I Tried the First-of-Its-Kind Eco-Friendly Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer

When I got the pitch for a “first-of-its-kind light-centered, energy-efficient hair dryer,” I thought it might be another gimmick. But then I got the Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer ($349) into my own hands (and very long hair), and quickly realized there was no pseudoscience here.

How It Works

The high-tech tool uses LightCare technology to replicate the sun’s natural rays and dry hair using wind and light rather than extreme heat. Think of it like air-drying your hair on walk outside, but at a much faster rate. The infrared light energy is filtered by a piece of titanium-covered glass—this gets rid of UV rays and makes it safe for your eyes—and dries water on the surface of the hair while leaving the inside hydrated and healthy. It does this without frying strands like many other dryers, which, according to Zuvi, use more energy than a microwave, which can damage the hair, scalp and surrounding air.

What I Like About It

First let me say the dryer is a showpiece—white, sleek and something your friends would envy if they saw it on your vanity. I have long, fine hair but it really retains water (stylists bank an extra 30 minutes for my blowouts) and I’ve always used the highest heat settings on dryers so it doesn’t take me an hour to do my hair. So one thing that really surprised me with Zuvi was that it never got really hot, or even moderately hot. Of course I tried the “Fast” setting first, and noticed my hair felt much softer and “healthier” than it is after using a traditional dryer, but my drying time was pretty similar. I also loved that it’s lightweight, and it looks really cool while in use, as it lights up a really pretty neon green to signal that it’s on.

Other modes include “Care” (reduced power for optimized for healthy hair), “Soft” (smooth air flow and less light for sensitive scalps), and Style (you use this one with the styling concentrator accessory mentioned below). There’s also a Cool Mode if you hold down the mode button, but I didn’t need it with this dryer because the air never got too hot. One thing I did notice was that if my hand moved too high up on the handle while drying, it felt a little warm and triggered me to move my hand back down, though it wasn’t warm enough that I felt like I’d get burned or anything.

Each dryer comes with three magnetic attachments: a diffuser for curly hair (pair this with “Fast Mode”), a styling concentrator for polished blowouts with less frizz around the hairline, and a gentle air attachment that emits softer, cooler air for sensitive scalps (use this one with “Fast Mode” too). You can also use the dryer without any attachments for regular drying, or rough-drying at the beginning of a styling session.

Lab Testing

In testing at the Zuvi Hair Lab, robotic arms conducted speed tests, ensuring the same blowing procedure, strength, angle and distance across hundreds of sessions. According to the brand, enough tests could be run to draw scientific and statistically significant conclusions. Of these, there are a few I found particularly compelling: Zuvi Halo can lock in hair dye color for 57-percent longer (I’m guilty of zapping my fresh color too many times), as well as allow hair to retain two times more internal moisture than traditional hair dryers. Lastly, tests show that hair is generally 17-percent smoother with Zuvi, and 38-percent shinier.

Sustainability Efforts

We’re seeing great strides in sustainability across the beauty industry, but this hair tool reduces carbon emissions in a way we haven’t seen in this category before. According to the brand, the dryer features environmental sensors to measure the air’s humidity and temperature and adapt its heating element to perform at top efficiency and reduce its energy use by 60 to 80 percent. Each year you use Zuvi Halo instead of a traditional dryer, it’s equivalent to removing 67 pounds of CO₂ or planting a tree.

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