Diffusing is a fantastic technique for styling your hair without causing too much damage or fuss. Basically, you use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer to gently dry and style your hair, without messing up its natural texture or curl pattern.
The diffuser itself is a funky-looking bowl-shaped attachment with prongs that you attach to the end of your hair dryer. It's perfect for those of us with curly or wavy hair who want to enhance our natural texture without creating an overly styled look or frying our hair with too much heat.
When you diffuse your hair, you get all kinds of benefits. You can create volume, definition, and bounce, and you don't need to use too many styling products to achieve your desired look. Plus, it can even help to reduce drying time and promote healthy hair, which is always a bonus in my book.
We’ll go over how to diffuse wavy hair so you get defined waves without frizz, and the best diffusers you can use to attach to your blow dryer.
Is it Better to Air Dry or Diffuse Wavy Hair?
Both air drying and diffusing have a place in my routine, and I often like to alternate depending on how much time I have and what kind of result I’m looking for.
Air drying is a low-maintenance option that can be gentler on your hair, as it doesn't involve any heat or potentially damaging tools. It also allows your hair to dry at its own pace, which can help to promote your natural wave pattern and reduce frizz. But it can take a long time, especially if you have thick or long hair, and it the waves don’t always look as polished.
Diffusing, on the other hand, can help to speed up the drying process and create more defined waves or curls. The gentle airflow from the diffuser can also help to reduce frizz and add volume to your hair that you won’t get from air drying. Diffusing does take longer, and it can of course cause damage if using too high of heat too frequently (although this is generally not a problem.)
What To Put In Wavy Hair Before Diffusing
Diffusing is one of the last steps in a routine to get defined waves, so prepping with the right products is key to getting a frizz-free result. I like to do the following:
- Leave-in conditioner: this detangles my wet hair as well as adds moisture which reduces frizz. I like to use a lightweight leave-in conditioner that doesn’t weigh down my waves.
- Curl cream: curl creams add moisture to waves and help give waves definition. They make waves bouncy and voluminous and can also give your waves some hold (but not a lot.) I like to add to wet hair before diffusing.
- Curl mousse or styling gel: curl mousse and styling gel add longer-lasting hold to wave definition. These can be heavy products so I would look for lightweight products and use them sparingly to get good hold without adding crunch to your hair.
How to Diffuse Wavy Hair
Diffusing is pretty simple, but it can be intimidating to try for the first time. Here are some easy tips to follow to avoid frizz and uneven waves.
1. Attach the diffuser to your hair dryer
After you’ve applied all of your hair products, make sure the diffuser attachment is securely attached to the end of your hair dryer.
2. Flip your hair over
Flip your head upside down and gather your hair into the diffuser. Place the diffuser close to your scalp and hold it there for a few seconds.
3. Turn on the hair dryer
Set your hair dryer to a low or medium heat and speed setting. Hold the diffuser in place and move it around your scalp in a circular motion, making sure to keep the diffuser close to your hair without actually touching it.
4. Scrunch your hair
Use your hands to scrunch your hair while diffusing. This will help to create volume and enhance your natural wave pattern.
5. Repeat as necessary
Continue diffusing your hair until it's about 80% dry. If your hair starts to feel too hot or you notice any signs of damage, stop diffusing immediately.
6. Let your hair air dry the rest of the way
Once your hair is mostly dry, let it air dry the rest of the way to avoid over-drying or damaging your hair.
3 Best Diffusers for Wavy Hair
This diffuser is great because it will fit pretty much any hair dryer. You can bring this one with you as you travel and be assured it will fit nearly any hair dryer you can find.
This diffuser is in a cute blue color and it fits most hair dryers so right off the bat it’s one of my favorite options. But it’s actually collapsible which makes it perfect for travel or sticking in small places.
Thus Drybar diffuser is another universal one but this slightly more luxury option reduces the speed of airflow for an even more “low and slow” drying experience which will leave curls wand waves without frizz and with lots of shine. This is one of the best if you’re looking for the most voluminous, defined waves.
How to Diffuse Wavy Hair Conclusion
If you have wavy hair, using a diffuser can be one of the best things you can do for your locks! With a little bit of patience and a gentle touch, you can create beautiful, frizz-free waves that will leave you feeling like a mermaid. So, give it a try and see how your waves transform!