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Curly Nikki

The Curl Whisperer on Quick Dry Methods

By January 27th, 20215 Comments
The Curl Whisperer on Quick Dry Methods

Tiffany Anderson — aka StruttsWife on — aka ‘The Curl Whisperer’, is a hair stylist and curly hair specialist located in St. Petersburg, Florida. She will be contributing to on a weekly basis, starting…today! I’ve learned a lot from this woman over the past 4 years, and I hope that you will too. Here are some of my favorite Tiffany Articles:

Who is Tiffany?

Curly Hair Basics

Product Ingredients

Home Remedies

Curl Care

Now that introductions are over, let’s move on to this week’s question:

Nik, how can I dry my hair quickly, and safely? I don’t have the time or energy to do my hair at night.

Tiffany says:
It seems one of the eternal curly girl searches is how to dry our hair the most quickly and efficiently, without waiting hours (or days!) for our curly locks to dry.

It will be no surprise to many that the porosity of our hair and its texture are what play a major role in determining how long it will take our hair to dry. In general, hair that is finer and less porous has a much shorter drying time; hair that is more coarse and porous usually takes much, much longer to dry completely. Another factor that may also increase drying time is product build-up on the hair shaft that prevents outside moisture from being properly absorbed.

Whatever your hair type, below are some common “quick dry” methods, along with the pros and cons of each:

The Curl Whisperer on Quick Dry Methods

Plopping (aka plunking) is a method in which wet curly hair is “accordioned” onto the head in a concentrated curl arrangement and secured using a tightly tied towel or t-shirt. Microfiber hair turbans also fall under this description.

Pros: absorbs excess moisture more efficiently; encourages better curl formation; helps the hair to dry more quickly.
Cons: can leave hair frizzy; seldom dries hair completely without additional air-drying or diffusing.

The Curl Whisperer on Quick Dry Methods

Diffusing hair involves using a special attachment on the end of a blow dryer that tames or “diffuses” the air flow coming from the mouth of the blow dryer, which avoids blowing curls around and raising frizz. For best results, a low speed/high heat setting is best as it will more quickly dry the hair while minimizing the speed of the air flow.
Pros: dries hair more quickly than other drying methods; helps to keep frizz at a minimum in most curl types.
Cons: drying hair in an upside-down position or “scrunching” the hair can lead to frizz; hair that is not heat-protected may become dry and brittle; excessive use without proper thermal protection may lead to split ends.

The Curl Whisperer on Quick Dry Methods

Unlike a hand-held dryer and diffuser, bonnet dryers cover all or part of the head to provide hands-free heat drying. There are two types of bonnet dryers: the “hard hat” or hood style commonly found in salons and “soft bonnet” dryers that use soft plastic caps that completely cover the head.

Pros: soft bonnet dryers provide more gentle, all-over drying; hard bonnet dryers are more powerful than hand-held dryers; both can additionally be used for home deep conditioning treatments.
Cons: both styles take longer to dry than hand-held dryers; hard hat dryers concentrate heat on top on the head rather than the length.

In a nutshell: plopping overnight, or doing a quick plop with diffusion, are generally the fastest ways to dry curly hair the most quickly with a minimum of frizz. Leaving your diffuser on one section without moving for 1-2 minutes is also more efficient than moving the dryer around continually (which can raise more frizz and extends drying time). And as long as hair is properly heat-protected–meaning you are using a decent amount of leave-in conditioners and styling products to coat the hair shaft–curls can usually be safely diffused frequently without damage.

The most important thing to remember is to do what works for you best!

If you have a question for Tiffany, shoot me an email at, using “Tiffany” as the subject line. We’ll pick one question per week.

Can’t wait ’til next week? Find more of the ‘Curl Whisperer’ HERE.


  • modest-goddess says:

    Hey NewlyNapp, I have 4a hair and it looks twice as long when I do 2 strand twists. I have not tried the twist and curl method but that would probably make it look even longer. I have about 7 inches of hair at the longest parts and my washngo shrinks to about 2 inches of hair. Two strand twists make it look about 4 inches long. Ignore the haters, black African features are beautiful and I’m sure you are beautiful.

  • Mlle M. says:

    @ NewlyNapp: Girl, whoever said you have “slave hair” needs to have their head examined. That comment is indicative of THEIR shame, which they are projecting onto you. A big part of going natural is your own inner journey/struggle toward throwing off the negative stereotypes about African hair, messages that come FROM slavery and unfortunately are widely internalized by Black people everywhere.

    It’s not easy to refute these long-held beliefs, but give yourself some time and surround yourself with positive people, even if they’re online. Check out the Natural Hair Idols on this site, esp. Mwedzi, Que, Mothereartha, and other ladies with gorgeous 4a/b hair. Also check out the 4a and 4b discussion boards on CurlTalk at

    Try not to buy into other people’s negative comments. You may be afraid they’re right, but allow for the possibility that they’re wrong and give yourself some time to think about and experience your hair. Then you can decide what to do, whether you keep it natural or decide to relax. Much love and strength to you. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I look forward to reading Tiffany’s weekly column – nice addition, CurlyNikki!

    To NewlyNapp, I cringed when I read your comment about people saying you have “slave” hair. *sigh* there’s always someone who won’t get it.

    Please be encouraged, and remember that sometimes you have to encourage yourself and outright reject negative comments from others. My mom has always encouraged me to “avoid internalizing other people’s issues. Just because he/she has a problem, doesn’t mean it has to become YOUR problem.” If you decide to relax, that’s fine… but I sincerely hope you don’t bend and break, so to speak, in order to accommodate the hot winds of ignorance! Stand strong and learn your hair. Just FYI, I have 3c/4a hair and twist and curl does give a different look than wash-n-go, but of course it’s just a style and not a permanent fix. I truly hope you find the style and products that work just right for you. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    Tiffany is truly awesome! I had a chance to check her out while working on business in Clearwater, Fl. She showed me how to properly care for my hair and I’ve been at peace with my hair since that day.

  • Anonymous says:

    Please Nikki can you tell be if a 4a/4b can do a twist and curl to elongated curl pattern?? I Just Bc’ed and am thinking of relaxing because my hair is thick and shrinks profoundly. I’m just having a hard time facing people right now and comments on how I have “slave” hair. Thank in advance for you advice.

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