Diffuser Even Got Useless! Find Out How to Blow Dry Curly Hair Without a Diffuser

Nothing haunts, like anticipating a time or place where blow drying your curly hair is going to be without a diffuser. After all, a diffuser makes drying and styling more manageable and quicker, whether loose curls or a bird’s nest on your head. Even more, let it be sexier and more defined curls or enviable bouncy hairstyles; a diffuser knows no slouch in helping you achieve that all.

But is achieving all that still possible when you don’t have a diffuser handy? A resounding ‘yes!’ Luckily, we’re a big believer in the idea that ‘there’s always a way; we just need to find that out.’ This means that no matter if there’s no diffuser around, there’s a way you can use it to dry your curly hair and get the same results as a diffuser is supposed to offer.

Everything’s in the guide you’re about to scroll through. The following highlights of this easy-to-adapt guide:

  • Hair Prep – This includes everything to be mindful of, from shampoo to final style.
  • Setting Up the Dryer – Just a few tips and tricks so that you handle the dryer the way most favorable to you!
  • Drying Process – This involves using your hands and other senses to your hair’s maximum advantage and;
  • Post-Blowout Considerations – Some tips on maintaining the health and definition of the curls for a more extended period.

So, are you ready to pump up your limp curls and make them come alive? And without even touching a diffuser at all?

The Downsides of Blow Drying Curly Hair Without A Diffuser

  • With being unable to control the airflow to a specific hair section, you likely get more frizzy and frayed hair.
  • Styling takes extra time and energy since the air isn’t focused on where you want to achieve the style.
  • You face difficulty achieving volumized and bouncy hair, which is acquired only by directing the air to a specific area of the hair.
  • Drying time may increase, leading to hair breakage and damage.

Also Read: Best Hair Dryers for Black Hair

Step-by-Step Process: Blow Dry Curly Hair Without Diffuser

Step 1: Preparing the Hair

Shampoo and Condition the Hair

When a diffuser isn’t handy, a good cleansing session becomes essential. Blowing curly hair without a diffuser can increase drying time, putting your hair at risk of damage and breakage.

No matter how long it’s been since your last cleansing, you still need one before the blowout. However, we don’t recommend washing your hair every day or two as this will cause unnecessary damage to your hair strands.

To prevent overwashing, you need to be prepared beforehand – if you’re anticipating travel or a place you think the diffuser won’t be available, keep an appropriate gap between the washes. Opt for a dry shampoo or whatever you can use to clean your hair to prevent overwashing.

When choosing a shampoo and conditioner for blow-drying curly hair, you must be careful. Opt for a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for curly hair as they’ll contain extra moisture this particular hair type requires to look and feel healthy. As you’re done choosing, be sure you don’t apply too much of the product, as it can make your hair look and feel stiff and overly flat. After all, it’s the gorgeous curls that you always crave, don’t you?

Apply a Leave-in Conditioner to Define Your Curls

Once you’re done washing, the type of the leave-in product and its use becomes very important. Your curly hair is more prone to frizziness and damage, especially after being washed. 

A leave-in conditioner protects curly hair from damage and helps detangle the strands. And all that’s for the extra bounce you always require from a blow-drying session.

Besides curly hair, other hair types can also benefit from the leave-in conditioners, but you may find them particularly useful if you have curly hair prone to drying, damage, and frizz.

Towel Dry and Part the Hair into Sections

For the safest and fastest blowouts without a diffuser, ensure your hair is at least 70% dry before exposing it to the blowdryer. This will also help you achieve defined and bouncy curls while making detangling your hair a thing of less hassle.

Remove excess water by gently blotting and squeezing with your towel. If you’re someone with highly oily hair, you’ll need to press the excess water using your hands before using the towel. However, heavier, bulkier bath towels create more weight and tension in our hair, making them prone to breakage and shedding. So be sure to do the stuff using a microfiber towel that remains gentle to hair while removing much of the water efficiently.

To deal with knots and tangles, you’ll need a wide-tooth comb instead of your regular one. Such combs will prevent damage from pulling out hair by creating a more comprehensive pathway for your hair to move through. Once done dampening your hair, divide it into sections based on density. Sectioning will make it easy for you to manage hair during blow drying and styling.

Step 2: Setting Up the Blow Dryer

Use a Nozzle Attachment to Focus the Airflow

A nozzle directs the airflow to a targeted hair section, making drying and styling easy and faster.

It also helps to achieve more bouncy and wavy styles, especially when it’s a smaller hair section.

Choose a Low or Medium Heat/Air Setting

The rule of thumb for drying curly hair without a diffuser is that The slower and lower, the better!

Since curly hair takes more time to dry than other hair types, you may be tempted to go to the highest heat/airflow for a faster blowout. But doing so is a bad practice regarding frizz control and damage-free blowouts.

You’ll need to start with the lowest setting first, then gradually increase as you feel the need to. In any case, don’t go up the highest setting ever.

Also Read: Best Low EMF Hair Dryer

Hold the Blow Dryer at a Distance From the Hair

The greater the distance, the minimum the chances of hair damage. A reasonable distance is advantageous when there’s a nozzle attached to the dryer. This is because heat damage is likely when the nozzle is targeted to a specific hair section.

In addition, more distance is also linked to lowering the EMF damage, the radiation that hair dryers emit, and is considered harmful to the health of your hair and body.

Also, the distance will likely keep heat damage to its lowest if you have to jump from medium to high heat/airflow setting.

Step 3: Drying the Hair

Begin With the Roots and Work Toward the Ends

Drying your hair without a diffuser helps prevent frizz while ensuring no strands are left undried.

You’ll need to put your head upside down and let your hair fall naturally. Afterward, hold a handful of your hair up, then direct hot airflow to the bunch you hold. While doing this, keep on changing your fingers’ position now and then. This will ensure strands are being blow-dried evenly and help create more volume on your curls and waves.

If you want a more volumized version post-blowout, try flipping hair over the opposite way. For example, flip your hair from the right to the left side while drying and keep on moving the hair back and forth frequently. The point is to move your hair so the curls will not stay in one position.

Also Read: Best Hair Dryers for Thick Hair

Use a Scrunching Motion to Enhance the Curls

Scrunching is when you cup and squeeze your hair in your hands to help shape your curls. The method is non-damaging to hair and allows for volumized, defined, and frizz-free curls. However, overdoing it can cause the opposite. Over-scrunching and touching your hair too much steals away essential oils from your hair, leading to dry and easily broken hair strands.

Step-4: Finishing Touches

Once the Hair is Fully Dry, Apply a Light Hair Spray or Oil and Shine

Once you’re done blow drying your hair safely, the styles demand you to use the machine again. And you’ll likely be at risk of damage if any strand is left undried during the blow-drying process.

So to prevent the hazard, you’ll need a hair primer that prepares your hair for styling by helping untangle any frizzy or knotted hair inside your dried locks.

They’re a lightweight, leave-in styling product that protects against humidity, giving any hairstyle a smoother, more polished look.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy, Defined Curl Hairs After Blow Drying

Always Use Cold Water For Hair

Whether it’s shampooing pre- or post-blowouts, always use cold water. No hot, no lukewarm!

The cold water helps close hair cuticles and pores in the scalp, thereby locking moisture in the hair. This process adds more luster and shine to the hair. Plus, by closing hair cuticles, cold water makes it easy for the coils and curls to clump together for even more definition.

Also Read: Best Blow Dryer for 4c Hair

Avoid Excessive Shampooing

Shampooing too frequently causes dry strands and a tight-feeling scalp, making both prone to damage and breakage. Washing curly hair infrequently makes your curls look greasy and limp.

To prevent any of the troubles above, limit your shampoo washes to 1-2 times/week. However, if you find regular shampoos too harsh and drying for your tresses, try a co-wash (washing your hair solely with conditioner) on your wash days. Trust us; you’ll thank us if you’re someone with Afro, very curly, or dehydrated hair!

Brushing or Combing Curly Hair

Brush or comb your curly hair during or after a blowout (it’s inevitable, after all), but do that carefully.

Conventional brushes/combs aren’t going to get the job appropriately done on curly hair. You need unique kinds of combs or brushes for that.

Either go for a wide-tooth comb that slides smoothly through curly hair or a detangling brush that removes knots and tangles without causing too much snagging or making hair frizzy.

Use Heat Protectant Products

Blow-drying curly hair without a heat protectant causes the heat to strip off your hair’s natural or artificial color pigments. The result is the breakdown of keratin, a protein that gives your hair strength and elasticity. This causes your hair cuticle to open up and cause frizz.

So, a heat protectant does nothing but give your hair superior heat protection while paving the way for smoother and sleeker styles.


That was about achieving the safest blowouts and gorgeous styles on curly hair without using a diffuser. By adhering to the tips and tricks above, you’ll be ensuring you get the most comfortable and quicker blowouts, no matter whichever corner of the planet you go!

Also Read: Best Standing Hair Dryer

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap