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What’s the Deal With Weight and Watts in a Professional Blow-Dryer?

Is the weight of the blow-dryer the first thing you want to know when choosing a new blow-dryer? Is the number of watts the second thing you want to know?

What if I tell you that neither of these things really matter for a blow-dryer’s ergonomics or drying ability?

Photo of a weird blow-dryer grip.
Modifying the grip on a traditional pistol grip hair dryer creates new problems in the wrist and underarm.

Let’s Start with the Ergonomics

Studies show that it’s the positioning of the arm while blow drying that puts stress on the joints and muscles.

With pistol-shaped blow-dryers, you are forced to lift your elbow out from the body while drying the customer’s hair. Hairdressers often have to extend their elbows as much as 60° out from the side of the body. As well as this, the head is often leaning forwards, and nerves and tendons get moved around in the shoulder. Many of our readers have likely felt pain in the upper trapezius.

Many hairdressers try to hold on to the air outlet of the blow-dryer in order to get a lower arm position. However, this causes an imbalance in the dryer that stretches the wrist, and can cause wrist and underarm pain.

Blow-dryers today are very light, and that is partially due to DC motors and brushless motors. This might lead you to think that lighter blow-dryers make things easier for your body.

Sadly, it’s not that simple.

If you have a light blow-dryer that needs more time to dry hair, it can be just as harmful as using a heavier, more powerful, blow-dryer. Because it’s the amount of time you spend with a raised elbow that causes strain injuries.

Trapezius Muscle
The trapezius muscle.

Regularly using the trapezius muscles for more than 4 minutes at a time will increase neck and shoulder pain over time, according to the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health (2013;39(4)).

17.3% of hairdressers’ sick leaves are caused by muscle and bone pain (ref: Stami faktabok 2018)

The Dual Air T1 professional blow-dryer allows you to work in a natural working position, with less elevated arm and significantly less activity in upper trapezius muscle.