How much electricity does my hair dryer use?

Whether you have luscious locks of hair, or a precious few strands, a hair dryer will be found in nearly every Australian bathroom. But do you ever consider how much that hair dryer contributes to your electricity bill? Well, probably not. After all, it can’t be that much right? Canstar Blue has crunched the numbers and found that using a hairdryer can be a little more expensive than you might expect. Continue reading to see what your hair dryer is costing you.

How much does it cost to use a hair dryer?

Using a hair dryer on high speed will generally cost between $0.50 and $0.75 per hour, or more simply, around 1c per minute. This will depend on your electricity rate, as well as the wattage of your blow dryer.

Just 1c per minute might not sound too expensive, but it’s relatively significant for a small appliance. Hair dryers are surprisingly powerful, capable of air speeds in excess of 140Km/hr, meaning they require a considerable amount of electricity.

When used on high settings, most general purpose hair dryers consume between 1900 watts and 2400 watts. The higher the wattage, the more expensive it is to run. If you’re not sure about your hairdryers wattage, it can be found on the label attached to the cord.

Below is a table with some indicative costs of running different powered hair dryers across certain periods of time.

Hair dryer electricity costs: Wattage vs time using dryer

1 minute 2 minutes 5 minutes 10 minutes 30 minutes 1 hour
1900 Watt 0.91c 1.82c 4.55c 9.1c 27.3c 54.6c
2000 Watt 0.96c 1.92c 4.8c 9.6c 28.8c 57.6c
2100 Watt 1c 2c 5c 10c 30c 60c
2150 Watt 1.03c 2.06c 5.15c 10.3c 30.9c 61.8c
2200 Watt 1.05c 2.1c 5.25c 10.5c 31.5c 63c
2300 Watt 1.1c 2.2c 5.5c 11c 33c 66c
2400 Watt 1.15c 2.3c 5.75c 11.5c 34.5c 69c

Table assumes electricity usage rate of 28.7c/kWh

The good news is that your hair dryer is unlikely to blow out the energy bill budget. That said, there is still room to save if you use your hair dryer excessively or unnecessarily. To illustrate how much you can save through simple hair dryer habit adjustments, take the following case example.

Case example:joanne

Joanne has long, beautiful hair. She refuses to dry her hair with anything but her trusty 2300W VS Sassoon Ceramic Intense Professional Hair Dryer. Joanne spends 10 minutes every day drying her hair. From the table above, we see that this costs Joanne 11c per day, which works out to be $10.56 per quarter. If Joanne were able to dry her hair a little more with a towel, and reduce her hair dryer usage to 5 or 2 minutes, Joanne’s quarterly hair drying cost would reduce to $5.28 or $2.11 respectively – that’s a saving of $5.28 or $8.45 a quarter.

While these small savings are always welcome, if your electricity bill was higher than expected, the hair dryer is an unlikely culprit. Consider the usage costs of:

Are low-wattage hair dryers just as good?

The earlier table makes evident that low wattage hair dryers consume less electricity, making them a more affordable choice. So what’s the catch? Low wattage means less power, and less power means it will take longer to dry your hair. With that said, the difference in drying time between a 2000W hair dryer and a 2300W blow dryer is relatively small. Unless you’re a professional hair dresser, or your hair is very thick, any hair dryer over 1800 watts will be sufficient.

Even some of the cheapest blow dryers on the market are quite powerful. The price difference between these models and ‘high-end’ products generally comes from the product materials and functionality of the dryer – not necessarily its power output.

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How do settings affect blow dryer electricity usage?

Most hair dryers will have 2 to 6 air speed and temperature settings. The wattage indicated on the label represents the power consumed when a blow dryer is operating at a high airspeed and temperature. However, if your hairdryer has the functionality, using it on low speeds or temperatures can reduce its energy consumption as low as 100 Watts per hour.

For the purposes of comparison to the earlier table, if a hairdryer is running on these low settings, it will only cost 2.87c per hour. Of course, there’s usually little reason to run a hair dryer at such low power.

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