Hang around anyone with hair that’s got more than just a bit wave to it and you’ll hear the travails of living with curly hair. Not to mention life with curls comes with a vocabulary and worries almost all its own.
Rake and shake.
Terms like that come up especially when the conversation turns to styling curly locks.
You also soon find out that some feel curly hair, much like that kid screaming at the top of their lungs in the restaurant the other night, needs serious discipline.
Turns out the discipline is actually quite easy to come by.
It comes in the form of an unexpected styling tool and a product many claim they can’t live without. Plus, of course, knowing how to use them in concert to produce amazing, humidity resistant curls helps.
The Tool? Your blow dryer armed with a diffuser used correctly.
The product? Ouidad Climate Control gel applied liberally to your ready-to-be-unruly, yet still damp strands.
So you got it?
You need more?
Okay. If you insist.
To get a full dose of the technique involved be sure to watch the video below. But let’s do a little more prep work before turning you loose on that.
Because without a doubt a headful of big, bouncy bodacious curls looks OMG gorgeous, doesn’t it?
It’s just that getting your hair to that point of awesomeness sometimes can take a lot of work.
Enter the diffuser.
Yep. To cut down on that work is why I suspect the hair dryer diffuser was invented.
This odd looking dryer nozzle is a gift from the hair gods to girls with curls.
It exists solely to lead you to frizz free curly hair happiness.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
As stylist Britt White pointed out in Good Housekeeping magazine:
“A diffuser is a blowdryer attachment that minimizes a lot of the frizz that comes when curly hair is naturally air dried. It also gives a boost to the curls that may lay flat because of your hair’s weight and length.”
White goes on to point out your diffuser is the perfect tool for gently setting curl patterns or bringing out the loveliness of curls hidden in hair that appears to be simply wavy.
If you think about it, all you’re doing is just giving your curls some direction when wet that will allow them to shape up when dry.
In other words the diffuser has the ability to make all the difference in how your curly hair looks.
Naturally this assumes you are moisturizing properly, not over shampooing, not brushing, not vigorously rubbing your mane with a towel after showering and so forth.
The Diffuser Difference
Okay so a diffuser works like this.
Rather than exposing your curls to the hurricane force winds that normally blast out from the business end of your blow dryer, the diffuser cups your hair and gently disperses the air around the swirling strands to maintain your curl pattern.
This is important since it disturbs the curls as little as possible while teasing out maximum curl definition and texture.
Best of all this reduces the risk of a frizz breakout to nearly zero. And you don’t need me to tell you that’s a common complaint for those with curly mops.
The result are well formed curls that pop in a way that’s possible no other way – assuming you avoid the mistake of a frontal assault with your hair dryer.
Another possible blow drying mistake some make is to unleash a stream of ions on their curls. The result can be hair that looks deflated since the ions naturally depress any hope of body and volume.
So stash your high tech ionic dryer and go old school.
Not to say ionic dryers don’t have their place. Just probably not in your bathroom.
Somewhat Twisted Is Good
Also don’t underestimate the role twisting small sections of hair plays when styling.
Honestly, sometimes curl control depends on how well you can wrap your strands around your finger.
Meaning a gentle twist that starts at the scalp and ends at the tips will create smooth uniform curls AND deal with any frizz that may be thinking about forming. Leaving you with curls like this:
Styling Product Must Have
Finally as hinted earlier, the right product can make all the difference between showing off properly tousled curly locks and a frizz ball trying to pass as a hair style.
Many have found the right product to be Ouidad Climate Control gel applied before unleashing the diffuser.
To apply it you want to take your hair in small sections and rake about a nickel to quarter sized dollop through your hair.
Then shake things up to promote curl formation.
This is often referred to as the “Rake and Shake” which the Ouidad website explains in more detail quite nicely if you’re not familiar with the term.
Anyway, you want to work your way around your head through all the hair not being stingy with the product. Done right it will lock out Public Enemy #1, humidity, while helping to define your curls to perfection.
Best of all it performs this styling sleight of hand without leaving your hair the least bit crunchy.
Giving you a frizz free style that holds day after day all without weighing your curls down. Making this gel worth every penny.
With that I feel we’re ready for the video that pulls this all together.
Video Tutorial: How To Blow-Dry Curly Hair Using A Diffuser
First apply the Ouidad Climate Control gel throughout your damp mane.
For pretty curls framing your face, take small strands of hair, twirl them, then let the hair fall off your finger.
If you spot any bits of hair displaying the slightest hint of frizz give them special attention now. Finger curl them too.
Once that product’s been applied flip your hair forward and scrunch away.
Next it’s time to reach for your blow dryer. With the diffuser firmly in place set the dryer on the low power setting and at most warm heat.
The big idea here is to diffuse from as many angles as you can to help with the volume.
Once again flip your hair forward and while upside down let the strands drape on the diffuser. (This is often referred to as cupping your hair with the diffuser.) Then slide the blow dryer up into your strands. Depending on how long your hair is this step might require three to five minutes or longer.
Next flip your hair to the side and repeat the process again letting your hair fall onto the diffuser as you lift it into the mass of curls. This is another three minute process.
Okay you guessed it, now you flip it to the opposite side keeping in mind the idea is to approach your hair from different angles.
Then flip your hair upside down for old time’s sakes and continue diffusing.
TIP: Use your free hand, the one NOT holding the blow dryer, to get a little opening at the roots for air flow.
Finally give your curls a cold blast. Keep the power reduced but change the heat setting to cool or cold. Do this with your hair upside down and then to each side. You want to seal the deal, ie definition, with the cool air.
If I can read your mind, yes, this does take a while. But if the style holds so you don’t shampoo but every four or five days it’s not so bad.
Besides the difference between air drying compared to diffuser drying can be dramatic. Get a load of her beauteous curls!
Oh and if a lack of volume near the roots is a problem for you, you may want to try the volume boosting approach she explains in the video.
One last bit of advice that I know you know – but don’t touch your curls once they’re dry. You’ll just mess up the curl which is not a smart thing to do if you want the curls to hold up.