A truly excellent hair dryer is one of the most transformative beauty tools to keep at your disposal, but it's often a bit overlooked in its importance. It's the sort of product that doesn't get its full due until you're either forced to go without one or you try a legitimately superior model. If you're still not convinced that all hair dryers aren't created equal (they all blow hot air, right?), maybe a scientific advance can win you over. Or, as is the case with the Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer ($349), quite a few advances.
The Zuvi Halo, an impossibly sleek dryer that would look just as at home at an Apple event as it would on luxury beauty supply shelves, harnesses the power of light to dry hair faster, smoother, and with considerably less energy use, too. Ahead, get all the details on the new Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer, and read our honest review.
Though it features a glowy white shell and holographic center, the Zuvi Halo looks a lot like your typical high-dollar hair tool. But compared to a traditional option, the Zuvi Halo functionally couldn't be more different. With a typical hair dryer, hot air is formed by internal heated coils and it essentially bakes the air around your hair and head. Like all heat-heavy tools, that hot air can cause dry ends, breakage, frizz, and lackluster shine—especially if you have particularly long or thick hair that requires a long drying time.
The Zuvi Halo, however, takes a more natural approach. "Zuvi has two main components, light and wind, that dry your hair," explains Jon Diele, Zuvi's Managing Director for the U.S. and Europe. The wind component is similar to how a traditional dryer functions, but more gentle thanks to cooler air that blows off water rather than simply zapping it. "The light," he says, "is what makes us special." Using a patented system, Zuvi concentrates light energy to dry the surface of hair while retaining its internal moisture content—not only does that mean healthier hair, but it helps with color retention as well.
"While this is a new concept for a hair dryer, in reality, it is the most common process of water evaporation that we know since it is what occurs every day in nature," shares Diele. "When it rains at night and the sun comes up in the morning alongside wind, it evaporates the water through light and wind, just like the Zuvi Halo."
How to Use It
One of the best parts of the Zuvi Halo is just how little thought you have to put into using it. Hyper-legible labels for different speed and temperature settings make adjusting it for individual needs a breeze, and it comes complete with three distinct, magnetic attachments to suit different hair types. "Since we've changed the working principle of the hair dryer, we've had to rethink these styling tools from the ground up to work with our LightCare system," Diele says. "For example, the diffuser incorporates a transparent design to pass through the light while in use."
Additionally, one aspect that's very nice to not think about is all the energy consumed by traditional blow drying. It's a feature that might not cross your mind until you swap out a classic dryer for a more environmentally-conscious one, but Zuvi's reduced energy usage makes a serious difference. Within the EU, Diele cites, the European Commission estimates hair dryers collectively eat up 11 terawatt-hours of energy (that's 11 trillion watts), which roughly equals the energy from a nuclear power plant. "Extrapolated globally," he continues, "the Zuvi Halo could eliminate the need for 5.5 nuclear plants." And that's with the added aesthetic and health benefits to your actual hair, too.
A confession, Byrdies: my previous hair dryer was...old. Like first-Obama-administration old. It wasn't that I didn't have access to or use for a new one, I just quite literally never thought about it. Every time I plugged the clunky ole thing in so it could scream in my ear for 30 minutes, I just shrugged—don't all dryers do the same thing? After my first go-round with the Zuvi Halo, I now realize that was some real dark-age thinking and my hair is already thanking me for wising up.
Though the brand says the Halo is generally about as fast as a traditional dryer, using it shaves about 10 minutes off my total routine, which I think can partially be attributed to how smoothing it is. I find myself using less styling cream and finishing spray because the end results are always solid. The Zuvi Halo is also so much quieter than the dryer I was using before, I still can't get over it. Rather than emerging from the bathroom sweaty, red-faced, and frizzy, I feel calm, cool, and utterly transformed.