1950s hair blow dryer image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com

Hair dryers use three different types of energy to work: Electrical energy, heat energy, and mechanical energy. Electricity is used to generate forms of energy in the hairdryer.

Electrical Energy

Energy enters the hair dryer as electricity. Electricity is a flow of electrical charge. Hairdryers receive this energy through a standard household power outlet.

Heat Energy

The electricity is converted to heat energy in a wire coil. Most hairdryers use a nichrome wire coil that will not oxidize when heated. The wire heats the air so quickly, in most hair dryers, the air is only in the barrel for a half of a second. A user can control the heat of the air coming out by changing the amount of electricity flowing to the coil.

Mechanical Energy

Electricity is also converted into mechanical energy. The electricity powers a small motor that moves the air out of the hair dryer through a process called forced convection. By adjusting the amount of electricity flowing to the fan, a user can control the intensity of the gust.