It’s 9 a.m., you’re in the bathroom, a coffee on the sink, hairdryer in hand, but this time it’s winter. Curls have gone flat and frizz is the name of the game, so you reach for your hairdryer’s trusty sidekick: a diffuser.
Diffusers help curls keep their patterns intact when blowdrying them. The pronged attachments work to disperse the airflow from your dryer to surround the curl. This takes the ferocity of the air stream from the dryer down a few notches to prevent frizz and help spirals hold their shape. That said, not all diffusers are created equally, and with so many different kinds of curls, you’ll want to be sure you’re choosing the best option for your texture.
According to Justine Marjan, TRESemmé Global Stylist, there are a lot of different types of diffusers that work differently on different hair types. To find out which one is right for you, it’s first important to understand what type of curls you’ve got: 1 is straight, 2 is wavy, 3 is curly, and 4 is coily, and the letters A through C describe the width or diameter of your curl pattern. So if you’ve got light waves, you’re likely a 2A, and if you’re more tightly coiled, you’re probably a 4B or 4C. “No two types of curly hair are the same, and the beauty of what makes curls so amazing is their uniqueness,” says Marjan.
Once you’ve sussed out your texture, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using whatever your “best” diffuser is the right way. Angela Soto, stylist and owner of Baja Studio, recommends diffusing immediately after applying your go-to products when your hair is still pretty wet because the water can help keep curls hydrated. Soto explains that “if your hair is already damp, the curls most likely will have already started to frizz making them harder to define.” Got that? Good. Now, scroll through for the best hair diffusers for every kind of curl, according to two top hairstylists.
Best for 4C curls: Black Orchid Hair Diffuser, $26
This is one of the best hair diffusers for coily textures. The 360-degree airflow diffuses hair “evenly and gently to maximize volume while banishing frizz,” says Soto. Its extra-large design allows it to dry hair more quickly, which means it’s a time-saving superhero.
Shop now: Black Orchid Hair Diffuser, $26
Best for 4A and 4B curls: DevaFuser Universal Diffuser For All Curlkind, $50
Besides being fun to look at, the finger-like prongs on this alien-like design help to evenly distribute airflow and really get to your hair’s roots. The 360-degree airflow surrounds curls rather than hitting them straight on, making for faster dry time and seriously long-lasting curls.
Shop now: DevaFuser Universal Diffuser For All Curlkind, $50
Best for 3C curls: Bio Ionic Universal Diffuser, $24
This diffuser is ultra-lightweight, which makes it easy to attach and hold up with one hand while zhuzhing your curls with the other. Its versatility means that it can fit onto most hair dryers, so is a great option for tossing in your gym bag or carry-on. Soto loves the vents in the prongs, which help to give hair full definition and volume from the roots through the ends.
Shop now: Bio Ionic Universal Diffuser, $24
Best for 3A and 3B curls: Rizos Curls Collapsible Diffuser, $30
This pink option has both prongs and a mesh overlay to prevent frizz and help shape curls. Its universal size fits most hairdryers and the collapsible silicone makes it easy to travel with and store.
Shop now: Rizos Curls Collapsible Diffuser, $30
Best for 2A, B, C waves: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 Diffuser
Soto cites this diffuser as her go-to when she’s working with fine or wavy hair textures. The blow dryer it’s designed to work with, the Harry and Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 3000 ($249) itself has an ionic setting you can switch on or off to help the hair dry faster and retain moisture, so she recommends switching it on when diffusing.
Shop now: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 Diffuser, $30
Best for all textures: Dyson Supersonic Diffuser, $40
Finally, everyone’s fave hot ticket item, the Dyson Supersonic. With its one-of-a-kind design, the Dyson hairdryer is lightning quick when it comes to drying your hair, but with the diffuser attachment distributing the air even further, you’ll have smooth and bouncy curls in less than five minutes.
Shop now: Dyson Supersonic Diffuser, $40
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