The first hairdryer was invented by stylist, Alexander Godefroy, in France. They’ve certainly come a long way since their origin in 1890! The first hairdryer was hooked up to a gas stove with a hood attachment to sit underneath. Can you imagine? It would definitely make me nervous.
The handheld came into production in 1911. Gabriel Kazanjian was the first to patent the design in the US. The major problems with the first handheld was that it had a bad habit of electrocuting its users. Quite the deterrent for its users, wouldn’t you say? The original dryers only put out around 100 watts compared to the dryers of our time, averaging 1600-2000 watts. The original was cumbersome, so the goal became to increase the wattage and make them easier to hold. Although the dryers of our time are now lighter and work a whole lot better, the system works much the same.
The portable bonnet dryer became available for home use in 1951. It was a small dryer with a tube attached to a bonnet with holes in it, to evenly distribute that airflow to dry the hair evenly. This became a game changer for clients. They could now do their sets at home.
The hood dryers also came into production in the 50’s. While they have evolved over the years, you will still find these effective dryers in some salons today! They are used to evenly distribute heat to the entire head using a far gentler option than the handheld dryers. You will see these used in sets, such as roller sets, pin curl sets, and other vintage looks which have become more popular today for events.
Are you not thankful for the dryers we use today? I am certainly thankful for how far they’ve come over the years. It undoubtedly makes our job as stylists easier!
For more pictures of past hair dryer contraptions, check out the link below.