6 Reasons Your Hairdryer Won’t Heat Up (Solved)

Heat is an essential factor when it comes to your hair dryer doing the job that it’s meant to – drying your wet hair.

If you’ve found that your hair dryer no longer emits heat then you may be wondering what the reasons for this are.

Don’t worry, here you can check out what could be causing this irritating issue, and we promise it’s not all hot air.

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Your Hair Dryer Is Protecting Itself From Damage Due To Overheating

Prolonged usage of a hair dryer can cause the device to begin to overheat.

An overheated hair dryer can lead to a range of internal problems.

Some hair dryers have the ability to prevent damage to their components by stopping your hair dryer from emitting any heat after a prolonged period of use.

If your specific hair dryer has this handy function it will either switch off entirely or it will blow cold air instead of hot.

Let’s face it, it’s better that your hair dryer is blowing cold air instead of its insides slowly melting!

However, if your hair dryer is blowing cold rather than hot, and you’re not certain that this is indeed a preventive measure, then check using the following method:

  1. Switch off your hair dryer if it is no longer producing heat.
  2. Allow around 10-20 minutes to pass and ensure that the device is cool to the touch.
  3. Now switch your hair dryer back on and see if it will produce hot air.
  4. If now the device is cool, and it has regained its ability to blow hot air once again, then you can be safe in the knowledge that your hair dryer is working as it should and was blowing cold air to prevent component damage.
    • However, if you still have the issue of your hair dryer still not heating up then it’s time to consider some other reasons for the problem.

Have You Checked Your Hair Dryer’s Settings?

Sometimes the most obvious reason will give you the solution!

Blow drying your hair is part of a daily routine for most of us. We do it automatically without even considering the settings on our device.

However, it is always worth checking that you, or somebody else, has not switched your hair dryer to a setting that only blows cool air.

For example, the Whal hair dryers have a setting that they call ‘cool shot‘ which is designed to help keep your hair stay styled for a longer period of time. This is achieved with cool air instead of hot.

If this setting is active then you won’t be getting the heat you’ve come to expect.

Most hair dryers also have a button on them that will produce cool air when pressed, so keep your trigger finger away from it when you want your hair to get the hot air it needs to dry quickly.

A Faulty Component Can Spell Disaster For Hot Air

A malfunction with the inner workings of your hair dryer may well be the cause of a lack of heat from your trusty device.

Component failure can also be the cause of a range of problems that can include your hair dryer simply no longer switching on.

However, when it comes to heat and your hair dryer, the component that is most important is the heating element (also called a ‘resistance’).

  • A nichrome wire is the common heating element in hair dryers.
  • The wire is made of both chromium and nickel which are heated by electrical current.
  • The fan inside your hair dryer pushes air through nichrome wire and the insulating mica boards that the wire is coiled around.
  • The result is hot air being produced from your hair dryer.
  • Wattage affects how hot your hair dryer will blow.
  • Newer hair dryers have begun implementing ceramic coating around the heating element to better distribute heat and provide a stable flow of temperature.
  • You may see the wire glow red when in use.

If this essential component becomes damaged then your hair dryer will very likely stop producing hot air.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to fix a component such as this and it would require specialized knowledge to do so.

That said, it would be possible to test whether or not this component is in fact the culprit or reason your hair dryer won’t heat up. To confirm this just follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your hair dryer is no longer connected to a power source.
  2. Take apart your hair dryer and remove the heating element/resistance.
  3. Using a multimeter check whether the value shown is 1.
    • Remember, the multimeter must be set to the ohmmeter position.
  4. If the value shown is 1 then the component should be replaced.

Check out our blog here about 5 reasons your hair straightener smells.

A Little Lint Can Be A Big Problem

Lint are minuscule fibers and, although small, can affect your hairdryer from heating up.

Owners of hair dryers have found that just a small amount of lint can mess with the thermal cut-off switch which is contained in the ‘barrel’ of your device.

This is why sometimes you seem to be able miraculously to fix your no-heat issue by banging your hair dryer on the floor.

However, all you’re really doing is occasionally dislodging the lint from the thermal cut-off switch.

A tried a tested trick is to take an air compressor and blow it through your hair dryer. This will blow out any stuck lint.

Your Vents Are Covered & That’s Leading To Overheating

Now that you understand the sensitive nature of your heating element and how important it is in providing your hair dryer with the ability to produce hot air, then it stands to reason that you don’t want it to overheat.

The vents on your hair dryer are key to preventing damage due to overheating.

If you have the vents on your hair dryer blocked in any way then overheating will occur and will either:

  • Cause the device to blow cold air instead of hot (as explained above)
  • Or cause irreparable damage to a component such as the heating element.

Both your air inlet and the air outlet should always stay free from blockage.

It is also essential that you keep your vents clean.

This can easily be achieved by taking a brush a removing any dust particles that may have been gathered.

Some models of hair dryers may also feature a filter of some sort that should be inspected and cleaned when necessary.

Remember, maintenance of your electrical devices, including your hair dryer, will prevent problems from arising.

Keeping your hair dryer clean ensures good airflow, which in turn allows the device to stay within proper working temperatures.

A hair dryer that overheats is a hair dryer that will stop producing the heat you need when you want it.

A Faulty Switch Could Be Causing Your Heating Glitch

Many hair dryers have a switch that allows users to control the temperature of their hair dryer.

This is a handy feature, not only for you to style your hair to how you want, but it also can help prevent overheating (which as you’ve seen is very important).

If this switch has become damaged or stuck then you will be in one of two situations:

  1. Your hair dryer is stuck permanently blowing only cold or cool air.
  2. Your hair dryer keeps becoming overheated, thus causing it to forcibly stay in cold mode.

A faulty switch can be tested with a multimeter, but fixing it (as is the case with all most all of the hair dryer’s components) requires specialist knowledge.

As Restartorioum.com notes, it usually is not worth the effort to take apart your hair dryer unless you really know what you’re doing and worse still –

“generally the price of this type of repair is not worth the cost.”

Final Thoughts

Having a hair dryer that does not heat up is a real pain, but keeping it clean and ensuring that you do not overheat it is key to preventing this issue from happening.

Although you can take apart your hair dryer to test, and theoretically replace broken components that have become damaged due to overheating or faults, it is not recommended.

If your device is in warranty then contact the manufacturer for repairs and replacements.

If your device is no longer in warranty and the problem persists despite your best efforts and the advice in this article, then it’s probably time to replace your hair dryer with one that won’t let you down.

Read our blog here about 5 reasons ceramic hair straighteners are better.


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