How to Diffuse Curly Hair the Correct Way

Curly hair requires a correct care routine, and to diffuse curly hair is part of that process.

To maintain the glamor and style that comes with curly hair, you need to master the art of proper hair diffusion.

Diffusing your curls is an important step after a proper washing routine to ensure that you remove excess water before styling.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to diffuse curly hair properly.
  • The correct diffusers for your hair.
  • The benefits of diffusing your hair over other drying methods.

What is a diffuser and how to you use it?

By definition,

A diffuser is a hair drying tool.

It works to redirect hot air to spread to several places over your hair and prevent over-concentration on a single spot.

Despite heat being a good styling option, excess heat on your hair poses an enormous risk. It can permanently damage your hair or cause frizz.

Diffusers allow the correct amount of heat to your hair to maintain your overall hair health and ensure you can easily style your curls after washing.

If you are also interested in creating more volume to your curls, diffusers come in handy.

They amplify the size of your hair to make it bouncier, adding a more stylish appeal to your outlook.

To correctly use a diffuser for your curls, follow these steps:

Step 1: Get your hair ready after washing.

After washing your hair, follow with post-cleaning care routine to get it ready. One of the common care routines is applying leave-in products.

These products like the Cantu-Leave in conditioning and repair cream with Argan oil moisturize and protect your hair.

Because you are going to use heat during diffusion, you also need to protect your hair.

Apply a heat protectant spray for thermal protection

Step 2: Select the Correct Heat setting on your Dryer

Carefully select the temperature setting on your hair dryer.

For curly hair, ensure you choose the lowest speed and select also the lowest heat setting on the drier while starting out.

You can gradually increase the settings as your hair dries up.

But careful, you don’t want to damage your hair strands and cause hair frizz.

Therefore, only increase your dryer setting to medium heat if you need to.

Step 3: Diffuse your hair in sections

When ready, begin by drying your hair in sections.

Beginning from the ends, place a medium-sized section of your hair into the diffuser bowl, and softly crunch the ends of your hair.

Hold your hair for about 30seconds. After that, turn the dryer off and move over your head to work another section.

Ensure you cover the roots of your hair on your way up.

Step 4: Flip your head upside-down and continue diffusing

Position your head upside -down to ensure that you cover all the areas on your head. 

It helps you reach the most difficult areas at the back of your head.

The upside-down position also ensures you build more volume.

Keep repeating this process until satisfied with how it looks.

Step 5: Shine and Moisturize

Finalize the process by applying finishing products to your curls. 

Before starting, ensure that you have dried your hair.

Using your fingers, massage the product to the roots of your hair and continue to build more volume until you get your desired results.

One of the recommended products is the Shea Moisturizer. It contains coconut and hibiscus to enhance your shine.

 The product is also sulfate-free, ensuring that you maintain the natural oils on your hair, which are critical for hair health.

While using a diffuser, some of the expert tips to achieve the best results include:

  • Be patient with the entire process. Despite you wanting the shine and glamor, ensure you take the process step by step.
  • To maintain the volume and shape of your curls, avoid constantly touching your hair. Allow your hair time to set and shine after diffusing.
  • After diffusing, envelope your curls in a silk pillowcase before going to bed.

Choosing The Correct Diffuser for Curly Hair

Spoilt for choice?

Don’t be worried. While there are many options to choose from, getting the right diffuser will ensure you not only dry your hair properly, but also enjoy the experience.

To pick the correct diffuser, some parameters you need to consider are:

  • Airflow

Ensure the diffuser you pick has a good air flow and distributes the flow to different sections other than concentrating it on a single point.

To test the air flow, set the hair drier to cool setting without attaching the diffuser and hold it over your hand.

 Now repeat the same process with the diffuser and notice the air speed.

A correct diffuser should significantly reduce the airspeed you feel on your hands.

  • Diffuser Size

A good diffuser needs to be deeper and wider enough to allow you to get more hair into the diffuser bowl.

With more hair inside the bowl, you will not need to hold your hair constantly during drying.

This ensures you don’t interrupt the process, especially if you have thick curls.

For thin hair, a diffuser with a small diameter will suffice.

Although a wider diffuser is convenient, don’t choose an extremely heavier one that will be hard to grip

  • Thermal Uniformity

A diffuser with a good thermal uniformity should be able to dry the entire length of your hair and not just focus on a single spot

test out your diffuser to see how it feels on the length of your curls before deciding on which to buy.

Alternate Ways to Dry Your Hair Without a Diffuser

To diffuse curly hair is one of the most convenient drying methods, but what happens if you lack the tool?

The other alternative ways for drying curly hair without diffusing are:

  • Air drying

This is the most common way for drying your hair after washing.

You set your hair and let it dry naturally.

After cleaning your hair, apply styling and leave -in products and allow it to set and dry.

Avoid touching your hair while drying to get the best outcome.

Air drying allows you to multitask and continue with your other routines.

  • Plopping

During plopping, you use a microfiber towel to dry your curly hair.

After washing your hair, wrap the microfiber towel around it and gently squeeze to remove the excess water before styling.

If you don’t have a microfiber towel, then you can use a cotton T-shirt for plopping.

Plopping is a much quicker drying method compared to air drying but offers minimal time to multitask.

Pros and Cons of Using a Diffuser to Dry your Hair


The advantage of diffusing your hair compared to other drying methods are:

  • Your hair dries much faster. Because diffusing involves using heat to dry your hair, the drying time is short.

You can leave the house with dry hair after a short time of diffusing.

  • Diffusing allows you to build more volume while drying. It makes your curls thicker, giving you a more stylish outcome.

 Heat from the diffuser makes your hair fluffy as it scatters across your curls.

  • Diffusers are safe. Even though you expose your hair to heat, diffusing is much safer compared to using a normal hair dryer.

Unlike the normal dryer, diffusers scatter the heat across your hair without concentrating it in a single spot.

This prevents hair frizz and hair damage.


Despite diffusers being convenient, some disadvantages over other methods are:

  • Diffusers are costly. Compared to air drying and plopping, you will incur an extra cost in buying a diffuser.
  • No multitasking. While you are diffusing your hair, you cannot undertake other tasks.

Diffusers need patience and enough concentration to get the best drying outcome.

  • If not well set, the heat from the drier can damage your hair. To diffuse your hair correctly, you need to set the proper speed and heat on your drier.

In Summary

To diffuse curly hair is one of the most convenient drying methods. It gives your curls a more stylish approach and allows you to build more volume.

To get the best results, choose the best diffuser in terms of size and functionality. Carefully set the correct speed and heat settings before drying.

Diffuse your hair using the correct step-by-step procedure after washing for the best outcome.

Diffusers have their own pros and cons compared to other drying methods, but their quality and convenience is unmatched.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a diffuser and a hair dryer

A diffuser is a device which is connected to a hair dryer to redirect heat and distribute it all over your hair and prevent overconcentration on a single spot.

How do you choose the best diffuser for your hair?

When choosing a diffuser, pick one which is wide and deeper enough with a good air flow and thermal uniformity.

How long will it take to dry my hair?

Diffusers use heat to dry your hair and hence the drying time is fast. You can almost leave your house immediately with dry hair few minutes after diffusing.

What are the alternative drying methods incase you don’t have a diffuser?

The most common drying methods for your hair without diffusing are air drying and plopping with a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt .

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