How to Diffuse Curly Hair

How to Diffuse Curly Hair

Diffusing your curly hair is a popular drying method and can enhance your finished look with added volume if required. However, there is a knack for diffusing curly hair, and it’s beneficial to learn the different techniques to avoid unwanted frizz and enhance your curls.

Table of Contents:

3 Different Methods for Diffusing Curly Hair 

We are going to break down step by step the various diffusing techniques to enable you to diffuse your curls successfully. For curly hair, depending on the desired outcome, you may use one or two of the following methods. Grab your hair dryer and diffuser, your favorite curly hair products, and discover the best methods to dry your curls:

  1. Pixie Diffusing
  2. Hover Diffusing  
  3. Stretch Diffusing

Pixie Diffusing

Pixie Diffusing encourages volume and a tighter curl pattern, ideal for our curl friends with type 3 hair (curly hair). Pixie diffusing is especially great for those looking to enhance their curl pattern and create more shrinkage. 

Diffusing your curly hair with this method is ideal for those with type 3A or 3B tresses. Those with type 3C curls may think their curl pattern is tight enough without enhancing but would like to add more volume, so they may only wish to only use this drying method around the crown area.

To diffuse your curly hair using the pixie method:

    1. Apply heat protectant and styling products to clean, soaking wet hair
    2. Remove access water with a microfiber towel or T-shirt
    3. Flip hair upside down or remain upright
    4. Gather the ends of the hair into the diffuser bowl and press the hair up towards the scalp
    5. Turn the hair dryer on low speed and low to medium heat
    6. Hold for a bit, then turn the dryer off and release the diffuser from the hair
    7. Continue steps #3-5 until hair is dry
    8. Finish with the cold setting if desired 

a curly haired woman holds her hair into a diffuser hair dryer in front of a purple backdrop

Hover Diffusing 

If you are happy with your curls once you have applied your styler, then Hover Diffusing is the perfect method for diffusing curly hair. Holding the dryer around your curls means they benefit from the heat only. Using the diffuser in this way means it does not come into contact with your curls to manipulate them. 

Hovering is the healthiest way to diffuse your curly hair because the hair is not getting direct heat against it which can cause damage to the cuticle. Diffusing your curls this way can create volume in your hair because it can be done with your head upside down or to the side. This method helps to reduce frizz, enhances elongation and volume. 

To diffuse your curly hair using the hover method:

  1. Apply heat protectant and the best styling products for curly hair to clean, wet hair
  2. Remove excess water with a microfiber towel or T-shirt
  3. Flip hair upside down, or all to one side if root volume is desired
  4. Turn the hair dryer on low speed and low to medium heat
  5. Hold the dryer away from the hair and slowly move it around your hair
  6. Flip your head from side to side as you go to help dry the top section
  7. Finish with the cold setting it desired

Some may wish to diffuse their curls by beginning with the hover method to set the gel cast from stylers, and then pixie diffuse to enhance the curl pattern.

Stretch Diffusing 

Stretch Diffusing is common for those with a tighter curl pattern. You will most likely resort to this method if you have a type 3C curl instead of 3A or 3B. This method allows you to stretch and elongate your curl as it is drying, resulting in more length once your curls are 100% dry. This can help keep volume to a minimum if that is your desired outcome. 

    1. Apply heat protectant and styling products to clean, wet hair
    2. Turn the hair dryer on low speed and low to medium heat
    3. Place the diffuser prongs into the hair and gently move it downward, or use your hands to hold the ends of your hair as you hover around that section
    4. To stretch the curls at the root, place your fingers under the section, right at the scalp, clamp your fingers together to create light tension on the hair, and hold the diffuser before moving to another section
    5. Continue around to each section until your hair is dry
    6. Finish with the cold setting it desired

Understanding each method allows you to tailor your routine for diffusing curly hair.

The Best Dryer for Diffusing Curly Hair

Now that you understand the different diffusing techniques, let's talk about hair dryers. There are hundreds of dryers on the market; however, when you have curly hair, only one should be on your radar; our Curlsmith XXL Defrizzion Dryer

a curly haired woman in a white top holds her brown curls into the bowl of a diffuse

Curl care was the top priority when developing the technology to make our dryer great. The unique features include:

  1. Safe temperature - The dryer's safe temperature prevents heat damage and promotes healthy curls. However, we still recommend using heat protection to avoid hair damage
  2. 360 airflow - This unique airflow ensures that the heat wraps around each curl for even drying. 
  3. Unique technology - Our ionizing defrizzion technology smooths the cuticles, boosts shiny hair, and eliminates dehydration that causes frizz.
  4. Hands-free feature - We understand that diffusing curly hair can be time-consuming, especially for our low-porosity curl friends. We have created a hands-free feature to relieve those aching arms. 
  5. Far infrared heat - This type of heat penetrates the hair to reduce drying time and damage. 
  6. Porcelain ceramic - Ensures even heat distribution meaning that you will not experience any hot spots. Porcelain ceramic is better for curls than titanium, which can get too hot.
  7. 8 Inch diffuser - For those that thought all curly hair diffusers were the same, check out the features of what we believe to be the biggest diffuser in the world. The size allows you to dry the hair quickly as you have far more coverage. In addition, the deep prongs of the diffuser allow quicker drying of the roots.
  8. Speed & heat settings - Our dryer features 2-speed settings for a controlled drying experience and 3 heat settings, plus a cool shot button to lock your curls in place and add shine.

We usually recommend low speed and low heat when diffusing your curly hair for the best results. However, as our dryer is so kind to curly hair, it can increase to a high speed and heat for faster drying whilst still achieving great results.  

To diffuse your curly hair, order the Defrizzion Dryer & XXL Diffuser online. In the box you will find:   

  • XXL 8" diffuser for faster yet careful drying
  • Concentrator nozzle, perfect for drying sections
  • Pic attachment to help dry roots and create volume 
  • How to Diffuse Curly Hair without Frizz

    When you’re diffusing your curly hair, you may wish to reduce the appearance of frizzy hair. To help avoid frizzy hair as you dry your curls:

    • Use frizz control products to help tame your curls as you dry, such as curly hair gels. You’ll want products with a higher level of hold and a heat protectant such as our Miracle Shield
    • Turn off the hairdryer as you move to each section of your head to prevent hair blowing around too much as you diffuse your curly hair.
    • You can also angle the diffuse perpendicular to your head instead of directing it straight up. 
    • Avoid holding the dryer too long in one spot - once an area is dry, avoid diffusing your hair again too much. 
    • If your ends are already dry, focus the diffuser at your roots to avoid creating frizz on the ends.

    Benefits of Diffusing Curly Hair

    Diffusing curly hair can help you to create the tresses of your dreams. Including the above methods in your curly hair routine can help to provide definition and enhance your natural curl pattern. 

    Depending on which method you choose, or whether you air dry or diffuse your locks, you can adapt your curls to the style you’re looking to create.  

    With our travel-size hair dryer and diffuser, you can even diffuse your curly hair on the go. Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing vacation or visiting friends in a different state, the compact, foldable design of this hair dryer and our travel size hair products helps you diffuse your curly hair wherever life takes you. 

    No matter your curly hair type, you can benefit from knowing how to diffuse your hair. If you need help identifying your curl type, and what products to use, take our curl quiz to find out.  

    What to Avoid

    When diffusing your curls, there are certain tips and tricks to enhancing the curly hair styles you’re creating. Follow our tips for what to avoid when diffusing to know how best to style curly hair

    1. Using too little product - Your curls need enough products to get the best results. Whether that’s your leave-in conditioner or curl creams, your locks need to be saturated before diffusing.   
    2. Using the wrong setting - You need to use a low-heat setting to diffuse curly hair because of how delicate it is. Be patient and put up with the longer drying process, that way you can minimize damage and enhance your curls. 
    3. Touching your hair too much - You should try to touch your tresses as little as possible when diffusing your curls. Bouncing the diffuse off your locks, and touching them with your hands, can create frizz. Instead keep the diffuse in one place and tilt your head to dry evenly.

    Curly Hair Care from Curlsmith

    At Curlsmith, we use curl-friendly ingredients to create cruelty-free, vegan hair products for all hair types. From wavy hair products to coily hair products, discover your new routine, free from parabens, silicones, sulfates. For tailored recommendations, take our curl quiz!
    Sharley Viola
    Curlsmith’s Lead Educator

    Textured Hair Specialist with a vast amount of experience delivering education both nationally and internationally. A self-confessed product junkie committed to spreading her wealth of knowledge amongst the curly hair community and beyond.

    Sharley Viola
    Curlsmith’s Lead Educator

    Textured Hair Specialist with a vast amount of experience delivering education both nationally and internationally. A self-confessed product junkie committed to spreading her wealth of knowledge amongst the curly hair community and beyond.