9 Tips for Using a Diffuser on Curly Hair

Diffusers can be scary. How do you use it, and why on earth do you need one? Everyone seems to rave about this magical tool, but it can look so intimidating! Curly haired babes will rejoice in how amazing a diffuser can be. Here are our top tips for using a diffuser on curly hair.

1. Invest in a hair dryer with a diffuser

Step one is getting a dryer that already has a diffuser attachment with it. It can be a real challenge to find diffusers to fit the dryer you already have without taking it with you to the store. Most hair dryers come with one, but be sure to do a little research before you purchase. If you don’t want to invest in a new hair dryer, there are “universal” diffusers available – just make sure it fits.

2. Put your curls into the diffuser

To begin your hair drying process, you’ll want to gently push your curls into the bowl of the diffuser, working from the root of the hair to your scalp, allowing the fingers of the diffuser to define your curls.

3. Use a product formulated for curls

It’s so important to use a product that will add a lot of definition to your curls. One of our favorites is ISO Bouncy Cream. It defines, reduces frizz and adds a lot of volume.

4. Use a low heat level on your hair dryer

A diffuser will not work as well on the highest heat level, so be sure to use a medium or low heat setting on your hair dryer when using a diffuser. Plus, lower heat settings save your hair. “Always use a diffuser if you must blowdry curly hair! This attachment to your blow dryer, paired with a medium heat/low speed setting, will gently dry your curls and keep them from becoming frizzy. The diffuser does what it sounds like – diffuses the air from roughening up the cuticle of the hair,” says stylist Teddi Bickers.

5. Let your hair air dry for a few minutes

Don’t try to dry your hair all at once, especially because of the low heat you’re applying to your curls. Once you’ve dried your curls about a fourth of the way, give them a few minutes to air dry before using the diffuser again. Your curls will get a much needed break and will be better defined.

6. Be patient

The process for using a diffuser takes time, so be patient. The curls need time to define and dry slowly. While it might seem like a really long process, your curls will look extremely defined, voluminous and frizz free after using a diffuser.

7. Don’t use your hands

Try not to use your hands too much to define your curls while drying with a diffuser as your hands can often lead to extra frizz. Letting the diffuser do the work will eliminate the most frizz.

8. Prepare yourself for very voluminous curly hair

Your hair will be very curly and voluminous. Brace yourself for gorgeous, big hair!

9. Hairspray is key

An absolute must-have for using a diffuser on curly hair is to hairspray after you’re done drying. Curls can loose their luster after a while so be sure to set your curls with a finishing spray like Joico JoiShape Shaping & Finishing Spray.

And as for the diffusers themselves? We fully believe in the power of professional heat tools. “The benefits of using a professional blow dryer are that you can really “prescribe” a dryer specifically to suit your hair type and needs. Cheap blow dryers are pretty generic across the board, with maybe two heat and speed settings,” notes Bickers.

“Professional blow dryers have additional benefits to them within the construction of the actual dryer itself, like having tourmaline (a mineral/stone that creates negative ions and makes the hair dry faster, retain moisture and smooth), ceramic (creates a softer, infrared heat that is more gentle on finer or textured hair), and ionic options (large concentration of negative ions cuts blow dry time down significantly by breaking up water molecules faster).”

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