Personal care glossary

Dental care, hairdryers, shavers and groomers explained

A Philips body groomer.

A Philips body groomer.

If you're buying a personal care product like a groomer, hairdryer or toothbrush, brush up on the terminology and jargon.

Double brush head (dental care): A power toothbrush feature that provides two cleaning motion heads. It is also called a dual action brush head. This brush head features two rotating heads with separate functions, for example the small head may be designed to clean hard to reach teeth, or the second head may feature teeth whitening bristles.

Pulsating mode: (dental care): Many power toothbrushes will also have a pulsating mode or action which moves the toothbrush head gently back and forth against the teeth to improve cleaning. The pulse motion is usually used in addition to oscillation of the brush head. The cleaning action of a power toothbrush is measured in pulsations per minute (for example 40,000 pulses per minute).

Oscillation technology (dental care): An powered toothbrush that uses an this technology will have a brush head that is designed to move up and down, or side to side automatically as it is placed on the teeth. The oscillating movement is directed by two pins located in the toothbrush handle, which move in opposite directions when in use. The cleaning action of a power toothbrush is measured in oscillations per minute (for example 8,800 oscillations per minute).

Ceramic heating element (hair care): Many hair dryers and straighteners use a ceramic coil or ceramic coating on the heating element as it is designed to heat the device more evenly than traditional heating elements. Some ceramic coatings may also include other materials like tourmaline.

Diffusers (hair care): Diffusers do exactly what the name suggests; it funnels or diffuses the airflow over the hair and is used for hair styling. Some diffusers are circular and flat with prongs to lift and curl the hair, others may narrow at one end and be used to concentrate the air flow onto one part of the hair.

Ionic technology (hair care): Hair care products may feature ionic technology which is designed to reduce static electricity build-up in the hair created when using the heating products, by using ions. Manufacturers also claim this makes the hair smoother.

Turbo boost (hair care): Hairdryers featuring a turbo boost button or switch will increase the airflow and therefore speed up drying time for a short period of time.

Epilators (hair removal): An epilator removes the body hair using a series of tiny tweezers which mechanically rotate, grab the hair and simultaneously pull them out.

Foil blades (electric shavers): A foil blade has a series of oscillating blades that lie beneath a perorated metal cover (usually rectangular) which is designed to raise the hairs closer to the blades for an even shave.

Rotary blades (electric shavers): A rotary shaver uses a series of circular blades located beneath round aluminium heads that are commonly arranged in a triangular formation. The blades rotate in a circular fashion, and pivot to follow the contours of your face or body, raising or lifting the facial hair and cutting it.

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