Curl Talk 101: What is a hair diffuser and how to use it!

Just as each type of curl is different, so is its drying time.

Curly hair is unpredictable and more when it comes to its washing and drying routine. Sometimes the more you want it to be perfect, the longer it takes to dry or the more frizz you have ☹️ A tool that works a lot for me to reduce drying time and ensure that my hair always stays the same, with volume and definition, is the HAIR DIFFUSER. As I have curly bangs, I use the diffuser a lot to avoid having wet hair on my face and not looking like a wet chicken at work 😂

For a long time, I have received questions about how to use the diffuser since 1. they have never used it, 2. they have it but they have never used it or 3. they have used it but they do not like the results on their hair. Through this post, I want to answer all those questions and give you some tips on how to use the DIFFUSER. (All based on my experience)


What is a hair diffuser?

A hair diffuser is a basic tool for drying curly hair. It’s an extension that is placed on the blower and transmits air between your curls to dry them. The diffuser comes in different styles like silicone or plastic.

About 3 years ago, searching for a good diffuser, I found one from The Curly Co. brand that is not only silicone material but is very easy to handle and travel friendly. Another brand that launched its silicone and pink color diffuser is Rizos Curls. There are other hair diffusers that come with its blower, mostly these are plastics. You can use the one of preference and the one that works best on your hair.

Why curlies use the hair diffuser?

The hair diffuser has several functions such as:

  1. Dry your hair faster and reduce drying time in the routine
  2. Give volume to your hair without frizz
  3. Make the curl patterns  look even

If you are new to the hair diffuser and want to learn how to use it, I am going to share some tips and tricks based on my experience on how I dry my hair with the diffuser.

How to diffuse your hair:

Difuser 1

  1. Application of products: The first and foremost thing to start the drying routine is to apply your products to all your hair as you usually do. ** You can do some styling methods like finger coiling.
  2. Airdry: Personally, I like to let my hair dry for about 10 minutes with the products applied before going straight to the diffuser. After 10 min, I put the diffuser on the blower and set the blower temperature to: low heat, low speed. Difuser 2
  3. Exterior drying: With the adjusted temperature, I pass the diffuser through the outer part of the hair to dry it. I don’t put my curls on the diffuser yet. This process takes me about 5-7 minutes. I do this to make the hair drier before placing the curls from the ends into the diffuser. Difuser 3
  4. Beginning of the drying: After the hair feels drier, I place my hair divided into sections in the diffuser. Each section I leave it for about 5 minutes making a movement from top to bottom to not create frizz and to create definition. With drier hair and more defined curls, go to the next step.Difuser 4
  5. Drying 80% + volume: We arrive at the process that will make the hair 80-90% dry and with volume. In this part, I pull all my hair down and start the same routine of placing the diffuser on the ends of the hair and moving from top to bottom in sections. I also twirl my head from side to side to create even volume on both sides if you do side parts and the root part to dry as well. In this step, you can increase the temperature to: medium heat, low-medium speed. Difuser 5
  6. Curls separation: By this time, the hair is 90% dry with defined and voluminous curls. Depending on the type of curl, this part can be done or skipped. Having type 3B curl, my curls are like snails, which are coiled. To give it more volume and to make my hair look more abundant, I apply oil and separate the curls that are well rolled up. This process takes me about 5 minutes on each side. Difuser 6
  7. Voilà | Final drying: Once the curls are separated, I go to the final drying so that the hair is 95% -100% dry. In this part I keep my temperature in medium heat, medium speed, hang my head upside down and do step # 5. To finish and create much more volume, I remove the diffuser from the blower and at cold temperature, low speed I move the blower randomly throughout the hair for about 15 seconds.

Difuser 7

A Curly Mess Extra Tips: 

Here I share some additional tips so that you love even more the final look of drying with the diffuser.

  1. More volume: If I want more volume, I use a hair pick and from the roots to create volume.
  2. Don’t high heat, high speed: Do not set the temperature to the highest or airspeed as this will create a lot of frizz.
  3. ShineA Apply a few drops of oil preferably, to give a shine to your curls.
  4. NO HANDS: In the drying process, avoid touching your hair with your hands, to avoid frizz.
  5. Duck pins: You can place some duckpins on the root part to give volume to that part. You place these before step # 3.

Again, these steps and tips are based on my experience with the diffuser. As I mentioned at the beginning, drying can be different for each type of curl but the general concept of drying is basically the same.

I hope that the steps I shared work for you and that your drying routine is a good one.


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