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What Is A Hair Diffuser & What Does It Do For Your Hair

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

What Is A Hair Diffuser & What Does It Do For Your Hair

So you’ve started the Curly Girl Method or actually taken the time to look after your curls, you may be wondering where the hell do I start?

Trust me; you’re at the right place.

The first step to caring for your curls is developing a good cleansing routine and learning the right way to dry your curls.

This is what I’m here for, I have developed a fair few guides about caring for curly hair, and this one is all about diffusing your curly locks.

You may be wondering, what exactly is diffusing and what does it do for my hair?

To make life easier for you, I’m here with the full rundown as to what exactly a diffuser is and why you absolutely need it in your curly girl routine.

The hair diffuser attachment has revolutionized the curly girl game; it has transformed frizzy, lifeless curls to voluminous and defined swirls, ringlets, or coils.

Stay tuned; you won’t want to miss this.

diffusing hair

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. It is a brilliant way to keep in curl styles for longer and leave your curls looking defined for days to come.

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 diffuser attachment separately, but they’re universal and easy to get hold of.

Just be sure to buy the right size for your hairdryer.

Benefits Of Using A Hair Diffuser Over A Regular Hair Dryer:

So you’ve probably heard from the Curly Girl Method that using a diffuser attachment is much better for drying your hair over-drying your hair with a normal hairdryer.

But why is this?

The main benefit of using a hair diffuser is 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.

This helps dry your curls without disturbing the curl pattern. But that’s not the only benefit of using a diffuser over a regular hair dryer for curly hair: 

Faster drying time:

This benefit is pretty obvious; of course, it will cut down your drying time compared to plopping or air drying your hair.

But diffusing curly hair is a brilliant alternative to blow-drying your curls with a hairdryer and losing all the definition as well as causing frizz.

A diffuser cradles curls so it speeds up drying time but won’t damage your curl pattern in the process of doing so.

That being said, make sure that if you’re using a diffuser attachment that your hairdryer is on the lowest heat setting and air setting, and the same goes for if you’re using a diffuser hair dryer.

Heat causes shrinkage, dry out the ends of your hair, cause frizz and lose curl definition.

It also saves you time in the evenings, especially if you wash your hair when you get in from work, no more worrying about whether it will be dry before you sleep.

As you well know, going to bed with wet hair is the worst thing you can do. When your hair is were, it is most fragile and prone to breakage.

Tossing and turning in your sleep will cause friction in your hair, leading to frizz, and if your hair is wet, it will also cause breakage and absorb all the moisture you have just restored into your sheets.

Causes minimal heat damage:

We can all agree that curlier is more susceptible to heat damage because curlier hair is a lot dryer and doesn’t receive many natural oils from the scalp.

The last thing we want is to dry out our curls even more, especially after spending an hour or two washing and styling your curls with countless hydrating products.

Diffusing your hair causes less damage than using a regular hair dryer because instead of exposing your curls to direct heat, this heat is dispersed over a larger area of hair.

Diffusing your hair is a much healthier alternative to using a standard hair dryer, and it saves you from having to prepare your wash days and setting hours for your hair to dry.

Doesn’t disrupt the natural curl pattern:

Unlike blow drying your hair with your regular hairdryer, using a diffuser is much better, especially for curly hair.

Instead of blowing a whirlwind of air and directing heart straight onto your strands, a diffuser cups your curl and disperses air over a wider surface area.

It uses an almost scrunching motion to dry your curls, and you can lift the roots to give your hair more body and volume. It drys around your curl instead of disrupting the pattern.

Reduces frizz:

Some people say that using a diffuser has massively reduced their frizz and defined their curl, while others say it leads to a whirl of frizz.

But this is not necessarily the diffuser but rather the technique and products used. Using the wrong products for your hair porosity and curl type may cause frizz.

Those with thick, coarse curls may benefit from a heavier gel or cream to weigh down their curls, and the frizz may result from using a lightweight gel when you need a heavy one.

That being said, the technique may also be the culprit for frizz. It is all a bit of trial and error with curly hair and trying out new techniques to style your hair.

You should also only diffuse your hair until your hair is 80-90% dry, leaving the ends of your hair still slightly wet; this will help absorb the moisture left in the hair and prevent frizz.

Using a diffuser on low heat and low speed has been proven to be massively beneficial in reducing frizz as it helps define the curl without disrupting the pattern.

curly hair x21

What Does A Diffuser Do For Your Hair?

So we all know that a diffuser is an attachment you can use on your hair dryer to dry your hair. But what does a diffuser do for your natural curls and waves?

Well, a hair diffuser can actually boost your natural curls, so you’re left with voluminous and defined curls. The major benefit of using hair diffusers is to add volume to your curls.

The air flow is less concentrated, so you can speed up the drying process without disrupting your natural curl. It evenly distributed the airflow to prevent heat damage and maintain the curl shape.

You should use a diffuser if you’re strapped for time or if you’ve washed your curls before bed.

Top Tips Before You Use A Diffuser

Once you’ve washed your hair, there are some things you need to remember before you use a diffuser to ensure the best results.

Firstly you should detangle your wet hair using a wide-tooth comb in the shower. I like to do this while my conditioner is one, and once I’ve rinsed my conditioner out and applied my leave-in conditioner.

This helps gently ease out the tangles rather than snagging or pulling on my curls. You can either use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling wet brush.

I like to section and style each curl before drying. So grab yourself a water spray and section each curl, spray down each curl, so it is soaking wet, and apply your styling product.

Then with that section of hair, use a styling brush (I use a Denman Brush) and style your curl.

Once you’ve styled each section of hair, flip your head upside down and scrunch upwards with a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt to remove any excess water before you use a diffuser to dry your hair.

Make sure you mainly focus on the roots of your hair and use a diffuser until your hair is roughly 80-90 percent dry; this will prevent your ends from drying out.

Remember to crunch the hard cast once your hair is 100% dry; I would reccomend doing this with a curl-defining cream to help soften your curls without losing definition.

curly hair dry


So there you have it, everything you need to know about what a diffuser is and the benefits of using a diffuser to dry your hair.

Whether you have curly, coily, or wavy hair, using a diffuser can massively change the definition and look of your hair.

All you need to remember is to be patient and use on a low heat setting and remember your heat protectant.

Using a hair diffuser on wet hair can save you a hell of a lot of time drying your curls, but if you’re looking for other ways to dry your curls, check out my full guide here.

Trust me when I say diffusing your hair will change your life! 

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