How to diffuse wavy hair without frizz

Frizz gets even the best of us. It can happen for many reasons. 

Sometimes, it’s just a way of telling you that summer is here. But something as usual and habitual as your hair routine, particularly hair drying, can also cause frizz. 

The fear of frizz shouldn’t keep us from using hair dryers entirely. 

Since we’re leading busy lives, we often don’t have the luxury to sit and wait for our hair to dry by itself. And ambient air also won’t help in styling our hair. For both reasons, we turn to hair dryers.

But the process doesn’t end with the turn of a button. 

Hair dryers have an opening where concentrated air bursts through. Some of us point that directly to a small region of our hair, without regard to its effect. The direct heat transfer can make the hair drier, weaker, and more susceptible to frizz.

Especially if you have curly hair, which is naturally weaker and drier than other hair types, just recklessly blasting it with heat is the start of a horror movie. 

For people with wavy hair, hair drying would be like walking on a tightrope between limp, lifeless strands and voluminous, defined waves.

And frizzy, shapeless hair is a graveyard where your beautiful waves went to die. 

With this in mind, more people are switching to diffusing their hair. Hair diffuser does what its name suggests: it distributes the heat from your hairdryer onto your hair. In doing this, you can style and redefine your waves without worrying about the frizzy after-effects of a hair dryer.

We could just easily style our hair to cover the frizz. But a band-aid solution doesn’t address the messy problem underneath. The accumulated damage could even make a bad hair day a permanent fixture in our lives.


What is Hair Diffusing?

What is hair diffusing

For many of us, this could be the first time learning about hair diffusing. Diffusers are those detachable ends of a hairdryer. Sometimes, you have to buy them separately from the dryer. They come in various kinds.

Aside from the diffuser, other detachable attachments are made for different needs — concentrator, pick, and styler. 

Diffusers are for those who want to embrace their natural waves and curls all day. The attachment doesn’t always come in the same form. 

Generally, diffusers share the dull protrusions sticking from the base of the cup. The spikes and the base have holes where air exits. 

This design lets air flow evenly throughout your hair instead of concentrating all the heat on a small area. Although diffusers still release hot air, the dispersal mechanism makes blow-drying less damaging for your hair. 


How to diffuse wavy hair without frizz

How to diffuse wavy hair without frizz

Finding the perfect technique can take time, especially if this is the first time you have tried diffusers. With practice, you get to develop a styling system that considers your hair’s uniqueness. By then, you won’t have to worry about frizz and damage.  

1. Dry and divide your hair

For this step, you have to brace your hair for all the heating, tossing, and tugging that are to come. If you’re like most people, you would be styling your hair after a morning shower. By then, your hair would still be dripping.

While you don’t have to drain the last drop, you should still remove excess water from your hair using a towel. But don’t just forcefully rub the cloth all over your head: remember that wet hair is delicate hair.

You have to wait until your hair becomes damp. If your hair strands are saturated with water, the hair products can’t do anything.

Next, divide your hair into smaller sections. This way, you can coat your hair with sprays and creams evenly. 

2. Prep and prime your mane

Before diffusing hair, there are several products to use, but the essentials are protectants and styling products. They will enhance the look and shape of your hair. You can use a wide-tooth comb to spread the products evenly.

Since diffusers already keep hot air from frying your hair, wouldn't protectants be redundant?

It’s still advisable to be prudent. After all, you can’t unburn your hair. Heat protectants shield your hair from damage that comes with unprotected heat styling. 

They prevent your hair from becoming fried and burnt because of humectants. Like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, humectants keep moisture and prevent heat from dehydrating your hair strands. And they keep frizz from ruining your style.

After you make sure your hair won’t burn, you have to apply products that will help define its wavy texture. Many styling products promise to achieve this. 

These products can come in sprays, oils, gels, creams, and foams, among others. However, rich creams may be too heavy that they could weigh down your hair. This can be an issue when you want your hair to hold its shape. Choosing the right styling product involves a little research on your hair needs.

Ideally, these products will also make your hairstyle feel soft and look natural. 

3. Gently scrunch your hair

After securing your hair’s integrity, you can start shaping your hair. Start taking a fistful of strands in one section and bringing them towards your scalp. Always be gentle with this step.

Do the same for the rest of the sections until you have completely scrunched your hair. You would have to do this step for the next 5 minutes or just until your waves start to take a more definite form. 

This is when you start to feel the effects of the styling products. You would notice that your hair retained the scrunchy pattern after a while. 

However, you can’t stop here. You need heat to make this style last for the day. 

Gently scrunch your hair

4. Keep hair diffuser settings at low

Diffusers still allow heat to get to your hair but in less damaging intensities. And unlike in an ordinary blow-dry session, you have to spend more time diffusing your hair by section. So, don’t try to diffuse your hair all at once and call it a day. 

Don’t put the hair dryer at maximum setting. This is an open invitation for frizz. And no amount of heat protectant can save you. Keep the heat low to medium as you go through your hair in sections.

Your hairdryer also has a setting for the speed that it blows air. If the air is too strong, it causes the strands to move against each other. 

The friction causes frizz, so you have to keep the airspeed at a minimum. This also means that you shouldn’t move your hair around more than necessary.

Tilt your head in the direction that you’re working on. Let the opening of the diffuser hover near each section of your hair. Even at its lowest setting, having it too close to the hair defeats the purpose of a diffuser since you would still be concentrating hot air on one part.

5. Let your hair set

You can use a serum or spray to lock the style in. A finishing product can help make the hair look polished and ready for the day. 

After your hair has dried, you’ll start to notice the difference between diffusing and simply blow drying your hair. Your waves are noticeably sleeker and bouncier. 

Don’t let this stop you from styling your hair further if you want. From a strategically messy ponytail to an all-out beach babe vibe, you can have your hair the way you want.

By correctly diffusing your wavy hair, frizz won’t hamper your day. 

You can follow the same process on how to diffuse curly hair without frizz. You just have to find products that are suitable for your curly locks.

CHECK OUT: Why Is My Hair Frizzy All of a Sudden


Wrapping It Up

Hair diffusers make frizz one less thing to worry about. They offer coveted gorgeous waves minus the frizz that we used to achieve the hairstyle. So, they are a timely and helpful upgrade to your plain blow dryer.

To be fair, frizzy hair in itself shouldn’t stop us from conquering our day. 

However, not having to deal with this messy issue helps us focus our time and energy on more productive and fulfilling activities.  More importantly, it's easier for you to fall in love with your hair and, by extension, yourself.

Last Updated: February 17, 2022

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