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Is an Ionic Dryer Better for Hair than a Regular One?

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Author: Sofia PC

Grade Level: 7th Type: Consumer Science and Physical Science

Objective:

In this experiment, students will compare whether ionic dryers leave hair in better condition than non-ionic dryers, as manufacturers often claim.

Research Questions:

  • How does a regular, non-ionic hair dryer work?
  • How does an ionic hair dryer work?

Today, nearly all households own some kind of hair/blow dryer. Some households, however, may still be using a hair dryer from 20 years ago that is non-ionic. Nowadays, manufacturers are heavily promoting ionic dryers as being the replacement for regular hair dryers.

Ionic dryers apparently leave hair shinier, smoother, less prone to breakage, and reduces drying time when compared to non-ionic ones. But is this really the case or just yet another marketing gimmick?

Materials:

  • Ionic dryer
  • Non-ionic dryer (these are actually harder to find these days and are mostly older models as manufacturers are heavily promoting ionic dryers)
  • Microscope with enough power to see close-up of hairs
  • Test subjects (the more the better)
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Most households already have a hair dryer, whether it be ionic or not. If the test subject you are working with does not have an ionic and/or a non-ionic dryer, please provide them with one to work with.
  2. Take a small sample of the test subject's hair prior to the experiment.
  3. Instruct each test subject to use the same hair dryer (ionic or non-ionic) for a consecutive 2 weeks and ask them which one they preferred and whether they noticed any improvements or changes to their hair.
  4. After using each dryer for 2 weeks each, take a sample of the test subject's hair. You should now have a total of 3 samples for each test subject.
  5. Example the hair samples underneath a powerful microscope. Use this guide to determine hair health: http://www.hairdressersus.com/under%20the%20microscope.asp .
  6. Evaluate whether there is a difference on average between using an ionic dryer and a non-ionic one for all your test subjects.

Terms/Concepts: Ionic; Blow dryer; Air; Human hair

References:

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