PG, I dont diffuse at all. I used to. If I have to get out of the house fast, I guess I would, partially diffuse; but, I use the CHS roller jaw clips which are super, and help with volume on the top (I highly recommend you try them) and let my hair air dry.
The shampoos I use are the SM line, and the Yes to Cucumbers. As far as I know, they are very gentle. Yes, I could try using less but as far as I know my hair is not dry, except occasionally, like everyone, I get some small spots of dry ends, which my stylist clipped today. Generally, I think my hair is in very good condition.
Chloe, I dont like the idea of wetting hair and re-applying product. Sorry, that does not work for me psychologically. Call me quirky, but I need to shampoo my hair. Daily.