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You might not realize it, but your hair dryer uses a lot of electricity. In fact, the government's Energy Savers website lists hair dryers as using between 1,200 and 1,875 watts -- that's more than a microwave oven uses. Save money on your electricity bill by picking an efficient low-wattage hair dryer for your daily routine. You'll be doing your hair a favor.
What Does It Matter?
Calculations show that using a 2,000-watt salon hair dryer for 20 hours a month costs $3.12. While it might not seem like much, that's almost $40 for a year. Wouldn't you rather treat yourself to a manicure with the money you could save? Also, the higher the wattage on a hair dryer, the stronger the heat and the more damaging it is to your hair. Efficient, low-wattage blow dryers do the job without frying your strands.
Travel Hair Dryers
Generally around 1,000 watts, travel hair dryers are more energy-efficient than full-size blow dryers. While you might need an extra 10 minutes to get thick hair completely dry with a travel dryer, one of these hair dryers has benefits: You can pop a small, folding travel hair dryer into your purse when you're headed to the office or the gym. In the ladies' room, lift your hair and aim it at the roots for an instant volume pick-me-up before dinner or drinks.
Ceramic Heat Dryers
Avoid blow dryers with plastic or metal heating elements, which heat your strands so much that water literally boils off -- not a gentle routine, especially if you blow-dry your hair daily. Ceramic hair dryers emit negative ions, which seal in shine and keep the follicles smooth. If there's an ionic switch, keep it off when you're blow-drying your roots (for volume), then turn it on when you dry the top layers. Ceramic elements diffuse a more even level of heat, which helps prevent burning and ensures that all sections are bone dry.
Hair Dryer Tips & Tricks
To cut down on blow-drying time, towel-dry your hair properly so that it's damp, never soaking. If your hair is very thick, or longer than your jawline, section it off into four equal parts. Always use heat-protecting products since even a low-wattage hair dryer will damage your hair if you use it on a daily basis. If your hair is already prone to frizz, buy a hair dryer with a cool setting -- cold air keeps hair shinier and is more gentle than hot or warm air.