Ditch Your Blow Dryer

ditch your blow dryerDo me a favor and ask yourself these questions:

Do you spend precious minutes every morning blowing out your locks?

Do you take even more precious momentsflat-ironing your mane like it’s your best all cotton top?

Would you consider your blow dryer a must-pack item on an overnight?

If you said yes to any these questions, then listen up! Because I’m about to preach the hair-gospel truth.

Green Blizzard wants you to consider testing yourself with the “ditch your blow dryer” challenge.

First of all, you are not alone. I too, have fallen victim to the blow dryer burden. I’m pretty sure blow drying my hair has been an staple in my daily-routine since I was old enough to even hold a blow dryer. But in the spirit of an eco-friendly spring and summer (finally!), I think it’s time for you and I to face the facts.

It turns out, we’re not only damaging our hair – putting it under flash high heat pulls out moisture and leaves hair brittle – but we’re also using a shocking amount of energy to do it.  Green Blizzard is always looking for suggestions on how to minimize your household electricity consumption, this could be a big step in that direction.  Appliance account for 15% of your total energy consumption and a hair dryer can be a big part of it.

Hair dryers produce heat. Obviously. But it’s a lot of heat. Like. A LOT.


In fact, the amount of watt energy a blow dryer uses in just one hour is higher than some of our most standard household appliances.

ApplianceWattage
Hair Dryer1200 – 1875
Toaster800 – 1400
Coffee Maker900 – 1200
Flat Screen TV120

 

This means that if I watched TV for 10 hours (which I have before…no big deal), I still wouldn’t use as much energy as I would blow drying my tresses for just one. That is crazy!




There isn’t enough Real Housewives in the world to combat the environmental effects of my blow dryer addiction.

energy copy

And I did the math for myself. It is NOT good. These are numbers based on my lifestyle, so feel free to adjust to fit your own routine. But I have fairly long, thick, wavy hair, and I style while I blow dry which takes a bit longer (versus the standard “just stop being wet!” approach).

In one year, I probably skip blow drying my hair once a week in the winter and fall, and 2 days a week in the spring and summer. That means I blow dry my hair roughly 288 days a year.

So if I use this formula to calculate energy consumption

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts

My damage comes out to:

1875 Watts × 0.75hour/day × 288 days/year ÷ 1000

405 kWh per year! Which is 800 pounds of CO2, or 800 of these Cubes of CO2

In total, I spend about $45.55 a year (11 cents a kWh) on my energy bill just blow drying my hair. WHAT? To put that into perspective, giving up my blow dryer would save the energy and money equivalent to if I switch from incandescent to CFL light bulbs.  See the map for kWh cost in your state

So let’s do it! Let’s quit our blow-out addiction with a spring and summer “Ditch Your Blow Dryer” Challenge.

For 6 months, let’s say goodbye to our blow dryers and shake what our mommas gave us (our hair, I mean).

But don’t worry – I’m not crazy! There will be times you might need to pull out the dryer. A wedding, a big job interview, a date. But try to limit it to must-dry events only.

And you’re probably going to need some good product as you embark on this au natural adventure. So I recommend these sustainable hair care products that will tame your mane for those summer months and leave your hair feeling refreshed and vibrant.

  • Always start with a good shampoo and conditioner. Any and ALL sulfate free shampoos will be the more environmental option. Like Purology for dry or color-damaged hair and Aubrey for curly hair.
  • No blow dryer means you’ll need to embrace the natural curl. Try Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray  – made from salt water and sea kelp, it gives your hair a wavy, beachy look.
  • Air-dried can sometimes mean flat. For a little volume – try Alterna Volume Uplifting Root Blast




Good luck and enjoy your extra hour a day, your lower electric bills, and your smaller carbon footprint!

Enjoy these other Green Blizzard articles:  EcoFriendly Wardrobe,  Can Buying New Clothing Be Eco FriendlyGift Ideas For A Green Handyman,  Living Sustainably In An ApartmentFive Ways to Go Green In April and Green Film Festival.


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About the author

Samantha Frapart

Samantha was the first staff writer at Green Blizzard, way back during the start-up phase, and has written a series of fresh and spirited articles from the millennial's perspective. Samantha's portfolio of green living tips ranges from green apartment living, urban transportation options, green underwear choices, re-usable coffee cups, bathroom habits, and even…. drinking straws.