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When my hairdryer emitted blue smoke and a stink and then gave up the ghost, I took it to the shop where I had bought it and asked if it could be repaired. If looks could kill, you wouldn't read this now. The shop-keeper, an electrician himself, asked me how old the thing was. When I told him I didn't remember precisely but certainly more than ten years, he said that wasn't possible. Hairdryers didn't last that long. Well, mine was a Methusela then. I thought he'd like to hear about a quality product he'd sold, but he clearly didn't. He then shot me another look and asked, "Do you know how much it would cost you if I, a master electrician, only looked into your hairdryer? Do you know how much a new one costs?" I was so miffed that I took my hairdryer, mumbled something about using the other one which I still had at home (a lie) and left. Of course, I shouldn't have been angry at the man but at the economic system we live in which makes me throw things away instead of having them repaired. I'm sure that a gifted craftsman in a developing country would have made something out of my ruin of a hairdryer, if not a new one, then maybe a mixer or a fan or whatever.
I then went to a department store, saw the Rowenta CV 4212 Studio Dry Elite and bought it. As I hadn't planned to buy a new hairdryer, I hadn't informed myself on which brand was best. I was sure, however, to buy a good one. Rowenta is one of those German brands that seem to have been around forever. In fact, the firm was founded in 1884 and has since made household gadgets and appliances of a high standard and 'timeless aesthetics' as they claim on their homepage. They concentrate on washing, cleaning, cosmetics, heating and products 'round the breakfast table'. Rowenta has developed into an international firm with service centres in 98 countries.
My Rowenta hairdryer weighs 621 g which I find quite heavy. But other brands weigh more or less the same. I'm not a hairstylist so I don't have to hold it in my hand for too long. The handle is about 17 cm long, as is the body, both are matt black. The body has a silvery ring of 3 mm at its front end into which the nozzle is put. This is glossy black. At the back end of the body, just in front of the blower, is a small pink inlay with the information '2000 W' on it. The back of the handle has a translucent plastic button to switch the hairdryer on and off and to regulate speed and temperature. There are three levels. The highest is really very hot. A dermatologist advised me not to use it because I suffer from a dry and itchy scalp. At the inside of the handle is a pink button. I haven't found out what it is for yet. I don't have the instruction manual any more which I got with the hairdryer. Maybe it doesn't have a function at all but is only there as decoration? Possibly, the whole hairdryer looks quite stylish and a designer may have had the idea that just at this spot there should be something pink.
But looks aren't so important, are they? A gadget should work well, not (only) look good. I've had my Rowenta hairdryer for about two years now and can't complain. It works well. I use it regularly but not too often. I'm not a 'daily hair washer'. I'm blessed with thick and healthy hair, remarkable for my age. All hairstylists comment on it. After washing it my hair is straight, after some days it becomes slightly wavy without my doing anything. I often let it dry by itself and only use the hairdryer at the end of the drying process. I hold it in my right hand and a brush in my left one. I blow some volume into the upper region and pull the ends of the hairs over the brush so that they point inside. Maybe not a very imaginative hairstyle, but I've had it for years, it suits me and I like it.
The German word for hairdryer is Haar(hair)trockner(dryer), but I've never used it and don't know anybody who has. We call the gadget Fön. (The ö sounds a bit like the i in the word bird). The Fön is a warm dry wind coming off the lee slopes of a mountain range, especially off the northern slopes of the Alps. It's not something positive, sensitive people tend to get attacks of migraine when it's blowing. In 1908 the German firm AEG decided to call a hairdryer Fön. This brand name soon reached the pinnacle of what is possible in the world of advertising, it became the generic name for the product. It has even entered other languages, for example, the Italian and the Russian one. Should you buy the Rowenta CV 4212 Studio Dry Elite hairdryer, which I can recommend, or any other hairdryer produced by a German firm, think of it as a Fön forthwith!
British Amazon sells the Rowenta CV 4212 Studio Dry Elite for 27.95 GBP. On German Amazon you can get it for 17.36 GBP.
Be careful with this gadget as with all hairdryers! I don't know about other countries, but I've found the information that in Germany every year two to three people die in their bathrooms because they touch plugged in hairdryers (they don't have to be switched on) with wet hands or because hairdryers fall into full bathtubs.