My ‘no diffuser’ curly hair drying experiment at home had its challenges. First, I didn’t have the same gel from my vacation and had to improvise. Then, I thought the weather and the water quality would be the biggest change. Surprisingly, what I hadn’t thought about was the difference in hair dryers!
For my products, I couldn’t find the same gel I used on my vacation, so I chose an original favorite, the Bioterra Alcohol Free Defining Gel. I styled my curls in the same way and topped them with the Innersense Organic Beauty hairspray. The non-aerosol hairspray is my go-to curl-friendly product for heat and weather protection and a must for unpredictable vacation days.
The hair dryers
Quickly, I found out that my hair dryer was much more powerful than the one provided on my vacation. The one I used last Sunday was a 10+ year old Revlon 1875 Ionic. It had a low-speed setting that was so gentle that it hardly moved my hair around. Also, the low heating setting was also a true warm.
With my powerful Chi Rocket hair dryer, however, my hair was blowing around without the diffuser, making it a challenge actually dry my hair. Also, the low setting on the Chi is a high warm. I’ve never even used the hot setting. I even toggled between the cool setting to give myself a break. I got too hot. My hair was only about 65 percent dry. After 20 minutes, I gave up. It was 10:30 pm.
I decided to sleep with my still damp hair – not my favorite thing to do. I just lifted my hair up so it was above my head and air-drying over the silk pillowcase. This tends to create wonky curls, flat spots, and of course a wet pillow. Still, I hoped for the best.
Curl Tip: Always have an extra pillowcase on hand.
Here are my results! I was surprised to still have some definition, even with all of that movement. Note that I held the hairdryer pointing down the length of my curls at all times, not sideways or up from the ends. I focused on drying the roots first; and then tried to dry the lengths as best I could. My ends are less defined, though I can refresh them with a bit of water and gel to get the curl back. Still, I definitely give most of the credit to the hairspray for that protective hold. My hair does have a stiffness from the product combo (gel cast), but isn’t sticky or weighed down.
Ultimately, I got lucky with my vacation hair dryer. A new version of it is available for $15! Shall we see if the settings are the same?? For now, I can’t recommend this ‘no diffuser’ hair drying technique as a tip in general. But, I do recommend the hairspray + travel size to use with any hairdryer that you have. I’ll be using my diffuser as it makes for quick and easy drying with my usual routine. Cheers!