We all know how to use a hairdryer. Even if you don't care to learn certain drying techniques, it's not hard to simply point the hot air at your head to get your tresses dry as a bone. These days, most hair dryers come with attachments. If you're like many women, you probably left the additional snap on pieces in the box or at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.
However, understanding more about these pieces – called diffusers, nozzles or attachments – might make a huge difference in your hairstyle, whether your mane is curly, straight or somewhere in between.
Diffuse the air for curly hair
Curly haired ladies might avoid hairdryers altogether, since blowing hot air tends to lead to frizz and puffiness, not the defined curls they covet. However, that clip-on hairdryer attachment that slightly resembles a brush is actually one of the best ways to get perfect ringlets without the frizz.
This attachment is called a diffuser because it literally diffuses the hot air flow from the dryer so it does not actually blow your curls at all. Instead, it relies on the heat to dry the curls into the correct formation. The little pokey parts work like fingers would, separating strands without combing through ringlets.
When using a diffuser on your hair dryer, it is important to apply a curl-enhancing product. Which product you use depends on the type of hair you have and the type of curl you want, but mousses are usually a good route to take for volume and definition. Always put the dryer on the lowest power setting with the hottest heat.
For short hair, you can essentially just touch the diffuser to your scalp, drying each side by swinging hair all the way to one side and the other for volume. If your hair is longer, you can gather your locks into it and moving from the scalp to the ends. Make sure not to allow the diffuser to comb through your curls, and touch it with your fingers as little as possible.
Direct the air for pin-straight hair
The other type of attachment that comes with most hairdryers is a nozzle that narrows at the end into a straight line. This design works to direct the air and heat onto your hair, preventing the blowing around that tends to invite frizz. The more narrow the opening, the stronger the airflow will be, and the better it will work to reduce frizz. This nozzle is crucial for any type of blowout, since it helps straighten hair with just a brush and a hairdryer.
To make the most of your straight style, apply an anti-frizz cream to wet hair and brush all the way through. Then, blowdry your hair halfway, angling the air so it always goes down, not up, the hair shaft. This will keep the cuticle smooth.
Once your hair is halfway dry, take a round brush with a ceramic base and blowdry small sections of hair at a time. Point the nozzle directly at the brush, and keep it there as you pull the brush through your hair from root to tip. The hot air will also heat the ceramic base, making drying faster and smoother.
The nozzle is also great for curling the ends of your hair, because it directs the air where it needs to go around the round brush. As you reach the ends of your hair with the brush, keep the nozzle touching or close to the brush as you twist the hair under or backwards.
Remember, practice makes perfect!