Tourmaline Vs. Ceramic: What Are The Different Benefits Of The Hair Dryer Materials?

Have you ever found yourself standing in the hair aisle at your local drugstore scratching your head at all the different hair dryers and asking yourself if there's any real advantage to buying one type over another? Well, you're not alone. Choosing a hair dryer can be an unnecessarily confusing and frustrating experience, especially if you've been left traumatized after your last hair dryer fried your hair and then died prematurely. This time you're determined to pick up another random hair dryer and simply hope for the best. After all, they all work the same, don't they? 


Here's where you're wrong. In fact, no two hair dryers are alike, and any self-respecting hair stylist can attest to that. If you look closely, you'll see that most of the hair dryers on the shelves are labeled as either tourmaline or ceramic, as these are the two most popular materials that are used to construct a high-quality hair dryer. Tourmaline and ceramic hair dryers have vastly different properties that can affect the look, feel, and health of your hair, and provide distinct benefits. But what's the difference between tourmaline and ceramic, and how do you decide which one to buy? Here's what you need to know before you invest in your next hair dryer.


Tourmaline is a type of semi-precious metal that dries your hair using a combination of negative ions and infrared heat (via HAI Beauty Concepts). This newer hair tool technology is specifically designed to prevent your hair from heat damage, according to Daniela Franca Beauty. Specifically, the reason this type of hair dryer is often preferred by stylists is due to the negative ions which work by breaking down water molecules to dry your hair, as opposed to relying on heat alone, per Adore Beauty. One of the main benefits of using a tourmaline hair dryer, therefore, is producing a shiny, frizz-free look by reducing the harsh effects of direct heat. This can be especially useful for those with thick, coarse, and frizzy hair, as these hair types usually take longer to dry and style compared to thin or fine hair (via HSI Professional). Another key benefit of using a tourmaline hair dryer is the quick dry time. According to Chevelure Salon, tourmaline hair dryers cut dry time by an impressive 40%, which can save you a tremendous amount of time in your morning routine.



Hair dryers that are constructed with ceramic generate heat fairly quickly, though the actual ceramic material is naturally heat-resistant (via Chevelure Salon), which is what makes ceramic dryers great for preventing overheating. Unlike non-ceramic hair dryers, ceramic dryers also prevent heat damage by evenly distributing heat using an inner ceramic coating, per Daniela Franca Beauty. And, similar to tourmaline dryers, ceramic hair dryers also generate negative ions so they can speed drying time. Another important benefit of using a ceramic hair dryer is that they can automatically regulate and adjust their heat output by sensing the external temperature, which serves to further protect your hair from heat exposure (via HSI Professional).


Essentially, ceramic dryers are also great for reducing frizz, controlling heat exposure, and speeding dry time. For these reasons, ceramic dryers are a perfect option for many hair types, though this type of hair dryer is especially suited for thin, fine, or dehydrated hair.

Which one is right for you?

When it comes down to the functionality of ceramic and tourmaline hair dryers, there isn't a tremendous difference between the two. Both dryers are designed to protect your hair from heat and reduce frizz. However, the type of hair you have matters when it comes down to making a decision. If you have thick, coarse, or color-treated hair, then you may want to opt for a tourmaline hair dryer, per HAI Beauty Concepts. Both dryer types are great for combating frizz; however, tourmaline hair dryers generate more negative ions that significantly reduce frizz. If frizz is your main concern, then tourmaline hair dryers are your best option. The only disadvantage of tourmaline dryers is price, as they tend to be more costly than other dryers (via Chevelure Salon).


On the other hand, if you have thin or fine hair then you may want to choose a ceramic dryer. Tourmaline hair dryers don't volumize as well as ceramic ones, according to HSI Professional, so if you have naturally flat or thin hair and rely on blow drying for volume, then you may want to avoid tourmaline dryers. Volume can certainly make or break your look, so be sure to take this into account before making a decision. Regardless of which hair dryer you choose, your hair still needs protection from direct heat, so always use a heat protectant spray or cream before blow drying to prevent damage and excessive frizz.