In the old days hair was rarely washed more than once a week. Long hair was the norm for women and without electrical appliances drying hair could only be done by vigorous rubbing with a towel, combing it in the sun or in front a fire.
Even with electricity the only place where hair could be dried was under the huge dome dryers at the hairdresser. Rollers were used to curl (tiny ones and perming solution) or straighten (huge ones for straightening) and you had to wear them till your hair dried which meant sleeping in them overnight - very uncomfortable or wearing them all day. If you needed to go out to the shops you might wrap a scarf over the top.
The results varied!!
Later came heated rollers which were faster but still tricky to use. If you didn't roll the hair evenly you could end up with strange kinks.
The portable hair dryer was an innovation that made life easier. You still needed rollers but now hair dried faster. You tied on the cap which was attached to the motor by an air tube.
You have no idea how easy blow dryers and straighteners have made life. I used to iron my very wild curly hair
to tame it.