This Better-for-Hair Blowdryer Uses Infrared Light Instead of Heat, and Cut My Styling Time in Half

We all know that heat is enemy number one for hair damage. So as someone who loves a good blowout (both at home and at the hands of a professional), I wasn't surprised when my hairstylist recently pointed out how much breakage I had in my strands... in precisely the pattern that my blow dryer hits. She told me something needed to change with my styling routine, as I wasn't taking nearly enough precautions against heat damage.

Enter: The Zuvi Halo, a new better-for-hair dryer that uses light therapy to reduce damage and cut your styling routine in half.

How the Zuvi Halo works

While standard dryers use heated air to "bake" your hair, the Zuvi uses cooler air and infrared light to heat only the outside of your strands, leaving your scalp and hair cuticles healthy and hydrated. The technology promises to retain the color of color-treated hair, and claims to cause significantly less frizz and breakage while leaving your hair shiny.

"Heat has the ability to weaken the outer protective layer of our hair strands known as the cuticles. Weakening the cuticle will cause frizz and dullness, and make your hair unable to absorb and maintain moisture or hair color," saysShab Reslan>, a trichologist based in New York City.

Unlike traditional driers, the Zuvi uses infrared light (which, unlike UV light, won't damage your dye job) to give you faster dry time and healthier hair. "Infrared heat is extremely gentle on the hair, drying quickly and efficiently by penetrating each strand of hair with radiant heat so that it can dry from the inside out," says celebrity stylist Brittany Gharring.

Because infrared light dries hair from the inside out, less heat is required. "By minimizing the exposure to heat, you alleviate styling stress on the cuticle. Hair's overall appearance is improved, and it looks shinier," says Kerry E. Yates, trichologist and founder of Colour Collective. The brand has even incorporated environmental sensors to measure the air's humidity and temperature, adapting the heating element as needed to perform best.

The dryer has four settings: care, style, fast, and soft. The care setting scans your hair and optimizes the dryer for you. Style mode is ideal to use with the attachments when wanting to shape hair. The fast mode is best for drying hair quickly while still maintaining a low heat for hair health. The soft mode is more of a smooth airflow, ideal to use if you have a sensitive scalp. It also has a cool mode to trigger a burst of cool air, which helps give hair a shiny finish. These settings allow for more targeted airflow, which Gharring explains is an added bonus for the health of your hair.

The hairdryer also comes with three attachments: a diffuser to lock in waves and curls, a styling concentrator to use with a round brush when you want a smooth blowout, and a gentle air attachment to dampen airflow even further, which is great if you have a sensitive scalp.

What it's like using the Zuvi Halo Hairdryer

It usually takes me a solid 20 minutes to dry my hair from start to finish, but the Zuvi Halo gave me a rough dry job in five minutes and completed my entire head in under 10. I was shocked.

Post-blowout, I instantly noticed how much brighter my color looked and how smooth my texture was. With a regular dryer, my smooth strands only last an hour before turning into a frizzy, static mess. But with the Zuvi, that wasn't the case. After prepping my strands with dpHUE Thermal Protection Spray ($28), I was able to style my hair using the Zuvi's styling concentrator attachment and a round brush, and my look held up until it came time to wash my hair. Plus, the shine was incredible.

At $349, the Zuvi Halo is by no means a budget buy. But when you consider that the technology promises healthier hair, zero frizz, and a longer-lasting dye job, I think it's totally worth it.

I've been using the Zuvi Halo for about a month, and I haven't reached for my other blow dryer since. The proof is in how my hair looks and feels, and I appreciate the gentler experience and faster dry time. This tool is sleek and chic, and from now on, it's coming with me wherever I go.

Watch the video below for more ways to hack your hair routine to reduce damage. 

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