Best Diffusers For Curly Hair [Review] in 2021
written by nail expert Jess Rowley
When it comes down to drying our curls, it’s no easy task. With direct heat being our worst enemy for frizz and it taking hours to dry our curls naturally, it always feels that there is no happy medium.
Well, that’s where you’re wrong, my friend.
Diffusers have been specially designed for your curly tendrils, they’re an easy attachment designed to disperse the airflow and spread it over a large area, this dispersed air doesn’t disturb your curl pattern or cause frizz when drying making it ideal for curls.
Diffuser attachments are a handy little attachment you can buy for your hair dryer, they can dry hair, define curls and reduce frizz in the process. Plus you can use it on a cool setting to protect your hair from breakage and frizz caused by heat.
Still, wondering what the hell a hair diffuser is or how you use it?
Don’t worry I will be running through all the details shortly, to make things easier I have spent 6 hours hunting down and testing 37 different diffusers and selected my top 5 picks for curly hair.
You won’t want to miss this.
The Top Best Diffusers For Curly Hair
Bed Head Curls in Check Diffuser Hair Dryer
best hair diffuser for natural hair
If you’re looking for a hair dryer whose sole purpose is to dry curly hair, then let me introduce you to this brilliant hair diffuser by Bed Head. This hair diffuser is the key to shiny curls with zero frizz; it can be used on thick and thin hair!
This unique design adds texture, tames frizz, and drys hair fast. It is super handy as you can do all this with one tool. It is an absolute game-changer for curls; step aside regular blow dryer, Bed Head is coming through.
The fingers work around the curves to define and enhance. At the same time, the Tourmaline Ionic technology is designed to help tame frizz and enhance shine for efficient curl formation and frizz-free volume.
The funky colors actually motivate you to style your curly hair after a long ass wash day.
The idea of this hair diffuser is to cut down scrunching while drying; it offers even drying without the frizz. It is a brilliant dryer for the price, especially if you’re transitioning into the curly girl method.
As Bed Head said, “Don’t blow that gorgeous texture– diffuse it!”
This unique hair diffuser was designed with curly girls in mind. Its unique design enhances and defines natural curls and waves for silky texture and shine.
It is an 1875 watt dryer that is as powerful as a traditional hair dryer. It can even be used in two different ways, either without your diffuser to dry your hair throughout or with the volume hair diffuser to work your curls so they won’t lose their shape.
I love this diffuser because there are 3 heat and 3-speed settings, so you can customize your style and style your hair on a cooler setting to prevent breakage and tame frizz to a whole other level.
You will love the results; it is an absolute game-changer for curls.
- Shiny curls with zero frizz
- Defines curls and enhances style
- Tourmaline Ionic technology designed to tame frizz
- Can be used with or without the diffuser
- Some customers had faulty products
Latest deal: Bed Head Diffuser Hair Dryer
Hairizone Universal Hair Diffuser
best travel hair dryer diffuser
At Hairizone, they believe that it’s not all about looking good but about feeling great too. Their high-quality beauty tools bring a sense of empowerment and confidence. Their universal hair diffuser attachment brings bouncy, bold, and beautiful curls.
You can maintain your natural hair texture along with insane levels of volume that holds in all day.
The top thing I love about this hair diffuser attachment is the versatility; it can be used with 99% of hair dryers, making it brilliant for traveling. Instead of hauling your blow dryer, you can pack this hair diffuser and use it with a hotel hairdryer to save space and weight.
This hair diffuser attachment diffuses harsh heat from the dryer and disperses hair with gentle evenness. It protects your precious curls from heat damage and helps to tame frizz a well as cutting your time in half for blow-drying.
But that’s not all…
The retractable button design offers a universal diffuser attachment; it will fit dryers from 1.7 inches to 2.6 inches in diameter. It is also made from high-temperature resistance PA material to support a maximum temperature of 150℃/ 302℉.
The 3D massage prongs and the 6-inch bowl are ideal for holding more hair, with 211 air holes to distribute heat and evenly protect your hair from heat damage. Curly hair is the most fragile hair type, so this is a huge bonus.
Some customers found there was a ‘fit issue,’ but this may be because of a faulty product, there are many happy customers, pleased with their purchase. It is any traveler’s dream and a convenient piece of kit to keep at home.
To top it all off, it drys curls 40% faster. This hair diffuser attachment is a winner.
- Fits 99% of hair dryers
- Ideal for travel
- Evenly diffuses heat to prevent heat damage
- Saves 40% of drying time
- None all issues are anomalies instead issues with the product itself
Latest deal: Hairizone Universal Hair Diffuser
Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser
best diffuser for thick curly hair
Coming in hot at number three is this universal diffuser by Drybar; it is designed to broaden and reduce the speed of airflow from your blow dryer to gently dry and define curls and reduce frizz naturally curly hair.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a Drybar blowdryer to use this product; this diffuser can be used with most other blow dryers as well, making it super universal.
It gives curls both lift and volume, leaving curls looking defined and luscious.
The rubbery grip is also brilliant; it fits lots of dryers nicely with no slippage, it secures nicely, and it doesn’t get too hot to touch when drying your curls– which is brilliant as you can dry with the confidence of minimum heat damage.
Want to know a cool feature?
You can even control the amount of airflow by twisting the diffuser attachment head while it is secured to the dryer, so you can completely customize your curl and distribution of heat just by a twist of a nozzle.
All you need to do is lower your curls in the accordion to the style you’re going for into the bowl, keeping the fingers nestled into your roots, turning your dryer onto the lowest heat and speed you can handle. For extra volume, tip your head upside down.
This diffuser is pretty handy!
- You can control the amount fo airflow
- Universal, can be used with most dryers
- Gives curls lift, volume and definition
- Easy to use
- Quite pricey
Latest deal: Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser
Spot number four has to go to the one and only DevaCurl– it is the best helping hand your curls could ask for. The Devafuser helps dry curls with unbelievable shape, definition, and volume.
This 360-degree airflow surrounds curls and allows you to get right to the root, which is the key to the volume and where it takes the longest to dry, for speedier drying time than any there diffuser.
But that’s not all…
The ceramic inner core helps preserve moisture which is key to reducing frizz and enhancing shine. With curly hair, we want to preserve as much moisture as possible to keep the ends of our curls healthy, defined, and frizz-free.
I find that this diffuser is best for those with lifeless curls or waves, especially if you have trouble with volume and definition at the roots; the fingers (literally) get into the roots and give these curls the lift they need.
However, my only pet peeve is that DevaCurl claims this diffuser will fit any blow dryer, but many customers found that this wasn’t the case. Be sure to check measurements before purchasing!
Other than that, this dryer works wonders for frizz and really helps define lifeless curls.
- 360-degree airflow surrounds curls for shape, definition, and volume
- Adds volume to lifeless curls
- Ceramic core helps preserve moisture and tame frizz
- Defines curls at the root as well as the tip
- Doesn’t seem to fit ‘every’ hairdryer
Latest deal: DevaCurl Devafuser
Black Orchid Hair Diffuser For Curly And Natural Hair
Struggling to define your curly locks? Well, this may be down to the products or technique you’re using. But let me tell you that Black Orchid is here to provide sleek definition and resilient curls.
This diffuser is here to reduce frizz, boost volume, define curls and enhance shine. This diffuser effortlessly boosts natural hair texture by evenly distributing airflow and strengthening the retention of each curl.
We all deserve bouncy, defined, and beautiful curls.
This Black Orchid Curly Hair Diffuser will be your secret weapon for amplifying curls and waves. The large design with large fingers makes this diffuser ideal for thick, long, curly hair.
The abundant drying vents provide simultaneous airflow from the root to the tip, so your curls will not only look voluminous at the roots but defined all the way to the ends.
There’s nothing worse than buying a diffuser and falling off mid-dry; it is extremely frustrating, especially if you’re strapped for time. Luckily this diffuser uses secure silicone grips, which provide the ultimate grip when drying your curls.
But wait, get this:
Despite us curly girls avoiding heat like the plague, it is always handy to have a diffuser that can withstand the heat– if necessary. Black Orchid can withstand temperatures of up to 485°F, which is brilliant!
Plus, get this, the 360 airflow ensures each curl is evenly diffused, and volume is maximized. The design allows each curl to be targeted from every direction. This is super handy as it is best to dry curls on a low heat and low speed.
You can dry with confidence that every curl is covered. It is a must-have for curly styles.
- Silicone grips to prevent slipping
- 360-degree airflow
- Ideal for thick, curly hair
- Boosts volume, definition and tames frizz
Latest deal: Black Orchid Hair Diffuser
The Best Diffusers For Curly Hair-- A Buying Guide
If you’ve never tried a diffuser when drying your curly locks, all I can say is you’re missing out. There are lots of different brilliant ways to dry your curls, whether it’s through plopping or leaving it to naturally dry.
But sometimes, we just don’t have enough time to wait hours for our curls to dry, and going to bed with wet hair is a no-no. Investing in a hair diffuser for your curls is definitely worth it; they’re super easy to use and will leave your curls looking defined.
Diffusers for curly hair work differently from just blowdrying your hair with a hairdryer. Instead of directing heat to one hair to dry strands, they evenly distribute heat in a 360 direction to wrap around curls and gently dry curls.
Stay tuned for everything you need to know when buying a diffuser, along with techniques and top tips and tricks. Want to know the best ways to dry curly hair? Check out my full guide here.
Let’s jump into all the nitty-gritty details, friends!
What Is A Hair Diffuser?
A diffuser is an attachment for your blow dryer that disperses air evenly to reduce frizz and keep it from disrupting the natural curl pattern. It helps dry your curls more evenly and gently without causing frizz.
Using a diffuser will help define curls and add major volume; instead of your hair blowing around wildly and causing damage from the heat of a regular blow dryer, a diffuser cups and nestles hair in one place.
It comes in a bowl-like shape with prongs that are designed to cradle hair. These prongs can also help lift the root to add any volume and lift the hair from the scalp. You can even use this while your head is upside down for any extra volume.
Your hairdryer may not come with a diffuser, so you may need to buy the attachment separately, but they’re universal and easy to get hold of. Just be sure to buy the right size for your hairdryer.
How To Diffuse Curly Hair:
If you have long, thick curly locks, there’s always going to be a struggle on wash day, plus drying your curls naturally can take hours and a hell of a lot of patience. Using a diffuser can cut time in half, but how exactly do you diffuse curly hair.
You may need to purchase a diffuser separately, but it is an attachment that is definitely worth the investment.
Step One: Wash your hair:
Fast forward to wash day; your hair is needing some TLC and a good massage to help get rid of all the dirt and grime you’ve collected from the week. Remember to use either a sulfate-free shampoo or cleansing conditioner.
We all know how to wash our curls by now, right? If you’re still a newbie to the curly girl method and not sure where to begin, don’t worry, I’ve broken it all down in my full guide to washing curly hair here.
Once you’ve washed and conditioned your hair, grab the comb and comb through your curls with either the conditioner or after rinsing and applying your trusty leave-in conditioner.
Be patient for this step; start at the bottom and work your way up. Tugging and snagging your curls while combing or brushing can cause breakage or damage the curl pattern– since hair is most fragile while wet.
Step Two: Apply styling products:
Got a comb through what feels like a bird’s nest of curls? Brilliant, now it’s time to apply your curl-defining styling products. Don’t forget your heat protectant too, while you may only be using low heat; any direct heat can damage curls without a heat protectant.
Whether you’re using gels, creams, or mousses, here’s a pro tip: I like to work in sections to ensure every curl is defined. Grab yourself a water spray and work through each layer and each section.
Spray down each section with the water spray until it is sopping wet, apply your styling products to that section and then use your styling brush and twirl it through that curl until it looks defined. Then scrunch until you’re happy with the shape.
This really helps curls defined and adds even more volume when diffusing.
Step Three: Diffuse
Don’t worry; I’m going into the details. You can use a few different techniques to diffuse your hair; try a couple out and see what works for you.
You can either hold the blow dryer at a 90º angle and place the diffuser at the roots of one section, starting at the nape of the neck and gently holding the eyes away from the diffuser, moving a circular motion and lifting the roots.
Another brilliant way to add volume is to flip your head upside down and place the diffuser at the roots of your hair, using the diffuser’s fingers to lift the root in a circular motion.
Then once the root has a bit of volume, you can scrunch up the mid-shaft to hold and dry; you want the roots and mid-shaft to be completely dry to lock in volume.
Remember to use a low-medium airspeed and low-medium heat, this may take longer, but it will prevent heat damage and frizz. You should also only dry your hair to 80-90%; then air dry the rest. Do the ends last or not at all to keep curls defined.
Diffusing your curls is brilliant for a night out or if you’re quite strapped for time.
Check out my full guide to diffusing curly hair here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a hair diffuser do?
So you’ve probably heard the word diffuser being thrown around in the Curly Girl Method community, but what does it actually do, and is it worth using on curly hair?
Absolutely! Investing in a diffuser is definitely worth it if you’ve got curly hair. Unlike regular hair dryer attachments, a diffuser attaches to the end of your hair dryer and evenly distributes airflow around each curl.
It cradles each curl in a bowl-like shape, and the prongs help lift the curls from the root for boosting volume and defining curls. Plus, since it gently dries curls evenly, it prevents heat damage, frizz and helps maintain the natural curl shape.
Check out my full guide for more info here.
Can you use a diffuser on straight hair?
If you have straight hair and want it to look slightly wavy, then absolutely, you can still use a hair dryer diffuser. You will love the natural waves a diffuser can create for straight hair.
Once you’ve washed your hair like normal, you can apply mousse; this helps make straight hair wavy. Then grab the diffuser and use the fingers to massage the roots to the ends. You can use a similar scrunching motion to what curly girls would do.
Once you’re happy with the waves, you can then apply a good amount of hairspray to hold in the curls.
Do you brush your hair before using a diffuser?
Before you pick up the diffuser, you should style your curl beforehand. I like to use a Denman Brush and work in sections when applying my styling products. I spray down each section, apply my styling gel, and use my Denman brush to style.
This doesn’t mean you have to brush your curls before using a diffuser; you should only brush if you’re using a styling brush to define your curls. Just make sure you detangle your hair while wet and not brush once your curls are dry; this will cause frizz.
So there you have it; whether you’ve used a diffuser or not in the past, they can really work wonders for your curls. If you have thick curly hair that takes hours to dry, investing in a diffuser is a must.
It is all trial and error for our curls; sometimes, products will work, whereas others won’t. The same goes for the technique and tools you use; it’s all about working out what works for your curl type.
Choose any of the diffusers I have selected for you today; thousands of curly girls love and trust these products to dry your hair– but make sure it fits your hair dryer before you purchase!
Happy diffusing, ladies!
Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert
Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.