How to Use A Diffuser On Natural Hair

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hair dryer diffuser on natural hair

Diffusers are great for drying your hair without disturbing the curl pattern resulting in lush, stretched bouncy curls. But if done incorrectly you could end up with a frizz ball. Here are a few things you should know about a diffuser and how to use it to make your wash day easier.

What is a diffuser?

hair diffuser

A diffuser is an attachment that either comes with your hair dryer or you can buy a universal one separately. It is uniquely designed to enhance curl definition and volume by distributing heat throughout the hair without disturbing the curl pattern. Diffusers also allow you to speed up drying time without causing frizz and helps prevent heat damage.

How to Use It

  1. If it’s wash day, start by shampooing/ co-washing as usual.
  2. Apply a conditioner with a lot of slip so you can both condition and detangle your hair at the same time. After your hair is detangled, rinse out the conditioner.
  3. Wrap your hair in a t-shirt or microfiber towel for 15 minutes to allow for a shorter drying time.
  4. After, apply your leave-in and choice of styling crème/ gel with good hold. Allow your hair to air dry until your hair is about 50- 60% dry, this will allow the curls to take shape and clump. This is the key to achieving voluminous bouncy curls and avoiding shrinkage and frizz.
  5. Time to diffuse! Put your dryer on cool to low heat and speed on medium. Flip your head upside down. The goal here is to not completely dry your hair just stretch out the curls. Grab a section of hair, gently pull it down and placing the diffuser at the root, drying until the hair stays stretched. Repeat this all over your head until you achieve your desired look.


Quick tips

  • Not all diffusers are created equal. When shopping for a diffuser look for an attachment that can glide through your roots.
  • It’s okay to diffuse daily as long as you stick with cool to warm temperatures when diffusing. It doesn’t hurt to apply a heat protectant to your hair as a precaution.
  • Diffusing can work for any curl pattern or texture but those with tighter curl patterns need to take different steps. Try a lower speed setting and don’t hold the dryer so close to the roots to avoid frizz and shrinkage.
  • If your prone to frizz don’t flip your hair upside-down when diffusing. Instead,  sit right side up and direct the heat down against the hair cuticle.
  • Avoid touching your hair too much. Though diffusing can lead to voluminous curls, over manipulation can lead to a frizzy mess. You could even misshape your curl pattern by cupping your hair to the diffuser for too long. Once your hair has dried completely feel free to fluff away for your desired style.

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