Skip to content.
How to Diffuse Curly Hair: Step-by-Step Instructions
How to Diffuse Curly Hair: Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Diffuse Curly Hair: Step-by-Step Instructions

Table of Contents

    Anyone with curly hair can agree that achieving the beautiful cascade of natural curls is a work of art that takes skill and time. When it comes to diffusing your hair, the technique, products used and diffuser settings are all variables that can either make or break your finished look. That is why we have taken the time to break down the steps to diffusing your curly to wavy hair to achieve perfectly defined curls. Here is our five-step process to achieving the curly look of your dreams:

    1. Prepare Your Hair

    Like any canvas, you must first prepare your hair before beginning to diffuse your curls. To get your hair ready, start with freshly cleaned and towel-dried hair. It is best to use a microfiber towel to extract any excess water. To do so, throw your hair forward and gently plop it upwards, squeezing at the top. From there, you want to apply your choice of curl-defining product, such as a soft curl gel or a curl oil, to support your curls, reduce frizz and enhance your curl definition.

    2. Section Your Hair

    Once you have evenly distributed your product of choice, divide your hair into sections using a claw clip or coiled hair tie to not pull at your curls. Typically dividing your hair into four sections allows for even distribution, however, you can always increase or reduce the number based on how much hair you have or the desired effect. This is because smaller sections will create more defined and tighter curls.

    3. Attach the Diffuser

    Choosing the right diffuser attachment for your hairdryer is important if you don’t have a hair dryer that comes with one. When selecting a hair diffuser, ensure that it is compatible with standard hairdryers, as you will also be able to take it travelling with you. Another thing to look out for is that the diffuser has prongs or fingers to allow air to travel through without distributing the curl's natural curl pattern.

    4. Start Diffusing

    It is important to begin on low to medium heat to not cause heat damage to the hair follicles and cause frizz. Begin by removing your hair clip or hair tie and gently cupping the section of hair in the diffuser, moving it up towards your scalp. Leave it there for a few seconds before moving on to the next section. It is best to not excessively scrunch your curls, rather just lightly plop them upwards to prevent disrupting your natural curl pattern.

    5. Repeat and Adjust

    Continue the process of diffusing each section evenly until all your hair is dry. Once they are, remove the diffuser, and change the hairdryer to the cold setting; giving your hair a quick cold snap by gently blowing once through each section.

    How Long Does it Take to Diffuse Curly Hair?

    How long it takes to diffuse your curly hair is dependent on your hair type, how thick it is and how well it retains water. If it has high porosity it may take longer as it holds more moisture. However, as a general rule of thumb, it can take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes to diffuse your hair. It is best to take your time to dry your hair and not try to speed up results by turning up the heat as this can lead to frizz, breakage and heat damage.


    How to Choose a Diffuser for Curly Hair?

    Here are the top considerations when choosing how to diffuse curly hair:

    Consider the Design

    It is best practice to choose a diffuser with a wide surface area as that will create a good base for your curls. Also, be sure to select one with soft and long, finger-like prongs as this helps distribute air evenly, reducing frizz and enhancing your natural curl definition.

    Materials Matter

    Never select a diffuser that is plastic or metal as this can cause a lot of damage to your curls, instead choose one made from silicone or ceramic as they distribute heat evenly and are softer on your curls.

    Attachment Compatibility

    If you are looking for a diffuser attachment to add to your hair dryer, the key feature is that it is compatible with your hairdryer. It is also good to ensure that it is compatible with the standard hair dryers as well so you can take your diffuser travelling without having to bring along your personal one.

    Reviews and Recommendations

    Always do your own research and read through reviews before purchasing. It is always best practice to speak to your curly hair friends or stylists to help you make the decision as every product will be slightly different and yield different results.

    Read more

    Please check out the rest of my blog posts for hair advice and more!

    Tash's Blog
    What Is Hair Slugging And Does It Really Work?

    Hair slugging is an effective way of making sure your hair gets all the moisture and protection it needs.

    Read the article
    What is Hair Porosity?

    Questions have been flooding in! And honestly, they’re super valid.

    Read the article
    Tash's Blog