How to use a hair diffuser on every type of hair

With the right know-how, you can make this tool work for you

Credit: Revlon
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What You Need:

  • Wet hair
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair diffuser attachment
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Microfiber towel
  • Styling product (optional)

Prep Time Needed:

2 or 3 minutes

Total Time Needed:

Varies depending on hair length, texture and thickness

Difficulty:

Medium

Most of us have limited appreciation for hair diffusers. These styling tools are an often-overlooked hair dryer accessory that can help upgrade your primping process.

At first glance, this pronged attachment can be intimidating—you may be envisioning a complex process, but once you learn how to use a blow dryer with a diffuser, we promise you’ll be singing its praises.

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What is a hair diffuser?

If you’re not sure exactly what a hair dryer diffuser is, don't feel bad. A lot of people don't!

A hair diffuser is a blow dryer attachment that often comes with new hair dryers. The attachment has a bowl-like shape with prongs that are meant to cradle hair while it’s drying.

If your hair dryer didn't come with a diffuser, you may have to buy the attachment separately, but they're typically inexpensive and buying one on its own will allow you to find the perfect diffuser for your hair type and preferred style.

What does a hair diffuser do?

This nifty attachment closely mimics air drying by diffusing warm air around each section of hair. It also stops you from pulling hair straight or making it frizzy as you blow dry it.

Essentially, the diffuser’s bowl gives your hair space to dry while keeping the curls separated by plastic spikes. The air is circulated around the wet hair, which mimics the properties of air drying, results in more clearly defined curls. Hair will generally feel softer, and those with straight hair will often get more volume.

How to use a hair diffuser

Ready to try it out? Follow these steps to use your hair diffuser.

Step 1: Detangle and dry your hair

Before you get out of the shower, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair. Scrunch your hair with a microfiber towel to remove excess water—don’t use a terry cloth towel, as this can increase frizz.

Step 2: Add product, if desired

Apply your preferred hair product through your hair.

Step 4: Diffuse hair in sections

Place a small section of hair into the diffuser bowl, then bring the dryer toward your head, making sure all of the hair is cradled within the bowl.

Step 5: Alternate sections

Hold the diffuser in place for 30 seconds before moving on to the next section. Continue this process until your hair is dry. You may need to use hair clips to hold sections out of the way to reach the under layers of your hair.

Make sure you don’t rotate the dryer while your hair is in the bowl, as this will cause major tangles.

Step 6: Final scrunch

Once your hair is dry, add any finishing products to maintain volume or curl, and scrunch your hair one last time.

What is a hair diffuser good for: Tips for all hair types

What is a hair diffuser?
Credit: Xtava

Diffusers are most commonly used on curly hair.

If you’re using a hair dryer with a diffuser, you’ll see the best results if you have naturally wavy or curly hair. However, it’s still possible to achieve a voluminous, wavy look if you have straight hair.

Here are some tips on using a diffuser on every type of hair.

Natural hair

  • You know your hair best, so stick with your favorite curl cream and other tried-and-true products.
  • It can be helpful to set your hair in twists or braids before diffusing.

Curly hair

  • Choose a hair product that controls frizz and holds curls.
  • You’ll get looser waves or curls if you leave your hair a little damp.

Wavy hair

  • Use beach or wave spray before you diffuse.
  • Avoid moving the diffuser from side to side when you’re drying your hair to prevent frizz.

Straight hair

  • Dry your hair completely to make sure the curls don’t immediately go limp.
  • Use a styling product that adds volume.

If your hair diffuser has been sitting in the bottom of a drawer since you bought it, now's the time to break it out. It takes a little practice, but you'll quickly get the hang of diffusing, and it can bring new life to your tresses.

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The Best Hair Dryers of 2019
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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