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Curly Nikki

Decoding Diffusing- Natural Hair Tips

By January 27th, 202111 Comments
Decoding Diffusing- Natural Hair Tips
by Antoinette of A Curl’s BFF

If you’re a curly who needs a little lift to get the bounce and body you desire or if it’s just too cold to walk out of the house with wet hair a diffuser is what you need.

What is a Diffuser? A diffuser is an attachment for your hairdryer uniquely designed to enhance curl definition and body by distributing heat evenly throughout your hair. Diffusers also help prevent heat damage.

Is a Diffuser Right for Me? I recommend diffusers be used on hair that is not extremely coiled. Those that may benefit from diffusing are types that lack body and looser curls. Hair that has tighter curls may appear to be matted down by the diffuser which is the exact opposite of what we are looking for.

How to Diffuse – After wetting your hair and applying your favorite leave-in conditioner let your hair air-dry 50-60%. This will allow your natural curl pattern to form. If you normally have to scrunch and manipulate your curls to create a pattern begin using your diffuser earlier. The diffuser’s bowl-like shape and prongs aid in the formation of a spiral curl pattern creating tighter curls. The tightness of the curl depends on how close you hold the diffuser to your scalp.
Flip your head upside down. Begin diffusing at a medium-low heat, starting at the crown of your head to prevent that dreaded flat top from happening. Keep the diffuser there until your hair is dry. For even more body, massage your scalp and roots using the prongs of the diffuser. This will have a sort of teasing affect on the hair. Occasionally, check your curl pattern to ensure your curls are not too tight or too loose. Adjust the diffuser accordingly. Keep in mind, diffusing can take some practice. There are still days when I don’t do it right so be patient and give yourself a chance to really master the technique.

Decoding Diffusing- Natural Hair Tips
Shanti‘s hair after her first try at diffusing

Decoding Diffusing- Natural Hair Tips
my best diffusing day

Below is a video for how I diffuse. I usually bend my head over completely to achieve more body on top but it was difficult to stay in the camera frame. You’ll get the idea though.

Do any of you diffuse? What’s your process?


  • BnNappy says:

    oooh I was on my way to TJ Maxx to get a diffuser today, I'm so glad I searched here first. I definitely have tighter frizz (to say curls is a stretch)… looks like a diffuser is not the way to go for me. BLAH!

  • Anonymous says:

    I just started using a diffuser last fall and I love it. Glad to see someone with hair like mine using it. With all of my working out and my need to wet my hair after a vigorous workout in the morning, the diffuser has become very useful. I don't use it all of the time, but I don't mind using that kind of heat on my hair. It always looks great and has body when I use it; defined curls and body = great hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is naturally big but I still love the effect I get after diffusing. I've been looking to get a new/bigger diffuser. Any suggestions?

  • Val R. says:

    I LOVE Shanti's hair! The curls are lovely! Can't wait til my hair is that length.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow it's like two different heads of hair, because in the 1st and 2 pics, her hair is so thick. Then on the you tube page that's showing her hair is so fine and see through. That diffuser did wonders on her hair, and it looks really good.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have a "no heat of any kind" policy, but…

    I've been 100% WNG for the last month and with the length and thickness of my 3c/4a hair, I was starting to get concerned about going out in the cold with wet hair.

    Thanks to this post, I don't think diffusing would work well for my hair. So I guess I'll have to find some other way to deal with wet hair this winter.

  • Anonymous says:

    i tried diffusing my kinky curls and it dried out my hair so i guess i wouldn't try it again.

  • Janel says:

    I wish I would have read the part about tighter curls before I bought my diffuser a few years ago. I looked like Diana Ross in the The Wiz when I was done. 🙁 Maybe I'll use it to dry my hair in braids or twists for the big Diana Ross hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just bought a diffuser and used it for the first time last week. I love it! It'll really help out this winter because I hate leaving the house with wet head and hooded dryers are like sitting under an oven to me.


  • fabwtalk says:

    "Hair that has tighter curls may appear to be matted down by the diffuser which is the exact opposite of what we are looking for." <Thanks for pointing this out as I've been debating for a while on whether I should purchase a diffuser but this statement has answered my question.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your technique. Your hair is very beautiful and healthy looking. I've never tried diffusing because I have so many textures in my hair. I would end up looking like a chia pet on steroids!

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