Using Hair Dryers for Longer Appliance Wear: Common and Effective?

Past Member

I just became a member a few weeks ago, so far it's been nice reading about so many others in my same situation. Something I see often is people mentioning using a hair dryer to get more wear time from your appliance. I've never heard of this before. Is this common, and do you notice a tangible difference?


Hello Wisconsin! I see people talking about a hair dryer prior to applying their appliance. As you know, one must have a clean, dry, hair-free area around the stoma for the appliance to stick. I used a hair dryer a few times. I would rather fan the area with something like a paper plate or coupon (cardboard) and allow it to dry naturally that way. Hair dryers can dry out the skin, cause a rash, or burn the area. My vote: fan it instead.

Good luck.

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Hello TimetoGrow. I use a hair dryer regularly because it softens the wafer and makes it easier to apply. Plus, I think it tends to stick better in that initial phase of application.  If the area around the stoma feels wet, I will allow the warm air to reflect onto it and dry it out, otherwise I just use the dryer for the wafer. We are all different in  terms of our preferences and what works for us. I am a firm believer in experimenting to see what works best so part of my own routine is to keep trying different things and look for marginal benefits. 

Best wishes



Oh my bad. Yes, using the dryer to soften the water is a novel idea. Silly me, I thought you meant to dry the stoma area before applying the water. I have seen both and done both. Good luck.

NJ Bain


I only use the hair dryer to help dry my pouch after a shower. A towel can only dry a pouch so much, so I use the hair dryer around the pouch and wafer so I don't have that damp feeling all day. And yes, it prolongs the life of the wafer as opposed to just drying with a towel.


Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister


I use the hair dryer (on low with the heat turned off) to dry my hands just before I form my barrier ring. If your hands have any stoma powder or residue of any kind on them and you manipulate the barrier ring, it won't stick well. So before I stretch and form the ring, I wash my hands well, paper towel dry, and then use the hair dryer to get them 100% dry. So I use my hair dryer just like the hand dryers you find in bathrooms. I use Hollister products, so the barriers and rings are pretty need to heat them to make them more so.




I also use a hair dryer. I am not as concerned about drying the skin with the dryer, but I do, as I am warming up the flange. It really makes it pliable and sticks much better than without it. I tried to just warm it with my hands but it never seemed to be enough.

I dry my hair anyway and use the dryer to dry all my irrigation supplies before putting them away so it is convenient.

Worth a try for those that have not yet used one!



I know a lot of folks use a hair dryer (no heat) to aid in the application of the pouch. I don't have a hair dryer nor a fan. I take a dry washcloth, fold it twice to a small square, and use that to manually fan the area dry before I apply the pouch. Everyone is a bit different, if I had a hair dryer I probably would use it, but I stopped using them a long time ago.


Though we share many similarities in our routines, we're still different in some respects and might respond differently to different methods.  I would not be able to successfully prepare myself and my appliance if not for a hair dryer and a hand held shower head.  Well, I guess I'd have to find a way but thankfully I have them and they work well.



I have used a hairdryer to dry the area around my stoma and to soften the wafer before applying for a few years with great success. Keep in mind you can use a combination of warm/cool air with a hairdryer to dry the stoma area, and this way it won't dry your skin out as much. I change my wafer every day, and my skin is fine. Stay well. Penguins7


When you warm the wafer/barrier, it warms the adhesive and it sticks better. I get up to 9 days per barrier.


I've been using a hair dryer to dry my ostomy site (after washing it off) and also for warming up the wax ring around the wafer or on the bag thinking that it would make the thing stickier. I have been doing it that way for over ten years now. I have no idea whether or not it actually makes any difference. I just heard about doing that when I first became an ostomate. I have only applied a bag once (while I was hospitalized) and didn't have access to a hair dryer. It stuck just fine that time. So, use one or not (preferably both ways) and decide for yourself. My bag or wafer (sometimes I use a one-piece, sometimes I use a two-piece) normally stays on for seven days before I change it. Most people don't get that much time, I must just be lucky. Let us all know how you do and whether you decide to use a hair dryer or not.


Of course you don't have a hair dryer! You live in Arizona. Your hair is probably dry before you even step out of the shower or tub!

I lived in Arizona once (a long time ago) but now I live in Arkansas where it's so humid that ... gosh I can't think of anything reasonable to say about that. It's just nasty humid!


I agree, I let my stoma air dry and use a fan....


Hi, I have had my ostomy for about 6 months now and for about the first 2 weeks I had a problem with leakage and the ostomy not sticking. Until I discovered the gift of a hair dryer. It really allows everything to stick to your stoma area better and longer. It truly is a life saver. Just make sure it is on low and you don't do it for too long.

Past Member

I get about double the wear time when I use a hair dryer. I use it on the skin just before I apply the wafer. There are several benefits: (1) It assures that the area is completely dry, (2) the warm skin helps the adhesive set better, and (3) changing the appliance is much quicker which is so helpful when your stoma is active. Afterward, I hit the wafer for a couple of seconds with warm (not hot) air and let the entire area come back to body temperature before starting to move around. You do have to be cautious because too much heat can have the opposite effect.

Past Member

Hi. I always use a hair dryer prior to applying the flange. It only takes a couple of minutes to get the skin dry and time is of the essence when I'm changing my appliance!

Been doing this for twenty plus years with no problems.