Heat Gun Vs. Hair Dryer: Can Both Be Used For Hair?

Written by Anjali Sayee

Heat guns and hair dryers look similar and work pretty much the same way. However, they cannot be used interchangeably.

A heat gun is meant for industrial use, like removing paint and bending plastics, and cannot replace the hair dryer. If used on the hair, a heat gun may cause severe hair and scalp damage. In this article, find out how exactly a hair dryer works and why you should not use a heat gun on your hair. Keep scrolling.

How Does The Hair Dryer Work?

A hair dryer has a motor-powered fan located at the back of the device. When switched on, this fan intakes air, which passes over a heating resistance coil and heats up.  This hot air is then let out of the front exit point.

How Does The Hair Dryer Work

The heat gun also has a similar mechanism. However, it has a completely different application from that of a hair dryer. Read on to know the basic differences between them.

Hair Dryer Vs. Heat Gun: The Basic Difference

AttributeHair DryerHeat Gun
UsageOnly for drying hairHome improvement or industrial use like removing floor coverings and paint, defrosting, removing rust bolts, and paint drying.
TemperatureCan heat up to 145°FCan heat up to 1300°F

As the hair dryer comes nowhere close to the temperature range of a heat gun, it is clear that the latter is only meant for heavier jobs.

Can You Use Both For The Hair?

You cannot use a heat gun on your hair.

The hair dryer is designed to style and dry the hair. Its temperature settings are ideal for hair styling and maintenance. A heat gun is not designed for hair drying purposes.  While it can reach a minimum temperature of 100°F, it is not suitable for the scalp and hair.

This is because it lets out concentrated hot air, unlike a hair dryer that spreads hot air evenly. The concentrated hot air can severely damage the hair and burn the scalp. Here is a comparison between both the devices for a better understanding.

Comparison Between Hair Dryers And Heat Guns

Hair DryerHeat Gun
Designed to dry and style hairDesigned for home improvement needs
Heats up to 145°FHeats from 100°F to 1300°F
Has distributed hot airflow, suitable for hairHas concentrated hot airflow that is unsuitable for hair
Causes lesser heat damage than air dryingMay cause severe damage if used on the hair and scalp

Excessive heat can damage the hair shaft, affecting the hair quality. Read on to know how.

Effects Of Heat Damage On Hair

Excessive heat can make the hair dry and rough (1). Hot air can penetrate the hair cuticle, reaching the cortex (inner layer). This can weaken the hair structure, affect the hair color, and may cause hair breakage.

If you are using a more concentrated heat source, like the heat gun, it can severely damage the hair structure. Even excessive use of a hair dryer can damage the cuticles.

How Safe Is Using A Hair Dryer?

Too much of anything is bad. Excessive hair dryer use on high heat settings can cause dryness and make the strands brittle, leading to hair damage.

However, blow drying is a better option than air drying. This is because leaving the hair damp for too long can damage the hair cell membrane complex and alter the natural hair color. Using a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm with continuous motion can cause less damage (1).

Bottom Line

Heat guns and hair dryers may appear the same but have entirely different functions. A heat gun is meant for industrial and home use and should not be used to dry the hair. Else, it may cause hair loss and scalp burns. Hence, stay safe and stick to a hair dryer for drying your hair.

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.