How to blow dry curly hair: Seems simple, doesn’t it? But for many, dry curly hair with a diffuser results in excessive frizz and a lack of definition. Sound familiar?
If you’re too fussy and don’t want to wait for your curls to dry, a diffuser is a great way to speed things up but you need to use the right technique. It can also give your hair a nice boost.
What’s a diffuser for curly hair?
If you’ve ever bought a new hairdryer and wondered what a diffuser for your hairdryer was, or better yet, left it in the box to collect dust, you’re not alone! So what is a hairdryer diffuser? What are its purposes? And why can’t you just use a normal nozzle?
A diffuser is a hairdryer attachment. It looks like a wide, usually concave disc with so-called “fingers”. They can vary in length, be plastic or silicone. At their base, there are holes through which air enters so that it disperses and is already warm on the strands. This prevents burns and reduces the harmful effects of hot temperatures. The airflow is directed towards the roots of the hair, which lifts it up and gives it a fuller, fluffier look.
Can I use a diffuser if I’m following the Curly Girl method?
Although the Curly Girl Method essentially recommends that you refrain from using hot temperatures on your hair, it really comes down to personal preference. Sometimes you need to add a little heat to speed up the drying process, and that’s fine!
Using a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment at a low temperature and low speed is perfectly fine, according to most curly hair wearers.
How to blow dry curly hair: step by step
- Towel off any excess water with a cotton t-shirt, microfibre cloth, or silk towel after applying your styling product.
- Tilt your head to one side, take a small section of hair and place it in the diffuser bowl. Gently bring the diffuser up to your scalp and then switch on the hairdryer.
- Hold the hairdryer in place for thirty seconds, turn it off, take another small section of hair, and repeat.
- Flip the hair to the opposite side and repeat steps two and three.
- Tilt your head forward and repeat steps two and three.
- Once your curls start to set, you can add some more product (if you feel the need). This is called the ‘Smasters’ technique.
- If you have single curls that are not quite as curly you can also apply a little extra product to them, as well as using the ‘Finger Coil’ technique by twisting a strand onto your finger. Repeat steps two through four.
- (Optional) When hair is 80-90% dry, stop drying and add some root clips to give volume. Leave to dry naturally.
- Once your hair is 100% dry, depending on the products you use, you may feel a hard, crunchy mess on your hair – this is perfectly normal. To detangle it, tilt your head forward and crunch your hair-it’s called ‘scrunching out the crunch
- For extra volume, while your head is still tilted back, fluff it up (rub your hands at the roots). Aside from using your hands, you can also use a scalp massager or an Afro comb/sparse-toothed comb.
How to blow dry curly hair if you don’t have a diffuser attachment.
Sieve: it sounds crazy, but it really works! This little kitchen accessory works just like a diffuser, gently dispersing air from the hairdryer so it doesn’t focus on one section and make your hair very frizzy.
Hairdryer without a nozzle: controversial, I know! When done properly, it dries hair with minimal frizz. The trick is to put the hairdryer on low speed (and of course on low temperature) and keep it away from your hair. Don’t shake the hairdryer or move it very quickly – slowly move it down your hair, stopping for a few seconds at each section.
Now that you understand how to dry curly hair with a diffuser, you can create volume and definition with minimal frizz!
Natural drying is good for all hair but especially for curly hair. “To avoid frizz and to keep curls in shape after washing, you can comb them out with a coarse comb (preferably made of good quality plastic, not wood). Then blow-dry hair naturally.
Drying and styling
The healthiest way to dry curly hair is to blow dry it naturally. If you don’t have time to blow dry your hair, use a diffuser dryer and blow dry it with cool air. Tilt your head and hold the dryer perpendicular to your hair for volume.
Dry your hair at a medium temperature or with cool air. Leave hair slightly damp and let it dry naturally. By using a brushing brush while drying, you can simultaneously style your hair and leave it smooth and shiny thanks to the bristles’ smoothing of the scales.