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Techniques and products to diffuse curly hair

Learning how to diffuse curly hair will not only make styling easier, but faster too.

To enhance your curls and ensure they’re at their bouncy, defined best, you really need to nail your styling routine. Getting the right balance of the products you use, how you handle your hair, after stepping out of the shower, and mastering the right diffuser techniques for your particular curl pattern will reward you with your most gorgeous curls yet. Here’s everything you need to know to make that happen!

Your essential styling products for curly hair

For envy-inducing curls, you need the right tools for the job. Consider this the ultimate curly hair kit that you should never be without on wash day… 

Gentle shampoo 

Curly hair is naturally prone to dryness, so what you don’t want is a shampoo that’s going to strip your strands and leave them dehydrated and brittle. Stock up on a gentle shampoo formulated with curly hair in mind. Going sulphate-free may be a smart idea too, as these soapy, foamy components can be harsh on hair. 

shampoo and conditioner for curly hair

Nourishing conditioner or hair mask 

Even with a gentle shampoo, the process of washing can still rob hair of its natural oils. To counteract this, and keep your curls as healthy as possible, follow with a conditioner to restore what’s been lost. Once a week, or whenever your hair is feeling frazzled, you can upgrade this to a hair mask for extra nourishment. Look out for ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and moisturising ones like butters and oils to seal in that goodness. 

Leave-in conditioner 

Using conditioner is great for your hair, but as it doesn’t stay on for long, it only has a limited amount of time to work its magic. A leave-in spray or lotion will deliver even more moisture to as well as give the hair extra slip, so detangling isn’t quite such an ordeal. 

Looking for a way to make your curls last longer between washes? Discover "The ultimate guide to keeping your curls looking great between washes".


A wide-tooth comb

It’s best to tease tangles out of curly hair when it’s wet, but you’ll need to be careful, as this is when your strands are at their most fragile. Choose a comb or brush with wide-set bristles that will glide through without catching or snagging. The bendier those teeth or bristles are the better, as they’ll be able to flex with the pattern of your hair. 

Mousse, gel or cream styling products 

There are a lot of styling products for curly hair out there, so ultimately it comes down to trial and error. It might be that you discover one hero product that works wonders for your spirals, or that you find they like a carefully balanced combination of different products. Mousse is great for adding volume and hold, gel is the best choice for adding definition and creams will boost softness and shine. 

Microfibre towel 

Normal towels can rough up the cuticles of your hair, leading to a frizzy finish. Swap yours for a microfibre towel, or even an old cotton t-shirt – both of which are much softer. The best approach is to use these to squeeze water out of the hair, rather than rubbing. 

woman after curly hair wash


A dedicated diffuser tool, or a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment, is a must for anyone who wants to know how to diffuse curly hair of all types. The wide surface area, perforated holes for balanced airflow and finger-like nodules all work in tandem to dry curls with care at the same time as banishing frizz, increasing definition and adding bounce. Using a diffuser is far quicker than air drying, and much better for your hair than blasting it with a traditional hairdryer. 

The techniques to master when diffusing curly hair

Learning how to diffuse curly hair? Owning a diffuser is the first step in the process, but you’ll only get results if you use it properly. These are the techniques to know about: 

Scrunching and spiraling 

Prepping as much as possible when the hair is wet will help with diffusing. If it is definition you lack or you want your curls to dry tighter than they naturally do, take the time to twist the sections around your finger. It can be quite a time-consuming process, but it’s one that’ll pay off with spirals that stay springy until your next wash. 


Don’t let the strange name put you off, plopping is a handy pre-diffusing technique that can help to remove excess water from the hair. It involves piling your curls on top of your head and wrapping them in a microfibre towel to speed up the drying process without encouraging frizz. Just don’t secure it too tightly, or you’ll squish them. 

Air drying vs blow-drying 

If your hair is thick, air drying can take a long time. Plus, it keeps the hair in its most fragile state (i.e. wet) for longer. If you have errands to run or want to minimise exposure to heat, you can air dry for a short period before moving on to diffusing. But you’ll get a better finished result with the help of a tool rather than leaving your curls entirely to their own devices. 


Using a diffuser is a bit different to using a normal hairdryer, and there are particular approaches to take and techniques to use depending on your curl type and the finished result you want. If you want to encourage bounce, it’s best to do what’s known as pixie diffusing. 

This is where you flip your head upside down and gather sections of hair onto the diffuser, lifting and holding it close to the scalp until fully dry. 

Hover diffusing, which involves holding the diffuser an inch or so away from the hair, is a good technique for minimising heat exposure and preserving the curl pattern you shaped when the hair was wet. If you have coily hair and want to elongate your curls to avoid shrinkage, you can stretch diffuse by carefully drawing the finger-like nodules on your diffuser down through the hair. 

Embrace your curls and create a stunning hairstyle with Bellissima Italia Diffon

Diffon Supreme Bellissima Italia

Not all diffusers are the same, and a dedicated tool like the Bellissima Italia Diffon Supreme that has been meticulously designed for curly hair will give you better results than a normal hairdryer with a diffuser attachment. Thanks to a gentle power system and a choice of air flows, plus adjustable temperature settings, you can guarantee maximum bounce with minimal frazzle and frizz. Heat is distributed evenly across the perforated grid system with the help of smart coatings to infuse moisture back into your strands. Learning how to diffuse curly hair has never been easier. 

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