Cosmopolitan June 8, 2023



15 Best Diffusers for Curly Hair, Tested and Reviewed for 2023


Major volume, definition, and shine—ya know, the holy trinity.

There’s curly hair, and then there’s curly hair after you diffuse it. The difference? Roughly 10 compliments from co-workers in the span of one afternoon And, thus, me and my lil ego love diffusers for curly hair. Seriously—I've spent a lifetime decoding my own thin curly hair (pls ask me about the best curl products or how frustrating/awesome the Curly Girl Method is), so trust me when I say that the best curly-hair diffuser can leave your curls super voluminous and defined, with less frizz and flyaways (if they're not your thing).

As a refresher, hair diffusers are bowl-shaped attachments that snap to your dryer to help diffuse the flow of air to your curls to encourage clumping and definition—and I've legit tested and reviewed 30+ of them in my career. Which means I also know you'll get the best results if you pick a diffuser that's right for your hair type and length (see: a wider bowl and longer prongs for long hair, or a shallow bowl with shorter prongs for short hair). So to help you choose the best diffuser, I chatted with hairstylist Leigh Hardges and rounded up my favorite hair diffusers for curly hair, below (sneak peek incoming):

Our top picks for the best diffusers for curly hair of 2023

We've broke down the best of the best hair diffusers (some universal, and some specific to hair-dryer brands) and also explain how best to diffuse your hair, what to look for in the best diffuser, and whether or not diffusing your curls is really worth it. Keep reading, pls, and get ready for some extremely good hair days.

Best Diffuser for Thick and Long Curly Hair

Xtava Black Orchid Hair Diffuser


  • Seriously effective at drying thick, dense curl types
  • Long, skinny prongs help to dry your roots faster


  • Doesn’t have adjustable base, so won’t be compatible with all dryers

This diffuser is truly magical (like, 11,000 Amazon reviews-level magical) for drying and defining long and/or thick curls, thanks to the fact that its bowl is ultra-wide and its prongs are super-long and staggered. Not sure what that means? Basically, this attachment has more surface area to cup and hold your hair to help it dry more evenly, so you’re not stuck with half-damp, half-dry clumps of curls.

Size: Fits ~1.8-inch hair-dryer nozzles
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but on the higher side for larger flow

THE REVIEWS: "This is by far the best diffuser I’ve ever used!!" one product tester writes. "If you have thick, longer hair or thick, shorter curls, this is the diffuser for you!! My curls came to LIFE with this diffuser!! Love the volume! Highly recommended 10/10!!"

Best Adjustable Diffuser for Curly Hair

Fakllod Adjustable Hair Diffuser for Curly Hair


  • Has a twistable top so you can adjust how much air flow you want while diffusing
  • Comes in black and white finishes


  • Prongs are on the shorter side, so not great for super-long hair

Ok, I genuinely loooove this diffuser because it gives me, a control freak, major control over my entire curl-diffusing routine. The attachment has an adjustable, twistable top that allows you widen or shrink the air flow coming through the diffuser, so you can customize how much—or how little—drying power you want. And for me and my mix of ultra-fine and super-coarse hair, I need to be able to customize the flow to help mitigate excess heat damage and prevent frizz and flyaways.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.4 to 2.6-inches
Air vents: Customizable and adjustable

THE REVIEWS: "It makes my wavy hair dry even curlier, likely due to the quick drying power and the vents in the little spikes/tubes that can go to your scalp and dry the roots," notes one tester. "I love this diffuser and would highly recommend it for anyone."

Most Customizable Hair Diffuser

Segbeauty Hair Diffuser for Curly Hair



  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Fits smaller blow-dryer nozzles


  • Its large size makes it a little heavier than other diffusers

This baby is mega and sturdy, which is exactly what you want when you’re dealing with curly hair (flimsy diffusers that pop off in the middle of a drying session? I think TF not). It has an ultra-deep and wide bowl and medium-length prongs, making it perfect for any curl length. But the coolest (really) part? Its airflow is customizable. Just twist the attachment to the left or right for a stronger or weaker blast of air, which can help you control how your wet hair will dry and form.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.73 to 1.77 inches
Air vents: 114 (with customizable flow)

THE REVIEWS: "I love this. It has totally transformed my curly hair journey and routine," one reviewer writes. "I use it for hover drying. It is lightweight and fits on my speed freak hair dryer which has a smaller-than-typical barrel. Would buy again!"

Best Affordable Hair Diffuser

Conair Volumizing Diffuser



  • Easy to slide on and off without slipping


  • Might not be compact enough for travel

This diffuser attachment is only $13, and if you think that means it's cheap in quality, too, you’d be wrong: It’s one of the most popular diffusers for curly hair on Amazon with more than 13,000 positive reviews, and it fits most hair dryers (and obvi, all Conair dryers). Just lift and plop sections of your damp curls into the bowl and diffuse away.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.75 to 2.3 inches
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but on the fewer side for softer flow

THE REVIEWS: "This fits perfectly on my hair dryer and did exactly what I needed it to. It helps keeps my waves and curls from being frizzy and stays on the whole time with no worries of coming off my hair dryer while I’m using it," one reviewer writes.

Best Hair Diffuser for Long Curls

BestTrendy Professional Universal Hair Diffuser



  • Deep bowl makes it easy to cup and dry long curls


  • Some reviewers say it's hard to put on and take off

This diffuser for curly hair is awesome: It's pretty cheap (at least, for something that has more than 1,000 positive ratings), has a deep bowl for gathering your long curls in one bunch, and fits on the majority of common blow dryers, thanks to its silicone padded opening, which locks around the nozzle of your dryer without scratching it.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.4 to 2.4 inches
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but on the higher side for larger flow

THE REVIEWS: "This is a great diffuser," according to one tester. "I recommended it to my stylist and my sister who both also love it. It has a flatter profile than most other diffusers and so it is easier to pack when traveling. I’d give it more stars if I could!"

Best Hair Diffuser for All Curl Patterns

DevaCurl DevaFuser Universal Hair Diffuser



  • Sits between your layers to dry curls with more volume and less frizz


  • Takes a second to get the hang of using

Don’t be thrown by this wacky-looking diffuser—it’s basically a holy-grail tool in curly-hair communities. The slime-green “claw” streams air from all sides of its branches, helping dry your curls with significantly less frizz/flyaways while protecting your hair from heat damage. Rather than piling your hair in a classic diffuser cup, slide this DevaCurl diffuser along your roots and hang out while it dries your curls.

Size: Fits almost all standard, full-size hair dryers (really)
Air vents: Holes on both sides and edges of the diffuser for all-around even flow

THE REVIEWS: "If you have naturally curly hair, this diffuser will change your life," writes one reviewer. "Unlike some other diffusers that have rubber tips that grab onto your hair (not good if you're avoiding frizz), it gently lifts the curls and cradles them to dry them softly. It's pricey, but you get what you pay for."

Best Hair-Diffuser Blow Dryer

Bed Head Curls in Check Diffuser Hair Dryer



  • Its side-angle design is easier to use for beginners
  • Easy to travel with (no attachments!)


  • Some reviewers say it's on the louder side
  • Shallow bowl means it's not the best for long hair

If you only own a blow dryer for the sole purpose of diffusing your hair, then why not take the bulky attachment out of the equation and instead just use a dryer with a built-in diffuser? This one from Bed Head has more than 11,000 happy reviews on Amazon and for good reason: It has three heat settings, two-speed settings, and a cool shot button (use it in the final three to five minutes of diffusing to seal in your curl definition).

Size: N/A (all in one!)
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but highly vented for fast drying

THE REVIEWS: "I am absolutely in LOVE with this hair dryer. I have always used a hair dryer with a diffuser, but this takes it to the next level," reads one tester review. "I have so much volume, and my curls are perfect. No frizz whatsoever! The spikes make it kind of hard for traveling, and I am afraid I will break one, but that is the only reason I didn't give every area a 5-star! Buy it!"

Best Universal Hair Diffuser

Hairizone Universal Hair Diffuser



  • Fits almost every blow dryer
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Some reviewers say it doesn't stay in place

This universal hair diffuser fits on virtually all blow dryers (unless you’ve got some wonky dryer whose nozzle is smaller than 1.7 inches or wider than 2.6 inches, but, like, why?), so you won’t need to buy a new blow dryer just for the attachment option. If you’re into ~aesthetics~, it comes in six different pastel and vibrant colors and, most importantly, has a wide bowl to scoop up and dry even super-long curls.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.7 to 2.6 inches
Air vents: 211 (with varied sizing)

THE REVIEWS: "I lost my old attachment when I moved. This one is great! It's easy to attach by squeezing the side buttons and sliding it onto my dryer," writes one reviewer. "Really helps diffuse the air so it’s not coming at my hair straight. Perfect for curly/wavy hair!"

Best Hair Diffuser for Dyson

Dyson Supersonic Diffuser


  • Magnetized, so it "snaps" perfectly to the dryer


  • Is only compatible with Dyson
  • Has a shallow bowl and small prongs (not great for long hair)

If you don’t already have a Dyson hair dryer, I suggest immediately adding it to all your holiday/birthday wish lists right now. And if you’re already in possession of one, pick up the Supersonic Diffuser, which helps gently dry even super-thick curls with a steady stream of air to reduce frizz and drying time. BTW, Hardges is a big fan of this diffuser, too.

Size: Fits all Dyson hair dryers
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but on the higher side for faster drying times

THE REVIEWS: "It cut down on damage, the time it took me to dry my hair, and helps my curls to have body," one reviewer writes, while another adds, "This dryer and diffuser are the BEST! Completely different curls, less dry time (I don’t completely dry), and no frizz. I set on low heat or now heat and dry on low."

Best Hair Diffuser for Volume

Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser



  • Reviewers say the air flow is excellent


  • Is technically designed to only fit a Drybar hair dryer

Although this diffuser is technically designed for Drybar’s iconic Buttercup blow dryer, it can actually fit any blow dryer that has a nozzle diameter of 2 inches (a common nozzle size). Its staggered prongs also make it easy to catch and dry curls of any length without them slipping. Pro tip: Gather a clump of your damp curls with your hand and gently place the entire bundle on top of the bowl—rather than mashing the diffuser to your head—to help define your pattern.

Size: Fits most 2 inch hair-dryer nozzles
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but on the wider side for more air flow

THE REVIEWS: "I have looser curls/waves (blend of 2c-3b) and this is my favorite diffuser yet. Holds hair evenly without smashing or breaking apart the curls (my hair is about 4 inches past my shoulders)," reads one review. "I've had less frizz with this model compared to other diffusers."

Best Blow Dryer and Diffuser Combo

Revlon Infrared Hair Dryer


  • Diffuser has high air flow to dry curls faster


  • Some reviewers say the dryer could be hotter

As you already know, your curly hair is naturally dry, which mean you'll want a blow dryer that can do it all with a minimal amount of heat damage. Enter: this lightweight hair dryer that uses infrared heat to help mitigate moisture loss. It comeswith two attachments, including a huge diffuser attachment and a targeted blow-out attachment, along with three duckbill hair clips to help with parting and sectioning while drying.

Size: Really only fits included hair dryer
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but one of the highest on this list, making it an MVP at drying quickly

THE REVIEWS: "I love this dryer! Found this after tons of looking and figured, 'Screw it. For $20 it’s worth a test,' and YES IT IS," one reviewer writes. "This is the best dryer I’ve ever had. Lightweight, quiet, great diffuser, low and high heat, AND fan speeds. I was shocked how many dryers are just low and high heat, with no fan control! Just buy it—you won’t regret it."

Best Diffuser for Short Curls

UuColor Universal Hair Diffuser



  • Has silicone grips to keep it from sliding off the dryer


  • Might be too bulky to travel with

The nubby prongs on this diffuser are on the shorter side, making them especially excellent at drying shorter hair, like a curly pixie cut or recently chopped coils. Since cropped hair doesn't exactly have too much to "cup," you can try alternating traditional diffusing with the hover method, where you literally hover the bowl over your hair, slowly moving it around to dry your coils without smashing them.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.4 to 2.6 inches
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but has some of the biggest, widest, and varied sizes for fast drying

THE REVIEWS: "I've been trying out the curly girl method for my 2a/2b hair and I thought diffusing would do me some good," a tester writes. "This diffuser works super well and has a large surface, meaning you can use larger hair sections."

Best Sock Diffuser

Hot Sock Diffuser



  • Perfect for travel
  • Fits virtually all types of hair dryers


  • Isn't a traditional diffuser, so it won't cup and volumize curls

Here's the deal with sock diffusers: They soften the stream of hot air coming out of your blow dryer, so the air doesn't blast your curls apart and leave them undefined and frizzy. They don't necessarily cup and tighten your curls like a traditional diffuser, but unlike a traditional diffuser, they're thin, squishy, and fit over virtually any blow dryer, making it possible to diffuse your curls regardless of the dryer you're using.

Size: Fits all hair dryers
Air vents: No classic holes—the material itself allows for a soft, diffused stream of air

THE REVIEWS: "Had no issues keeping it on my blow dryer. It's less heavy and clunky than the diffuser that came with my blow dryer," one reviewer writes. "Was able to dry my fine, shoulder-length hair without it blowing around and tangling. Will definitely take it with me when traveling."

Best Travel Hair Diffuser

Sindycurls Magic Collapsible Silicone Hair Diffuser



  • Has a metal base (vs plastic), so it better encourages volume


  • Some reviewers say it collapses while in use

This flexible, collapsible (!!) diffuser is made of silicone, so it'll take up precisely zero room in your bag. It can also stretch to fit around any blow dryer nozzle between 1.6 to 2 inches. And, because of its wide bowl (key for longer curl types) and short prongs (good for shorter hair), this diffuser is basically the best all-around attachment to try, regardless of your hair type.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.6 to 2 inches
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but is primarily a vent, so it'll dry curls faster

THE REVIEWS: "Great diffuser! I love that it fits a range of dryer diameters, and the collapsible shape is excellent for travel," one tester writes. "I’ve had no issues with the diffuser collapsing while I am drying, Just work in sections so the weight of your hair doesn’t overload it."

Best Collapsible Hair Diffuser

Ceremonia Diffuser de Rizos



  • Collapses neatly, so it won't take up space for travel


  • Has a small and shallow bowl, so not great for longer hair

There's so much to love about this diffuser from Ceremonia. Since it's collapsible, you can basically take it anywhere with you, making travel days so much easier. It can also easily attach to your hair dryer, thanks to its ribbed-grip end, and it can withstand temperatures of up to 400-degrees. Since it has short prongs and a smaller bowl, this diffuser would be ideal for medium- to short-length hair.

Size: Fits hair-dryer nozzles between 1.57 to 2 inches
Air vents: Number of holes not listed, but is primarily a vent, so it'll dry curls faster

THE REVIEWS: "I LOVE THIS DIFFUSER! I attached it to my blow dryer, and the amount of volume and definition my curls got after they were dried is insane," reads one review. "I love that the diffuser has holes in the cap, unlike other diffusers, which is essential for diffusing the air and bringing bouncy curls."

What does a hair diffuser do?

As a refresher, hair diffusers are bowl-shaped attachments that disperse the flow of air from your blow dryer, helping to dry your curls more evenly and gently while encouraging definition and creating major volume. So rather than your hair blowing wildly into the wind (which = tangles/knots/nightmares), a diffuser cups and nestles your hair in one place while it dries.

Hair diffusers can also be used to dry and set short hairstyles and updos without disturbing the look, says hairstylist Leigh Hardges. So if you want to wet-set your curls, waves, or even a slicked-back and gel-coated bun, you can also use a diffuser to help fully set the style.

Are hair diffusers really worth it?

As a curly-haired person, we're typically more susceptible to heat damage than someone with straight or even wavy hair. If you don't have the time to air-dry, or you want more voluminous curls, then a diffuser is absolutely worth trying. Not only will you be able to walk away with those big and defined curls (if properly diffused), but you'll also be able to prevent experiencing any extra heat damage or breakage by switching to a diffuser.

How to choose the best hair diffuser

A diffuser might be universal when it comes to fitting around your blow-dryer nozzle, but as far as finding the right hair diffuser to suit your specific needs, you'll want something a little more personalized. According to hairstylist Leigh Hardges, there are three key features you want to check out when shopping for hair diffusers:

Figure out the right size

First of all, you have to make sure the attachment is compatible with the size of your blow dryer, but you'll also want to pay special attention to the diameter of the bowl: "The size or diameter of the diffuser determines how much surface area of the head will be covered," Hardges says. "The cup size of the diffuser is an indicator of how much hair it can hold while drying." In other words, the longer your hair, the bigger, wider, or deeper the bowl you'll need.

Determine how much airflow you need

The holes or vents in the bowl of a hair diffuser control how much air will flow through the device. "The airflow is determined by the placement and number of holes on the diffuser, which determines how quickly your hair dries," says Hardges. If your hair is very thick and slow to dry, you'll want a diffuser with a high number of holes and vents, while thinner hair may do better with fewer holes or customizable vents.

Consider the prong length

For long and/or dense curls, look for a diffuser with longer prongs, which will help you better dry your scalp and also keep your curls clumped while sitting in the diffuser bowl. For shorter or thinner hair, you can get away with a diffuser that has short or nubby prongs.