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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.