How to Use a Diffuser on Type 4 Hair

Megan Dominion

Type 4 hair is the most delicate hair texture, requiring special care and attention. To promote length retention, volume, and growth, type 4 hair should be handled gently, a special thanks to the diffuser, you can rock that gorgeous hair in no time.

Diffusers are ideal for those with coily hair because they help to maintain the natural curl pattern. You can dry your coils quickly and enjoy less frizz, more definition, and increased volume. A diffuser spreads the airstream over a larger area of your hair in a more controlled manner. A blow dryer with a regular attachment produces a strong, consistent stream of air. A diffuser attachment disperses the concentrated stream of air, which prevents it from disrupting the natural curl pattern.

Does Coily Hair Fall Under Type 4?

Yes, coily hair falls under Type 4 hair, which is also known as black, kinky, or coarse hair. It is distinguished by its tight, dense texture and natural lift. Coily hair, with its distinct texture, is bouncy and full of life. Due to its tight curl pattern, tends to run a higher risk of frizz, shrinkage, dryness, and breakage. At first glance, type 4 hair appears to be a tangle of tight coils brimming with life.

The universal hair typing system divides type 4 hair into three subcategories: type 4a, type 4b, and type 4c hair. As you might expect, each subtype has its own quirks and characteristics.

woman in steaming hot shower

How to Use Diffuser for Type 4 Hair?

Type 4 hair has strands that form very tight, small zig-zag curls right from the scalp and are prone to significant shrinkage. Its unique curl pattern of type 4 hair contributes to its volume and this is when a diffuser comes in handy. So the question is how to diffuse type 4 hair? Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Prep the Hair

Great coils start in the shower. After shampooing or co-washing, apply a super-hydrating conditioner to your coils and detangle conditioned hair with a wide-tooth comb to smooth out knots without damaging the delicate hair. When you get out of the shower, instead of rubbing your hair with your towel, wrap it in a T-shirt, soft cotton rag, or microfiber towel, which is the best option, and squeeze out the excess water.

Step 2: Shape and Form your Coils

Next, remember to style and define your coils before diffusing. Finger coiling will help your coils dry with maximum definition, allowing you to fluff with less frizz and have a longer-lasting style when dry. Twirling wet hair around your finger ensures that the coils hold their shape and look polished. Apply a mousse, gel or leave-in conditioner to hydrate and shape coils as they dry.

Step 3: Put the Diffuser to Work

Lift a section of your hair into the diffuser as you begin drying your hair, then turn your hair dryer on cool and low, too much heat can harm the coil, and too much airflow can make coils look frizzy. Then, hold the hair dryer in the same area for a minute or so. Avoid agitating the coils at this point, as too much movement while drying will cause frizz. Begin by drying the ends of your hair and working your way up to the roots.It’s worth experimenting with what works best for yoour hair here, diffusing often ends up being a trial and error process with tecnique and products. The golden rule is to touch or disturb your hair as little as possible during the diffusing.

You can also turn your head upside down to add volume to the roots and dry hard-to-reach areas like the back and center of your head. Once your hair is at least 80 percent dry, leave the rest to air dry.

Styling hair upside down

Step 4: Finishing Touches

When your hair is dry, you should notice a cast or shield on your coils left by the gel or mousse you used, then you’ll know your coils have set by then. If you prefer to break the crunch later, a light conditioning spray can be used. Scrunch the product into your hair to add shine and soften your style. Once your hair is completely dry and you’re satisfied with the way it looks, just scrunch your coils with your hands or a micro-towel. Shake out your hair and fluff the roots to add extra volume.

Benefits of Using Diffuser

A hair dryer’s air force can damage the way your hair clumps together into defined coils. Diffusers are also useful for people who need to dry their hair quickly and safely. In addition to reducing drying time, you can increase the volume of your coils, giving the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. It will increase volume, but only with the right techniques and product application. Here are more benefits of using a diffuser for coily hair:

  • When done correctly, it prevents frizz.
  • It does not interfere with your natural curl pattern.
  • It reduces drying time while adding frizz.
  • It is less harmful than direct blow dryer heat.

Ready to try a hair dryer diffuser?

Using a diffuser, no matter how simple stylists and beauty gurus make it appear, can be extremely frustrating, especially the first time, and keeping a kinky-curly mane is essentially a full-time job. So any styler that makes the process more bearable is one to keep on hand. A diffuser is one of those brilliant tools that everyone with coily hair should have. Now that you know how to use a diffuser for coily hair, that healthy, luscious, and big hair of your dreams is achievable in no time.

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.