Finally, they added a glass cover — between the halogen bulb and the dryer’s nozzle — with a multilayer coating that filters out UV rays and unnecessary visible light. “The light source itself emits a broadband continuous spectrum. Only infrared light can pass through the filter, while most visible light and all of the UV light are filtered out,” Wang explains. “We tuned the coated glass, a 120-layer construction, so the remaining visible wavelengths [that you see coming out of the dryer] mix into this aurora-like color.” The bonus is that it’s really pretty — like, replace-your-ring-light pretty.
The infrared light generates heat that is then transferred to the hair, says George. “It’s still evaporating water in the hair, but using a different heat source.” Hair doesn’t get nearly as hot. “Measuring hair temperatures, by filming the blow-drying process with an infrared camera, we can see that hair strands dried by Zuvi Halo stay below around 111 degrees,” says Wang. “Drying with traditional dryers can heat hair up to around 140 to 158 degrees.” That 30-degree (or more) difference matters: Temperatures under 203 degrees Fahrenheit don’t contribute to cuticle cracks, according to that Annals of Dermatology study. “For people with split ends, easy breakage, thin or fragile hair, styling damage, an itchy or flaky scalp, or hair that simply seems to have lost its luster, using low heat like this makes good sense,” says Dr. Geraghty.
Zuvi weighs in at under a pound (our triceps thank you!) and uses just 680 watts, compared with traditional dryers, which run about 1,800 watts. If you use your dryer for 20 minutes a day, that’s the weekly equivalent of driving 4.5 miles, charging 221 smartphones, or burning 2 pounds of coal — actual examples provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. But the Zuvi still dries hair just as fast as other dryers in its price range. The wind field was constructed “so its speed is high enough to remove water droplets and moisture fast enough, but not so strong that it’s uncomfortable,” says Wang.
And Zuvi knows how to read the room, literally. “We found a small change in the ratio of light vs. wind could largely affect the drying speed, comfort, and hair health.” So the team had a robotic arm blow-dry hair in different controlled environments to create an algorithm for adjusting light and wind based on room temperatures, which are measured in real time with the dryer’s built-in sensors. In a third-party study, the Zuvi Halo retained 109 percent more internal moisture, left hair 17 percent smoother, 38 percent shinier, 9 percent stronger, and provided 57 percent longer color retention, compared with standard dryers.
Results were just as impressive outside the lab: “My curly hair retains a ton of water after a shower, so it usually takes ages — up to an hour — to fully blow-dry,” says our commerce producer Sarah Hoffmann. “I was blown away that I was able to completely dry my hair in under 20 minutes with the Zuvi. My scalp never got too hot, so I didn’t feel I needed to take a break to cool down, like I often do.” Hairstylist Vernon François was awed by how gentle yet thorough the Zuvi is: “Where to start? Everything about it is fantastic,” he says. “Just genius.”
Like what you see from Allure‘s Best of Beauty Awards?