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The History of the Hairdryer

The world of hair would be very different if not for our beloved hairdryer. Many of us cannot live without it! But have you ever wondered how this tool came to be? Read on to discover the unique history of the hairdryer.


The Man Behind the Vision

The creator of the blowdryer (or hairdryer) was named Alexandre Godefroy. Born in Fairlyland, France on June 8, 1852, Godefroy aspired to be a stylist. In 1888, he patented the very first hairdryer. It looked more like an alien machine than a beauty device, but it worked surprisingly well, as impractical as it may seem.

The contraption was to be hooked up to a heating device of any kind, which would send hot air through a pipe to a dome surrounding the woman’s head. Surprisingly, the design is similar to the hairdryers in salons today. The device was impressively multipurpose as well, considering the technology of the time, as it could even be used for shampooing! This required a bit of reconstruction, however. Godefroy suggested removing all pieces except one, which fastened around a woman’s head to redirect suds into the sink.

The first hairdryer, although innovative and useful, lacked the most important component that remains in our tools today: airflow. Godefroy included escape valves to protect women's heads, but due to the limitations of the time, nothing else was implemented.

How it Evolved

Headed into the early 20th century and the Age of Consumerism, women's hairstyles began to change. They became more sophisticated and required more time style. Hairdryers had not yet become household items, and women needed an efficient way to dry their hair. One way women did their hair was by attaching a brush or some other device to their vacuums! Crazy, right?

Hairdryers really took off in the 1920s with the first handheld dryers selling on the market. The pistol-like design is one of the many features that holds to this day.


The modern hairdryer is much like it's century-old ancestor, with more than a few changes. We may think we have the best this world has to offer, but every day new innovations are being made to this old beauty device. If you'd like a more visual timeline, visit

Want a little more before you go? Check out these vintage advertisements! And be sure to visit the Lash Leaf website for more beauty tips and informative reads.



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