Hair Diffuser: What It Does and How to Use
(Photo : Vecteezy / Volodymyr Kaznovskyi)

Most of the time, curly hair is challenging to maintain, but a hair diffuser can change this. Before you head off to the store to get one, check out what it does and how to use it.

What is a hair diffuser?

A hair diffuser is a round attachment made of plastic for your hair dryer nozzle. 

What it does

Its purpose is to spread the airstream supplied by the hair dryer over a wider area in a controlled manner. Perfect for curly and wavy hair, a diffuser helps maintain natural curl patterns and reduces frizz. It can also be used as a hair detox tool, dispersing air to enhance curl patterns and add body. 

A hair diffuser helps prevent hair tangling by using low heat and speed settings, making the process longer but effective. It allows airflow adjustment by rotating the nozzles to cater to different hair types. 

How to use

Since the diffuser will be attached to your hair dryer, which is a hot tool, you have to prep your hair before putting it under warm air.

For the best results, apply a curl-defining product to your hair before using a diffuser. This technique works well for afro or naturally curly hair, but it can also enhance the natural curl pattern in wavy hair, providing surprising results.

Here are the more detailed steps for using a hair diffuser.

1. Clean, hydrate, and detangle

For great curls, start in the shower by shampooing and using a hydrating conditioner like Herbal Essences Bio: Renew Coconut Milk. While still wet, gently detangle with a wide-tooth comb to avoid breakage. Avoid towel-drying to prevent frizz; instead, use a T-shirt or microfiber towel. Dry hair by starting at the ends and moving to the roots, flipping your head for more volume.

2. Shape and form

The next step is to gently detangle your wet hair using your fingers, avoiding combing to prevent frizz. Apply mousse, curl cream, or leave-in conditioner to hydrate and define curls. Twirl hair around fingers to shape curls. Some prefer raking fingers through their hair and shaking, while others twirl or scrunch curls for desired shape and definition.

3. Hair diffuser time

To use a hair diffuser, start by applying a thermal protectant spray to protect your hair from heat damage. Then, lift a section of hair into the diffuser and turn your hair dryer to low heat. Cup the diffuser around your hair, and use your fingers to shape curls, avoiding brushes or combs. Dry the ends first, then move up to the roots, flipping your head for added volume.

4. Don't touch

To finish styling with a hair diffuser, continue drying your hair by dropping sections into the diffuser and drying on low heat until about 80% dry. Allow the rest to air dry for a bouncy, hydrated finish. Once styled, avoid touching your hair, as wet hair is delicate and prone to frizz. Let your curls be and enjoy the smooth, defined look.