The hair dryer has had a long road since its inception until the present day, with lots of trial and error and developmental strategies taking place – all to give women the perfect styling tool and ease of use. With humble beginnings in 1880, the hair dryer would go on to be one of the most staple items in every woman and family’s bathroom since. Let’s take a look through history at the many different stages the beloved hair dryer had to go through to become what it is today.
1880 – Ceramic Brush Dryer
The very first hair dryer was a ceramic brush of sorts, in which boiling water would be poured and capped off, providing heat throughout the hair as it was run through the hair. This would undoubtedly take a while to use and for it to work, we’re quite sure. If it worked at all. But, everything needs to begin somewhere! +1 for innovation of one of the best hair tools of all time!
1928 – Chrome Plated Dryer
The chrome plated hair dryer was extremely large and clunky, and looked like something out of a Star Wars movie than it did a hair tool. This large, gaudy dryer would sit on top of the head in a sort of helmet like fashion, blasting heat over the hair much like those of today. The only difference is, it would require hours upon hours of sitting there under the dryer to set a style, and to get a complete dry.
Circa 1920’s – Hand Held Dryer
Much like those of today’s world, hand held dryers were introduced in the 1920’s sometime. The difference between those of yesteryear and today, though, is that the old school dryers were fashioned from wood and bakelite, and had an extremely large base that most women used as a vanity for their products. They were also very expensive.
1925 – Metal Hand Held Dryer
This hair dryer was a step up in the world from the wooden hair dryer listed above. This item would gain increasingly popularity, providing every family with the ability to dry the hair thoroughly for its time.
1930 – Heat Lamp Dryer
This heat lamp dryer would utilize two large heat lamps on either side of the head, providing plenty of heat to get the job done. The process would normally take two-three hours to complete a full dry. We also bet this dryer would be a somewhat unpleasant experience – sitting for two hours with heat lamps blasting either side of your head would no doubt leave you with burns of some sort, no?
1930 – Helmet Dryer
Popular to the types of helmet hair dryers you would see in today’s salons, this helmet dryer was rather large and futuristic, consuming about 2 hours for long hair styles to be completely dried.
1934 – Hooded Dryer
The hooded dryer was typically made of ceramic but contained heat which circulated throughout, much like the helmet dryers seen in salons today.
1935 – Freestanding Dryer
These hair dryers were popular during this time period as they were much less work to use, allowed more precision in terms of directing heat where it was wanted or needed, and worked better than the average hair dryer.
1948- Heat Drying Lamp
In 1948, a heat drying lamp which could be used at home rather than in a salon setting was created and became increasingly popular. It did, however, take quite a bit of time to dry the hair with this method.
1956 – Hand Held Dryer
In 1956, a newer version of the handheld dryer, which were far more lightweight than any previous version of any other hair dryer in history, were crafted. This made blow drying your hair at home much easier and far less strenuous on the wrist.
1963 –Hooded Hair Dryers
These nifty innovations are pretty close to what you will see in a salon setting in today’s world. Heat would be circulated throughout a helmet of sorts, lowered down onto the head, and left to dry the hair of the lucky lady sitting below the dryer.
Since the 1960’s, many new and exciting innovations have come to pass in the world of hair dryers, such as foldable travel sized dryers, extremely lightweight dryers, ionic hair dryers, and even dryers that tame frizz. There are also many accessories for hair dryers in today’s world, such as diffusers, dryer combs, concentrators, pik’s, and more. With the hair industry constantly evolving based around new technology, there is always something new and exciting to look forward to.
Lionesse hopes you have enjoyed this stroll through hair dryer history, and that we’ve answered the age old question for you of where and how hair dryers got their start. Be on the lookout for more interesting posts throughout the week only from Lionesse.