Ah, the hair dryer; a very debated tool in the curly world. Some curly-haired people run from it, and the flashbacks of horrible blowouts past that it brings, but the benefits of using a diffuser are undeniable! For example, a diffuser can help you give your curls more volume, speed up your dry time, and create defined, frizz-free strands. (So, don’t knock it until you try it!)
While using a diffuser can be very intimidating, we have some simple tips to help you learn to diffuse your locks like a professional! Get ready to leave the house every day looking like you just came out of the salon.
What is a diffuser?
A diffuser is a special attachment you can get for your blow dryer from places like Sephora, Deva Curl, and your local beauty supply store! It should look a little something like this:
The spikes pictured prevent the hair from moving around too much, while the bowl diffuses the air around the hair without pulling it straight. The diffuser prevents too much heat from being blasted into one part of your hair. This little guy goes right on the end of your dryer, and then all you need to do is turn on the heat! There are lots of other models and styles of diffusers that come in different shapes and sizes, so you have plenty of choices! Picking a model of diffuser is all about your preferences and how you like to wear your curls, so explore your options!
How do you use a diffuser?
Curly hair benefits from using a diffuser the most, as it allows for your strands to dry in their natural shape, when done properly it reduces frizz, it’s less damaging than direct heat from a blow dryer, and you don’t need to mess up your curl pattern! The perfect use of a diffuser starts with the shower.
1. First things first; detangle and scrunch!
While you’re in the shower, gently detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers after conditioning. After you’re out of the shower, use a microfiber towel to gentle scrunch your curls and remove excess water. (A normal cotton or terry cloth towel can cause damage and frizz, so if you don’t have a microfiber towel it’s worth investing in!)
Try to disturb your natural curl pattern as little as possible while you’re scrunching! Generally, you still want your hair to be wet when you start using the diffuser, but some curly-haired people prefer to let their curls set for 30 minutes before diffusing. (It’s up to you!)
2. Add your styling products.
The next step is to add your favorite styling products into your wet/damp hair! If you’re in need of some volume, the stylists at our Chandler, AZ location suggest using the Curl Moisturizing Mousse by Davines! This mousse helps create defined, bouncy curls and helps your hair resist humidity. We also love the Volume Boosting Mousse by Davines that helps create airy, natural-looking volume in your style. Scrunch your curly styling products into your hair, gently, and then get ready to use that dryer!
3. Start with low heat and low speed!
Most hair dryers have similar heat settings; low, medium, high, and cool blast. (Some will also come with speed settings, which can ensure that you don’t over-dry your curls.) It’s recommended that you start with the lowest settings and work your way up as you go. Feel free to use the cool setting on a high speed to avoid causing heat damage (and thereby frizz).
4. Hang your head sideways or upside down to dry.
When diffusing, gently place your curls in the bowl of the attachment and let it sit. (Always include your ends in the bowl for the best results!) Move the diffuser closer to your head to get air flowing to the roots; this will give you some more volume at the crown of your head! Try not to disrupt your curl formation if you can help it, but it can be a delicate and tricky process.
5. Dry in large sections, and be sure not to spend too much time in one spot!
Cup your curls in the bowl of the diffuser for a few seconds, then drop the diffuser away from your hair and move onto another section. Try not to rotate the dryer or move it once your hair is cradled in it; otherwise your hair may get tangled up in the spikes and create knots.
Dry your hair with the diffuser until your hair is about 80-90% dry throughout, and then you are done! You may want to scrunch in a curl-defining product like the Curl Building Serum by Davines for extra bouncy curls, but try not to touch your hair too much. (You might just ruin all of your hard work!)
Once your hair is 100% dry, give it a good massage at your roots for a more full looking style. (If you really want that volume, switch to your cool shot setting as you’re almost done drying, and then go for those roots with your head upright!)
Different looks with the diffuser:
If you like wearing more of a laid-back look, try keeping your head upright for most of the drying process! Occasionally moving your head to the left and right as you dry will allow the diffuser easy access to your roots without giving you too much volume.
If you like to get a ton of volume out of your style, start the drying with your head in an upright position, and then flip your head forward to dry your hair upside-down! This way, you can get right at your roots and maximize volume.
If you do not want a super tight curl, then you can stop the drying process at about 75% dry and let the remainder of your hair air dry!
And that’s how to use your diffuser!
Learning to style and care for our hair, no matter the length or texture, can be awkward and sometimes a long process, but TouchUps Salon is here to help. For more tips and tricks on maintaining curly hair, check out this post here! We love our curly-haired peeps, and we love to spread the hair love!
Hopefully these tips were helpful to you, and we want to see your diffused curls! Post a selfie on Instagram or Facebook and tag us (@TouchUpsSalon) so we can see these tricks in action! If you have any questions or think we missed some helpful diffuser advice, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear your feedback!
Ta-ta for now, TouchUps family! Hoping everyone is having a lovely Spring so far, and we’ll catch you next post!