How to Diffuse Your Curls

I’ve had curly hair for my entire life and—like most curly-haired girls—I spent a lot of time straightening my hair. While I was born with ringlet curls, years of trying to straighten my hair have turned them into beachy waves. After realizing the fight to tame my curls was pointless I became obsessed with revitalizing my natural hair. At first, I wasn’t interested in diffusing my hair, mainly because I had already inflicted enough heat damage on myself. However, after copious hours of YouTube research, I discovered how to diffuse my hair with little to no heat.

1. Wash your hair…upside down

When I first heard this I was quite skeptical. Why would you wash your hair upside down? What does that even do? I’m glad you asked. Curls will stay put in the direction you brush it in. For example, if you brush your hair from the crown of your head to the ends of your hair, your curls may be flatter at the top of your head. However, if you brush your hair while your head is upside down, your hair will likely be more voluminous. The same goes for washing your hair.

2. Grab a T-shirt

Towels can be damaging to your hair. It’s better to use an old cotton T-shirt or a microfiber towel. Dry your hair until it's damp.

3. Brush your hair (again, upside down)

After drying your curls, brush your hair again. Get rid of any excess tangles or knots.

4. Apply Moroccan oil

Apply some Moroccan oil to your hands and use your fingers to comb it through your hair. How much hair you have will determine how much oil to use. My hair is extremely thick, so I end up using four pumps.

5. Apply leave-in conditioner

The same as step four, but with your choice of leave-in conditioner. I’ve used Mixed Chicks since I was in the sixth grade and it has yet to fail me. Again, how much you use depends on how much hair you have. The amount I use ends up being the size of a quarter.

6. Comb product through (still upside down)

Comb all this product through! Make sure there are no clumps of product in any one place. It’s important the product is evenly distributed throughout your curls.

7. Scrunch it!

You’re still upside down for this. Start scrunching your hair with your hands. Place your palm under a section of hair and gently raise your hand to your skull while hair collects in your palm. Once your palm reaches your head, give the hair in your hand a big squeeze. Then release the section of hair and repeat the process until all your hair is scrunched. Once you’ve started scrunching DO NOT, under any circumstances, brush or comb your hair (even with your hands). If you do that at this point in the process, your hair will remain in that straightened shape and dull your curls.

8. Keep scrunching but with some gel this time

Put a dot of hair gel on your pointer finger. Spread the dot on all your fingertips and continue scrunching.

9. Flip-up and let dry

Flip your hair up and try not to touch in for the next 30ish minutes. Leave your hair alone until it’s almost dry. Sometimes I’ll leave my hair like this without diffusing at all. It gives my curls a wet, messy style that I kind of enjoy.

10. Flip over and diffuse

To diffuse your hair, you need a hairdryer and a diffuser. If you have a hairdryer and no diffuser—don’t worry. There are diffusers on Amazon that are adjustable to any hairdryer, regardless of size. To start, you’ll follow the same steps as scrunching—only instead of using your hands, you’ll use the diffuser. Put your hairdryer on low heat and press the cold air button (this will prevent heat damage). Diffuse until your hair is completely dry and your curls have reached the desired fullness.

11. Final scrunch!

Once you are done diffusing, scrunch your hair with your hands one last time. If you want to add a little more Moroccan oil while scrunching, this will help to hold your curls. You can finally flip up and enjoy your look!

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