We’re taking the chance and betting that you’ve heard of the term ‘diffusing’ at least once in your curly journey thus far. If you’ve wondered about it, worry not, we’re here to not just break it down for you but also delve into effective ways to use the tool to achieve the curls of your dreams.
It’s no secret that a combination of the right tools and products can help you achieve well-defined curls and a pivotal tool in every Curlie’s arsenal is a diffuser of good quality. Now what exactly is a Diffuser and what does it do?
A diffuser is generally an attachment to a blow dryer and it has a signature look of being round with rounded spikes that you can attach on to your blow dryer. Though the CG method discourages the use of heat and tools such as straighteners and blow dryers, an exception to this is the trusted diffuser.
Standard heat tools on curly hair can be a disaster – it causes more frizz and disturbs the curl pattern, especially in the long run. A diffuser turns that around as it is designed to disperse the air flow from a dryer to dry and add definition to wet curls and waves. Along with the benefits of quick drying, it helps retain the natural curl pattern, creates volume and reduces frizz. Now what’s not to love about that?
Curlies can attest that the hardest part of a CG routine is the drying time! After spending a good amount of time cleansing, conditioning, and styling, drying can take hours for curly hair along with the added agony of resisting touching wet curls. A diffuser is the perfect solution to the above woe and can dry and reveal set curls in less than 15 mins. It also eliminates the uncomfortable feeling of wet curls dripping onto your back and clothes!
Another great benefit of diffusing is that it brings out definition and adds more volume which results in visibly better looking curls that last longer too! This works especially well for finer curls and wavy hair as it helps reinforce a more defined curl pattern.
How to effectively use a diffuser:
To begin, attach the diffuser thread to your blow dryer and ensure that it is firmly locked in place. If your blow dryer does not have a diffuser attachment, you can explore diffuser heads that are usually made of silicone that are compatible with most dryers and are easily available in the market. These can be attached and removed as required and can elevate your curl game even without the investment of buying an expensive diffuser tool.
Here’s how to use one:
- Cleanse and condition your hair as you always would.
- Before styling, absorb excess moisture with a microfibre towel or soft cotton tee, by using the plopping method.
- Once your hair is damp enough, apply your styling product of choice – be it a curl cream and/or mousse and a gel for hold, using your technique of choice.
- Once done, lift a section of your curls and scrunch your diffuser head into it, leave it for ten to twenty seconds and remove gently.
- Repeat the process for the rest of your hair sections. You can tilt your head to achieve this with ease.
- While it may be tempting to turn up the heat, keep the heat low and diffuse with minimal heat for maximum definition. Too much heat can aggravate frizz and disrupt the curl pattern too. Heat also causes long-term damage, especially on curly hair, so be mindful about maintaining low heat.
- You could also finish diffusing with a short blast of cool air to repeal the heat and add more definition to your curl pattern.
- Do not diffuse all the way until dry, 80% dry hair is an ideal way to make the most of diffusing. By the time you finish diffusing the rest, your curls will be set and good to go!
- Now that you’ve saved all that time from air-drying, you could try finger coiling while styling and before diffusing to elevate your curl game even more. Ensure that you get the hang of using a diffuser before incorporating this step. You can also pin up sections with root clips to add more root volume and eliminate that pesky flatness.
Voilà! That’s as simple as it is. The more you try diffusing the better you will get at it. Another supremely important point to note is to NOT touch your curls while diffusing and drying. Yes, you need to use your hands to section hair and diffuse, but avoid running your fingers through your curls or unnecessarily feeling them until completely dry.
Ready to embrace your new friendship with the diffuser? Here are a few different techniques you can explore as you progress on your diffusing journey:
- Upside-down Diffusing: If you have long, Rapunzel-worthy curls, try flipping your hair over and diffusing from below. This will ensure even curl pattern along the long lengths of your hair and add much needed volume too! This technique works well to dry the underside of your hair and the up-side down direction helps lift roots and add a boost of volume too.
- Pixie Diffusing: A well-renowned technique when it comes to diffusing, this is a great way to reduce frizz and preserve your precious curl pattern. Tilt your head downwards or sideways and cup a portion of hair into the diffuser cup and bring it up to your scalp and diffuse on low heat. Repeat over sections for the rest of your hair.
- Hover Diffusing: Looser curl patterns and wavier hair doesn’t need close contact with your diffuser. Simply scrunch your hair and hover the diffuser head from a few inches away to achieve results and minimize heat exposure too. This will keep your curls natural and loose and dry it quickly too. Running your diffuser down the length of your hair rather than against it will help smooth cuticles and prevent frizz.
- Hammock Diffusing: This technique is as fun as the name sounds. You will need a silk or satin scarf to simply hold the curls in place while diffusing. This technique enhances curls as there is no direct contact and the curls are being held in a compressed position by the scarf. It also works well to add volume to long hair that would otherwise be elongated due to their weight.
- Pick Diffusing: This technique is versatile enough to be tried by all curl lengths and types – short, long, wavy and tight! Simply use the handle end of a parting comb (The ones with a thin, long handle) and hold up sections of your curls and diffuse. You can achieve a more defined look with this method, as you can part your hair in even sections.