If you have curly hair, a diffuser extension is a beauty essential. This odd-looking little device hooks onto the nozzle of your blow dryer and disperses air to your wet locks without disturbing your natural wave patterns or creating frizz. Consider this an absolute miracle product for those of us blessed with bends, waves, coils, and twists. Yet, despite its MVP status, knowing the best way to tackle the styling staple can be boggling. Keep reading for three do’s and two don’ts on using a diffuser.

DO use a diffuser on a cold setting. Blasting your mane with hot hair can cause your curls to lose their shape. “When hair is hot, it is elastic and the wave or curl can drop,” explains Conair hairstylist Michael Dueñas. “Use the diffuser with cold air to lock in your style without disturbing it.”

DON’T move the diffuser around a lot. While it might seem smart to work the tool through your hair, Dueñas has a totally different approach. “Don’t bounce a diffuser around because you will cause more frizz,” he warns. It’s all about patience. “Hold it in one spot until the hair is completely dry, and then move to the next spot.”

DO use a diffuser with a big dish for a speedy style. The larger the tool and its “fingers” are, the faster the blowout process will go. Simply put: You’ll be able to cover more surface area in less time. Dueñas recommends the Conair Infiniti Pro 3QMS Compact Brushless Motor Styling Dryer (above $80).

DON’T use a diffuser as a comb. A diffuser and a comb are two separate, totally different hair tools for a reason! “Raking a diffuser through your hair like a comb will cause frizz and break apart your style,” he says. Use a wide-toothed comb on wet curls in the shower and leave the diffuser for blowout purposes only.

DO turn to your diffuser to hack volume. Instead of reaching for a volumizing hair product, fire up your dryer. “Use a diffuser on dry hair with your head upside down,” Dueñas explains. “It can evenly heat and cool your roots, so when you flip your head back over, you have a lot more volume.”

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