Ionic Vs. Ceramic Hair Dryer

Since their introduction in the 1920s, hair dryers have slowly made their way into practically every bathroom. Purchasing a hair dryer forces you to choose between a variety of styles, colours, technologies, usages, weights and accessories. The two most popular kinds of hair dryers, ionic and ceramic, lead sales. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.


All hair dryers blow warm air to speed up drying time. Ceramic hair dryers employ a ceramic heating unit (much like the old-fashioned metal coils), which provides the benefits of heating evenly and not getting too hot. Ceramic hair dryers, like all heaters, emit positive and negative ions. Ionic hair dryers produce only negative ions, which seal the cuticles of each hair shaft, keeping in moisture. Ionic dryers are said to shrink water droplets, leaving your hair more shiny and doing it in less time as water is able to evaporate more quickly.


The first hand-held hair dryer came out in 1925 and weighed about 0.907 Kilogram. This hair dryer (and most of those to follow) was made using metal coils. The coils would heat up when a current flowed through. The positive ions produced by these dryers opened the cuticle shafts and made hair frizzy and dull in appearance. Over time, the hair dryer became less heavy due to improved motors that were also more powerful. Another major improvement was changing out metal coils for ceramic units to reduce inefficiency problems and provide better heat regulation (often with multiple heat settings). In 2002, hair dryers with ionic technology came on the market.


Ionic hair dryers are reputed to provide better results in shorter time and therefore cost more. They are newer to the market and are available to both consumers and professionals; however, they come at a price that some say outweighs the benefits. The more readily available ceramic hair dryers are less expensive and create satisfactory results.


Costs of hair dryers span a large price range depending on portability, type, style, brand, wattage and accessories. Because ionic hair dryers work faster and are better for your hair, they are often priced at £65 or more. A basic ceramic one can cost you around £6.


Hair dryers combining ceramic heating units with negative ion-producing technology are also available. Tourmaline hair dryers, an ionic-ceramic combination, contain 100% crushed tourmaline minerals, which provide the extra benefit of constantly emitting infrared heat to heat hair particles from within. Hair is less damaged because more heat is rendered in the shaft than on the surface.

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About the Author

Based in Vancouver, Janet Veverka is a freelance writer and artist for Pink Olive Designs. She also blogs under the tag IMAGINATIONmama for Veverka received her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999 before working in Europe for 5 years and then returning to North America.