Price (RRP): $349
The Panasonic EH-NA98 is first, a hairdryer and second, uses Nanoe and Double Mineral Ion technology that Panasonic claims keeps moisture in the hot air flow and nourishes hair.
We set out to see if the Panasonic EH-NA98 lives up to these ‘scientific’ claims or if it just another expensive hairdryer. We enlisted GadgetGirl – a Dyson Supersonic convert – to use the device over several weeks (because that is how long it takes to see a difference).
A lower-cost model – the EH-NA65 also uses nanoe technology but lacks the portability and double mineral ION technology of the Panasonic EH-NA98.
- Australian website
- Price: $349
- Warranty: 12-months back to Panasonic
What the hell is nanoe?
Well, I still don’t really know, and Chemistry was a strong suit (admittedly over 40-years ago). But Panasonic is a large, reputable company that can’t afford to make outlandish claims.
First, I think nanoe (deliberate misspelling) is Panasonic’s marketing term to set it apart from the plethora of other brands of hairdryers, air conditioners, water filters etc. that also claim nanotechnology.
The best explanation is nanoe means small electrostatic atomised water particles. It applies a high voltage charge to 6000um (6 million nanometres) airborne water particles and smashes them to nanoe 5-20nm particles. A human hair is about 50-180um (fine to coarse – typically 60-70um).
The theory is that by smashing the water into nanoe size particles, it can hydrate hair and scalp better as it is drying.
Then there is Double Mineral
You may have heard that some hairdryers use ions. Well, Panasonic has twice as many using two zinc electrodes that create negative ions.
All we can find is that Panasonic developed this technology in 2001 (ionity) ‘to deliver beneficial ions to hair while drying’. From what we can find negative ions help keep the hair shaft closed (hair shafts are made up of scales), and you can use lower temperatures to dry it.
So, you have two technologies – the first to help hydrate hair and the second to enable lower temperature drying. In theory, this combo can reduce heat damage and should not cause frizzy hair – shiny and smooth.
But be aware that there are no proper scientific studies that we can find to support or to debunk this. One Panasonic study claims that ions reduce overall drying time by about 20% over a non-ion dryer.
Let’s see if the Panasonic EH-NA98 lives up to its claims (from the website)
- Split up with split ends – I did not notice any difference, but then I don’t suffer from that. The only cure for split ends is frequent cutting and suitable hair treatment to prevent that. I suspect the claim relates to lower heat settings that will not accelerate split ends.
- Fight frizz – my hair is naturally straight, so frizz is not an issue. It did leave my hair shiny and bouncy
- Infuses your locks with nourishing moisture – subjectively, the nanoe seemed to moisturise hair
- Double Mineral Ions penetrate deep into the hair to nourish from within. The Panasonic is slightly faster at drying, but I can’t prove the hair is any more nourished. I doubt the claim as hair is dead and ions cannot nourish it! Let’s call that claim ‘lost in translation.”
- The intelligent sensor adjusts continuously to prevent heat damage – yes it does
GadgetGirl’s take – Panasonic EH-NA98 is a few paces in front of the pack
I can’t help feeling that Panasonic is relying a little too much on techno-jargon and not on its great name for quality, reliability and amenity for over 100 years. Faced with a vast range of brands, the Panasonic name alone should get it to the shortlist.
But I admit I don’t know the cutthroat hairdryer market and what it takes to rise above the rest. Go into any store and outlandish claims and luxury packaging seem to be ‘par for the course’ in the bid to extract more money from you.
I want to segue. Last year I tested the Dyson Supersonic giving it a 4.6/5 for the review. Dyson does know hair science – because ‘sciencing the sh*t’ out of it’ is what Dyson does with all its engineers and scientists! Its claim to fame is to increase airflow dramatically and significantly reduce heat looking after your hair better than a 2000-2400-watt hair toaster ever could.
And within six months I began to notice a real difference (hair grows at about 1cm per month). My husband even commented on how lustrous and full my otherwise lifeless (read dull) hair had become. Now after nearly two years it is Dyson for me (and my hairdresser has moved to the professional version).