Hair dryers can be a part of our everyday life. For salon professionals, a hair dryer may be a part of your job.
All electrical appliances emit electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) when they’re turned on but hair dryers, in particular, produce a significant amount of magnetic radiation because they use a lot of power, and the motor is held close to your head.
Reduced distance and increased duration, or time spent blow drying, make blow dryers a significant source of EMF radiation exposure.
This article will dig into the science of EMFs, ways to reduce your exposure to EMFs from hair dryers and provide recommendations on the best low EMF hair dryers.
In a Hurry? This is the BEST Low EMF Hair Dryer
High-quality, Italian-made hair dryer with ionic ceramic system that helps make it a low EMF hair dryer
Premium features like salon-quality with 2 air speeds and 3 temperature settings that achieve that hydrating salon-level shine
Duration and Distance for less EMF exposure – fast air flow reduces drying time by up to 30% and longer dryer barrel
Do Hair Dryers Emit Electromagnetic (EMF) Radiation?
Yes, hair dryers emit EMF radiation. In fact, they can emit a very large amount of radiation. Coupled with the device being very close to your head for a fairly long time, it is something you should keep in mind.
Just about all electronics emit EMF radiation, usually either electric field radiation or magnetic field radiation. The amount and type of EMF radiation depend on the device’s build.
For a review of EMFs, check out my article What is EMF? EMFs Explained.
These are the things we typically think of when we think of the dangers of EMF radiation, which is why it’s important to gain at least some understanding of how other appliances work.
How much electromagnetic radiation do hair dryers emit?
According to the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in a letter written regarding occupational standards, this was the concern:
We are also concerned about exposure to electric magnetic fields (EMF) in beauty salons. In hairdressing salons 10-15 hair dryers may be in use at the same time. A single hair dryer emits 60 to 20,000 milligauss (mG) within 4 inches of proximity. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) safe level recommendation ranges from .5mG-2.5mG. (1)
Something we know about EMF exposure and its sources is with greater distance from the source, the more attenuated, or reduced, the radiation exposure is. This is true for hair dryers as well.
The Long Island Power Authority published a guide on magnetic field levels found around homes (the handy guide can be found here). For hair dryers they tested:
1 inch = 60 – 200 mG (milligauss)
1 foot = <0.1 – 1.5 mG
3 feet = <0.1 mG
These amounts are for your average, standard power hair dryer. However, as you can see from the video below these numbers can be much higher when the unit is placed very close to the meter (or your head).
Again, hair dryers have both duration (long) and distance (short) going against them when it comes to EMF exposure.
How to reduce exposure to electromagnetic radiation from blow dryers.
The most important thing you can do is keep it at a further distance. As you now know, the amount of magnetic field radiation emitted from a hairdryer is dramatically reduced the farther away it is.
This is due to something called the inverse square law of physics.
The inverse square law states that the magnitude of exposure from an EMF source reduces significantly compared to squaring your distance from the source.
Conversely, the closer you are to a radiating source, which in this case is the hair dryer, the higher the magnitude of your exposure will be.
So science can explain this but in simple terms, look at the data above and see that if you can put at least 1 foot distance between your head and hair dryer that will reduce the amount of EMF radiation. And the more distance, the better.
(The inverse square law is also how you determine the Safe Distance from a Wifi Router.)
Distance between your head and the hair dryer is one thing you can control and the other is the amount of time you use it.
It seems obvious but the less time you use the hair dryer, the less EMF radiation you’ll be exposed to.
Another great way to reduce exposure is to towel dry your hair. This will remove most of the water and reduce your overall dry time with your blow dryer, reducing the amount of time it’s close to your head.
Use a Low EMF Hair Dryer
If you work with hair dryers as a part of your job, or just want the comfort of knowing you’ve reduced your levels of radiation, you can try one of these products.
The 4 Best Low EMF Hair Dryers
Before I get into the recommendations, it should be said that no hair dryer powered by a motor will be “no EMF”. There’s no getting around the magnetic field created by a motor and used close to the head.
That being said, there are ways a hair dryer can reduce EMF.
And since you can reduce EMF exposure from these electronic devices with an AC motor by increasing distance between the hair dryer and your head or by decreasing the duration or amount of time you use it, I will offer some suggestions that dry hair quickly and/or have a longer barrel than a standard dryer.
Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer
The Elchim 3900 Health Ionic Hair Dryer is a higher-end hair dryer option for all types of hair from the thickest hair to thin hair.
Importantly, the Elchim 3900 states that their ceramic technology and ionic heat are low EMF.
The only drawback of the Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer is the cost. It is a premium model with a lot of high-quality features to warrant the investment. But if you are looking for a budget option, check out the Trezoro Ionic discussed below.
Additional features on this Italian-made dryer include ionic ceramic system, three temperatures and infrared heat for total control over the level of heat, which helps reduce heat damage when used properly and get that hair smooth look for all hair types.
The barrel of the Elchim 3900 is 8.5 inches, which isn’t the longest. But combine that with keeping the end of the fryer around 3-3.5 inches away from your head and that will get you to the 1 foot = <0.1 – 1.5 mG exposure level.
The healthy ions the Elchim 3900 emits help cut drying time by up to 30%, reducing the time you will have to use the dryer next to your head.
The combination of high quality features, overwhelmingly positive reviews, low EMF, increased distance and decreased time needed to dry your hair make this the overall top choice.
CHI Rocket Hair Dryer
The CHI Rocket Hair Dryer, like the CHI Pro Low EMF claims the lowest output of EMF (electromagnetic frequency).
This is one of the most popular overall hair dryers on the market right now. The CHI Rocket Hair Dryer has 1800 watts of drying power, is extremely lightweight, and emits negative ions.
It has far infrared technology which helps with drying time and lowers the overall EMF emissions. They claim the CHI Rocket Hair Dryer dries while it reduces frizz and static electricity for healthier hair.
The infrared and ionic heat setting has an indicator light and although it doesn’t include concentrator nozzles, the CHI Rocket does come with comb attachments and a drying nozzle.
It’s an excellent blow dryer and has a longer barrel at 9.13 inches. If you hold the end of the dryer at least 3 inches from your head, you will maintain the 1 foot = <0.1 – 1.5 mG exposure level.
With powerful airflow and infrared technology the CHI Rocket hair dryer drys hair quickly, which helps reduce the amount of time you have to spend using the device.
Overall, the CHI Rocket Hair Dryer combines great value at an affordable price, low EMF, and gives you that silky hair everyone is after.
Trezoro Ionic Salon Hair Dryer
The Trezoro Ionic Salon Hair Dryer combines incredible value with great power and features, and incredible pricing all into a single best-selling hair dryer. In fact, the Trezoro 9300 is one of the best-reviewed hair dryers available anywhere.
They set out to design a hair dryer that could keep your hair moisturized, and ended up creating something that was healthier for you by using a negative-ion generator which is great for both your hair and your health.
They also used ceramic tourmaline technology, which is a safer lower-radiation way of providing heat then traditional hair driers.
The motor is 2200 watts, so it’s powerful, so it should dry hair quickly, but that extra power from the AC motor may mean more electric and magnetic field radiation. Compared to the Elchim 3900, which also drys hair quickly, the Law of Physics prevails, and the additional EMF exposure is why the Tezoro Ionic Salon Hair dryer is lower on the list.
The good news is the Tezoro Ionic has a long barrel at 10.47 inches, which helps maintain the distance between the dryer and your head.
That high power motor should mean quick drying, which is good for decreasing the duration. However, the amount of time between the Tezoro Ionic Hair Dryer and the CHI Rocket should be negligible in time in exchange for additional EMF exposure.
Solano Forza Ultra-Fast Drying Hair Dryer
The Solano Forza Ultra-Fast Drying Hair Dryer not your average blow dryer, it is the premium option and a professional tool.
The Solano Forza is lower on the list because of the cost, and it doesn’t specifically state that it’s low EMF. However, it does provide some high-end features and we’ll discuss some of the advantages his dryer brings to the table in terms of lower EMF hair dryer models.
Again, it is a premium model, so it may be worth it to you if you are a frequent user or a hair professional that is consistently using a dryer. The return on investment can be something to consider here.
The features include both a ceramic thermal grill to distribute heat and far infrared technology that produces less radiation and lowers overall drying time. This quiet dryer has a cool shot button, removable filter (rear filter), ionic technology, and ceramic technology that makes this a truly premium hair dryer.
Similar to the, Elchim 3900 the Solano Forza has an 8.5 inch barrel, which isn’t the longest. But combine that with keeping the end of the fryer around 3-3.5 inches away from your head and that will get you to the 1 foot = <0.1 – 1.5 mG exposure level.
The high heat and speed settings allow you to dry your hair quickly and reduce the overall time of use, which helps reduce your EMF exposure. In fact, some users, with different hair types, report being able to completely dry their hair within minutes.
What Does Low EMF Mean On A Hair Dryer?
EMF stands for electromagnetic field and is generated by all types of electronics. EMFs are actually broken into three kinds: magnetic field, electric field, and radio frequency. Hair dryers emit a different type of EMF called magnetic field radiation.
Magnetic fields are produced by electric current.
The greater the current, the greater the magnetic field.
Magnetic fields are measured in microteslas (μt).
You might be surprised to find out that some hair dryers can emit very high levels of this EMF radiation in fairly close proximity to your head, which can have potential health consequences.
Review below for more details on the harmful effects of EMF radiation and read the article on Are EMF Waves Harmful? for a more in-depth discussion.
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) for Salon Professionals
The average home user of a blow dryer likely only uses it for a few minutes a day, however many hair dressers and salon professionals will use it dozens of times throughout a day. This will obviously increase their cumulative exposure to EMF radiation.
If you use a hair dryer regularly as a part of your job and are concerned about your exposure, you may want to consider getting one of the low EMF hair dryers discussed here.
How to Test for EMF Radiation from Blow Dryers?
The best thing to do is get a quality EMF meter to measure the exposure at various distances.
Also check out the EMF from your current blow dryer. Maybe it’s not too high and you can provide sufficient distance between your head and where you hold the dryer don’t have to invest in another hair dryer.
I always recommend the TriField EMF meter available from Amazon as it’s simple to use, lasts forever, is extremely accurate, and measures all three types of EMF radiation. Plus, assuming you’re thinking about EMFs from hair dryers, you might want to test some other EMF producing devices around your house too.
Start by simply turning the hair dryer on the highest heat and speed settings. Then with the hair dryer in one hand and the EMF meter in the other, slowly bring them together and take note of the radiation levels at different distances.
Do Low EMF Hair Dryers Really Work?
For most people, anything you can do to lower your overall exposure to EMF radiation is probably worth your time. With that being said, you can certainly do many things that are much more effective, such as reducing exposure in your bedroom, WiFi router exposure, turning your cell phone off at night, etc.
If you are highly sensitive to EMF radiation or believe you may be, then it is probably a really good idea to get a low-EMF hair dryer. Likewise, it would also be a good idea if you want to do all you can to reduce your exposure.
None of us are perfect, and no matter what we do, we cannot completely eliminate our exposure to EMF radiation, so we each have to make the best decision for our situation.
Harmful Effects of EMF Radiation
There is no question about the harmful effects of EMFs above a certain point. We know gamma rays damage cells and DNA. This is the ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum. (3)
The question lies in the low-mid frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the non-ionizing radiation exposure.
Which is where hair dryers are.
Ionizing VS Non-Ionizing EMFs Explained
There are two categories of EMFs:
1. Higher frequency – the ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This damages cells and DNA directly. Examples are x-rays and gamma rays.
2. Low-mid frequency – the non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) radiation – major sources are household electronics, nearby power lines and high voltage transmission lines. Hair dryers are in this category of non-ionizing radiation.
- Radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF) radiation – major sources include Wifi, cell phones, and Bluetooth
- Microwave radiation
- Infrared radiation (IR) – absorbed by the skin and eyes as heat. Sources of IR radiation include furnaces and heat lamps
- Visible light radiation
Health Effects of EMF Radiation
According to the World Health Organization, members report symptoms to low levels of electromagnetic radiation in the home, including the following negative effects:
- suicide and depression
- loss of libido
- Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
To date, scientific evidence about the relationship between EMF radiation and these symptoms is unclear and is ongoing.
Personal protection is up to the individual, and hopefully, I have laid out the information about hair dryers in this article. Pregnant women in particular, should review the information from the World Health Organization linked about.
Final Thoughts on EMF Radiation
The research on the matter is ongoing.
Some studies have found links between EMF radiation and certain health concerns, while others have not.
More research is needed to determine the potential health risks of EMF radiation exposure.
In the meantime, there’s a sufficient amount of research to suggest EMF radiation, particularly from hair dryers, cell phones, 5G, Wifi, and Bluetooth has enough health risks that we should take them seriously and consider this exposure in day-to-day life.
If a low EMF blow dryer, even one with an AC motor, is important to you, I hope you found this article helpful.