How to Blow Dry Curly Hair

November 03, 2020 4 min read

How to Blow Dry Curly Hair

By Toia Barry

If you’ve been taught to view hairdryers with a healthy amount of side-eye, we’d encourage you to think again. 

That’s right, you can use heat to dry and style your natural hair. You just have to know how to use it the right way and avoid overdoing it, of course. And that’s the hardest part that most of us gloss over in our hair care routines.

Don’t worry, though. We’ve got you covered with these tips for moderation and the most fool-proof methods for how to blow dry curly hair the right way.

Understand the Deal with Heat and Natural Hair

Your curls are amazing. The shape, texture, and curl pattern are all unique to you. But your hallmark curly or coily strands also put you at a disadvantage structurally with retaining moisture. If you have high porosity hair, it means that water and oils can be easily absorbed by your hair. 

Because of the zig-zag pattern of naturally curly manes, the flow of sebum from the scalp to hair strands is tricky. That’s why dryness is a continuous challenge. Dryness paired with fragility is a recipe for damage. Add heat to the equation and you’re dealing with a whole mess of challenges, such as:

  • Breaks
  • Split ends
  • Limpness
  • Lack of definition
  • Dullness

Pick the Right Equipment

Now that you know (or have received a helpful reminder) that you’re carrying around a head of precious cargo, it’s time to treat those curls right with the best equipment for the job.

So, what should you look for in a blow dryer for your natural curls?

  • Multiple heat settings – If you go with a basic hairdryer, you’ll probably end up cooking your hair. The more heat settings available, the more flexibility you have and control over moderating the heat intensity.
  • Quality diffuser – Diffusers are a must-have for natural curls. They do exactly what the name suggests: they diffuse or spread out the heat in a less concentrated way. If you want to up your drying game, look for diffusers for your specific curl type. Every lady’s curls are different, but some diffusers are specifically meant for shorter natural coils while others are best suited for longer or thicker curls.

Do the Right Prep Work

Once you have the right equipment, you still can’t just dive in right after you’ve cleansed and conditioned. Set yourself up for success with these key foundational steps.

Remove Excess Moisture

One mistake ladies with all hair types make is not waiting long enough after washing before powering up the blow dryer. 

Try a combo of air drying and then sopping up extra moisture with a t-shirt. You want your hair to be quite dry, but not completely.

Apply the Right Pre-Drying Product(s)

After you’ve removed most of the moisture from your curls, make sure you apply a conditioning or protective product. Leave-in conditioners or styling products, like our Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner and Pomegranate & Honey Curl Smoothie, create a luscious moisture seal (and smell wonderful, too) and are a great solution for how to enhance curls.

For an extra level of thermal protection, our Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray contains the right blend of nourishing ingredients to combat frizz and add shine and smoothness.

The Best Way to Dry Curly Hair: Key Steps

Your hair is dry-ish, you’ve applied the best moisturizer for curly hair or styling product, and now you’re ready to go.

Choose the Right Amount of Heat

Even if you’re in a hurry, the last thing you want to do is go full-blast with high heat. For best results to achieve 4c natural hair styles, choose a low or medium heat setting. This will ensure the least amount of frizz, which means less chance that you’ll undo the beautiful luster and definition you’ve achieved with the right natural product.

If you’re concerned about how to blow dry curly hair fast, you could also consider only drying it 80% of the way to avoid over-drying and causing unwanted frizz or heat stress to your curls. You could also build your style around that approach to get you the look you want and out the door faster. 

Use Downward Motions

Another key to blow drying curls is to use a downward motion. A pro-approved tactic is to divide your hair into sections to help you get to more of your curls. Use the diffuser to create volume at the scalp and gently dry your locks without pulling or straining your strands.

Apply Oil

Depending on who you talk to and your personal preference, applying oil is another crucial step of drying curly hair with heat. Some people do this before and some gals prefer to do it after drying as an extra protective and moisture-sealing finish.

One product we recommend applying after or before drying is our Pomade to Oil Treatment. It’s lightweight but deeply moisturizing and an anti-humectant superpower. Meaning it repels humidity, ladies! It’s a perfect finishing touch to add shine and protection after a blow dry. It is truly one of the best products for curly frizzy hair.

Protect Your Natural Curls with MIELLE Organics 

When you choose a complementary MIELLE Organics co-wash, leave-in conditioner, or cream for your Type 3 and Type 4 hair, you can feel good about your choice. Check out the best products for 4c hair from the experts at Mielle!

If you’re looking for how to coil natural Black hair, we have the natural hair products you need.

All of our products are completely natural and aimed specifically at your natural hair concerns and aspirations. Whatever your texture, curl type, or porosity, you’ll find MIELLE products that will get your coils ready for exquisite styling. 


  1. Healthline. Heat-Damaged Hair: How to Repair it Without a Haircut.
  2. Byrdie. Stylists Say This is Exactly How to Blow-Dry Curly Hair.
  3. Naturally Curly. 7 Rules When Using a Blow Dryer on Curly Hair.
  4. Cosmopolitan. 13 Best Diffusers for Curly Hair and How to Use Them.

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