A diffuser is a cone shaped object constructed of plastic that is attached to the end of your hair dryer and helps direct the airflow onto your locks. The end section is wide and circular (though not always) and features finger-like prongs and air holes. The prongs are very useful when drying curly or wavy hair because they lift the strands while they are being dried, giving curls and waves a more defined shape without the frizz. The air holes let the hot air circulate, preventing damage and overheating of the hair.
With curly hair a diffuser is a big help, since this hair type is dryer and is more vulnerable to the heat of a hair dryer, so using a diffuser can help conserve moisture and safely style your curls, enhancing their natural texture.
You can generally get a diffuser with the purchase of your hair dryer but if you have a hair dryer already you can find diffusers separately. There are different types of diffuser, some are shaped like hands, others in the shape of socks and a few shaped like prong-free portable fans.
How do you use a diffuser?
• Wash your hair as normal then apply some curl product and work it thoroughly into your locks with your hands using scrunching motions. You’ll need this product in order to obtain defined and frizz free curls or waves.
• Turn on your hair dryer with the diffuser attached and direct it beneath a small lock of hair. Lift the hair dryer until the lock is held against your scalp in a curled position, and simultaneously dry it. You can also flip your hair upside down or to the side, cup it with the diffuser and dry in upwards motions.
• Repeat the previous step with all your hair until it’s completely dry, then finish the style with the cool shot button to bring out extra shine.
Here’s a great tutorial that explains how a diffuser works and the best way to use it: