How Hot Does a Hair Dryer Get? (And How Hot You Need It)

Whether you’re a beauty guru or someone desperate to finally tame that mane, you’ve surely heard that blowing out your hair is bad for it. It’s the hot air, they say, that hurts your locks and causes them to look limp and frizzy.

How hot is actually hot, though? And how hot does a hair dryer get? How to set the right temperature to minimize heat damage? This depends on a number of factors, all explored below.

A common questions section is included in case you’ve been wondering about a certain aspect of this.

Hair Dryer Heat Guide

The answer to “how hot does a blow dryer get?” is it depends. Generally, the range is from about 80 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from your preferred settings, factors that determine hair dryer temperature include heating element material and wattage.

Remember to factor in how coarse and healthy your hair is when setting the temperature.

blow dryer working

How Hot Is a Blow Dryer Based on Wattage?

Of course, wattage is not really a measure of temperature. There is, however, a direct correlation between the two: more powerful models tend to get hotter at the maximum setting.

This is not to say that a certain wattage always corresponds to a specific max heat level. If you ask “how hot does an 1875 Watt hair dryer get?”, there’s no answer that is always true regardless of the other factors.

It’s still true, though, that a higher wattage means a hotter and quicker blow dryer. Those that get really hot generally start at around 1850 watts.

You might want to invest in a 2000+ watt model if you are looking for a really quick and hot solution to the thick and coarse wet hair problem.

How Material Affects Blow Dryer Temperature

The part of the hair dryer that’s responsible for its maximum heat level and how quickly it heats up is its heating element. The material which it’s made of is essential to the heating patterns.

Currently, however, the market is dominated by models based on nichrome coils. Nichrome is an alloy of chromium and nickel. The main reason why it’s so predominant in fans is that it doesn’t rust when temperatures get high.

hair dryer

Blow Dryer Temperature: Choosing the Right Setting

Most hair dryers don’t come with a single heat level available. Even in cheaper and simpler models, you usually have a couple of options to choose from, not to mention fancy professional dryers.

And, in case you’ve been wondering, you don’t need to use the highest setting all the time. Let’s explore what to factor in. It’s the nichrome coil that enables the temperatures of 140 Fahrenheit and more that modern blow dryers produce.

Hair texture

The finer your hair, the lower the heat level you should choose; it’s as simple as that. Those with really coarse locks might not be able to afford the time it takes to dry them at a low temperature, though.

Moisture content

Generally, start at the higher setting when your hair is still very damp. When it’s about two-thirds dry, it’s time to switch to the lower heat level to finish the blowout.

Hair health

If your hair is really prone to breakage, it surely is a bad idea to give it rough treatment in any form. The same applies to very dry locks. Keep the heat level low when drying the weakened hair.

Scalp condition

Irritation, redness, and itchiness on the hairy part of the head are all signs of a dry scalp. Avoid applying a lot of heat to your hair if that’s the case with you since it can worsen the problem.

Hair products

Most hair products such as masks or root boosters can be applied before blow-drying your hair and don’t affect the temperature setting you need. Using a heat protectant adds an additional safety layer but doesn’t mean you can wage war on your locks.

You’ve Been Wondering

Now that you know what temperature you can expect to get with an average hair dryer, let’s answer some questions that I get asked a lot when it comes to this kind of device. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question left, too.

How hot does a 2000-watt hair dryer get?

It’s never safe to say that a certain wattage produces this and that heat level (see the guide above for more details). Generally, though, the maximum heat amounts to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some models, usually meant for professional use, are capable of producing as much as 250.

Can a hair dryer be used as a heat gun?

Generally, heat guns have a wider temperature range compared to blow dryers. A typical model is capable of heating up to 500 degrees or more, which means a hair dryer will only be of limited use as a substitute for a heat gun.

When it comes to removing labels or melting wax, though, there’s nothing to prevent you from using this little trick. It works!

Are 200 degrees too hot for hair?

If you are looking for a short answer, it’s yes. Such a heat level might be acceptable if you have exceptionally thick and coarse hair and really need to get it dry in no time, though. I mean, it’s okay to apply temperatures well over 400 degrees Fahrenheit when ironing your hair if you’ve been blessed with a thick mane. It doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest treatment you can give to your hair though.

Some Like It Hot, but Others Like It Safe

Today’s hair dryers are capable of producing really hot temperatures nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit depending on their wattage. This can be a time saver if you struggle with a waterfall of really thick hair, but remember to stick to the minimum effective setting whenever possible. Also, factor in your hair condition.

How much does it usually take you to blow dry your hair? Share in the comments!

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Monica Davis

Monica Davis

Monica is a professional men and women's hairstylist and a success coach. She started MyStraightener as a personal blog and it has grown into something bigger. You can also find her writing/speaking about new styling tools, hair products, and the latest things in hairdressing on HuffPost, NBC News, Healthline, etc. Learn more about Monica.

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