Here’s How to Diffuse Curls for Frizz-Free Hair

December 16, 2021
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | by L'Oréal
Here’s How to Diffuse Curls for Frizz Free Hair

The relationship status of curly hair and blow dryers? Let’s just say it’s complicated. With a lot of frizz, messed-up curls, knots and heat damage being the side effects of a DIY blowout gone wrong, styling curly hair can be nothing short of intimidating. Enter the diffuser, a blow-dryer attachment specifically designed to maintain bounce, preserve natural curl pattern and stop frizz from the get-go. 

To get the lowdown on best practices and some quick tips, we reached out to L’Oréal Professional artist Ron Lopez and the artistic director of Color Wow Hair, Joseph Maine. Ahead find their tips for mastering the art of diffusing curly hair and amping up your bounce.

What Is a Diffuser Anyway? 

“The purpose of a diffuser is to reduce the airflow from a blow dryer and helps dry the hair without disturbing the cuticle layer,” says Lopez. He adds that when the full strength of the blow dryer meets the hair, it can cause curly or wavy hair to frizz. 

Diffusing Hair Tip 1: Success Starts With Prep 

Prepping your hair starts in the shower. Lopez recommends focusing shampoo on the roots and addressing tangles during conditioning. “Take a wide-tooth comb or wet brush while the conditioner is on so as to not damage or excite the cuticle of the hair,” he says. Leaving a bit of conditioner in post-rinse can also help tame the most coiled or voluminous hair types.


Once out of the shower, Maine says you should start styling immediately and work in the product before your hair starts to dry. “Use a wide tooth-comb or a twisting motion with your fingertips to work a product like Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair through while beginning to form shape to your hair,” he says. We also love using L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Curve It Curl Taming Gel Cream for this step.  



Diffusing Hair Tip 2: Just Keep Drying 

Over-dried hair is the enemy of voluminous curls. To avoid frying your ends in the diffusing process, Maine recommends starting at the base of your hair rather than with the bottom. “This doesn’t require much effort, just flip your head over and start with the base; move the water toward your ends,” he says. Flipping your head upside down will also amp up the volume and help you focus on hard-to-dry areas. 

Diffusing Hair Tip 3: Slow and Steady Wins the Hair Game 

To keep frizz out of the equation and achieve the best bounce possible, getting every ounce of moisture out of your stands is key. That being said, raising the pressure level on your diffuser isn’t the way to go. Maine recommends using high heat, but turning down the pressure a notch or two for the best results. 

“When diffusing, be sure not to move the dryer up and down quickly and scrunch the hair vigorously,” says Maine. “The more you disrupt the hair, the more unruly it will become.” Another hot tip? Lopez says you should avoid moving your diffuser in circular, massaging motions at all costs. “The diffuser needs to be held in position and gently moved to the next section,” he says.

Diffusing Hair Tip 4: Keep Hair Healthy

“Straightening hair is the quickest way to mess up your curl pattern and overdry the hair, which will loosen your shape,” says Maine. “Also get regular haircuts; overworked ends will never curl as well as the rest of your hair.” 

Diffusing Hair Tip 5: Using the Right Products Is Key 

“Never use matte or drying products; curly hair needs all the moisture it can get,” says Maine. If heat damage is a concern, Lopez recommends spritzing on a protectant. Try the Dark and Lovely Blowout Heat Shield Primer Mist.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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