First, it was the blow dryer that was invented around the latter part of the 19th century by Alexander F. “Beau” Godefroy and used this in his French salon in 1890. Then, in 1920, the first handheld hair dryer was born. Now we have the bonnet dryer, the key to perfect “homemade” curls. Bonnet hair dryers are popular with consumers because they make drying convenient.
While it certainly looks futuristic, this is not exactly “alien” to us who grew up tagging along with mothers who made regular trips to the salon. Find out this why and how this remnant from the 1950s is making a comeback.
Most hard bonnet hair dryers can provide between 1200 and 2500 watts and generally vary in size, with some having long stands which can be placed on floors and others which are suitable on table tops. Whichever type you prefer, here are five brands that qualify for being one of the best hooded hair dryers. Take a look at these and decide which one will suit your needs best.
#1. Babyliss BABHHDRIW Pro Ionic Rollabout Hard Hat Dryer
You can’t ask for more with the Babyliss BABHHDRIW. This model has a power of 1600 watts and a diffuser equipped with built-in airflow to better circulate heat and evenly distribute it to speed up drying time. It also has three settings for temperature options, an anchor bolt that is heavy duty for locking its poles and base in place, two locking wheels, swivel stand, removable inlet grill, a lift-up visor, and two locking wheels.
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Although it looks like those hood dryers found in salons, it’s not as deep which is why you’ll have trouble fitting in it if you use rollers more than 2 inches in diameter. But for small and medium sized rollers, they’ll fit just fine.
#2. Laila Ali LADR5603 Salon Ionic Dryer
The LADR5603 is “salon experience personified.” With conditioning ions that reduce hair static and provide hair moisture, hydrating technology for airflow to protect against excessive heat, and a unique collapsible design that makes for increased portability and easy storage, the LADR5603’s powerful motor reduces drying time considerably and balances heat distribution across hair sections and the scalp.
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With a 13-inch diameter, the hood is quite roomy with enough space for rollers. The neck is adjustable so you can definitely use it for deep conditioning treatments. The height can also be adjusted at 3 different levels, although the level that controls it can be quite hard to find for most people. It sits in front of the neck, and you pull it down and then adjust to your desired height. It can be folded down, making it compact an easy to store. Although it doesn’t come with a bag, there’s a convenient carrying handle you use for transport.
The Laila Ali also makes a great portable salon hair dryer, perfect for stylists who offer home service.
Video: See the Laila Ali Salon Dryer in action!
#3. Hot Tools 1061 Professional Portable Hard Hat Salon Dryer
Get convenient operation with the 1061’s hands-free feature. This Hot Tools model has 154 air vents to give you great air coverage that results in even hair drying, an adjustable bonnet which can dry hair at any level and from every angle. With two settings for speed and heat, the 1061 runs on 1200 watts to accommodate even jumbo-sized rollers or curlers.
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It has an ion feature which leaves hair shiny after drying. Similar to the Laila Ali, this has fully adjustable neck and height. However, the way its designed will only cover half of your head, so if you have long thick hair it won’t get the job done.
#4. PEBCO Pro Tools Ionic 2500 Stand Hood Dryer 2000 Watts
PEBCO’s features have a professional salon quality to them including two speed switches, movable wheels, a built-timer up to 60 minutes, temperature control up to 75 degrees C, and a stand with built-in opening hoods. Because this model can accommodate large roller sets, you get convenience in creating gorgeous curls in less time than with other similarly-purposed brands. You definitely won’t regret investing in this model.
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A fantastic professional hooded hair dryer, this model comes packed with so many features and settings to choose from. If you find that a table top dryer is too slow for your drying needs, then this 2000-watt dryer is a great alternative. It heats up fast and can get really hot although it features a cool setting too. With a performance comparable to Pibbs Kwik Dri, this is a budget option for those wanting the features of that high-end dryer without the high price tag. The only complaint would be that its base is made of plastic compared to the metallic base of the Pibbs. You just have to be careful when you move it around.
#5. Conair Pro Style 1875 Watt Hard Hat
Conair’s HH400 model provides professional salon quality hair drying at an affordable price. Its main features include two settings for heat and speed, height control, a foldable carrying handle for easy storage, and a hood that’s large enough for even the largest jumbo rollers. Additionally, the Conair Pro has a cool shot button, diffuser, hinged filter, and a concentrator to add convenience to your hair drying experience.
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The height is adjustable and the neck can be tilted forward and back. The bonnet has a front flap which can be flipped over (see it in action in the video below). It folds down to just about 6 inches in height making it quite compact and portable.
Video Review of Conair HH400 Collapsible Bonnet Dryer:
Below are some tips you may want to go through to help you make an informed decision:
Hooded hair dryers, are indispensable in salons, but, all things being equal, there really is no reason you shouldn’t have one in your home if that is what you prefer. There are several factors to consider, however, before you buy one.
This is a key factor to consider. Those models with operating power of less than 2500 watts may not be capable of providing you options for heat and speed settings that can be adjusted which means you can potentially experience either inferior quality hair drying or excessive heat damage.
Professional-grade standing hair dryers are able to accommodate the majority of requirements of various hairstyles. Given that, you should choose a model that can go over your jumbo-sized rollers easily and conveniently, handle hair treatments such as colored hair, and has the capability to do waves and perms.
While adjustable chairs are important, height adjustment is another key feature of a good hard bonnet hair dryer, especially if you are not the only one who will use the dryer. You need to have a dryer that can easily be adjusted to the specifications of whoever will use it.
4. Hood Interior
Look for a model that has an interior coated with an anti-staining product. This is to ensure that the internal surface of the dryer will not be damaged if you use it for processes or treatments that will involve use of certain chemicals in hair color, rebonding, deep hair conditioning, etc.