This Infrared Hair Dryer Promises to Dry Your Hair with Less Damage

One ionic hair dryer with infrared light aims to dry your hair — and fast — using less heat. So, I put it to the test.

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Woman drying her hair
Photo: monzenmachi/Getty Images

Everyone knows the hair commandment 'thou shalt not overuse hot tools.' Still, I don't know anyone who's completely sworn them off altogether. Even if you commit to air-drying most of the time, sometimes the quick dry time of a traditional hair dryer or the volume from a curling iron wins out.

If you cringe every single time you heat up your hair, you might find solace in switching out some of your hot tools for models that promise less damage. At this point, tools that incorporate features such as one-sided heat application, ceramic, and/or low max temperature settings aren't more commonplace. One such gadget, the By Gina Excel Infrared Blow Dryer (Buy It, $130,, uses infrared light as a means to reduce the heat damage it may cause. As a reluctant hot tool user, I decided to give the infrared dryer a try to see how it compares to the regular dryers I've been using. (

By-Gina Excel Infrared Hair Dryer

By Gina Excel Infrared Hair Dryer
monzenmachi/Getty Images

Infrared hair dryers use infrared light rays to heat up hair when blowing air out. It's the same type of light used in those trendy saunas and blankets to directly heat the body or surface area (rather than the surrounding area, as a traditional sauna would) for potential therapeutic benefits. The By Gina Excel Infrared Blow Dryer emits red infrared light since that color is thought to penetrate deeper than green, blue, and yellow wavelengths, according to the brand's founder Gina Rivera. The hope is to not only penetrate the hair cuticle but also the scalp to improve cellular function. Stimulating hair follicle cells in this way may help them return to a normal growth cycle, according to the company. This is good news if you're experiencing hair thinning or hair loss due to hormonal changes, diet, or lifestyle factors. Either way, everyone can benefit from less damage from hair-drying sessions. Since infrared light heats hair from the inside out, it dries strands more efficiently than the heat coming from conventional dryers, says Rivera. Less time blow drying = less damage.

The By Gina dryer combines red LED light with negative ion technology, which is often used in hair dryers that are designed to prevent severe heat damage. "In this case, ION means that millions of negatively charged ions are breaking down the positively charged water molecules," explains Rivera. "That means you're able to use a lower temperature to dry the hair."

Admittedly, I still prefer to use the dryer on the highest of its three heat settings, because I'm not skilled at achieving a sleek blowout at home and will take all the help I can get. But I can confirm the infrared hair dryer has a quick drying time — unsurprising given its relatively powerful 1875-watt motor. It typically takes me just more than 10 minutes to rough dry my hair. (I have fine hair that reaches just past my shoulders.) The dryer has a long nozzle which means it's not ideal for traveling but I find it easy to maneuver. That, combined with an exceptionally thin nozzle attachment means I'm able to direct air exactly where I want it.

The By Gina Excel Infrared Blow Dryer dries my hair just as well as any of the conventional dryers I've used, and I'm sold on the idea of incorporating an infrared treatment as I'm styling my hair. I'm still air drying when possible, but when I need a faster method, I'll be reaching for this trendy find.

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