Hair Hair Tutorials Tutorials

Using a Diffuser to get “Natural Curl”

I feel like I’ve been sitting on this tutorial for like 2 years now!
I LOVE using the diffuser to get totally natural looking curls in my hair but there are SO many ways to screw it up…and end up looking like a poofball!
Over the years I feel like I’ve really mastered the art so when Sally Beauty asked me if I’d like to collab with them on a hair tutorial this was the perfect one to finally show you!
Most of the time I avoid using much by way of product (hairspray, gel etc.). Using the diffuser is one of the only ways I can get away with it and have it hold my hair without tangling the tar out of it or weighing it down.(since it’s so fine)


(I added some curls with the curling iron as well but only a couple on top:)


What I used:

One Touch Professional Blow Dryer (& The diffuser that comes with it)

Ion Keritan Dry Oil Mist

Ion Titanium 1 1/4″ Curling Iron

Ion Curl Spray Gel

Ion Flex Finish Hairspray

Volumizing Root Lifter

(Right now if you buy 3 or more Ion products you get an free tote! They’re all so cute and perfect summer beach bags! – which are part of my Giveaway below!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also I wanted to let you in on Sally Beauty’s Beaches Sweepstakes! Where you can win a vacation for two to Jamaica or Turks & Caicos!
I’m really hoping one of my readers wins this and it’s super easy to enter! Click here to get in on it!



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  • Reply
    Angie H
    July 3, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I’m definitely trying this today. Love it!

    • Reply
      Angie H
      July 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Cara, I went to Sally’s today and bought all the products you used in the tutorial and also received the free bag (cute). I have long, wavy, frizzy, fine hair and followed your tutorial exactly as you did it. I LOVE how it turned out! It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to accomplish for years. Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Gorgeous! I love Ion products, especially the root lift. And the texturizing spray. Their tote bags are awesome too. They run a promotion several times a year and I haven’t paid for a new bag in forever. You’ve shown some products I haven’t tried yet…definitely going to go for it.

  • Reply
    Eryn P.
    July 3, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Love this! My hair is naturally wavy and I use a diffuser almost everyday to get awesome curls! The system that works well for my type of hair is using an anti-breakage serum on the ends of my hair, some leave-in conditioner (preferably miracle 10 – you got me hooked!), mousse, then scrunch away and diffuse 😉 I do this all right after I get out of the shower when my hair is soaking wet.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Key
    July 3, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Hello Cara.
    Maybe you can help me with one “curling problem”?
    Not long ago I fell in love with hair curling. My hair naturally are straight. I’m curling them for almost half year (not every day, but once per week) Still I have a problem almost every time – locks aren’t holding. Yesterday I curled hair and just sat down scrolling through blogs. After 2 hours of not even moving my princess hair were straight as if it had not seen curling iron at all. I was very upset .. hour in vain.
    In connection with the problems mentioned, my question is quite clear – what hair cosmetics do you use to fix curls and before curling them? I live in Europe and didn’t find iON cosmetics in my city..maybe you can suggest smth else from mass market?
    Thank you for help.
    xoxo Vanessa Key

    • Reply
      July 3, 2014 at 8:18 am

      I have hard to curl hair too. I love curlformers. I took a chance since they are marketing more towards women of color, which I am not, but they work amazing. Wish I had found them years ago. Get the wide or extra wide size.

      • Reply
        Vanessa Key
        July 4, 2014 at 7:51 am

        Thank you Gina 🙂 I’ll try 🙂

  • Reply
    Emerald Earrings
    July 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Cara you are so gorgeous! My hair is naturally stick-straight, so I’m guessing using a diffuser probably wouldn’t do much for me. Have you ever tried this on anyone who didn’t have any curl/wave at all?

  • Reply
    Rachel C
    July 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Thank you for doing a post about diffusers! I just “discovered” and embraced my naturally wavy hair about a year ago. One thing that may help those of us who’s hair tends to get frizzy is to *NOT* use a towel to dry your hair. Terri cloth actually makes your hair frizzy. Instead, use an old tee-shirt or a micro-fiber towel. It’ll absorb more water and it will cut down the frizz. I started do this about a year ago and it has made a world of difference.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I would love to see a video tutorial of this!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Awesome, as always. Sally Beauty supply is lucky. This post will drive them some business! I know I’m going shopping there now!

  • Reply
    Courtney Lyons
    July 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

    So I have stick straight hair but love this look. Would the diffuser still work to create curls?

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse
    July 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Excellent Tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Johnston
    July 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    You are seriously a genius with this stuff!

  • Reply
    Liz Tea Bee (@LizzTeaBee)
    July 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    How long does it take you to dry your hair this way compared to regular blow drying? I’m intrigued but my hair is so thick it seems like it’d take hours to dry this way.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I love this post. Your hair came out amazing. How long did it take you.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2014 at 7:24 am

    This is so cute! I have weird in between wavy/straight hair that can never make up it’s mind, so I’m definitely trying this. I need to invest in some spray gel too.

    Also I love how you do tutorials makeup free sometimes. Some bloggers are terrified of showing their faces sans-makeup (which does sound intimidating). You’re gorgeous without makeup anyways, but it’s a nice reminder none of us walk around made up Kardashian-style 24/7.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for the tips on the diffuser! I styled my hair this way today & LOVE it! My question is what heat setting & hi or low air strength? Is one better than the other to prevent frizzing? Thanks!

    • Reply
      July 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

      A low heat setting will minimize frizz ( even though it does take a bit longer to dry) also, using a tee shirt instead of towel will cut back on frizz

  • Reply
    Kim from the Infinite Smile Project
    July 5, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Okay, you look like Liz Hurley in that pic with your hair diffused. Gorgeous. Perfect summer beachy look. 🙂

  • Reply
    Caitlyn from A Lottle Bit of Pink
    July 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    This is gorgeous! I have do admit, I’ve always kind of afraid of diffusers but I think I am going to have to give it a try.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Hi Cara! This is a fabulous tutorial! Being a curly girl myself, I’ve done a TON of research on curl maintenance, styling, etc…and one tip you might find helpful is…instead of using a towel to pull out some of the dampness, use an old cotton t-shirt instead. It’s just as absorbent, but it doesn’t disturb your tresses and curl/wave pattern as much as the rough texture of a towel does. Thanks for all the cool tips you share, Cara! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I preffer hundreds of times my difusor than my straighner to get some messy curls for summer

  • Reply
    July 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    How long does it take to do this hairstyle? I have medium long thick hair and I am nervous to try this because it looks like it would take forever….

  • Reply
    July 6, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I love this natural look!

    Hopefully you’ll see this, if not I may just ask again later, so that I harass you properly for it (that sounds bad, doesn’t it?). I miss the celeb how to’s you used to do; they were so much fun! I am currently obsessed with Witches of East End, and Jenna Dewan Tatum’s look. She’s SO gorgeous. Would love to see a make over on that, and some tips to get her look.. hair, makeup, etc.

  • Reply
    Tresses Beauty
    July 7, 2014 at 2:38 am

    you looks perfect in that hairstyle!! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 7, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Love this look! Going to try it this week. What color of lipstick are you wearing in this video? Looks great!

  • Reply
    Laura Adams
    July 7, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I did this and it took me less than 10 minutes (my hair’s shoulder-length), and the results were flawless! And I only used a root-booster and argon oil spray! I usually think that any hair or makeup stuff will take too long or be too much of a pain, but this was easy. Thanks Cara for making this non-girly-girl feel like I can look amazing too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sari תסרוקות ערב
    April 24, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Hey Cara,

    I have heard about the instyler for curling hair and wanna buy it, do you have any experience with it?


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