When you buy a hair dryer, especially a higher end one, you may notice that it comes with attachments ranging from big and bulky to pick-like and foreign looking. Usually there are three hair dryer attachments that typically come interchangeably with higher end dryers. One is the diffuser, which is the large, bulky circular attachment with all the holes in it.
This is ideal for curly or wavy hair, and is good if you want to get a lot of your hair dried at one time and aren’t concerned about flattening the cuticle or straightening it for a sleek look. It’s good for body and curl or bounce in other words.
The second type is a pick-like attachment that helps to separate the hair and give body to the roots. The third, which is the one this post is titled after, is the concentrator. This is the most common attachment included since it doesn’t take up much room, and is probably one of the more used attachments due to its versatility and purpose.
What does a hair dryer concentrator attachment do exactly?
As you can see from the picture, the concentrator takes the drying area from a larger hole to a thinner, flattened area of outflow. This means it “concentrates” the air flow to specific, smaller areas of the hair. This can have a few benefits, especially when you’re doing a blowout, which is where you’re blowing your hair straight.
Smooths the cuticle more efficiently
Because of the concentrated nature of the airflow, it really can help smooth the cuticle more effectively because you can direct the air flow down the shaft, which has a significant smoothing and flattening effect on the cuticle. This can be especially effective when you’re using a cool air blast at the end of drying since the combination of the cool air and the downward, concentrated motion work in tandem to provide that sealed, smooth look.
Dries sections faster
With a blowout, you section your hair off into smaller sections using clips to keep the “still damp” hair out of the way and to keep it from touching the already blown out hair. This gives you small, easily managed sections to work with, and the concentrator is perfect for drying these smaller, thinner sections of hair much more quickly and effectively.
Since it dries faster, this also reduces the amount of time your hair needs to be exposed to the heat of the dryer, which reduces the likelihood of heat damage.
It’s easier to work with
The smaller air outflow also can make it much easier to work with. Instead of a larger outflow of air, which is harder to direct at the exact area you are targeting in your hair, you have a smaller, more compact outflow that is easier to direct and concentrate exactly where you want it.
If you want to direct it at a small section, or in a downward motion for example, it will do exactly that instead of having the extra air going where you don’t want it to go due to a larger opening. You can also direct it right at the root area that you want to lift to give the hair movement and body.
You will often see stylists doing this to give the hair that extra oomph toward the end of a blowout. This is where they pull your hair up with a round brush, and blow it dry while holding the strands straight up in the air, aiming the hair dryer concentrator at the roots. This causes the hair to blow up toward the ceiling to give them lift, and taking the brush all the way down the section of hair to hair round the ends of the hair to create that nice rounded, bouncy look. This helps avoid the flat look that can sometimes accompany straightened hair.