Hair Dryer Temperature Guide: How Hot Does a Hair Dryer Get?

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Many of us love our hair dryers, from the cheapies to the crazy-expensive Dysons. There are various hair dryer types, each featuring various heat settings, attachments, etc.

It can be tempting to use a hair dryer daily to quickly dry your hair before you go to work, or out. But excess heat quickly takes its toll, drying the hair and causing damage, split ends, and even dandruff.

How does hair dryer temperature work? How hot does a hair dryer get?

Much depends on the model, but a hair dryer generally operates in a temperature range of 80′-200′, with most operating around 140′. More than hot enough to damage your tresses!

In this article, we’ll look more closely at hair dryer temperatures, and explain how to use them without causing unnecessary damage.


How Hot Does a Hair Dryer Temperature Go?

Hair dryers’ temperatures range between 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and others go as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are extreme temperatures!

If you’re going to use a hair dryer on high heat, you need to know how to use them correctly to prevent damage.

Hair dryers’ temperatures range between 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and others go as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hair dryers have various ideal temperature settings influenced by the following factors:

1. Model 

The number one factor that determines the ideal temperature setting is the brand and model. Some dryers are designed to produce the high heat required by certain hair types. You’ll also find options, such as ceramic dryers, that are low temperatures and distribute heat effectively. 

2. Power Ratings 

These blowers also have different power ratings, usually denoted in watts. A blower with a higher rating will become much hotter. 

3. Diffuser Compatibility 

A diffuser’s purpose is to spread the heat and control the air flow to prevent excess heat exposure to a certain area.

Therefore, a blower with a diffuser attached does not reach its maximum temperature and thus becomes less hot.

Is it bad to get a hair dryer with a higher temperature setting? 

No, sometimes you’ll need those high temperatures!

Certain hair types require these high temperatures for better drying. The hotter blowers are, the faster they dry your hair.

However, it is important to maintain the correct speed and ensure it is in harmony with the provided heat to prevent damaging your hair and scalp. 

If you’re still undecided on what temperature setting to use, here is a quick guide to help you out: 

Hair Dryer Temperature Control Tips:

  • The thinner the hair, the lower the heat setting should be. If you have thicker hair, feel free to adjust slightly higher for the heat to penetrate your sturdy strands.
  • Begin with a lower temp setting, and work your way up until you find your ideal temperature setting.
  • If you wish to style your hair, use a lower setting that preserves the hair moisture better, making it possible to redo already touched hair spots.
  • For those with fragile hair, the best approach is to air dry. If you wish to use any hair dryer, the maximum setting is the medium level. 

Do Hair Dryers Overheat?

Your hair dryer can overheat and exceed the normal temperatures even after setting it to the desired temperature. You’ll find that the styling tool becomes too hot to handle, and often starts to smell like burning.

This can cause extreme damage to serious damage and injuries.

Some of the damages caused by high heat include:

1. Hair Damage

Very high temperatures, over 140 degrees Fahrenheit, can burn the hair strands. One of the common hair damage signs is dry hair since there is greater moisture loss. The result is brittle hair strands that easily fall out. 

You should also note that hair melts at around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which shows that prolonged use of the overheating dryer can lead to serious hair loss.

Hair damage commonly affects first-time users who don’t know how to properly balance the speed with the heat settings. 

2. Scalp Burns

After the hair strands become brittle, the scalp becomes exposed. Continued hair dryer usage burns the scalp and can cause serious injuries. 

What Causes Hair Dryers To Overheat? 

Overheating often occurs in hair dryers that have been in use for a while and can be due to: 

  • A blocked air circuit 
  • Component failure
  • A clogged filter or ventilation grills.

Therefore, it is essential to monitor the dryer’s performance occasionally to determine the problem early when it starts to overheat. That is why it is advisable to check and follow maintenance procedures.

Some of the measures to conduct are cleaning the vents and the gates. It is easy to do that at home, and you’ll need basic tools such as a toothpick and sponge. 

How to Prevent Hair Damage from Hair Dryers

Hair dryers are essential styling tools, and everyone can use them. However, they can cause serious damage if not used properly. Therefore, learning how to prevent hair damage from these blowers is important.

Here are five tips:

Hair dryers are essential styling tools, and everyone can use them.

1. Get The Right Hair Dryer

A high-quality hair dryer has fewer chances of overheating, reducing the chance of overheating. They also feature advanced temperature controls and technology that prevent the tools from becoming too hot.

Furthermore, these settings offer advanced options for a more personalized temperature level. 

A high-quality hair dryer has fewer chances of overheating.

You don’t need to spring for the super expensive Dyson Dryer or Airwrap. Get a low to medium-priced one, and consider a diffuser.

2. Use The Correct Technique 

There are various hair drying techniques, which depend on the hair, style, speed, etc. The basic approach is to use the dryer about 8 inches from the scalp. If you are unsure of the correct method, there are literally a billion hours of Youtube videos on how to do it.

3. Apply Heat Protectant 

There are many heat protectants available that create a barrier and protect your scalp. These protectants are beneficial to those with brittle hair, but should be used by all who are working with heat styling. 

4. Use The Lowest Settings 

Before using the hair dryer, ensure that you set it at the lowest. As much as it takes a while to get the job done, it reduces the chances of hair damage. Slowly turn up the heat as you need to.

5. Do Not Overuse 

It is not advisable to use hair dryers regularly, even for those using the lowest settings. Regular use weakens the hair strands, and this damages the hair structure.

Air drying is the best method to try that has no risk to the hair. 


Hair dryers are typically easy to use and can be beneficial if used correctly. However, high heat settings can easily damage your hair or even burn your scalp. Therefore, you should always start with low heat settings and adjust your way up until you find your sweet spot.

If you have thicker hair, you can aim a little higher on the temperature scale.

Be careful, and try not to use your hair dryer every day!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).