Tips on how to diffuse your hair like a professional.

Cindy Herrera

Stylist Cindy Herrera, curl specialist at Ystylo Cindy Salon

If you have curly hair, you have probably come into contact with a diffuser. Curly girls are familiar with it: it’s that funky, funnel-shaped device that looks like it should be in your mechanic’s garage rather than with your beauty appliances. But for as long as diffusers have been around, so have questions surrounding them. If you can’t get the hang of using a diffuser, read on for a stylist’s advice that will have you styling like a pro in no time. If you have never used diffused your hair before, check out these directions for using a hair diffuser. If you have questions in need of clearing up, Cindy Herrera, stylist and curl specialist at Ystylo Cindy Salon has the answers right here.

Why Do I Need a Hair Diffuser?

Herrera recommends using a diffuser if your hair does not dry quickly. If you find yourself walking out the door in the morning with a wet head, then a hair diffuser might be the perfect solution. It will not only dry your hair, but your curls will form faster than if you let them air dry. Length is an important factor as well. The diffuser works best on shorter bobs, or those with medium length.

Remember, a diffuser only enhances your natural hair type. If you have straight hair and want curls, a diffuser won’t get the job done; you might want to turn to a curling iron. But if you have natural curls that are in need of shape and bounce, then a diffuser is right for you. Cindy also highlights the fact that a hair diffuser may be unnecessary if your hair dries well. “I definitely have some clients who will walk in with natural hair that they air dried, and didn't have to use a hdiffuser. How you put the product in your hair is going to determine the outcome of the curl, whether you use the diffuser or not."

Applying Hair Product Correctly

The manner in which you apply hair product does indeed affect the result. The proper application of hair product goes back to how you care for it in the shower. As you rinse conditioner out of your hair, try combing your hair back with a wide-toothed comb. When you get out of the shower, blot the hair dry and flip your hair forward. Herrera suggests applying product to your hair by scrunching it into your curls from bottom to top. If you have a lot of hair, try applying product by different sections. Dividing the hair into three sections is a great option. This will ensure that an equal amount of product is distributed throughout your hair. “You want to hear your hair squish on the top, the sides and in the back," Herrera says. "When you hear that, you know you have enough product in the hair.” Of course, Herrera recognizes that how much product you need is also dependent on the weather. “Every day is different for curly hair.”

What Products Should I Use?

Many women ask the question of what type of product is best for their hair. The answer is not simple; it really depends on your hair type. Mousse is great for girls with waves, but it definitely won’t hold tight curls. There are curl lotions, pomades, curl creams and custards that will match your hair type. An easy rule to follow is to correlate the consistency of the product with the thickness of your curls. If you have finer hair, go for a thinner hair product. If you have thicker hair, go for a thicker product. “I like curl cream,” says Herrera, “but it’s whatever floats your boat; I personally like a softer curl, so I use Kevin Murphy or Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls. If you have finer waves, use a foam mousse rather than a mousse from an aerosol type can.”

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Susonnah Gonzalez

Hi! I'm Susonnah Gonzalez. I write, work and live in Austin, TX. I began my wavy hair journey in college, which is when I really began to explore the needs of wavy hair and the products that work best with it. Every day is different with my hair but every day I learn something new!