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How Does an Ionic Hair Dryer Work?

While my mom's hair dryer was a standard style, I've had an ionic model for as long as I can remember doing my own hair . . . but is there any real advantage to that buzz word?

My latest science research found that ionic dryers bond water droplets on the hair shaft with negatively charged ions. It works because, well, opposites attract. Water molecules are positively charged and are attracted to the negative ions from this dryer. This breaks them down into tinier particles that dry quicker and helps seal the strands' cuticles to retain moisture in the process.

Learn the key difference with standard hair dryers when you


Although the claims that ionic dryers work better aren't scientifically proven per se, traditional hair dryers release positive ions instead of negative ones. This means they don't have the benefit of attracting and breaking down the water as quickly, which logically exposes your hair to more heat for more time. We know the damage too much heat can bring, since that opens up hair cuticles and can result in drier, frizzier hair.

Part of it could be clever marketing, but this kind of dryer still works – and sells – better for many people, including myself. If you have both, grab your lab coat (read: bathrobe) and test this out for yourself before sharing results in the comments below!


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gemini7827 gemini7827 7 years
i bought my first T3 ionic 4 years ago. and yes it works!
Jennipoo Jennipoo 7 years
excellent! I bought an ionic hairdryer... it makes my hair shinier, but it may just be the shampoo ;)
Jennipoo Jennipoo 7 years
excellent! I bought an ionic hairdryer... it makes my hair shinier, but it may just be the shampoo ;)
Jennipoo Jennipoo 7 years
excellent! I bought an ionic hairdryer... it makes my hair shinier, but it may just be the shampoo ;)
subversivedoe subversivedoe 7 years
oh. I thought the ionic dryers just made my hair less frizzy not dry faster. I don't know... I dry my hair upside down anyways, which makes it frizzy and gross. Drying my hair up and down just takes to long.
scissorz scissorz 7 years
aren't there negative and positive ions in the air all the time? also i would like to know how exactly it generates these negative ions and where they come from. i noticed when i had a chi dryer that it seemed to be significantly hotter just didn't blow as hard - same with my co worker's t3. i could see how its makes the hair less frizzy by blowing less hard but i dunno if i believe in the ions
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
I don't really notice a difference.
psterling psterling 7 years
My ionic hairdryer dries my hair a little faster and its definitely shinier and softer but sometimes its just too soft and my curls start to get frizzy by the end of the day so I have to add a bit of texturizer
sktchris sktchris 7 years
My hair stylist told me not to use ionic hairdryers cuz it drys out your hair
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I find mine works better on drying my hair than my old regular dryer did.
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