How to diffuse hair without a diffuser

To curly homies out there, hair maintenance is often a major dilemma. Curly hair demands and commands more care and attention. 

But fortunately, there’s a new product in town that will help you embrace your natural waves with low maintenance styling. Gone are days of spending hours straightening your curls and re-curling them again just to achieve volume and definition! 

A good diffuser will undoubtedly keep your curls’ natural shape. 

But first, what exactly is a hair diffuser, and what does it do? 

Well, it is an attachment to your hairdryer which scatters the airstream, thereby minimizing frizz and heat damage. It also helps even out curl patterns.  

Such a game-changer, right? 

But not everyone has the luxury to buy them. Luckily, there are alternatives available which won’t require you to spend much. 

So if you’re tight on budget, read along! 


What can I use if I don't have a diffuser? 

What can I use if I don't have a diffuser

No diffuser? No problem! 

Here are some alternatives you can explore: 

1. Hand method

Yes, you’ve heard that right! 

You can use your hands as an alternative, but you’ll need a hair dryer. In doing this method, make sure you set the hair dryer at its lowest temperature. 

Also, make sure you apply a heat protectant beforehand to help prevent and minimize heat damage. 

Hold the hairdryer a bit further from the mane and run it quickly through the hair for quick drying. While doing this, cup your hair with your hand. 

You can also put on some leave-in conditioner afterward to keep the hair moisturized. 

2. Strainer method 

Similar to the hand method, you’ll also need a hairdryer when doing this method. And since we’re talking about heat here, don’t forget to apply your heat protectant. 

Next, place the hair inside the strainer and start blow-drying. 

This method is less damaging since the strainer is scattering hot air. 

But wait! If you hate the idea of heat styling your hair, you can also opt to air dry your hair. 

Simply dry and scrunch the hair with a microfiber towel or a cotton shirt. Put on some leave-in conditioner afterward and wait until the hair is fully dry. 

Which is better? 

Well, it depends on your preference.  If you want the natural and safe way, go with air drying. However, this method will surely take a lot of time. 

But if you’re in a hurry, I suggest using a hair dryer. The downside, however, is that it may lead to some serious damage, such as dry hair and breakage. 

3. Hooded Dryer

Ever heard of a hooded dryer

Well, if you have been to a salon, it’s that dome-shaped tool they put over the hair for quick drying.  

This tool evenly distributes hot hair, which is less damaging than a blow dryer. And what is more impressive, smaller versions are available for home use. 

Take note, however, that this tool could be pretty costly. But if you’re willing and able to splurge, this is definitely a good hair tool investment.  

4. Braiding method 

This is one of the simplest ways of altering your curl texture.

All you need to do is prepare a hair tie and do some French braids.  

This is a great way to add curls to straight hair. We’ll discuss this in more detail, so keep reading! 

5. T-shirt/towel wrapping method

If you have plenty of time, you might as well try this method out. 

All you need is a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt. 

Simply put the fabric on the bed and flip your hair forward. Make sure your tresses are in the middle of the fabric. 

Next, fold the fabric over the hair and securely pin it.

Wait for at least an hour before removing the shirt or towel. You can read a book or surf the net to kill time. You can even do your laundry! 


How can I diffuse my straight hair without a diffuser?

How can I diffuse my straight hair without a diffuser

While it’s true that hair diffusers were made and designed for curly hairs, using them on straight hair is possible. 

Using diffusers will definitely give more volume and waves if you have straight hair. Not to mention, it minimizes the chance of heat damage. 

But the question is, can you still get soft waves and volumized hair without a diffuser?

Well, yes. You can still diffuse your straight hair without a diffuser. 

Here are some techniques you can try: 

1. Braiding 

Start by sectioning your tresses into small parts and braiding them from the roots. You can either keep the braids loose for softer waves or keep them tight for a more voluminous effect. It’s totally up to you! 

Next, secure the ends with a hair tie. You can also spray on some hair mist for a longer hold. Then wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf and keep it on overnight. 

In the morning, remove the cover and completely undo the braids.

You can also set your braids with heat for a faster result. Simply grab your blow dryer and run it over on the braids at a medium setting.

But always remember to apply a heat protectant beforehand to prevent heat damage. 

Wait until your hair has cooled down before undoing the braids. Never undo hot braids! 

2. Scrunching 

This technique is pretty simple. All you need is a sea salt spray, and you’re good to go. 

Begin by putting on some sea salt spray on your damp hair and then scrunch in an upward direction. Scrunching will help form some natural waves. ​​

3. Hair rollers

In doing this method, your tresses must be damp so you can either wash your hair or spray on some water. 

Next, section your hair and twist them from the root to the tips. 

Grab your hair rollers and wrap each section of your hair with them. Secure the rollers with bobby pins afterward. 

Once done, leave it on for about 2-3 hours or overnight. 

Next, gently remove the curling rods and brush them with your fingers. For a tighter hold, put on some hairspray.

4. Headband

First, you should dampen your tresses. 

Once done, put on a fabric or sport headband around the head and section your hair into two equal parts. 

Form smaller sections by twisting each side of the hair and weaving them around the headband. 

Wait for a few hours until the hair is completely dry. You can also leave it on overnight. 

Then, gently remove your hair from the headband and finger brush them. 

Don’t forget to set your hair with hairspray right after. 

5. T-shirt wrapping

If you want soft and bouncy curls, this method, also known as the “halo method”, is definitely for you.

Begin by forming the t-shirt into a roller shape. Securely tie the ends of the shirt together to create a halo. 

Once done, wrap your hair inside the halo and leave it on overnight. 

In the morning, gently remove the halo from the hair. 


How can I diffuse my hair naturally? 

How can I diffuse my hair naturally

Let’s get this straight! 

You can naturally diffuse your hair by air drying. It’s as simple as that. 

As mentioned before, all you need to do is scrunch the hair with a microfiber towel or a cotton shirt and apply a leave-in conditioner afterward. Wait for a few hours until the hair is completely dry. 


How do I make a homemade hair diffuser?

Making a DIY hair diffuser is easy as 1, 2, 3! Simply grab a sock and cover the end of the hairdryer with it. You should leave at least 2-3 inches of bubble at the end. With a hair tie, securely attach the sock to the hair dryer. 

And tada! You can now dry your wet curls with your DIY sock diffuser. 

CHECK OUT: How to diffuse wavy hair without frizz


The takeaway

Indeed, a hair diffuser is a life savior. It’s a less damaging approach to managing your natural waves. But if you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer diffuse your tresses.

Thankfully, some alternatives are actually effective. Air drying is a good and safer alternative. You can also opt for the strainer method, hooded dryer, or the DIY sock diffuser. But make sure to apply a heat protectant beforehand and moisturize right after. 

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and diffuse and say hello to manageable and beautiful curls! 

Last Updated: February 21, 2022

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