Hairdryers have slowly become one of those accessories that we just can’t imagine our lives without. The comfort they provide in blow-drying our hair quickly to our preferred styling is something that we truly must be grateful for.
I remember a time when hair dryers weren’t as ubiquitous and we had to towel dry and wait for tens of minutes on end to fix our hair. Today, it is all done in under five minutes.
However, we mustn’t allow the comfort a device provides to blind us to the risks it might pose. In this article, we take a look at will electric hair dryers emit radiation and how we can safeguard ourselves from it. Read on.
Do electric hair dryers emit radiation?
The answer to that is an emphatic yes. I know it might come as a surprise to many of you but a simple device like a hairdryer that is not even ‘smart’ can generate radiation as much as your latest smartphone.
The dryer works on components and principles that create cesspools of radiation and when you use the device, unfortunately, you stand to be exposed to this radiation as well.
If you’re thinking that this danger might not be as dangerous as your smartphone radiation, think again. Sure the spectrums of radiation are different but the quantum of it is pretty much the same.
A dryer that is running for five minutes on its highest setting would emit out as much radiation as a cellphone when it’s receiving a call. So you can imagine the level of radiation you’re being exposed to when you go to dry your hair quickly.
But what are these radiations that the hairdryer emits? And how does it precisely affect us? In the next segment, we take a closer look at these questions and explore the risks that we’re putting our bodies in when we choose to use this device.
Is there Radiation from hair dryers?
Hairdryers emit two main types of radiation – EMF and thermal radiation. There are others too but those are at a much lower scale and are not in footing to cause significant damage to our bodies. Now, let’s discuss the two main radiation spectrums at hand – EMF and thermal.
EMF radiation stands for electromagnetic radiation and is generated as a byproduct of electricity moving through a conductor. This is in accordance with Faraday’s laws of electromagnetic induction.
Faraday states that when a current is passed through a conductor, a magnetic flux of the equal amplitude is generated around the conductor and vice versa.
This flux is radiation. Now, a circuit board as complicated as a hair dryer’s will have thousands of tiny electrical components each of which generates its own magnetic flux.
They all harmonize and combine to form the total magnetic flux of the dryer. The total flux or EMF, therefore, is significantly high. Although EMF cannot travel very far, it is moot in this case since we typically hold hair dryers close to our body anyway when using them.
So for each second of usage, we are exposing our bodies to a high degree of EMF radiation.
The other important radiation is thermal. Hairdryers work by sucking in air from the room, compressing that air to be hot, and then blowing it directly in a controlled fashion towards our hair.
In doing all this, the dryer gets considerably hot because of all that thermal activity. There are two main sources of thermal radiation – the compressor that compresses the air and produces hot air to be blown and the circuitry itself which gets hot and radiates out hot waves.
Either way, these too can be stressful on the body if we are exposed to them for a long period of time.
What are the Effects of radiation from hair dryers
As we discuss above, EMF and thermal are the two broad spectrums of radiation that we need to worry about when it comes to hair dryers.
However, these two spectrums can cause some serious short term as well as long term damages to our overall health if we are left exposed for long periods of time. Let us look at some of the short term effects of this radiation:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of focus
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor memory retention
- Asynchronous hand-eye coordination
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Loss of motivation and purpose
That apart, these can have severe long term repercussions if we continue exposing ourselves to these radiations. Listed below are some of the common issues that are believed to stem from long term exposure:
- Acute insomnia
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s
- Loss of hearing
- Chronic depression
- Cardiac problems
As you can see, these are very serious conditions that can significantly alter our quality of life. Sure, hairdryers allow us to style our hair quickly but we really need to sit and introspect whether that is worth taking a risk of such mammoth proportions.
Danger to the head from hair dryers
Radiation is bad as it is but what makes radiation from hair dryers even more dangerous is the fact that it is so close to the head. The radiation emitted from the dryer directly interacts with our brain and if we are not careful, can cause serious health issues that manifest later in life.
Our bodies are still okay but the head is a particular concern. That is because it houses the brain which is as sophisticated as it is delicate.
Too much stress on the brain cells can alter them in a way that can affect our neurological functions or worse yet, mess with our identities.
A common side effect of long term radiation is early-onset Alzheimer’s, which experts believe is brought about when the brain is put under excessive stress, hampering the memory section of the brain.
When we use a hairdryer, we hold it very close to the head so as to get the best possible results in the shortest possible time.
However, most of us are oblivious to the massive risk we are putting ourselves in by doing so. There are no cosmetic hairdos that warrant putting ourselves in mortal danger.
The best way forward
The best way to avoid radiation from hair dryers is not to use them at all. You can simply towel dry your hair and go from there. Sure, it will take a little more time but there will be no serious danger that you’ll be putting yourself through.
If that is at all not possible, please consider using the dryer only when absolutely necessary.
Make sure that you’re not using it for more than five minutes at a time and no more than three times a week. Following this schedule gives your body enough time to properly heal the damage that will have been done when you’re blow-drying your hair.
The second thing is to only use the dryer at its lowest heat setting. Please make sure that you use it at the lowest setting to minimize the thermal radiation exposure as much as possible.
This can help in bringing down your total exposure levels from a hair dryer. Lastly, remember to always unplug the dryer after you’re done. If you don’t unplug it, the EMF cannot dissipate and keeps building up in the circuit. Unplugging releases the EMF and makes it safe to store away for your next use.
Should I use my hairdryer in the bathroom?
No, this is a terrible idea since there is water around. You have a very real chance of getting electrocuted if you try this at home. Please don’t. You can dry your hair once you come out of the bathroom and dry yourself.