Hooded hair dryers are a staple at most hair salons, and you may have experienced a service or two that required you to sit still under one for a lot longer than you wanted. Now, we’re seeing portable hooded hair dryers blowing up on TikTok. These travel-friendly versions bring the salon experience home, but with this sudden boom, we thought we’d do our due diligence to determine what makes hooded dryers so high in demand.
We tapped professional hairstylist and colorist Ashely Lee based in the Bronx, New York, on her advice for using the coveted hair device. She breaks down the pros and cons of hooded dryers below.
What is a hooded hair dryer?
For those unfamiliar with hooded dryers, they’re a dome-shaped tool that dry hair quickly and evenly distributes hot air so the heat is diffused. Roller sets, bleaching foils, and deep conditioning treatments are just some of the services where you may find yourself under one. Your stylist will give you a precise drying time depending on which service you get. Salon-quality dryers will have variable speeds and heat/cool settings, preferably ionic technology, plus a timer.
Bonnet dryers, aka the portable versions you may have stumbled upon on TikTok, are made of water-proof material such as PU or Nylon and have a hose that extends so that the mouth of your blow dryer can be attached. Using the settings on your blower, hot air will travel through the tunnel and into the bonnet to distribute heat across your head. The design usually includes a chin strap to keep it from bowing off your head.
Are hooded dryers good for hair?
“Hooded dryers are great for your hair,” says Lee. “They speed up drying time significantly and are great for adding heat to treatments at home for better absorption into the hair.” They also can help to prevent heat damage.
Do hooded dryers help or hurt when it comes to hydration?
Lees says not only do hooded dryers accelerate drying time, but they aid in better product absorption reducing frizz and flyaways.“Hood dryers help hydration by using heat to open up the cuticle and make hair more receptive to product,” she says. This same logic works when bleaching hair—heat from a dryer will help lift color.
Pro Tip: Use a processing cap so that product isn’t dried out and the hair receives all of the moisturizing benefits.
Keep in mind that if the dryer is used too often or on a high setting at home, it could be doing the reverse and drying out your hair. While bonnet dryers are great for people with limited space to store a traditional hooded dryer and for travel, Lee suggests consulting with your hairstylist to find the appropriate heat settings on your blower first.
What styles and treatments are hooded dryers good for?
Most moisturizing and conditioning treatments benefit from sitting under a hooded dryer. The next time you want to treat your hair to some TLC, we recommend coating locks in Matrix Food For Soft Rich Hydrating Treatment Mask before going under the dryer. Infused with avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, the formula replenishes hydration in even the driest and most porous hair.
When it comes to hairstyles, Lee says hooded dryers are great for any wet set—from rollers to twist-outs and even drying a wash-and-go. Mizani Press Agent Thermal Smoothing Raincoat Styling Cream is great for prepping hair before any of these styles since it provides heat protection for up to 450°F. The styling cream is formulated for easy layering with no curdling or flakes and can be cocktailed with Mizani Press Agent Thermal Smoothing Raincoat Styling Serum for added hydration.
What hair types benefit most from using a hooded dryer?
You may be asking yourself, Is a hooded dryer good for curly hair? “No one hair type benefits more from using a hooded dryer, although users with higher density will benefit from not having to air dry,” Lee notes.
How long does a hooded dryer take to dry hair?
“Drying time varies based on styling, product, and density,” says Lee. “Typically, 30 minutes to 1 hour is thorough enough to be completely dried.”
So, there you have it—whether you try a treatment at your local salon or go the bonnet route if used correctly, hooded hair dryers are worth it for hydrated hair in your future.
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Photo credit: Getty Images/ Andersen Ross Photography Inc