Ionic hair dyers

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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!

Rune
Norway
 

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  • #2
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Ionic Hair Dryers

The Good Housekeeping Institute also tested a new breed of "ionic" hair dryers to see if they delivered. The dryers are supposed to bathe the user's hair in negative ions, which attach to positively charged wet hair, and lock in moisture. Testers found that the new dryers do not save much time, but they were helpful in adding sheen.

"You see a lot about ionic hair dryers these days," Levine said. "It's a buzz word. They are often billed as drying faster than standard dryers and often cost a lot more. We found mixed results, some faster, some slower."
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/BeautySecrets/story?id=125105&page=1
 
  • #3
Moonbear
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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!
 
  • #4
LowlyPion
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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."
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/family/hair-dryers/
 
  • #5
Moonbear
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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).
 
  • #6
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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
 
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  • #7
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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:
Negative air ions are known to activate cell functions, stabilize the emotional state, and induce recovery from fatigue by preventing acidification of blood and accelerating metabolism. Generators of these negative air ions have recently been incorporated in household appliances such as air-conditioners. However, evaluation of their effects has not been sufficient ; there are only a few related reports. In this study, we measured electrodermal activities and the skin blood flow as indices of effects of negative air ions on the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular system, respectively, by allowing the subject to inhale negative air ions at 7,000 particles/cm^3 or 20,000 particles/cm^3. Although no significant changes were noted in electrodermal activities, our results suggested that negative air ions have effects on physiologic activities including autonomic activities.
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?).
 
  • #8
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A lot is written about http://www.hair-dryers.info/ionic-hair-dryer-benefits-of-these-dryers/" [Broken] 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?).

I noticed this article: http://www.chem1.com/CQ/clusqk.html
which is pretty critical about ionic treatment of water clusters.
 
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  • #9
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There is http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2783162" [Broken] that might help.
 
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