Hair » The Correct Way To Use a Diffuser for Curly Hair

The Correct Way To Use a Diffuser for Curly Hair

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Want to know the secret to taking your curls from drab to fab


This curl-drying technique can significantly affect how your hair turns out on wash day. That’s why natural curlies should consider adding a diffuser to their beauty routine.

Diffusing is the answer when you want a quick-dry solution that leaves your curls bigger and bolder. It takes less time than air drying and adds definition, volume, and shine in a way that air drying can’t. Diffusing can be a challenging process at first, but it’s just like muscle memory once you get the hang of it.

We spoke to Krysta Biancone, co-founder of Amari Salon & Spa and hair stylist at Hair by Krysta, for expert tips on how to use a diffuser correctly and avoid mishaps.

What is a diffuser? 

If you have curly, coily, or wavy hair, you know it can be difficult to create the perfect look without the right styling tools. A diffuser can solve this problem by helping to shape, mold, and set texturized hair in the direction you want it to go.

The bowl-shaped tool is a removable blow-dryer attachment capable of thoroughly drying damp curls. “This attachment works to disperse the air from the dryer, which allows for more even heat distribution and helps to minimize frizz and breakage,” Biancone told Glowsly. “Diffusing is a way of drying the hair while maintaining the natural curl pattern.” 

Benefits of using a diffuser

Diffusers can decrease your reliance on heat tools. If you tame frizzy locks by blow-drying, straightening, and re-curling them with a curling iron, you put yourself at a higher risk of heat damage. Going this route is also more time-consuming. 

Meanwhile, diffusers alone produce faster (and less damaging) results than traditional dryer attachments that concentrate heat in one area. With a diffuser, you can save time and effort, as it helps conquer the curl drying and formation process at once.

According to Biancone, “[Diffusing] can help define and enhance natural curls, add volume and body to your hair, reduce frizz, minimize heat damage, and protect delicate strands.” Overall, the technique is a win-win for style and function. Diffusers can give your curls that bouncy, springy effect you see in fashion magazines and runway shows. 

How to diffuse the right way

Biancone provided Glowsly with professional tips on how to use a diffuser and avoid hair damage. Follow this step-by-step guide filled with the dos and don’ts of diffusing for best results.

Step 1: Prep

If you want picture-perfect curls, give your hair the required care and attention before you diffuse. Sufficient curl prep makes it easier to produce a fuller, frizz-free look. After your routine wash, use styling tools to activate your curls into training mode. Biancone said hair mousses, texturizing sprays, and thickeners are all suitable stylers.

Step 2: Dry and diffuse from the roots

Once your curls are ready for diffusing, grab your diffuser and blow dryer, and get to work. Diffusing from the roots adds more volume and lift and prevents you from overly drying or damaging the scalp from extreme heat exposure. 

“Starting at the roots, place sections of damp hair into the diffuser,” Biancone said. “Use your free hand to lightly scrunch or lift each section into the diffuser,” she continued. You’ll want to move your diffuser in a 360-degree motion to distribute heat evenly through each section.

Step 3: Shape and set 

This is an ideal time to position your curls in their intended direction. If your hair is still damp, avoid getting handsy with your curls until they fully dry, as touching them can result in a messier, uneven look. Until then, gently shake your head to let your curls fall where they may. “Once all your hair is dry, use your fingers to gently separate any clumped sections,” Biancone said. 

Avoid brushing or combing your hair once it’s dry. This will ruin all of your hard work. However, you don’t necessarily have to follow this rule if your hair is wavy.

Achieve curl perfection

Correctly diffusing your natural hair is a surefire way to get those enviable Instagrammable ringlets. The most important rule of thumb is to prepare your curls before diffusing. And using the right styling products along with your diffuser is the first step to achieving your desired look. Happy curling!