Diffusing Natural Hair: What to Know + Tips

The rate at which your natural hair dries after applying your products can vary depending on differing factors. Some naturals may find that their hair dries up very quickly. For other naturals, it may seem like it takes their hair forever to dry. Hair porosity, the types of products you use, and the current health of your hair, can all affect how fast or how slow it takes your hair to dry. Hair that dries too quickly without any type of interference can be a sign of highly porous hair and / or some form of hair damage. On the other hand, long drying times can interfere with one’s daily activities. Going outside with soaking wet hair whether you’re going to work or school is a no-no. A favorable solution to speed up drying times that has gained popularity is diffusing natural hair.

A diffuser can help to speed up drying times and make styling your natural hair a lot easier. Not only that, many naturals find that diffusers help to create more volume in their hair. While diffusing natural hair has many positives, there are a few things you should know before purchasing a diffuser, as well as tips to know when diffusing your natural hair.

diffusing natural hair
Original Photo Source: Anastasiia Kazakova / Big Stock Photos

Disclaimer: Caring for Natural Hair is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. However all reviews, thoughts and recommendations are of our own.

What is diffusing?

A diffuser can come in the form of a singular attachment to your blow dryer. Or, you may find dryers made specifically for diffusing that come in different forms (e.g. the “finger diffuser”, collapsible diffusers) with different settings. Nonetheless, a blow dryer and diffuser have similarities but distinctions as well.

A diffuser can disperse air flow throughout your hair in a more concentrated form. The diffuser attachment allows for a closer reach to your roots and thus can create faster drying times. Additionally, many naturals find that their hairstyles turn out less frizzy when using a diffuser versus using a blow dryer, hence the popularity of diffusing among those with textured hair types.

The pros and cons of diffusing natural hair


  • Helps to shorten the amount of time it takes for your hair to fully dry
  • Can add more volume
  • Reaches the roots of your hair easily
  • With the right technique, diffusers can be used to stretch / elongate your strands
  • Can lessen frizz


  • If you are not careful with the temperature and speed settings, diffusing on too high of a setting can cause heat damage
  • Some diffusers are pricey

How to diffuse your natural hair:

The way you diffuse your natural hair can affect how your style turns out. If you place your diffuser on too high of a temperature and speed setting, it can lead to frizzy hair. So, it is best to use your diffuser on a low to medium heat and speed setting, altering between the settings on occasion to avoid heat damage. You may even want to consider using the cool setting on your diffuser from time to time. The drying time may take a little longer, but the result is less frizz and a longer-lasting style.

For the best outcome, you should also let your hair air dry for a little while before jumping in with your diffuser while your hair is soaking wet. You can diffuse in sections to get a more thorough reach.

diffusing natural hair
This hair diffuser by ABODY on Amazon.com is one of our personal favorites.

Tips to know when diffusing natural hair:

  • Avoid placing your diffuser on soaking wet hair – let your hair air dry for a bit.
  • If you want an elongated look, gently stretch your hair at the roots and apply your diffuser to the area for a couple of seconds.
  • Limit your use of the high temperature and high speed setting on your diffuser to avoid overheating and heat damage.
  • Flip your hair upside down and diffuse at the roots for major volume.
  • If you want more definition, you want my want to try “scrunching” your curls beforehand. Then, while using your diffuser, gently cup your curls to imitate the scrunching motion as you dry your hair.

Do you have any tips you like to follow when diffusing your natural hair? Let us know in the comments down below!

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