How Does a Hair Dryer Work?

By Kelly Townsend

Hair dryers, in addition to simply drying hair, also allow for certain types of styling. A hair dryer is not a complicated machine because much of the hair dryer's operation revolves around a small fan within the device.

How Does a Hair Dryer Work?

When you turn on a hair dryer, you allow the flow of electricity to begin entering the device. The electrical energy is then harnessed and used to power a small fan that sits inside of the hair dryer. Although it is similar in shape to a water wheel, it differs in purpose because it actually uses the electrical energy to create movement. That movement is then used to create airflow.

Applying power to the hair dryer allows the motor to start spinning the fan, which in turn draws air in through the air inlets in the side of the hair dryer. A safety screen prevents other objects from entering the inner workings of the hair dryer. The air that is brought into the dryer is then pushed through the barrel and onto your hair, although there is the crucial element that takes place first: the heating of the air.

A coiled wire on an insulating board is the main mechanic for heating the air that is pulled into the hair dryer. The wire is made of a material that is a poor conductor of electricity, so when an electrical charge is sent through it, it becomes hot instead of conducting the charge. It is also resistant to rust, which is important because many other materials will quickly oxidize when exposed to the amount of heat that the wire endures.

When the air drawn into the hair dryer is forced through the barrel of the hair dryer, it travels through the heating element because of the way the case is shaped. How hot the air becomes is controlled by a temperature switch, which controls the amount of electrical charge that is pumped through the wire when you turn on the dryer.

Since hair dryers were invented, they have become safer and are able to heat air much quicker. Nowadays, you can rapidly dry and style your hair using a hair dryer.