If you have waves, curls, coils, or any texture in between, you’re likely familiar with the great diffuser vs. air-dry debate. While there are pros and cons to each technique, it’s best to choose based on your specific curls and hair goals.<br />Can't decide which method is best for you? Read this quick post to help you understand the differences between air-drying and diffusing your curls and how each technique can affect your end-style and overall hair health.<br />Let’s look at some reasons why you may prefer one over the other:<br />Air-drying Your Curls:<br />Air-drying your curls is the au-naturel way to style and most people consider it the best way to dry curly hair if you have more fragile strands and you’re looking to preserve hair health. Air-drying can cut down on heat damage, save time, and can ultimately lead to shiny, defined curls. Of course, everyone's curls are unique. Some with curls swear that air-drying creates the most definition, while some with finer-to-thin textures may experience less definition due to the weight of the water in their hair stretching out the curl pattern during the time it takes to dry.<br />The topic of frizz is also a bit debated when it comes to air-drying versus using a diffuser. Many who choose to air-dry experience less frizz as you’re not touching your hair as much as if you use a dryer. There is also another curly camp that believes air-drying can lead to more frizz, as it leaves strands vulnerable to breakage as you move about your day (hair is most prone to damage when wet). So, your outcome will be dependent on how you can protect your damp curls from too much friction until they are 100% dry.<br />Here are some tips &amp; tricks to get the best out of air-drying your curls:<br /><br />When detangling your curls, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. This helps your curls clump together for better definition.<br />Swap your terrycloth towel for a microfiber one instead. These are gentler on your curls to minimize damage, plus they absorb excess water after styling which helps to minimize frizz. Don’t have a microfiber towel? Use an old T-shirt! If you want to help speed up the time of air drying, look into the plopping method.<br />Don’t touch your curls after applying your styling products. Use a lightweight curl cream and set with your favorite gel. Once you’re ready to air-dry, try not to play with your curls as this can cause more frizz.<br />Pro tip: Want volume at the root? If you don’t want to or have time to diffuse (see below for benefits) then the next best way to get voluminous curls is to use a claw clip at the root while air-drying. Here’s a great tutorial.<br /><br />We know that not everyone has the time to wait for their curls to dry, and that not all dry times are created equal. If you have low porosity hair, your curls may dry quickly, however those with high porosity hair can take what feels like forever. So, let’s look at the fastest way to dry your curls.<br /><br />Diffusing Your Curls:<br />Using a diffuser attachment to dry your curls is the fastest way to speed up your dry time and, if done correctly, can lead to full, bouncy, voluminous curls. A diffuser—unlike a typical blow-dryer—disperses air around the hair, which helps lessen the heat directly on your strands and prevent the cuticles from being roughened up (aka causing frizz). This helps curls maintain their shape and definition. Diffusing your curls helps to set the shape of your strands, which means better curl clumps that are less prone to frizz.<br />The first step is finding the right diffuser. Ouidad’s new Made For Curls™ 3-in-1 Universal Diffuser has three unique attachments that allow you to customize your curl look. Specifically designed for all curl types, this diffuser provides concentrated heat that accelerates drying time and helps prevent frizz.<br />Whether it's a soft air-dry, more definition, or added volume that you're looking for, this multi-functional diffuser helps you create the curl styles you want on all lengths and hair textures. The universal size is compatible with most dryers. Plus, it’s made from high temperature resistant silicone and nylon material.<br />Here are some tips &amp; tricks to get the best out of diffusing your curls:<br /><br />Keep the heat setting on your dryer on low or medium. We recommend using a heat protectant like Advanced Climate Control Detangling Heat Spray or Mongongo Oil before you dry.<br />Don’t hold the dryer too close to your curls to limit any heat damage. We recommend using the hover method, which involves holding your dryer a few inches away from your head when diffusing. Simply diffuse the hair from a distance and slowly move the dryer around different areas of the head until your curls are fully dry. This method helps keep your hair healthy by not adding direct heat, and it also leaves your curls looking extra defined and frizz-free.<br />Before you diffuse, we recommend you spray a hairspray to set your curls and fight frizz.<br />Pro tip: If you want to take frizz protection one step further, don’t cup your curls into the diffuser. Make sure that you direct the heat downward and that you’re not blowing up against the hair cuticle (this will lead to frizz!).<br /><br /><br />The Bottom Line:<br />Since air-drying and drying with a diffuser each have their own pros and cons, we recommend trying both methods to see what works best for your curl pattern. When you incorporate these techniques and tips pay attention to how small changes like using a microfiber towel or a different diffuser attachment can change the way your curls look. Ultimately, there is no right way to dry your curls—it’s a personal preference.