Pros: Leaves hair soft and non-frizzy looking. Easily cleanable filter.
Cons: Doesn't dry hair fast. Concentrator falls off easily.
Last fall both my hair dryers bit the dust, with my regular one flaming out on me (very scary!) and later on the handle on my travel dryer broke. As I can't go without a hair dryer long I quickly zipped over to Target to see what I could find.
What I noticed almost immediately was the proliferation of "ionic" hair dryers. I had heard the term but wasn't quite sure what it meant. I picked up a Conair Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler with such technology and it claimed to be able to make your hair more manageable with less frizz. That sounded compelling enough to me to make me want to have it. With wavy hair that was prone to frizzing, it was certainly worth a shot.
The Theory behind Ionic Hair Dryers
I did a little research on the internet about this technology to uncover what the fuss was about. According to articleInsider (http://cosmetics.aricleinsider.com), "negative ions are delivered by the millions by the (ionic) hair dryer onto the hair shaft and follicle. The negative ions break apart water particles into fine particles that are more easily absorbed by the hair cuticle," resulting in a smoother cuticle and healthier looking hair.
Whether this was all marketing hype or reality, all I needed was a hair dryer and I was willing to give it a shot.
About Conair Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler
Like all the Conair Ion Shine models, this hair dryer has dual ionic ports on the side. It features 2 heat/speed settings and a cool shot button. I myself only use the high setting and never utilize the cool shot button. It also has dual voltage and a fairly typical 1875 watts.
The Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler is very sleek and stylish looking. Its sturdy plastic body has a brushed silver look, with a gun metal plastic handle and concentrator attachment.
The concentrator attachment has a 3 inch wide opening, with an oval opening at the base that clicks into the hair dryer.
Two unique features of this dryer are its hinged filter and twisting handle. The hinged filter allows you to flip open the filter cover to access the inner filter, cleaning out accumulated dust and any hair. The twisting handled is actually quite sturdy. Instead of unfolding like most travel dryers you untwist the handle and it locks into place.
Since it a travel dryer, Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler is lightweight and very easy to hold. However, it is larger than some travel dryers. When its handle is untwisted, it measures nearly 5 inches long. The dryer also has a nice, long 6 foot cord.
In regards to its noise level, the Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler is average. It is quieter than most salon dryers but it is not so quiet that it doesn't wake up my husband in the morning--not that that's bad!
The Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler has a limited one year warranty and has a suggested retail price of $26.99. Conair products may also be purchased online at www.conair.com.
I was somewhat skeptical about this whole ionic technology. After all, when you're blasting the hair with heat, even if it's charged up with negative ions, how can you expect it to be shinier? And as anyone with curl or wave will tell you, our hair has a tendency to frizz when dried.
So ready to prove Conair wrong, I went about drying my hair. I attached the concentrator, as I use this to help concentrate the heat and pull out the curl from my hair as I dry it with a curved brush, holding the dryer about 4-6 inches away. I noticed that the Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler did not dry my hair as fast as my old Revlon Travel Dryer. My hair, at the time, was medium short and it took me a good 8-10 minutes to dry my hair, roughly twice the time of my Revlon dryer, even though I had been out of the shower for a good 15 minutes.
However, the results were definitely better. My hair follicle was not frizzy and my hair was noticeably softer. As for shine, that is difficult to say. I have a lot of honey blond highlights in my already colored hair so it would be difficult to add much shine because of all the chemical coloring. But my hair does look healthier, without a doubt.
Just recently I have started to grow my hair a bit and let my natural wave do its thing. As a result I no longer have to spend as much time drying my hair as I only need to partially dry it. Even in the past if I had dried my hair at this length, it could end up looking frizzy. This is no longer an issue.
Construction wise, I do wish this model came with a cord keeper. Like all my other hair dryers, the cord on the Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler gets twisted up. However, I do applaud Conair for making the filter easy to clean. So often that is why hair dryers overheat and die on people, due to the dirty filter.
Another issue I have with the Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler is how easy it is for the concentrator to be knocked off. It's really annoying and seems like cheap construction.
As for the twisting handle design, I like it; my husband does not. He doesn't think it's a particularly intuitive design. As a result, we keep it open most of the time and not folded up.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
The Ion Shine Travel Ionic Styler definitely delivers very good results--nice, healthy looking hair without frizz. However, it does seem to take a bit longer to dry than comparable non-ionic hair dryers. So it's somewhat of a toss-up on the recommendation. If you have a problem with frizzy hair after drying, then this is a good investment. If you don't, I might suggest looking into other dryers if you are looking for a dryer that can dry your hair a bit more quickly.