What Does Hair Dryer Diffusers Do? – Guide To Getting Those Curls In Check

Categorized as Hair Dryer Guide

Last Updated on March 27, 2022 by Rei

Ever wonder what that bowl-shaped spiky thing that is usually included in your hair dryers? Those are called diffusers, and they are an attachment that spreads the air to reduce frizz. These attachments are mainly used by those who have curly or wavy hair because diffusers do not disrupt curly hairs’ natural wave pattern. 

Another thing that diffusers do is they can help even out the curls pattern. They can also give body and volume to curly hairs when used correctly. Without using a diffuser, curly hairs tend to blow-out the curls out of shape and sometimes cause them to frizz. We recommend that you always use the diffusers included in your hair dryers if you have curly or wavy hair.

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How do you use a diffuser on a hair dryer?

Diffusers need to be used on low settings with low heat. This would prevent the curls from drying too fast and becoming frizzy.

To use a diffuser to get those great curls and prevent damage, we suggest you follow these steps. 

First we suggest that you take a shower and hydrate your hair as much as possible. Use a hydrating conditioner and shampoo to easily detangle your hair with your comb. Always comb your hair when wet, try to avoid combing when your hair is dry – this often leads to frizz.

Then gently dry your hair with a towel to about 50 percent. Try to use a soft cotton towel or a tshirt and just wrap it around your head.

This is optional but you can use products on this step. We recommend using a leave on conditioner to hydrate your hair or other hair products.

You can now start using your diffuser, start on the ends of your hair, and work yourself to the roots as you dry. Use the diffuser by cupping it around your hair while using your fingers to shape it. You don’t have to use a comb for this. Always use the lowest setting possible because too much heat would ruin your curls. 

To add additional volume, you can use some hair clips near the roots of your hair to lift it.

Stop using your diffuser when your hair is about 80 percent dry and just let it dry naturally. This would give your hair a bouncy finish and a hydrated look.

Does diffusing damage hair?

We know that curly hair is prone to heat damage that’s why diffusers are used a lot with curly hair as it reduces the heat to a wider area. But can it cause damage?

Well the main purpose of diffusing is to reduce the heat damage while using a hair dryer. It would lessen the damage compared to using a normal hair dryer without an attachment. This is because diffusers spread the heat on a bigger area compared to a more focused area on a normal hair dryer.

A diffuser can damage your hair if you set the heat to high. While some hair types benefit from high heat, curly hair tends to be more prone to heat damage. Another thing to keep in mind is that diffusing daily will damage your hair. Especially in a high heat setting, if you must use it daily we make sure that it’s set to the lowest setting possible.

Can I use a diffuser on straight hair?

While diffusers are mainly used by curly hairs to enhance it and reduce damage, it can also be used by those who have straight hair. Diffusers can give additional volume and waves to those who have straight hair. If you want a new summer look you should try our instruction on how to use the diffuser above, it’s the same if you have straight hair and want to try something new.


Diffusers are often abandoned and ignored because they are difficult to use. But using it correctly can help you define your curly hair and avoid frizz. Make sure that you always set the settings to low while using the diffuser otherwise it defeats the whole purpose of reducing the damage caused by too much heat from a normal hair dryer.

By Rei Garnet

I've been a hairstylist and worked for salons for over 8 years and I want to share my passion and knowledge with a wider audience. My goal is to give everyone the best hair they could possibly have.