The diffuser attachment for your hair dryer is that oddly-spaceship-shaped device that snaps on to the end of your hair dryer’s air nozzle. Its purpose is to break-up the force of
the airflow from the dryer and allow you to dry curly and naturally wavy hair without a strong stream of air that would pull the curl out.
Obviously, diffusers are great for dealing with curly hair, but they are also a good tool for styling permed and chemically-damaged hair. By breaking up the airflow, you can avoid
stressing the fragile hair ends and are more likely to help protect the hair while you treat the damaged portions.
The concentrator nozzle of the hair dryer is possibly the least understood attachment, particularly since there are often two variants of the concentrator – one that has tines like a
comb, and one that is smooth-edged. The concentrator’s purpose is to intensify the airflow while styling the hair straight. It makes the source point of the airflow smaller, which allows better control of the direction
of the airflow as you dry the hair and draw out the wave and curl.
Since proper blow-dry straightening is a balancing act of tension, temperature and time being able to keep the flow of air under control can be a major help. The concentrator with the
tines is generally meant as a help for thicker or coarser hair so that you can direct the airflow onto the hair and keep an even tension on the hair during the initial stages of the drying/styling process.
Alternatives: Hooded and Bonnet Dryers
While these aren’t really “blow dryers” as we’ve come to know them. These hair dryer predecessors have their uses and can be a valuable addition to any home styling ensemble. While
they don’t offer the speed and convenience of hand-held dryers, they do allow you to set much stronger and longer lasting style elements.
The difference between a hooded and bonnet dryer is simply the materials that are used to make the portion that covers your head. A hooded dryer has a dome-shaped hood with air holes
throughout the interior that direct a diffuse flow of air inward to the hair which is usually wrapped around styling tools (namely rollers). The bonnet dryer functions the same way, but is usually made of flexible
plastic that uses an elastic seal around the perimeter to keep the airflow in and help the system work better.
The use of a hooded/bonnet dryer to dry a roller set offers you a means of creating very strong curly style which result in long-lasting looks. They’re great for events where you are
willing to spend extra time to dry the hair and create a look that you need to stand up to long-wear.
The hooded/bonnet dryer and the use of roller sets is also a great way for women dealing with damaged hair to get a flattering look without excessive styling stresses. Most all hooded
and bonnet dryers have adjustable temperature settings, including exclusively cool settings. This means that a woman with damaged hair, could set her hair with rollers, and dry it without heat and get a look she can be
happy with without further damaging her hair.
The hooded/bonnet dryer is also a great tool for performing deep conditioning and hot oil therapy treatments on the scalp and hair.