Have you ever thought, “Is it dangerous to leave my hair dryer plugged in?” I know I have.
I am often forgetful and tend to leave my hair dryer plugged in after using it. But it got me thinking about whether or not it was a good idea.
So, I did some research, and I now have answers for people who wonder the same.
Is it dangerous to leave my hair dryer plugged in?
Hair tools utilize electrical current, which is a boom to human society but can turn ugly quickly. (1)
In the U.S., over 1000 deaths per year are reported as a result of electrical bodily injuries. Over 51,000 cases of house fires are also reported per year. (2) (3)
This doesn’t mean you need to fear electricity, but you should be careful!
So, is it dangerous to leave my hair dryer plugged in? Yes. Electrical appliances such as flat irons and normal hair dryers draw current even when plugged in. (4)
Faulty circuit breakers can cause dryer fires even when the hair tools are turned off but plugged in. It is best to unplug your appliance after you blow-dry your hair every time.
Can a hair dryer cause a fire?
Yes! Or have you forgotten this viral video of an air hair dryer catching fire?
This happened to Erika Augthun Shoolbred using a blow dryer she bought on Amazon. Sure, she got a refund from Amazon but was it worth the risk?
In 2018, over 235,000 units of Xtava’s Allure and Allure Pro 2200W iconic ceramic hair dryers were recalled because these hand-held hair dryers could catch fire. (5)
The company had received 193 reports of these normal hair dryers catching fire, melting, and exploding.
Hair tools can catch fire sometimes due to the manufacturer’s fault or a faulty electrical outlet. Either way, we have to be careful.
You may also want to read whether it’s safe for dying hair after keratin treatment.
Useful Tips When Using a Hair Dryer
Now that you know that hair tools can catch fire, here are some tips to consider when using one.
1. Buy a reputable brand:
Most times, you get what you paid for. Much like getting the best keratin straightener for great hair. Investing in a good quality blow dryer gives you a neat hairstyle and is solid on product safety, and won’t cause house fires.
Mickiela Smith, a Brooklyn-based hairstylist, says, “Quality hair-dryer tools can lessen styling time, relieve us from physical stress, and make it simple in achieving our desired styles.” (6)
Here is an insightful video on why some dryers blow up.
@sarahanneliza No caption needed💯 #hair #blowout #fire #safety #funny #fyp ♬ Lofi – Domknowz
They are also equipped with auto shut-off functions that cause the appliance to shut down as soon as it overheats.
I have been using the Dyson Supersonic for a few years now, and my hair game has changed! Sure, it cost me a LOT, but five years later, the machine still works amazingly, and I couldn’t be happier.
If you can afford it, bite the bullet. Invest in a quality machine and let it shape your hair to perfection!
2. Do not use it for more than 30 minutes:
Most dryers are meant to run safely for about 30 minutes, after which they are sure to overheat.
A quality tool will shut down itself until it cools down. But, if your appliance does not have this function, it will keep running until it melts, catches fire, or even explodes.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to stop using the tool after 30 minutes.
3. Clean the air inlet:
The air inlet can be easily clogged due to human hair and lint suction. This is why your dryer sometimes smells like it’s burning.
Cleaning the air inlet filter is quite easy. Simply take an old toothbrush and get scrubbing. Cleaning this area frequently can prevent dryer fires.
Check out this simple video on how you can clean your hair dryer.
@cleanthatup How to clean your hair dryer. #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #cleanthatup #satisfying ♬ original sound – Clean That Up!
Also, read, Can I use dry shampoo after a keratin treatment if you recently got a Keratin treatment?
4. Do not use the adapter plug:
A travel adapter can come in handy when you’re traveling from the U.S. to Europe or vice versa. But, it can cause bathroom appliances to fail.
Most companies even issue statements these days asking consumers not to use travel adapters because the voltage difference can cause an overloaded circuit.
If you travel often, investing in a dual-voltage hair dryer is better.
Here is a cool video on precautions one should take with hair dryers.
Hair dryer Afire starting from the power cord#♬ original sound – shenzhen mesky
5. In case of fire:
If your hair tool still catches on fire after every precaution, make sure you unplug it immediately.
Thomas Olshanski, a spokesperson for the United States Fire Administration, says, “The first thing you should do is unplug it. A lot of electrical appliances lose their energy and won’t burn once they’re de-energized.” (7)
After you unplug it, placing the dryer in the sink can help prevent further damage. Make sure you remove it from flammable materials such as paper or wood.
Can you still use a hairdryer after it gets wet? Find out the answer in this video!
Can my hair dryer explode?
Yes. There have been reports of injuries due to dryer fires and explosions. This is due to overheating or an overloaded circuit.
How long can a hair dryer run continuously?
Blow dryers can be used continuously for about 30 minutes. Any more than that can be a bad idea.
Why does my hair dryer smell like it’s burning?
Your hair dryer may be clogged with lint and human hair in the exhaust hose, causing the smell. Regularly cleaning the filter can alleviate this problem.
How much electricity does a hair dryer take?
Blow dryers consume 1500 to 2000 watts of electricity.
So, is it dangerous to leave my hair dryer plugged in? Yes. You should be careful.
Ever heard of the phrase, “Don’t play with fire?” Most accidents take place when you are not vigilant and aware of the possibility of mishaps.
Just a few extra precautionary actions can prevent fatal accidents, house fires, and human casualties.
Next time, just unplug your dryer!
- 1. Fish RM, Geddes LA. Conduction of electrical current to and through the human body: a review. Eplasty. 2009;9:e44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763825/
- 2. Zemaitis MR, Foris LA, Lopez RA, Huecker MR. Electrical Injuries. Nih.gov. Published July 31, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448087/
- 3. Home Electrical Fires. Electrical Safety Foundation International. Published June 22, 2013. https://www.esfi.org/home-electrical-fires/
- 4. Fire Safety for the Home. www.nachi.org. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.nachi.org/fire-safety-home.htm
- 5. Recall: Hair dryer can overheat, catch fire. wkyc.com. Published 2018. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/nation-world/recall-hair-dryer-can-overheat-catch-fire/507-584560859
- 6. Nast C. 13 of the Best Hair Dryers to Take Your Blowout to the Next Level. Vogue. Published September 11, 2020. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.vogue.com/article/best-hair-dryer
- 7. This brand of blow dryers is lighting on fire — here’s what you need to know. TODAY.com. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.today.com/style/woman-s-hair-dryer-caught-fire-viral-facebook-video-t122826
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