It’s time to discuss an overlooked, but important step in any curly hair routine: Drying. There are two ways to dry curly hair, which are air-drying and diffusing. The first option is simple. After you finish applying your products you leave your hair alone to do its thing throughout the day. The second option requires a little more effort. But the results are worth it, as you will have gorgeous curls.
What is diffusing and how does it work? In general, a diffuser is a curly hair tool attachment that you put on your blow dryer. The purpose of a diffuser is to distribute the air coming out of your blow dryer through different holes in the diffuser. This eliminates the concentrated air flow leaving the dryer. This allows the air to be less harsh on your curls and decrease frizz.
When it comes to diffusing for gorgeous curls, it’s important to understand that not all diffusers are the same. Some are flexible detachments that scrunch with your hair, while others you just simply hold against your head. Diffusers range between many different prices. Some are sold as detachments, whereas others you can buy with their matching blow dryer.
Regardless of what kind of diffuser you purchase, how you diffuse will determine what kind of curls you’re going to have that day. As demonstrated in the picture above, you should flip your hair over and apply the diffuser to your gorgeous curls. This dries the curls “upside down” which gives your hair volume.
When using this tool, there are a few key methods I have found to help me achieve the best curls possible. ALWAYS dry your hair upside down, and always have the temperature on cool. And NEVER dry your curls immediately after styling.
The last tip is more of a personal preference, but I find that if I try drying my hair right after styling, it takes forever. What I like to do is style my hair first, do my makeup and then diffuse. By then, my hair has had some time to air dry and diffusing only takes about 10 minutes.
Now that your curls are smooth and defined, how do you make them last? It’s not good to diffuse your hair every day, because even with the heat setting on cool, at the end of the day it is still a “hot tool.” Heat damage is real and if you are an ex-straightener, a blow dryer should be treated with just as much caution. Hence, there are a few tips and products that can help keep your curls defined for two or three days.
Believe it or not, sleeping has a large effect on your hair and how it looks the next day. With curls, you want to keep them up and out of the way as much as possible before you go to bed. If you leave your hair down, you could lay on your curls when you sleep, causing them to look flat in the morning. I recommend keeping your hair in a “pineapple”.
The pineapple looks exactly what it sounds like. You take a scrunchy and flip your hair over, gathering all of your hair at the top of your head and pulling the scrunchy over your curls. This keeps you from sleeping on your curls so that way in the morning when you wake up, you take your hair out of the pineapple and are ready to go.
Another tool that will make your curls last longer is a satin or silk bonnet. You can find these at your local Walmart or Walgreens. You basically put the bonnet on your head and go to sleep. This is an alternative option for those of you who don’t have a satin or silk pillowcase. This is a great method — however, if your curls are big like mine, a bonnet will be too small and might end up crushing your curls.
The last option to help your curls last is a satin or silk pillowcase. You can find these at your local Walmart or Target. The importance of satin and silk fabrics is that they eliminate frizz caused by cotton pillowcases and other products. When you sleep on cotton, you could move around and this causes your curls to move back and forth, which leads to friction and frizz. With a silk pillowcase, your curls avoid friction.
You want to take care of your curls and make them last. I have found that these tips and tricks give me second and third-day curls which saves both money on product and time. If you’re struggling with frizz and using too much product, give these tips a try and see if you can’t keep your curls defined for days.