I have a lot of curly girls asking me which is the best dryer, best way to dry, etc. so I am going to break down these drying questions for you.  In this month’s blog, I’ll talk about the best brands of dryers, tools to use for the different curl patterns, and what happens when you dry your hair using the 3 different methods of drying…At the end if you keep scrolling down, I’ll share with you some valuable diffusing tips, so read on…

Pros & Cons of the 3 different drying methods:

Air drying will be the most gentle on your hair, but it will also leave you with the most flat version of your hair.  Your product cast will be broken faster from all your movements while air drying, so you won’t get as much longevity out of your curls as if you chose one of the other drying methods.  The weight of water in your hair as its drying pulls the curls down, which results in a less curly look. That’s totally cool if you want that look or prefer not to use heat on your hair, but if not, read on.

Big Volume Finger Diffuser

Diffusing will give your curls the most bounce and volume.  It’s best if your dryer has a low speed setting and a low to medium heat setting for the best results when diffusing.  High heat should never be used on curls unless you want to intentionally cause dry and split ends.  It’s my favourite method of drying because I double my curl rotation, and when you’re a wavy that’s important if you’d like the most curl possible.   There are different types of diffusers.

The bowl type with fingers works best to capture curls and keep them in place when drying the hair. <<< Click on the Big Volume Finger Diffuser picture to read more about this.  If I want the most curl out of my waves, I choose this bowl type.

DevaCurl DevaFuser

The DevaFuser is a really neat diffusing attachment to help dry the hair with minimal touching, and to give volume to the roots. If you want to give lift to your crown without clipping, this tool is made for you.  It doesn’t cup the curls as well as the bowl type diffuser, but hovers over, under and inside the hair so well I prefer to recommend it for when people don’t like touching their hair much while drying.  I don’t get as much curl when I diffuse using this tool, as I do when I use the bowl/finger type diffuser.



Modern Dlements 1875 Watt Ionic Roll About Hood Dryer

Hood drying will give you the middle of the road for volume…it dries the curls quickly, while in their places and they don’t have a chance to frizz out. You can clip your roots for volume, and sit under and check emails or read a book.  It’s quite easy to use, and considering how many times in your life you’d like to have nice dry curls with no frizz, it’s an pretty great investment. If you have fine curly hair that can’t stand to be diffused, then hood drying is just like air drying, but faster! If you have really thick hair that takes forever to dry, hood drying is a nice treat.  Any deep moisture treatments you apply will penetrate deeper into the hair shaft and be more effective when heat is added, so hood dryers are the bomb for this. A method that you may not have heard of before that also works well with this hood dryer is the Jack-o-net method to dry your curls my friend Brianne invented!  I recommend the Modern Elements 1875 Watt Ionic Roll About Hood Dryer. I’ve linked where you can get it if you click on the picture.

Remember, you can always combine your drying methods for the best results. Get creative and experiment!

Curl patterns and suggested drying methods:

Wavy hair– Want volume? If you want to achieve the MOST wave possible and maybe even turn those waves into curls, diffuse with a large bowl type diffuser. I love the xTava professional dryer (2200 watts) with the Black Orchid attachment (featured below). Unfortunately, they won’t sell to salons, but you can look them up online to purchase one.  This particular dryer and diffuser take about 10 mins off my drying time…that’s pretty amazing because I’m usually at it for 30-40 mins on wash days.

Don’t want volume? If you want a beachy relaxed look you can air dry,  hood dry, or hover the DevaCurl DevaFuser outside your curls to crystallize your product cast but you don’t want to touch the curls while drying.  The weight of the water will keep them relaxed as they dry. The only issue is that air drying, hood drying or even using the DevaFuser just on the outside of your hair can give you the appearance your hair is suctioned your hair to your scalp. To avoid this look, use clipping methods to lift your roots up and help circulate the hair throughout your scalp to dry faster. They will also give you some added volume while you dry.

Black Orchid Diffuser attachment with 2200 Watt professional dryer

<<< If have have thin wavy hair, note that this dryer is likely too powerful for you to dry your curls successfully, and I recommend a dryer with less wattage for you…

Sidenote: The Dyson dryer did take about 15+ mins off my drying time so it was faster than the xtava, but I also feel it dried my curls almost too fast and the ends frizzed out more than I prefer.  I am still testing this one out. The shape of their diffuser is nothing compared to the black orchid diffuser attachment…just say’in.

Curly Hair– Want volume? You can use the DevaCurl DevaFuser all over and up into the root area, especially if you don’t want to clip your roots for volume.  I really prefer a diffuser with a bowl type design for curly hair also; you can just really cup the curls well when you use a bowl/pick type diffuser design. If you can find one with picks in it sticking up and out, even better!  Curly hair does still benefit from clipping the roots for volume, but it’s not completely necessary if your curls are on the tighter side.

Don’t want volume? Air drying is always an option, but I prefer to dry it with heat (whether you use a diffuser or a hood dryer) for at least 10 mins to crystallize your product cast, so as you air dry it doesn’t have as much of a chance to frizz out.

Super Curly– Want volume?  Use a diffuser. I tend to recommend the DevaCurl DevaFuser attachment as your curls don’t need the shrink factor/motion of cupping your curls to curl them up tighter… normally tighter curls want to retain length when drying.  (If you’re a curly girl who loves huge volume, go ahead and touch it and use a bowl/finger type diffuser all day long!)  Use the DevaFuser to allow air to flow gently over and under curls, and also use it to ‘palm your head’ like a basketball player palms a basketball.  Once you’ve inserted it into the scalp area where you want the volume, push it upwards another inch for more oomph.  It’s great to get your products crystallized onto the hair.

Don’t want volume? Air dry or hood dry.

Some diffusing tips:

  • The more you lean, the better the curls recoil themselves into tighter curls. Think about your ear being parallel to the floor, or being in a ‘I’m a little teapot’ position.
  • Never put your diffuser directly on the scalp. I like to keep it cupping my ends and only pushing no more than half way up the hair shaft with it, for the best natural looking curls. You get fishhooks ( I call them that anyway) that cause your curls to go all wonky on the ends if you: a) push your dryer too far towards the head or: b)hold it too long in one spot…
  • Diffusing on low speed, and no higher than medium heat will lock your curls in best. Hot heat is way too hot, and high speed can only be used IF you have inserted the hair dryer into the curls, pushed them against the scalp and THEN turn the dryer on high…otherwise your curls blow apart.
  • Don’t use your hands to scrunch the hair AT ALL unless you desire frizzy, fluffed out curls.  Only the diffuser touches the hair when drying for best results.
  • Even if you only diffuse 10 mins and then air dry, you’ve done enough to crystallize the product cast and your air dry will be more successful.
  • Diffusing the hair from soaking wet will give you the most defined curls.

I hope this article has given you some more insight into drying your hair.  Now you may be able to figure out which method will work best for you and why. Here’s a picture that shows you on the left I air dried and on the right I diffused. Big Difference!