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Natalie Varrasso
Updated on November 08, 2023

When using a diffuser, you are spreading the air over a wider space, which means you can dry your hair more gently and without the hair moving around. This is why the correct way to diffuse curly hair can make your locks pop.

However, you can use a diffuser on wavy and straight hair, too. It’s all in the technique and products you use in your hair that will allow you to create a beautiful hairstyle. Read on to know them all!

Stylist Showing How to Diffuse Curly Hair

How to Diffuse Curly Hair

How to blow dry curly hair and not make it look like a tumbleweed? This is a common challenge for curly girls, as smashing curls with the flow of air ruins the coils and makes hair frizzy. A diffuser is designed to fix this problem and provide you with just the right amount of hot air to dry, define, and enhance your ringlets.

Curly Hair Before and After Adopting the Right Drying Routine


Of course, what you put in your hair matters much too. Be sure to use Curly Girl approved products, avoiding ingredients like sulfates and alcohol. Apply the products on wet hair and be sure to get enough hydrating cream through your hair before you apply your gel.

Always set your temperature to a medium to cool heat not to disturb the natural shape of the bonds in the hair and you get maximum S shape and definition. Do not touch your hair until the hair is sealed and set with the product you applied prior to diffusing your hair.

When using a diffuser, you need to very slowly move the diffuser over your head with no touching of your hair. For the fastest drying time, always start at the roots or the top of the head. Another hack that I love is using pin curl clips to lift hair at the roots and get nice volume on top.

See the full tutorial on wet to dry curly hair styling using a diffuser to get a better idea of how to get a perfect result:

How to Diffuse Wavy Hair

Start with washing your hair and applying the hydrating cream and a styler, as girls with curly hair do. Thus, diffuse using a medium heat temperature as you want to encourage a little more of an S shape.

Tilting your head to one side and allowing the diffuser to cup your hair while you then bring it closer to your head will definitely help with this as well. A very gentle scrunch and hold while diffuse drying of your hair can work for locking in a soft bend in your wave.

Related Post: 12 Tricks to Modify the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair

How to Diffuse Straight Hair

Using a diffuser on straight hair will be a very gentle and natural air-drying result. The benefit of diffuse drying on straight hair is that it is going to protect your hair and allow it to fall in its most natural state.

If you want to create a shape in your straight hair, I suggest braiding or pin curling your hair with the support of a lightweight hair gel and using the technique suggested for diffusing curly hair. This will help you get wavy hair as an end result, but the rules for curly hair diffuse drying will be your best technique.

Medium to hot will nicely dry your hair and/or help to reshape the bonds in your hair to bend and create more volume.

Related Post: 15 Tips for Fine Thin Hair to Add Volume and Oomph

Popular Types of Diffuser Attachments

There are many different attachments you can use and they come in all shapes and sizes.

  • The sock diffuser is a padded sock that usually has a stretchy elastic that will grip around the nozzle of your hairdryer. It is fantastic for very fine hair diffuse drying or if you are traveling, as it is practically weightless and is no bigger than a sock.
  • The silicone retractable diffuser can be handy to fit over most hair dryers and will be easy to store away as it can be flattened. It has a large head for standard diffuse drying and is one of the most common today.
  • The hand-shaped diffuser is in the shape of a hand, but will work like any other, being very popular on afro hair types.
  • Compatible brand diffusers are the diffusers that will come with or be compatible with your hairdryer. For example, Dyson has a diffuser attachment that will only work on their product.
Typer of Hair Diffusers

5 Best Diffusers for Curly Hair

Deciding on which hair diffuser to buy can be tricky, especially when each one offers different benefits. Here are some of the features that win the following diffusers top ranking on the market:

  • The Curly Co. Collapsible Hair Diffuser: Extra root lift for added volume and convenient collapsible silicone structure, making it perfect for storing and travelling.
  • Hairizone Diffuser: Volume boosting design and even distribution of heat through over 200 air holes, which allows quick drying.
  • Black Orchid Hair Diffuser: Has the largest surface area, which allows for faster drying; be sure to check whether the nozzle size of your dryer works for this attachment though.
  • DevaCurl Devafuser: Due to the interesting hand-shaped design, this diffuser emits a 360-degree flow of air during use and gently dries your locks. It is suitable for all hair types and is often preferred for diffusing natural hair.
  • Remington D3190 Damage Protection Hair Dryer – This hairdryer with a diffuser attachment is a best seller due to an affordable price and the advanced coating and micro conditioning technologies.

To maintain the effort of your diffuse drying, sleep on satin. I recommend the StayStyled satin pillowcase that has been designed specifically for style maintenance and curly hair types. To shop for it and other products mentioned in my tutorial, as well as to get more hair advice, visit my website or follow @retreat_hair on Instagram.

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