From homemade hair masks to curl defining gels, it seems like pretty much everything can be done without the help of a salon professional. But is it possible to recreate one of the most popular styling tools used in the Curly Girl Method?

pictured: Beauty by Nora Wolf

Every curly girl arsenal should have a diffuser because it is known for drying your curls frizz-free. Is there a way to recreate diffuser at home without actually spending money on a store-bought one? Here is a look at two popularly recommended options for those without a diffuser.

1. DIY sock diffuser

Cover the end of your blow dryer with a breathable fabric (like a cheesecloth), leaving about a 2 to 3 inches of bubble at the end. Attach using one of your hair ties and that's it. Use it to dry your wet waves and curls like you would a normal sock diffuser attachment.

Does it really work?

The Verdict: This hack has the potential to work but it depends on the type of material you use as your "sock." While it is true that this looks just like a normal sock diffuser, the truth is that it could potentially leave you with frizzy hair, or worse, your fabric choice could melt under the heat of your blow dryer. Some fabrics may also be too absorbent and when coming in contact with your hair it may leave you with unwanted frizz. 

2. Blow drying in a plop

Complete your styling routine as normal and then put your hair in a plop . Once your hair is up, you can use your blow dryer on a normal setting, moving around the plop to dry without coming in direct contact with hair. Continue until your hair is about 80% dry; allow your waves and curls to air dry the rest of the way to prevent heat damage.

Does it really work?

The Verdict: This is the best option if you do not have a diffuser on hand. You only want to do this with a cotton t-shirt, as it can help reduce frizz and minimize drying time without melting. However, this method does leave you vulnerable to distorting your natural curl pattern because your hair is pressed up against your head while you are drying. If traditional plopping works for your texture, this hack may be safe to give a go.

Final Verdict

While both of these options technically could work, my final verdict is to go ahead and spend 10 bucks on a real diffuser. Companies that sell sock diffusers have spent a lot of time and money choosing materials that can withstand the heat of a blow dryer while not being abrasive, causing frizz, and putting your hair at the risk of melting fabric in your hair. It is worth spending the money on the actual product.

Although blow drying while plopping may be a possibility, you may find it does not speed up the drying process by that much time, as your hair is piled on top of your head and you are only applying heat to the very outside. You might feel your ends getting hot while the hair near your head is still wet.

Here are my top diffuser attachment suggestions that will work with your waves and your budget.