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Ionic hair dyers

  1. Aug 18, 2008 #1
    When trying to find a good hair dryer the other day, I stumbled across something called ionic hairdryers. They seem to be very common; most brands that produce hair dryers seem to have dryers that possess this mystic quality.

    I've been trying to find out what this 'ionic' really means, but haven't been able to find a satisfactory explanation. Sure the companies have plenty of dodgy quasi-physics explanations, but I do wonder though if these producs actually emit 'ions' as they claim (and how on earth could that be possible?), and how are they supposed to work, and lastly - do they work?

    To me the whole thing sounds a bit fishy (if not very), but still I find it strange that so many different companies have their own ionic hair dryers if the whole thing's just a scam...

    If anyone has got some answers I would be very happy to hear them!

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2008 #2
  4. Aug 21, 2008 #3


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    Hmm...from Greg's link, it mentions they seemed to help reduce static. Now, that makes some sense to me and would make the product attractive if they really do that well, especially in winter!
  5. Aug 21, 2008 #4


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    Not just ionic but tourmaline. Heck and make it ceramic too.

    "The newest buzz in hair dryers focuses on the use of tourmaline. Tourmaline is a type of gemstone thought to help hair dry faster and add shine. While many ionic hair dryers have come down in price, often if a hair dryer package reads "tourmaline," it can cost up to $300. Tourmaline is believed to generate a higher number of negative ions than ionic technology alone. The more negative ions, the faster the drying time (up to 70 percent, according to Good Housekeeping tests) and the sleeker and shinier the hair becomes."
  6. Aug 24, 2008 #5


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    I still don't understand how ions are supposed to help dry hair faster or make it shinier (other than if it looks shinier because it's smoother and not sticking up with static).
  7. Mar 8, 2009 #6
    I have also been unable to find much satisfying information on these hair dryers on the internet. Is it possible that the electric charge causes a reduction in the surface tension of the water droplets in the hair causing the resultant smaller droplets that heat up more quickly? Other claims of benefits of improved "moisture content" of the hair could follow from less exposure time to the hot air and a reduction of static charge.

    See Physical Review By American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, Cornell University p. 375 "The Influence of a Static Charge of Electricity Upon the Surface Tension of Water" by Edward L Nichols and John Anson Clark at this link http://books.google.com/books?id=VbsWAAAAYAAJ
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  8. Jul 31, 2010 #7
    A lot is written about ionic hair dryers but the real scientific background indeed is slim.

    Like someone else suggested in a forum: http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110001080304/en/
    and I quote:
    A small article is found here about negative ions in general http://www.negativeiongenerators.com/proofpositive.html

    Seems to be even more popular in Japan than in the US. Another article on thefreelibrary.com seems to show that these ion generating claims are just sales tools...

    Since this topic started, there still is no real proof that this is working. It does work against static hair and it seems to work as a placebo (but is it?).
  9. Aug 4, 2010 #8

    I noticed this article: http://www.chem1.com/CQ/clusqk.html
    which is pretty critical about ionic treatment of water clusters.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Oct 8, 2011 #9
    There is http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2783162" [Broken] that might help.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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