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Is It Possible to Find a Silent Hair Dryer?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 21, 2024
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It is not possible to find a silent hair dryer, but it is possible to find a very quiet model. Quiet dryers function at a sound volume that is slightly louder than typical background noise. Each model lists the decibel output level of the machine on the product labeling to aid customers in gauging the sound quality of the unit prior to purchasing it.

Sound volume is measured in terms of decibels. This scale ranges from 1 to 180 with louder sounds occupying the higher numbered end of the spectrum. Airplanes tend to take off and land at 180 decibels. Lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners operate between 80 and 90 decibels. Conversational tones hover around 60 decibels, and leaves rustle at 10. Exposure to levels over 110 should be limited to one minute or less before hearing loss or damage occurs, and prolonged exposure to levels above 80 should be discouraged and counteracted with ear plugs.

A standard hair dryer functions between 60 and 80 decibels. This sound volume decreases as distance is placed between it and the listener. Many individuals who use this product daily to style their hair, or who must use it constantly as a function of their job, cannot achieve any beneficial distance between themselves and the unit while it is operating. Dryers that perform around 80 decibels can damage the hearing of users who must hold it close to their ears or at arm's length from their head consistently. These individuals can benefit from a type of silent hair dryer that would help preserve their hearing.

A completely silent hair dryer which does not create any decibels does not exist, however quiet hair dryers are available on the Internet and at some specialty hair salons. Quiet hair dryers can operate around 50 decibels or less, which is somewhat louder than the sound a refrigerator makes at normal capacity but still less than the volume of a typical conversation or a standard blow dryer. The amount of decibels each unit produces is typically printed on the product labeling in addition to product descriptions which may refer to the item as silent or quiet.

The quiet or silent hair dryer can also be found with ion and ceramic technology built into the barrel. These features enable the dryer to completely remove moisture from hair in a relatively short amount of time. This is achieved without damaging or singeing the hair, and is comparable to the drying time of standard hair blow dryers.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fify — On Feb 26, 2012

@turkay1, @burcidi-- I have a "silent" hair dryer and mine is actually pretty strong and dries hair fast. It works at 1600 watts and I think the highest a hair dryer can go is 2000 watts, so that's pretty good. Obviously, it still makes noise, but nothing close to the noise my old hair dryer used to make.

The only down-side to it is that it is pretty expensive. It's a retail version of a professional hair dryer that was produced in France and used at top hair salons there. It cost me twice as much as a good quality hair dryer. But I do think it's worth it. I don't have to wear ear plugs and my hair dries in a few minutes despite being really long.

So you can find a pretty quiet hair dryer that works, you just have to pay more.

By burcidi — On Feb 25, 2012

@turkay1-- I have a pretty quiet hair dryer but it's not a very high watt so it doesn't work as well as a high watt one. I think the loudest ones tend to dry hair the quickest because they are more powerful. The hair salon I go to has the best hair dryers that work really well but they're super loud.

If you need a less loud hair dryer, you're probably going to have to accept using one that doesn't dry hair as fast. The high watt and quiet combination is just a hard one to come by.

Travel hair dryers tend to be less loud actually. If you can find one that is pretty strong, that might be another option. You should read reviews of silent hair dryers before getting one.

By candyquilt — On Feb 25, 2012

I have an old model Conair hair dryer. I've never worried about its loudness but I now have a roommate who is very bothered by it. I wake up really early to go to work and it's my habit to shower when I wake up. My roommate wakes up much later than I do and has really light sleep. So whenever I dry my hair in the mornings, I wake her up and bother her.

We have a tiny apartment and I do close the door when I'm drying my hair but it doesn't make much of a difference. I guess my hair dryer is really loud.

I'm going to look for a more quiet hair dryer and I will try and find the decibels if it's labeled to make sure. I just have one question. Do dryers that work at lower decibels dry hair equally well?

For some reason, I feel like a quieter hair drier wouldn't blow as much air and it would take longer for my hair to dry. Do I need to worry about this?

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