Curls are back, after a season of flat-iron straightening for wavy locks. Naturally curly or permed hair is bouncing into style again.
What hairstyling secrets can men and women employ at home to style curly hair without producing frizz and fly-aways?
A few easy measures can create gorgeous tousled or curled tresses in minutes without hot curlers, curling irons or heated wands. The secret hairstyling weapon, of course, is the diffuser.
What Is a Diffuser?
A diffuser is a large, round, vented attachment that affixes directly to a hand-held electric hair dryer. Its purpose is to distribute heat and air flow more gently and prevent poof and frizz. Diffusers are ideal for colored, dyed, salon- or home-permed hair, or even naturally curly locks.
Diffusers may be used to style short, medium or long curly hair.
Try these seven simple steps, using a diffuser, to style casual or glamorous curly hair.
1. Start in the Shower
Begin by shampooing and conditioning as usual. (Choose products particularly suited for curly or wavy hair.) In the shower, comb conditioner through hair gently with a wide-toothed comb before rinsing.
2. Towel-Scrunch Wet Hair
Still standing in the shower, grab a fluffy towel and scrunch hair gently to remove excess moisture.
3. Apply Hair Styling Products
Squirt a small amount of hair gel (in warmer months) or hair mousse (in colder months) into one palm. Be sure to use hair styling products sparingly, so hair does not become crunchy and heavy.
Rub hands together, and use fingertips to apply hair product to roots of hair. Gently mix product into the rest of the hair. Bunch, crunch and scrunch locks to encourage wavy curls.
4. Use a Diffuser
Place the diffuser attachment on the hand-held electric hair dryer. Adjust the blow dryer to low or medium heat and air flow settings when using the diffuser.
Bend at the waist, so hair falls away from the head. Use the diffuser to lift and dry hair, while scrunching locks with the spare hand. For best results in styling curly hair, place the diffuser prongs directly on the scalp (or as close as possible), and move in gentle, circular motions while drying to add maximum volume.
5. Start at the Roots
Always begin at the scalp when styling curly hair with a diffuser, so the roots will dry first and the ends of the hair will be exposed to minimal heat.
6. Spritz or Spray
Once curly hair is dry and bouncy, add a light misting of hair spray or spritz to hold body.
7. Ban the Brush
Never brush curly hair, and avoid excessive combing, which can ruin all-over curls and body.
After styling, use fingers to re-scrunch and add volume if needed. If curly hair seems to flatten or wilt, a light water spritz may be applied before re-scrunching. (Do not add more hair products after styling, as these will simply weigh down the hair and reduce body and curls.)
All-over curls can be super styles for those with wavy, full-bodied or permed tresses. A simple diffuser and a bit of scrunching is all that it takes.