How does a hair dryer work?« Back to Questions List

Most of our home appliances work on the basis of heating effects of current. Some of the energy going through wires is wasted as heat, because the wires have a finite resistance.

A hair dryer is an electromechanical device that converts electric energy into heat energy.

hair dryer 1

In the olden days, hair dryers were considered to be very dangerous as there were cases of electrocution while the users were using them or when they accidently dropped them into water. With the advent of a device called RCD (Residual Current Device) or GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupter), fear of electrocution was not anymore. A RCD device shuts off the circuit when it detects that current is not flowing along its intended path. This device is found in hair dryers.


hair dryer


There is a nichrome coil inside the hair dryer and also a fan to blow the air out. When the device is switched on, current passes through the coil thereby producing heat in the coil. The fan has to blow out air from the dryer. Since the coil gets heated due to the flow of electrons, hot air gets blown out which evaporates the moisture from wet hair and eventually dries the hair.


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