Weird History The First-Ever Hair Dryers Looked Like Vacuum Cleaners From Hell... Or Science Fiction  

Rebecca High

Hair dryers are, for the most part, pretty mobile and accessible little objects today. But when they were first conceptualized in the 1880s, they actually started out as chimney-sized contraptions and looked like something out of science fiction, as this fascinating video uncovers.

The first hair dryers were small bonnets attached to the chimney pipes of gas stoves. People with wet hair would cover their heads in the bonnets. A valve helped the steam escape to avoid burning the user's scalp.

The first handheld dryers in the 1920s still weighed about two pounds, which meant you could get a good workout and a blow dry in at the same time.

With the advent of cheaply manufactured plastic in the 1970s, portable dryers became cheap, lightweight must-haves. Watch this mini time capsule on the history of the hair dryer!