Get defined curls, coils and waves with this underrated tool

A transformative tool for curly and coily hair, a diffuser can help to distribute air flow and dry hair evenly.

I recently learned that the transformative results of using a diffuser cannot be overexaggerated. My hair sits somewhere between type 3a and type 3b, mostly springy ringlets with S-shaped roots that without a careful wash and dry routine usually end up a tangled, puffy frizz. Now, I know the results of my dry are only as good as the prep I put in beforehand and often I just don’t have the patience to scrunch, squelch and plop my hair not knowing how it’ll come out when dry. Here’s where the power of a diffuser comes in. 

Able to gently dry the hair – a diffuser cuts down the speed and velocity of air touching the hair – a diffuser can create more volume (especially in areas where your hair might naturally sit more flat), create more uniform looking coils and curls and increase shine, body and movement – everything we want. On straight hair, it can add in a gentle wave, too. Diffusers really are for everyone!

Remember though, before the diffuser even gets plugged in you should be able to hear a squelching noise when you scrunch the hair up towards the roots. This noise means you have layered in enough product to protect and style the hair when you go in with the diffuser. (Not familiar with the squelch method? Queer Eye’s JVN breaks it down.) Here are the nine we really rate.

  • Dyson Supersonic Diffuser

    Before using the Dyson, I was a diffuser amateur. Like most people, I had played around with diffusers in a lacklustre way, not spending long enough prepping or drying my hair properly. However, using the JVN method of using the diffuser to gently dry the outside of my hair before going in with scrunching up from tip to root changed the game. 

    The hair that came out of the Dyson Supersonic diffuser was bouncy, voluminous, shiny, soft and defined. If I didn’t know, I would think it had been curled using a smaller curling wand. 

    With intelligent heat control (the Dyson Supersonic has five heat options and three-speed options), the dryer measures the air temperature over 40 times a second to make sure the air reaching your hair is regulated, preventing excess and avoidable damage. 

    Shop Dyson Supersonic Diffuser attachment, £40

    buy now

  • Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser

    Drybar, one of the biggest beauty success stories in US history, has officially launched in the UK. Available at Harrods, Drybar is celebrated for its signature bouncy blow dry – straight, curly or wavy. 

    The Bouncer Diffuser attaches to the Drybar Baby Buttercup and Buttercup hairdryers, as well as the majority of mass-market models. It reduces flyaways and frizz and it suitable for all hair types.

    Shop Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser at Harrods, £29

    buy now

  • GHD Air Kit

    A full hair styling system at home – the kit comes with a diffuser, clips, straight nozzle, diffuser and ceramic brush – the GHD Air Kit guarantees lifted frizz-free volume and helps the hair retain moisture thanks to the ionic technology. 

    Shop GHD Air Kit at Lookfantastic, £125

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  • Bellissima Italia Diffon Ceramic

    Instead of a hairdryer with diffuser attachment, the Bellissima Italia Diffon Ceramic diffuser is a standalone tool – no hairdryer required. Boasting 12 hair separators, anti-frizz heat and two speeds, it’s a piece of beauty equipment truly engineered for curly and coily hair. 

    Shop Bellissima Italia Diffon Ceramic, £59.99

    buy now

  • The Curly Co. Collapsible Hair Diffuser

    The best option for fuss-free travelling, this collapsible silicone diffuser is designed to shrink and stretch to fit the majority of hairdryer nozzles on the market. Weighing under 10 grams (yes, it’s that light), it can be popped in your handbag, gym bag or overnight bag, guaranteeing shiny, soft curls no matter your destination.

    Shop The Curly Co. Collapsible Hair Diffuser, £27.60

    buy now

  • BaByliss Platinum Diamond Diffuser

    A hairdryer with diffuser attachment, the BaByliss Platinum Diamond helps control frizz and maintain shine, all for under £60. Three heat settings and two speed settings allow you to control the velocity and temperature of air touching the surface of your hair. 

    Shop BaByliss Platinum Diamond Diffuser at Lookfantastic, £55

    buy now

  • T3 Fit Diffuser

    The diffuser attachment for the T3 Fit Hairdryer creates soft, airy volume throughout the hair. Strategically finger wave hair on the crown and around the face for added definition.

    Shop T3 Fit Diffuser at Selfridges, £20

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  • Panasonic EH-NA65 Nanoe Hairdryer with Diffuser

    With over 3,500 five-star reviews, the Panasonic Nanoe Hairdryer leaves hair shiny with minimal damage. Designed to help you style and go more quickly, the diffuser helps circulate heat and airflow, protecting the cuticle, leaving hair soft, dry, and manageable.

    Shop Panasonic EH-NA65 Nanoe Hairdryer with Diffuser, £49.99

    buy now

  • Shark Style iQ Ionic Hairdryer & Styler

    Lift and define waves, curls, and coils using the Shark Style iQ hairdryer and styler. The diffuser circulates airflow from root to tip, which helps maintain the integrity of the curls, while the deep diffusion bowl helps keep the heat in while each section dries.

    Shop Shark Style iQ Ionic Hairdryer & Styler, £229.99

    buy now

Main image: Stylist

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