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Every great hair dryer needs a loyal sidekick. And when it comes to curls, that partner in crime is called a diffuser. A diffuser is a separate attachment that works in conjunction with your hair dryer. “It disperses the airflow over a larger area of hair,” says celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago. While a concentrated nozzle targets a very specific area, a diffuser does completely the opposite.
Diffusers are ideal for those with curly hair as it doesn’t disrupt your hair’s natural wave pattern. “It dries your hair in a unique way that leaves your curls intact,” says Santiago. Another huge perk: Because of the airflow, it also doesn’t cause frizz, which can be a huge problem for curly-haired people. The trick to using a diffuser is putting your heat and speed settings on low—this will allow gentle airflow to dry your hair without lifting up the cuticle. Remember to keep the diffuser moving throughout your hair to prevent overheating.
Now that you’re a diffusing pro, here are the best diffuser attachments for curly hair.
Best Overall: DevaCurl DevaFuser Universal Diffuser For All Curlkind
This innovative design provides total 360-degree airflow to hug every single curl while drying your hair even quicker than traditional diffusers would. With a ceramic core and heat-resistant material, it lightly dries the hair while keeping curls defined and reducing frizz. Reviewers especially love the volume that they’re left with after use.
Best for Thick Hair: xtava Black Orchid Hair Diffuser
Because the center of this diffuser is deeper and larger than most, it can hold a lot of hair, so it’s ideal for those with longer or thicker curls. It promotes direct airflow through countless drying vents, which encourages a speedier dry time. Plus, users like how sturdy it feels—it’s made of both plastic and fiberglass.
Best for Travel: Hot Sock The Ultralight Diffuser
Looking to save space in your carry-on? This diffuser is not only inexpensive—you won’t feel bad if you accidentally leave it behind— but it’s completely packable. Because it’s made of super-soft material, it can fit in almost any carrier, including your makeup bag. “Plus, it makes your curls really pop,” says Santiago.
Best for Loose Waves: T3 Soft Curl Diffuser
Big fan of the beachy wave? You’ll love this T3 diffuser. It works on almost all hair types, including wavy, curly, and tightly coiled strands. It does everything from adding volume to defining curls to eliminating frizz. One reviewer notes that her finished looked turned out shinier than expected, which is all thanks to the diffuser’s even heat distribution capability.
Best for Volume: Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser
The best kind of curls bounce—and with this handy diffuser, you’ll get every single curl to do so. Reviewers love not only how speedily it dries the hair, but they also love the amped-up volume it delivers. For major definition, add a bit of mousse to damp hair before drying and styling.
Best for Fine Hair: BaBylissPRO Italy Dryer Diffuser
If you find your curls falling flat, this attachment will have them plumping up. The prongs work to lift and separate your hair for a fuller, thicker look and feel. One user notes that because of its bowl-like shape, it cuts down the frizz on her long hair and prevents her hair from spilling out during drying.
Best Budget: Estink Hair Dryer Diffuser
This lightweight diffuser is practically a steal. Made of durable plastic, it won’t weigh your arm down while you’re drying your hair. One reviewer reports that it dried her hair rather quickly, and her curls had more movement compared to when she air dries them.
Best Collapsible: StyleCraft Collapsible Professional Diffuser
High-grade silicone allows this portable diffuser to effortlessly fold flat for easy storage. The material also encourages a tight fit when attached to a hair dryer, which means no slipping or sliding while drying. Reviewers appreciated the collapsing feature as it made traveling with multiple styling tools a breeze.
Best Hair Dryer: BedHead 1875W Tourmaline Ionic Diffuser Hair Dryer
So this isn’t just a diffuser attachment—no, it’s a full-on diffuser hair dryer that was specially-designed to brings your curls to life. With three heat settings and two speed settings—as well as a cool shot blast—this dryer is all you need to get your style in perfect shape. Plus, the tourmaline ionic technology is the way to keep frizz away.