Jan 09, 2024

Here's Exactly How To Diffuse Your Hair For Maximum Results

Styling your curly hair requires proper maintenance and care, which can seem daunting if you're new to the curly hair revival movement. If you've been styling your curly hair for years, then you know how a bad wash-and-style day can easily ruin your week. Here's where a diffuser comes in to work its magic. Adding a diffuser to your hair routine can be a game-changer, but perhaps only if you know how to use it correctly. The way your curls dry will significantly affect how they look on a wash day, which is precisely why this tool can be the very thing you didn't know you needed.

Diffusers attach to your hair dryer's nozzle and work by evenly distributing the heat over your hair. By gently dispersing the heat over larger areas, the diffuser reduces frizz and enhances your hair's natural curl pattern (via Women's Wear Daily). Diffusing your hair also requires a different technique than blow-drying, and this technique is key to achieving maximum results.

Before you jump into diffusing your hair, apply your styling products and gel on wet hair. To bring out your curls, it's best to experiment with different products to find the right combination for your hair type. Typically, this includes a curl cream or mousse product followed by a styling gel. According to Curly Nikki, thicker curls or coils will benefit from cream products and gels with a strong hold, while looser curl patterns should try a mousse and lightweight gel. Make sure to re-wet your hair between products to activate the ingredients and enhance your curls.

Even though diffusing is gentler on your hair, you still need to protect your strands whenever they're exposed to heat (via Gossip Curls). After you apply your styling products, use a heat protectant spray or cream. The best method to distribute the heat protectant is by applying it using a praying-hand motion to evenly coat your strands, as opposed to loosely raking it through your hair. Don't forget to scrunch to encourage curl formation, and then wrap your hair in a microfiber towel, per the Curl Maven. Regular bath towels can cause more friction against your hair, so switching to a microfiber hair towel will significantly reduce frizz.

Once your hair is about 70% dry, it's time to start diffusing. According to Aveda, you should always start at the roots and hover at the hairline until your roots are dry. It's important to use a low or medium setting while diffusing to avoid drying out your strands, per Reader's Digest. You can also tilt your head from side to side while hovering to encourage volume in the roots.

When your roots are fully dry, you can start diffusing the rest of your curls. The best way to diffuse curls is by leaning forward so your hair hangs downward. This position makes it easier to cup your strands with the diffuser and hold them in place for 30 seconds at a time (via Reader's Digest). Continue this step for the rest of your hair while occasionally rotating your head to prevent your roots from sticking to your scalp, which can weigh down your hair and reduce volume. After you dry your curls, you should notice that a cast has formed in your hair. This cast is formed by the gel and will keep your curls in place. To remove the crunchy texture, coat your hair with a lightweight oil and gently scrunch to break down the gel cast (via Curly Nikki).