan, the faster the blades will spin. When the blades begin to spin faster that means that more air is being pushed through the dryer and thus creating more pressure used for drying your hair at a faster rate.

Related image

Sources: Toothman, Jessica. “How Hair Dryers Work.” How Stuff Works. How Stuff Works, 15 Dec. 2000. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.


Outside of Hairdryer

Inside of Hairdryer

2 thoughts on “How do Hairdryers Work?

  1. Claudia Lynn Hatch

    This blog was very interesting. Being a girl with long hair, I use blow dryers all the time and I never thought to look into the science. This was a very good topic choice and something I have not seen before. I liked that you had multiple sources and I thought you did a great job.
    \Hereare just some fun ways to use a hair dryer, now that we are all up to date on the science behind it!

  2. Zachariah Watkins

    As someone who never uses a hair dryer, even though I should, I found this interesting because no one I ever know of has poised this question so its good to read something you’ve never thought about before. I do find it interesting that all it is is a fan that sucks in air and passes it over heated coils to give the heat effect, finally do you believe that a hair dryer is just a condensed version of a hand dryer?

Leave a Reply