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What is a Hair Hood Dryer?

A hair hood dryer is a salon staple that envelopes your head in a dome, providing even, gentle heat. It's perfect for deep-conditioning treatments, setting styles, and speeding up dye processes. By circulating warm air, it ensures a professional finish every time. Want to achieve that salon-quality look at home? Discover how a hair hood dryer can elevate your haircare routine.
Janis Bennett
Janis Bennett

A hair hood dryer is a machine with a hard plastic dome that comes down and fits over a person’s head to dry hair. Hot air is blown out through tiny openings around the inside of the dome to dry a person’s hair evenly. This type of hair dryer is most often found in hair salons and beauty shops. There are many sizes and types of hair hood dryers.

The most common form of a hair hood dryer is found in hair salons. It is a machine with a flexible arm extension that has a hard plastic bonnet at the end. Salon hair hood dryers can be large, wide and box shaped, or they might resemble a tall, skinny pole. A customer sits in a chair in front of the dryer, and the hood is lowered down over the head to dry hair evenly and set the customer’s new hairstyle. A hair hood dryer also is used to set a perm or wave.

Woman in breeze
Woman in breeze

Hair hood dryers can be loud, so they usually are lined up in one area, away from the most common sections of the salon. Customers usually will find magazines nearby to read. Customers might use the time under the dryer to talk to each other while their hair sets. It also can be a place to relax and unwind.

There also are table-top hair hood dryer models, which are portable and most commonly used in the home. These hood dryers sit on top of a table or counter, just as their name implies. Using a hair hood dryer allows a person the use of both hands and allows some head movement while the hair is drying. This can be helpful for those who find difficulty with handheld hair blow dryers. The table-top dryers are less expensive than the salon models but more expensive than handheld dryers.

A hair hood dryer works similarly to a hand-held hair dryer, but it is more efficient and dries hair more evenly. A fan brings air into the machine and pushes it past a hot metal coil to heat it. Then, the heated air is blown out of the small openings in the plastic hood to dry a person’s hair. There is an internal thermostat that will regulate the heat so the motor will not burn out. The thermostat can be adjusted by a hair stylist to keep the air from becoming too hot and burning a customer’s hair or scalp.

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Discussion Comments


I have a hard plastic dryer hood. I lost the book and now I don't know how to collapse the hood. I know it is a simple process but it will not go down. The brand is Windmere. It must be 18 years old.


I have a hair dryer with a hood that I use when deep conditioning my hair. This unit has a hard hood, but collapses down to about 6 inches when not in use. This makes it very easy to store and I don't have a big, bulky item sitting around.

I love using this dryer as the heat really helps the conditioning treatment penetrate my hair. It is also large enough to fit over my head if I have jumbo rollers in my hair.

The only thing I wished it had was a cool setting, since the only choices are low or high. It gets pretty hot, even on the low setting, and I have had great results with this.

I don't take it with me when traveling and will use a blow dryer, but I love having the convenience of using this at home.


Many times I have sat under a hair hood dryer when I got a permanent at a salon, and enjoyed the relaxing time. I have very thick hair and it seems to take forever to get it dry with a hand held dryer.

I was looking for a dryer like this so I could use at home and maybe save some time. Since using a hood dryer leaves your hands free to do something else I figured I could get something else done while my hair was drying.

I bought one to use at home, but have not been satisfied with it. I liked the fact that the hair dryer hood attachment was a soft bonnet that was more flexible than the hard ones.

There must be some kind of regulator built in because after about 10 minutes the dryer automatically shuts off. I have to wait another 10 minutes before I can turn it on again.

It also doesn't seem to get very hot. So much for thinking I was going to save some time. I have since gone back to using my hand held dryer again.


My mom had a portable hair hood dryer when we were growing up. We thought it was pretty cool to have our own hooded hair dryer similar to the ones they used in a salon.

Every Saturday night after our bath, we would put those pink, foam curlers in our hair. My sister and I had to take turns who got to sit under the hair dryer first.

Neither one of us had the patience to wait until our hair was completely dry, but we loved having a hood hair dryer to use at home. Our hair always looked great on Sunday morning. We looked forward to using that dryer all week long.

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