The Bonnet Hair Dryer for Black Hair
I look at a new take on an old idea
Bonnet hair dryers are awesome for our black hair regimens. They allow us to use deep conditioning treatments, applying heat to encourage the oils and vitamins to penetrate the scalp, follicle and hair shaft. This leaves our hair shiny, smooth, frizz free and beautifully moisturized.
The hair salons of the fifties and sixties used the stereotypical hard bonnet hair dryer. These hooded dryers had an unsightly dome that fitted over the head, resulting in rows of women sitting under weird space-age ‘helmets’ while their hair dried via gentle indirect heat. Very effective, the idea has been transported into the 21st century with portable hard bonnet dryers, and new-kid-on-the-block soft bonnet dryers.
Hard bonnet dryers
Also known as hood dryers, the hard bonnet dryer has come a long way since the early days of hair salons. Although now designed to be portable, they can never take over from the throw-it-in-a-bag-and-run carriability of the soft bonnet. They also lose out on the efficiency front, too, by not encasing the entire head of hair. The gap around the edge that’s essential to its fit means that the warm air can escape, increasing drying times and resulting in less volume through the hair than a soft bonnet dryer.
More suitable for professional salons, if you’re looking for a bonnet dryer, the soft models are preferable for the home hairstylist.
Soft bonnet dryers
This type of hair dryer is much more convenient and comfortable than the hard style, and can be easily used at home, or popped in a bag and taken to a girlfriend’s house. Still utilizing the idea of gentle indirect heat, which eliminates any potential damage from harsh direct heat, the soft hood-like bonnet covers the entire hair, and warm air is directed from a conventional handheld dryer, down a tube into the bonnet. This inflates, looking very strange, surrounding your wet hair with warm air. Thanks to the bonnet inflating, there’s plenty of room inside for curlers, rollers and rag rolls if you wish, and conditioning treatments are easy, mess free and very effective.
The warm air is, not only,gentle on your delicate black hair, but it can add volume throughout by allowing the air through your hair, right to the roots. With most models offering variable heat settings, including a ‘cool’ option, ideal for setting a style, this is an effective, very gentle way to dry your hair.
Coming with its own carrying bag, the Eleganty Soft Bonnet Hairdryer is the model that I use regularly. It fits well, with no warm air escaping, it’s very comfortable and the pipe attachment is plenty long enough for me to make a hot beverage, or chat on the phone.
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