These curls would have been scrunch dried to achieve this hair style by Joey Scandizzo

Courtesy 2007 AHFAwards

This hair style by Geoffery Herberg can be achieved only if your hair is naturally very curly.
The look above can be achieved only if your hair is naturally very curly.
The neatly styled curls and waves like those below are not achievable by scrunch drying! Neat smooth curls are always a combination of blow drying, setting with rollers and/or heat styling.
The neatly styled curls and waves like these by Anthony Nader are not achievable by scrunch drying! Neat smooth curls are always a combination of blow drying, setting with rollers and/or heat styling.



Scrunch or Diffuse Drying for Curls

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If your hair is fine and/or dead straight, even the greatest amount of effort in the form of scrunch or diffuse hair drying will not result in a messy textured scrunched or curly hair style. If your have a natural wave, loose or tight curl or have a permanent wave and you are after more waves, move volume (bigger hair) or a longer lasting look, the advice we have on scrunch or diffuse hair styling will prove invaluable.

Firstly, to get the best results you will need to learn a few basics.

  • The diffuser is an attachment that you fit to the end of your hairdryer which spreads the airflow and prevents blowing your hair at all. It relies mainly on the heat of the dryer to dry, so would normally be used on the hottest heat setting and lowest speed.
  • The products you will need (and you do need them) will change depending on the type of curl you want and what is possible with the natural degree of wave you have. Curl enhancing finishing products and care ranges are a good place to start. For scrunching though I still love a little old fashioned mousse.


1. Shampoo and towel dry your hair. If it needs to be detangled brush it through prior to shampooing rather than combing it after, this will help to enhance any natural waves or curls by allowing it to clump together in its natural sections.

2. Apply a curl enhancing product. The amount you use depends on how much hair you have and you will be able to work this out the more you style your hair yourself. As a general rule, use less than you think. Too little will result in a shape that won't last as long or be as curly as you wanted, too much will leave the hair sticky and hard to work with. When applying any product to your hair always pop it into your hands first then work it around them. This will spread the product so that as you put it into the hair, you won't get patches of too much. Another way to prevent patches is to dab the product over the hair, applying small amounts all over the place. As less is left on your hands, work more firmly to remove the last bits.

3. Put the diffuser onto the end of your hairdryer.

4. If your hair dryer has various heat and speed settings put it on high heat slow speed for best results.

5. Start with the underneath of your hair and work towards the top as this area always dries out first and will go frizzy with this type of look if over-dried.

6. Hang your head from one side to the other or tip upside down for more lift/volume.

7. With longer hair, allow it to sit within the diffuser by almost gathering your hair into it in a circling motion from the ends moving towards the scalp. With shorter hair simply hold the diffuser over the head.

8. The real trick now is not to touch your hair. You may place your fingers in at the scalp to lift the hair away a little to give more volume or to hold the curl gently in place if your natural wave is very slight. Besides that don't touch!

9. Finally, leave a little moisture in the hair at the end and allow this to dry out without the hairdryer. This will help prevent an attack of the "frizzies". Only when the hair is totally dry (give it about 1/2 an hour) can you shake your fingers through your hair to loosen the curl out and then shape to style.

You never get things perfect the first time so keep practicing as this look is a great alternative and eventually is the ultimate in the quick 5min style. As for what to do between shampoos: nothing! Don't be tempted to brush or comb this, as you will loose the look. If it does go a little flat when you sleep on it then mist with a water spray in the mornings and use your hands to push back the curls. Finger diffuse drying for texture and wave.

This technique is very easy and will give a simple wavy/messy texture to natural soft to medium curls or permed hair that is up to 6"/15cm in length.

1. Apply your chosen styling product to your hair and comb it through to ensure an even distribution.

2. Fix a diffuser to your hairdryer.

3. Set your hairdryer to high heat low speed.

4. Keep the end of the diffuser about 3"/6cm from the hair.

5. With the other hand, use your fingers to lift the hair away from the scalp and gently "scrunch" the hair. To scrunch, tilt your head sideways, gather the hair in one hand with open fingers and gently "scrunch" it whilst holding the hair close to the head to reduce strain.

6. Once the hair is dry, leave for a further 15 minutes to fully cool off.

7. Finally use a little wax or oil to define and separate your curls, the amount of which depends on the individual product instructions, to complete the look. Don't get too fussy at this point, playing with your hair will destroy the look.

Classic scrunched curls from Shona Cataldo

Pic above courtesy of Cataldo's, Canberra

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