What Is a Diffuser Hair Dryer?

Written by lisa sefcik
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If you have curly tresses, a diffuser hair dryer can help you avoid dreaded frizz and fly-aways. You can purchase a diffuser hair dryer that you simply plug in and use like a regular blow dryer, but a less costly diffuser attachment easily converts your traditional nozzle dryer into the perfect curl-enhancing tool.

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The Diffusing Principle

Ordinary blow dryers direct a high blast of hot air to the hair during the styling process. Traditional nozzle blow dryers are a quick, efficient way of styling hair straight when used along with a paddle or barrel brush. However, they're not the optimal choice for women with wavy or curly hair who want to enhance their ringlets. Diffuser hair dryers use warm heat and a low stream of air emitted from a wider surface area, very similar to the "bonnet" dryers used in professional salons. The final result is less frizz and more refined curls.

Diffuser Hair Dryers

A handy gadget, such as the Curly Top Diffuser hair dryer is a one-piece devices that plugs into the wall like an ordinary blow dryer. However, rather than featuring a nozzle that focuses on a small area of the hair, a diffuser hair dryer distributes air from a wide, flat, circular surface area. Diffuser hair dryers operate using lower heat and a low "diffuse" stream of air. In 2009, the hot consumer item among people with curly hair was the DevaSun Dryer and diffuser attachment, which is shaped like a human hand. The DevaSun hair dryer originally retailed for £181.

Diffuser Attachments

If you can't justify the purchase of a diffuser hair dryer, simply purchase an attachment for your existing blow dryer. Many blow dryers come with a diffuser attachment, but these can be purchased separately for as little as £3. Diffuser attachments will either be flat or bowel-shaped with plastic prongs or "fingers," but there are also sock and mitt diffusers, too. Then there are more unique diffuser attachments which use spiral prongs to enhance the hair's natural curl such as the Sedusa, which costs around £35.

How to Use a Diffuser

If you're using a diffuser attachment with prongs, the standard way to style damp hair is to cup or "scrunch" the hair into the diffuser so that it winds around the prongs as it dries. A frequent method of styling using a diffuser is to turn the head upside down before cupping the hair into the diffuser. If using a diffuser attachment on a conventional blow dryer, heat and air flow settings should be kept on "low."

Diffuser Hair Dryers: Where to Find Them

If you want to find a low-cost diffuser hair dryer or diffuser attachment, you can find these at most drugstores, beauty supply shops and "big box" stores, such as Target and Wal-Mart. However, if you want to invest in a more expensive "niche" brand such as the Deva and Sedusa, you might have better luck finding these online on websites such as Folica.com, NaturallyCurly.com or Beauty.com.

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