Development in hair technology reflects trends, which is why the 1920s saw innovation in hand-held hairdryers; cuts with strong shapes were in vogue, and looked best when dried with brushes – rather than just left to dry naturally. Early dryers were bulky and dangerous, thanks to metal casing which caused both burns and electric shocks. It took until the 1950s for more lightweight tools to be created, with the development of bakelite making hairdryers both more practical and a marketable fashion accessory when created in colours to match your decor. Although sitting under a hood dryer in the salon remained the standard for many styles up until the 70s, hand-held dryers allowed for more diverse styles and meant women could wash and blow their hair at home as their professional and personal lives shifted. The development of pick and diffuser attachments in the 80s allowed for further styling options across all hair types, while changing hair trends relied on hairdryers to achieve them – think Farah Fawcett flicks or the Rachel; both of which required a blow-dry to achieve. The blow-dry has since turned into a big business in its own right, with standalone styling bars creating a new category in beauty services.

Back to blog