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I found that there are several type of heating element in a hair dryer, but basically I mainly classify them into two ways of heat transfer: Radiation and Conduction.

The conventional hair dryer uses heating wire to heat up the air around it. Then the hot air is blown to the hair by the motor. I classify this type of heat as conduction heating.

Another kind of hair dryer uses ceramic heater, which transfer the heat by infrared radiation. They type of hair dryer also has motor and fan to blow air to the hair.

I would like to ask which type of heat transfer is more efficient for drying the hair (or evaporate the water)? Assuming the air flowing rate is the same.

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I don't think it really is all that different, with the "conduction heating", as you call it, the end result is that the water in the hair is evaporated and transported away via the air flow. The "radiation heating", does the exact same thing, except the water molecules are heated via radiation instead and then transported away via the air flow.

I'd argue that the ceramic one has a more efficient microscopic heating ability, but if we look at it with an outside perspective, the efficiency can't be that much higher if we consider how much energy is lost in either case due to chaotic and turbulent nature of the hair dryer. A lot of energy is lost anyway due to not all of the energy going into heating the hair etc, and the potential gain of choosing the proper type of hair dryer should be negligible. I think you're better off reading the W on the package instead. c

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