If you have curly hair, you know the work it takes to achieve defined, frizz-free curls. Of course, using a blowdryer can be tricky — with direct heat, you run the risk of adding frizz, losing definition, and even increasing the risk of hair breakage. But if you find the best diffusers for curly hair, none of that will be an issue.
There are a few reasons you might want to use a diffuser: it can help curly hair that's particularly thick to dry evenly, it speeds up styling time, and it can remove some of the frizz that appears when you air dry. But to find the right one for you depends on your lifestyle and your curl type.
A universal diffuser can work best for travel to level up those hotel dryers — and will work on that expensive new blowdryer you just bought. The diffuser that looks like a hand can help leave your natural curl pattern undisturbed (just like when you're scrunching it with gel). One that has a large body works if you have extra-thick hair that takes a long time to dry. But most importantly, you'll want to choose something that is specifically made for curly hair.
The ones that traditionally come included with a hairdryer are way more suited for straight hair or blow outs — and can turn your curls into limp waves. There's better options out there that dry curly hair without losing any of the curl, and you'll want to make sure it'll fit the hairdryer you already have. But once you know what you want, there's great options for diffusers that will enhance your curly look.
1. A Diffuser With A Unique Finger Design For A Natural, Air-Dried Look
The DevaCurl DevaFuser is a diffuser made for every curly hair type, only for curly hair types. It might be odd-looking, but the 360-degree airflow gives natural curl definition, volume, and lift — all while adding softness.
It also fits on most blow dryers, and it's recommended to finish off your styling with the cold air setting on your dryer to lock curls in place. It's rubber nozzle helps it securely fit on your dryer, and it works like fingers running through your hair — which can help keep the natural curl pattern completely undisturbed.
2. A Finger Diffuser That Evenly Distributes Heat For Faster Drying Time — And Is Perfect For Looser Waves
This universal finger diffuser fits on any blowdryer and the large dome helps to evenly distribute heat so you'll minimize damage. Reviewers love that hair doesn't get caught or tangled, and it's perfect for most hair types — but it's especially great for those of you who have less time in the morning, as the even distribution also helps to quickly dry hair.
This one is also good if your hair is slightly wavy — it creates shine and bounce, but not so much ringlet curls, so this one is the perfect choice if your curls are a bit looser.
3. An Extra-Large Diffuser For Natural Textures Or Thicker Hair Types
Long or thick hair can benefit from this large hair diffuser — and it's meant for more natural textures. The 3-D prongs disperse air evenly, keeping curls defined while adding volume, which thicker hair can sometimes lack when curls weigh it down. It fits perfectly on a blowdryer with a 6-inch circumference, and the silicone base helps secure the diffuser to the nozzle (and of course, it's heat-resistant material).
One reviewer writes: "Forget those $200 dryers with their proprietary diffusers that claim to fix all of your curly hair frustrations. This diffuser reduces the amount of hair blowing your hair around (and therefore frizz), reduces the amount of times you need to move your dryer around your head, and distributes air and heat more evenly to your roots and ends."
4. The Collapsible Silicone Diffuser That's An Excellent Space-Saving Option
When you're on a weekend vacation and don't want to rely on your friend's hair tools, this collapsible hair diffuser will condense to fit easily and neatly into any suitcase or backpack. And it'll keep things neat and organized under your bathroom sink.
Its collapsible silicone design also helps to fit it on any blowdryer model. When used with low heat, it'll keep the natural texture of curls while reducing frizz. One reviewer writes: "I've never used a diffuser until now and I can't believe what I've been missing out on. My hair dried so fast, with a fraction of the amount of product I usually use, and was not frizzy at all."
5. A Unique Blowdryer That's Made For Diffusing Curly Hair
This Bed Head blowdryer is made for the included diffuser attachment— the round, flat shape makes diffusing curly hair easier and adds definition and volume. The tourmaline, ceramic technology ensures your hair dries frizz-free, and the cold shot button locks in style. There's three heat settings, two speed settings, and a 6-foot cord. You can even remove the diffuser if you're looking to blow out your hair, so it's the only hot tool you'll need. One reviewer writes: "With thick curly hair (3a/3b) prone to frizzing...I've been using this a couple of weeks and I love it. I'm getting great curl definition, lift, and no frizz."
6. A Lightweight Sock For Your Blowdryer That Stretches To Fit
This neat little sock diffuser is a unique option: because it'll stretch to fit, you can be sure it'll work on any dryer. It's also great if you travel a lot or go between apartments often — keep one in your purse and you'll be ready for any overnight stay that comes your way. It takes a longer time than traditional diffusers, and you'll have to make sure you're scrunching often, but it's a far superior option then drying without a diffuser.
One reviewer writes: "I love this compared to a standard big diffuser and feel like it does a better job drying my hair without damaging it or making my curls too frizzy. Would definitely recommend getting if you have curly/wavy hair and are looking for a solution to frizz and damage from every day use of your blow-dryer."
This post was originally published on April 7th, 2017. It was updated on June 24th, 2019.
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