Around the turn of the century, women dried their hair by connecting a hose to the exhaust of their vacuum cleaners. In early models, the front of a vacuum cleaner sucked air in, the back blew air out, and the hose could be attached to either end. In 1920, the first true hair dryer came on the market, but it was extremely large and heavy, and frequently overheated.
Since then, thousands of patents have been issued for different hair dryer designs, but most of them only tweak the outside packaging of the hairdryer so that it looks more aesthetically appealing to you. Aside from the addition of some safety features, the inside of a hair dryer hasn’t changed too much over the years. Not until 1951 was the first really workable dryer made. The device consisted of a hand-held dryer connected to a pink plastic bonnet fitted over the woman’s head.
- The first hand-held hair dryer was put on the market in 1920. Unlike modern hair dryers, the first hand-held hair dryer was big, bulky and frequently overheated. Capable of producing only 100 watts of heat, the first hand-held hair dryer was not able to dry hair very quickly.
- In 1951, a new type of hair dryer was released. This new type of hair dryer consisted of a more lightweight hand-held hair dryer connected by a tube to a bonnet which was worn on the head. When the hair dryer was switched on, air would flow through the tube and come out through holes in the bonnet. The bonnet hair dryer was capable of producing around 300 watts of heat, more than the first hand-held hair dryer, but far less than our modern hair dryers.
- By the 1960s, hair dryer technology had improved dramatically. Hair dryers of the 1960s were made from more lightweight materials than their earlier counterparts and were capable of producing up to 500 watts of heat. The improvements made in hair dryer technology were due to advancements made in the electric motors used in hair dryers.
- Early hair dryers were prone to creating dangerous electrical shocks when accidentally dropped into water during use. In the 1970s, the Consumer Products Safety Commission developed guidelines for hair dryer manufacturers to follow to increase the safety of their products. The safety features found on modern hair dryers, such as temperature cutoff switches and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, were developed, in part, due to recommendations by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
- Hair dryers have come a long way since the invention of the first hand held hair dryer in the 1920s. Many of today’s models of hair dryers are designed to weigh less than one pound, as well as look sleek and stylish. They are also capable of producing much more power than earlier models of hair dryers. With modern hair dryers producing up to 2,000 watts of power, users can dry their hair faster than ever before.
The First Hand-Held Hair Dryer
Bonnet Hair Dryers
Hair Dryers of the 1960s
Safety Regulations for Hair Dryers
Modern Hair Dryers
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