Have you ever misplaced your trusty diffuser or forgot to pack it for your trip?
Well, I have, and on some occasions, I have found myself with a travel hair dryer that doesn’t have a diffuser nozzle. Funny enough, some hotel employees have never heard of a diffuser, which meant I had to improvise. And in the past, this meant braiding my hair while on holiday. But when I am on business trips, I am always forced to look for the nearest hair salon and have my hair done.
After all, using a hairdryer without a diffuser directly can be harsh on our curly hair. And that is because a diffuser helps define the waves and curls well.
Luckily, there are several ways we can dry our beautiful curly hair even without a diffuser. And after doing thorough research, I found a few practical methods to dry my curly hair. So if you want to know how to diffuse your hair without a diffuser, please read on…
Is a Diffuser a Must for My Curly Hair?
While all hair types can benefit from diffusing, individuals with beautiful curly hair like mine love this method. And that is because our curls are prone to damage and frizz. After all, blowing hot air directly on our curls can damage them. Therefore, diffusing is a perfect method for people with curls.
A diffuser can help spread the hot air over your hair instead of focusing the air stream on a certain part of the curls. This device can dry your curls using indirect heat and even add volume to your frizz-controlled hair. A diffuser can also prevent curls from becoming brittle and damaged.
How to Diffuse Hair Without a Diffuser?
Two of my favorite techniques are using a strainer and the microfiber towel plop method. Using a strainer or French braiding, simply cup a part of your wet hair in a strainer and raise it to your scalp or braid your hair. Blow some hot air at your hair using a dryer without a diffuser attachment for 5 minutes. Move to another section of the wet hair. With French braids, you will have to unbraid your hair after you have finished blow-drying it.
Whichever method you pick, make sure you don’t overdry your hair. Be careful because it’s pretty easy to overdry your curls when not using a diffuser. Some of the most effective methods I’ve discovered include:
1. The Strainer Method
Would you have ever imagined that a simple tool like a strainer can function as a makeshift diffuser? Well, lots of kitchen items have been part of our makeup and hair routines for decades. I often turned to my kitchen, from yogurt and avocados to used coffee grounds and tea bags. But using my strainer to diffuse my hair was a surprise.
Compared to other hair diffusing methods, I prefer this method, and it’s one I love using whenever I misplace my diffuser. And that is because the strainer’s little holes help scatter hot air all over my hair, making it gentler. Plus, with a strainer, there is less chance of damaging my curls.
To protect my hair, I always apply a hair protectant and make sure my hair is well moisturized before drying it. To diffuse my hair using a strainer, I normally do the following:
- Leave my hair damper than it would have been if towel-dried.
- I cupped a part of my wet curls in the strainer and raised it towards my scalp. The strainer should cover that section of my head.
- Switch on the hairdryer and start blowing it around the strainer until my hair dries before proceeding to another section.
The strainer speeds up the drying process while defining my waves and curls.
2. Use a Hooded or Bonnet Hairdryer
A bonnet hair dryer or hooded dryer can be a perfect replacement for a diffuser. Aside from diffusing the hair, a hooded dryer also helps condition curls. Plus, it always leaves me with long-lasting curls. But, unfortunately, it’s pretty costly and primarily found in salons. Luckily, there are some affordable homely versions of soft bonnet dryers.
A hooded dryer comes in handy when I am tired and don’t want to hold my hands up while drying my hair.
3. The French Braid Technique
The French braid method has helped me perfect my curls on business trips or right before going out with my girls. It gives me a curl texture that is a bit different from the normal curls. It also keeps my curls neat and free from flyaways.
Immediately after washing my hair, I braid my curls and make them as tight as possible. The tighter the braids, the more voluminous my hair will be after I have finished drying them. After braiding my hair, I blow-dry them with a hairdryer for about 15 minutes.
Finally, I unbraid my hair and voila, neat, wavy curls.
4. The Microfiber Towel/T-Shirt Plop Method
Most curly-haired ladies refer to this method as the plop method because it involves some dropping and bending. However, it’s one of the simplest methods that can come in handy when on a holiday. For this method, I either use a microfiber towel or a 100% cotton t-shirt.
- I start by spreading the towel or t-shirt over a table or bed.
- And then bend my waist so that my hair can spread out on the t-shirt or towel.
- I grab both ends of the towel and start twisting them around my curls while standing up to make some sausage rolls. Finally, I wrap each end near my ears before securing them using alligator clips.
- I always leave my hair twisted for about three hours before undoing them and blow-drying them the usual way.
For perfectly curled hair, you should always apply some conditioner before twisting the towel around your hair.
5. The Natural Method
The natural method is the easiest diffusing method on my list. And as a natural drying method, it demands that we remain with wet hair for a few hours and a curl-defining mousse.
For this technique, I start by bending my waist as I did with the plopping method, ensuring that my curls spray in front of me. And then apply some mousse all over my curls and go as deep as my hair roots. Once my hair is thoroughly covered by the mousse, I blow dry my curls using the lowest setting. Despite being a straightforward method, it always leaves me with neat and fuller curls.
Just because you have misplaced your diffuser, doesn’t mean that you have to wait for your hair to dry naturally. It also doesn’t mean that you have to risk your beautiful curls and diffuse them using the hairdryer directly. No need to worry as there are many ways you can still diffuse your hair even without a diffuser. In addition, there are a number of things at your disposal that you can convert into a makeshift diffuser.
Your makeshift diffuser can be as simple as a kitchen tool like a strainer. Braiding your hair immediately after leaving the shower is another way to effectively diffuse curly hair. If you have time, applying some mousse and letting your hair dry the normal way should also be enough. But if time is not on your side, you can go for a bonnet hair dryer or use a strainer to diffuse your hair.
Need more help with diffusing or taking care of your curly hair? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Want to learn other hairstyling hacks? If you’re the resourceful type, you might also want to learn how to straighten hair without a flat iron. Also, enhance your hairstyling skills by learning how to ombre hair.
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