How To Diffuse Curly Hair

Have you ever tried to dry your curly hair with a regular hair dryer attachment, only to be left with a frizzy, dry mess that resembles a bird’s nest? Well, that’s where diffusers come in handy. Using a diffuser on curly hair is a great way to minimize frizz, enhance curl definition and create big volume (the dream combo). It’s also much faster than leaving hair to air dry, which is ideal for all the impatient curly girls and guys out there (like me)!

Perhaps you know all of the above but still can’t seem to figure out how to create frizz-free, voluminous curls with a diffuser. Featuring advice on the best diffusing techniques, the benefits of diffusing and even which diffuser is best for your hair length, I’m going to give you plenty of info on how to diffuse curly hair.

Benefits of diffusing

Many people who decide to embrace their naturally curly hair choose to steer clear of diffusers to prevent heat damage. However, when used on a low heat and speed setting, the art of diffusing has many benefits. Diffusers are much less harsh on curly hair than a regular hair dryer attachment, which blasts air at one section of hair and ruffles the cuticles, causing frizz.

In a completely opposite fashion, diffusers gently disperse the air out of the hair dryer in a way that dries curls without creating frizz. On top of this, the actual motion of diffusing - lifting the hair in sections towards the scalp - is also a great way to enhance curl definition and create volume.

How to use a diffuser

Here is a simple diffusing technique that will help you achieve minimal frizz, but maximum volume and definition. It’ll also massively cut down your drying time.

  1. After washing hair and applying your styling products, scrunch out some of the excess water with a Curl Towel.

  2. Tip your head upside down, take a medium-sized section of hair and place into the diffuser bowl.

  3. Bring the diffuser up to the scalp, and, once in place, turn the hair dryer on at a low speed and low-medium heat. Hold for approx. 30 seconds.

  4. Turn the hair dryer off, move to a new section of hair, hold in place at the scalp and turn the dryer on.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all sections of the hair have been diffused with your head flipped forward.

  6. Gently flip your head to one side, gather a section of hair into the diffuser bowl and repeat the same process.

  7. Gently flip your head to the other side and repeat.

  8. Once your hair is roughly 80% dry (usually after approx. 30 mins for long hair), you may wish to stop diffusing and add some root clips for extra volume. You can then allow hair to air dry until 100%.

  9. If you are missing out step 8, continue steps 2 - 7 until hair is 100% dry.

  10. Fluff hair out by placing your fingers at the roots and shaking (for more volume do this with your head flipped forward). Scrunch hair to release any cast formed by your styling products. Give your head a gentle shake to help curls naturally fall into place.

Best diffuser for curly hair

So, what’s the best diffuser for curly hair? Well, that depends on a few different factors. What length is your hair? Are you looking for volume or definition? Are you willing to buy a new hair dryer, or do you require a universal diffuser attachment?

Here are some diffuser suggestions for your hair type, tried and tested by curly girls and guys.

Best Diffuser for Short Curly Hair

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer and Diffuser Attachment

Pros: Fast drying time, helps to create volume and definition.

Cons: Not a universal attachment, pricier than a lot of hair dryer/diffuser combos.

Curly Co Collapsible Silicone Diffuser

Pros: Collapsible - great for travelling, creates volume and definition, is semi-universal.

Cons: Will fit most hair dryers, but not all, so check dryer measurements.


Gama Professional

Pros: Deep bowl which is great for both short and long hair, universal attachment will fit on all hair dryers, creates great definition.

Cons: Is a very large attachment so not ideal for travelling. Although it will fit on all hair dryers, it may be loose on some due to its larger size.


Best Diffuser for Long Curly Hair

Xtava Black Orchid

Pros: Very large diffuser bowl, fits a large amount of hair in which speeds up drying time. Creates definition and volume.

Cons: Is not universal, so you may need to purchase a new hair dryer that fits the Black Orchid. 

DevaCurl Universal DevaFuser

Pros: Great for getting at the roots and creating volume. Features 360 airflow which helps speed up drying time. Universal design will fit hairdryer barrels 2.5” – 6.5”.

Cons: The hand shaped design can make it hard to gather sections of hair and scrunch up to the scalp, without hair falling through. Perhaps pair with another diffuser attachment for best results.

Gama Professional Universal Diffuser

*See points above in ‘best diffusers for short hair’ section*

Pros: Large universal diffuser attachment which fits lots of hair. Creates great definition for long hair. Brilliant value for money.

Cons: Some find that the design prevents the diffuser from getting right up to the roots for extra volume. Perhaps try diffusing upside down or lifting hair further towards the top of the head when it gets to the root, or pair with a shallow diffuser bowl for better root volume.

Diva XXL Pro Universal Diffuser

Pros: Large bowl which fits a lot of hair in, creates great definition for longer curls.

Cons: Not entirely universal, so check your hair dryer measurements.

I hope this article has provided you with lots of information to help you get the best out of your curls when diffusing. You’ll be rocking voluminous, defined curls in no time!

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