Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA2C-W
One task that I struggle with as an amputee is hair care. I’m missing an arm, and while I feel like I’ve adapted most of my needs to be doable with just one arm, blow-drying and styling remained difficult. It’s hard to style and dry my hair at the same time, so if I want to do that, I usually opt for a 2-in-1 blow-dry brush. which I reserve for special occasions rather than everyday use.
For the most part, I usually let my hair air dry, as the task of drying my waterlogged curls and then styling them separately usually seems too much of a hassle. Naturally though, being born with permanently unkempt curls and loose curls, I’ve only ever wanted what I don’t have: well-tamed hair. This is exactly why I always get so excited whenever a new styler pops up. Now that I have an arm, I’m doubly excited about new stylers that are innovative in both functionality and accessible design, which is exactly why I was excited to try out the new Panasonic Nanoe.
$124 on Amazon
What I like about the Panasonic Nanoe
When you have an upper limb deficiency, whether it’s dexterity issues, limb differences, muscle weakness or something else entirely, one thing is certain: heavier, bulkier and more difficult tools to maneuver never make your day easier. So if you start your hair drying process, a tedious task for some, with a heavy blow dryer, you are setting yourself up for a tougher time.
Loading my right arm with the work of two arms tires it more easily. For me, activities that require holding that arm above my head for long periods of time tire it out particularly quickly. That’s why, when I unpacked this dryer, I was immediately delighted with its lightness. Many people with disabilities will opt for travel dryers as they are lighter and more compact, but these have the downside of being less efficient and therefore require more drying time. Weighing just 1.17 pounds, I found this little device more powerful than some of the travel dryers I’ve come across. It still wasn’t as powerful, but it occupies solid middle ground.
Oscillating nozzle works great
This is, in my opinion, the coolest part of this dryer. You know that quick flick of the wrist you usually use to distribute the air from your dryer over your beautiful head? Well, for many, this move also causes wrist pain. If, like me, you don’t have the ability to switch hands, this can be a very exhausting little move. And for some, that might not even be a possibility in the first place.
The Panasonic Nanoe dryer nozzle is equipped with a piece that whips back and forth, mimicking the movement of the wrist for you. The design is simple and awesome. This setup is also great if you have trouble moving around and need to put the dryer on a stand. While a typical dryer would require you to awkwardly move your head (a lot) to distribute the airflow, this little nozzle helps you do it for you.
$124 on Amazon
What I don’t like about the Panasonic Nanoe
Dry modes can be difficult to change
A bit of a catch 22, the nozzle was both my favorite and least favorite part of this hair dryer. It took me about 30 seconds to get quite frustrated with the process of fitting and detaching this piece. Clearly, this product was designed with the drying process in mind, but no one thought how accessible the nozzle adjustment would be. Once it’s attached and locked or unlocked it’s a phenomenal accessory, but getting it where you want it isn’t a breeze and took me a few tries and a bit of irritated stomping.
Snapping it to the device isn’t the worst part. If you have trouble with your hands, you can hold the dryer between your knees, feet or legs and snap it into place quite easily without too much force. Switching between “oscillating” and “non-oscillating” modes is tedious, however. To make the nozzle oscillate, you need to click the tip outward. And to block the tip and opt for a unidirectional airflow, you have to click on it inwards.
The problem? If you pull too hard to go for multi-directional airflow, the entire nozzle will come loose. Half the time I was going to push it down to block the oscillating nozzle, I had to press with all my might, which I found counterproductive for a part apparently intended to make the dryer more accessible.
Should you buy the Panasonic Nanoe?
Despite the problem with the nozzle, I still find it to be an awesome dryer and would recommend it for both its lightness and its oscillating feature. A good solution for the nozzle is to choose the mode you use the most and leave it on that setting. It’s a viable solution because otherwise the rest of the dryer is carefully designed. It’s also great if you’re looking for something to help you pre-dry before switching to a multi-tool such as a 2-in-1 hair dryer to help minimize some damage to your hair while preventing a invasive and exhausting pre-drying. -dry.
In short, the Panasonic Nanoe is an innovative hair dryer that dries hair quickly and gently thanks to its unique Nanoe technology. Adjusting the settings can be tricky, but it’s still one of the best dyers I’ve tried in terms of accommodating a limb difference.
$124 on Amazon
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
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