Reader Q&A: How Should I Blow Dry My Curly Hair?

Posted 09/12/11 at 11:53AM by Audrey Fine

Those of us with curly hair are special. And, by special, I mean confused. You either wrestle your curls into submission via any means possible or, you embrace the curl and go with it. The trick with embracing the curl is that you either have to leave the house with a wet head of hair or learn how to blow it dry without mussing the natural formation of the curl.

That conundrum brings us to this week's reader question, which was sent to us by Staci in Solvang, Calif. Staci asks, "How should I blow dry my curly hair?" Fret no longer Stace, curly hair experts Michael Dueñas and Rona Berg are here to help.

Rona Berg, who wrote the best-selling book, "Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes" says that as a curly girl, the diffuser is your best friend. Yes, the diffuser. You know that big funnel looking thing that came with your blow dryer and has been sitting under your bathroom sink ever since? That's a diffuser and it works by changing the airflow of your dryer from a concentrated, direct stream to a more diffused circle of air.

If you don't want to leave the house with a wet head and don't have time to air dry, Berg says to "Absolutely always diffuser dry to beat back the frizz and prevent curls from breaking up or becoming straggly."

But how do you use it? Begin drying on a low setting (so you don't disturb your natural curl pattern) and put the diffuser as close to your roots as possible. Leave it there until the section you're working on dries. And, cautions Dueñas, "always let your curls cool down before shaking them out" or you run the risk of disrupting the pretty curl pattern and creating dreaded frizz.

Once you're dry you still have one very important step. Keep your hands off! "As a rule, curly hair should be handled as little as possible throughout the drying process," warns Berg. "And, if you need to touch them, do it gently!" Dueñas adds, "The more hair moves when it is wet and drying, the frizzier it will get." This means, don't comb your fingers through your hair as you diffuse it dry, and don't scrunch, twist or otherwise contort it either. Just leave it alone to do what it's supposed to do -- curl.

If you have curly hair, you might get a kick out of this post -- it's all about being curly in a straight world.
And the survey says...
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