Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Now-a-days we often use hair dryers for hair styling or for hair care. Hair dryers are hot hair tools that are portable and hand held and are very easy to use. Also Hair Dryers contains any type of blower which dries hair. But those used in the past used to be a big structure. Let us have an eyeview over its invention and evolution.

Before the invention of the hair dryer, the common method for drying hairs was the use of a vacuum cleaner.

In 1890 a Frenchman named Alexander Godefroy invented a hair dryer to be used in his salon by taking inspiration from the vacuum cleaner.. This dryer was a sit-down structure dryer with a large hair hood – similar to the ones we can see in hair salons today. It had a hard plastic dome that comes down and fits over a person's head for drying the hairs. Hot air is blown out through the tiny openings around the inside of the dome so the person's hair is dried evenly.

But in 1911, Armenian-American inventor Gabriel Kazanjian received the first patent for a hand-held hair dryer.

He was not the only one person working on hair-drying technology . There was a rush of inventors working on improvement of the hair dryer from 1920’s. Lots of these were working with the proven salon power dryer. Patents were awarded to designs for adding a magazine stand/ashtray combo, and for putting speakers into the dryer so clients could listen to music while they waited for their hair to dry.

Due to the innovations by National Stamping and Electricworks under the white cross brand and later U.S. Racine Universal Motor Company and the Hamilton Beach Co. allowed the dryer to be handheld. By 1915, handheld dryers were available in the market.

Even in the 1920s, the new dryers were often heavy, weighing approximately 2 pounds (0.91 kg), and were very difficult to use. They also had many cases of overheating and electrocution. It was also only capable of using 100 watts, so it took a long time to dry hair.

There were two other major types of blowdryers other than the handheld- the bonnet hair dryer and the rigid-hood dryer. The bonnet dryer was introduced in the market for sale in 1951. This type of dryer worked by having the dryer, usually in a small portable box, connected to a tube that went into a bonnet having holes in it that could be positioned on top of a person's head. This worked by giving an equal amount of heat to the whole head at once.

The rigid-hood hair dryer, most frequently seen in salons,had a hard plastic helmet that goes over the head. This dryer works similarly to the bonnet dryer but at a much higher wattage.

An important change to the hand held hair dryer occurred in 1954 when GEC changed the design of the dryer to move the motor inside the casing.

Another important change occurred in hair dryers in 1960s that was dealing with the weight of the blow dryer. Better electrical motors were introduced at that time along with the lighter plastics. In the 1970s the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) set up hairdryer safety guidelines which addressed past issues with electrocution or overheating.

By the 1970’s, hairdryers were safe and powerful enough to be successfully mass marketed, and hairstylists were also using them, inventing new hairstyles to take advantage of the “new” technology.

Since 1991 the CPSC has mandated by US law that all dryers must use a ground fault circuit interrupter so that it cannot electrocute a person if it gets wet. By 2000 deaths by blow dryers has dropped to less than four people a year. This is a drastic change from the hundreds of electrocution cases which occurred in the past.

The average dryer today can use up to 2000 watts of heat. So it takes generally few minutes for drying the hairs, also there is no danger of electric shocks. Moreover they are light in weight. So in all it is a very useful tool. We can’t deny this fact.


  1. Wow! This is such informative post. I am very glad to know the history of hair dryer. These vintage hair dryers are looking great. The second one seems quite interesting. This is very different from other vintage hair dryers!

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