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I Diffused My Hair and I Liked It: Ion Universal Folding Diffuser Review

6:00 AM

ion folding diffuser review

I know you're probably thinking, what's the big deal? People diffuse their hair all the time.

I don't.

For as long as I've been washing and going (since my transitioner days), I've always air dried my hair. Always. Which explains why my day 1 hair was always the same -- pulled back to combat my epic frontal shrinkage as my hair dried. But to be honest, I've grown tired of walking around with my "fresh press don't touch my hair" mentality while my natural curls dried in place. Sure, air drying is the healthiest way to let hair dry. But I've reached a point where for me, it might not be worth the hassle. Here's my life on Day 1 while my natural hair air dries:
  • Avoiding touching it before it dries to avoid epic frizz (and still finding frizzy ends because of course, my hair brushes up against my shirts when I move)
  • Can't lay my head on Samuel's shoulder without leaving a soggy product patch on his shirt (and hearing the complaints that follow...especially if said shirt is black or new)
  • Walking around since 7am with wet hair, only to come home at 10pm and discover the roots are still soaking wet
  • Automatic frizz in the front of my hair from pinning or clipping it back
Yeah, I'm over it. So before I engaged in the epic wash day battle (I'll get there soon), I was determined to find out of diffusing was my next step. The first thing I did was take my blow dryer with no nozzle, and do a patch test of a *section* of freshly washed hair. It went well, but required a tad bit too much work to hold my hair as it dried. I liked the results, but thought that a diffuser would do my hair more justice. That was all the confirmation I needed. So a few days later, I went to Sally's with my tail between my legs and repurchased an item I had previously purchased and returned: the Ion Universal Folding Diffuser.

I purchased the diffuser months ago, and used it for all of two minutes before returning it. At the time, for some reason I believed that diffusers were supposed to work instantly. so after randomly diffusing sections of soaking wet hair and seeing no tangible difference, I sent the diffuser shipping back to Sally's. If I knew then what I know now...I might have kept it. What really got me was that I initially purchased it on sale for $9.99, but this time around I had to pay $12.89. Not a huge deal, but cheaper is always better. But enough with the backstory, let me get on with the actual review.

Availability: I've honestly only seen this thing on the ground at Sally Beauty, but you can likely find it on Amazon.com as well.

Affordability: I paid $12.89 with my Sally Beauty Club (green card) discount, and it regularly retails for $14.99. Most diffusers range from $9.99 to $29.99. This is right in the middle, and I definitely don't feel like I overpaid (even though I didn't get the sale price I had before).

Product Claim/Description: It doesn't make any lofty claims on the packaging other than boasting ultimate space saving design for storage and travel (thanks to the patented folding technology...lol), being heat resistant with cool-touch silicon surface, and fitting most dryers and brands. I guess when it comes to this particular product, the unique design and materials speak for themselves.

ion folding diffuser review

ion folding diffuser review

ion folding diffuser review

Performance Delivery: First of all, this thing is CUTE! I'm not one to ooh and aah over packaging, but I love bright colors. This diffuser comes in both hot pink and black, and the hot pink is EVERYTHING! The accordion-style folding is a plus and a minus, honestly. On the plus side, it makes it easy to store -- diffuser attachments can be clunky and difficult to store. I'm definitely taking this to Vegas with me next week. The downside is that well, it folds. If you apply a moderate amount of pressure to your scalp with the diffuser, it will fold in. Maybe not completely, but it will fold nonetheless. My workaround for this is to of course, not press it into my head. My alternative solution is to hold the diffuser at the point it connects with the blow dryer, to better manage it and prevent folding. Because the diffuser itself is cool-touch silicon, it doesn't get hot like traditional plastic attachments -- a big plus.

ion folding diffuser review
 It took me about 35 minutes to diffuse my hair to about 80% dry. I diffused on medium heat, high speed working around my head and from root to tip. The end result? I was in shock and awe. Whenever I watch videos of ladies diffusing, they always end up with shrunken hair that they turn around and stretch back out with a concentrator nozzle. To be honest I never understood the logic in doing that -- but to each her own. I figured If I diffused my hair the way I wanted it to dry, I could avoid massive shrinkage and feeling the urge to stretch my roots. So I diffused in a downward motion from root too ends, and avoided at all costs doing that thing where folks use the diffuser to scrunch the ends of the hair (this draws the hair up). I did flip my hair over for a while to get the back of my head, but it didn't cause any drama when I flipped it back normal.

Drawbacks: The folding thing is annoying, but not a deal breaker. It also slipped off like twice, but I think that's a function of my blow dryer nozzle being cracked (and on the verge of losing a huge chunk of itself) more than anything.

Bonuses: My. Hair. Looked. Awesome. Even though I used products that I always use, my hair had more shine and less frizz. Remember what I said about air drying, how I would always end up with fuzzy, ratty looking ends because they'd brush against my shirts while wet? Problem solved. I'm looking at the ends of my hair as I write this, like who are you? These ends most certainly don't belong to me! My hair was also not dry or crispy feeling at all. Blow dryers can be dangerous, because they suck the moisture from your hair. But with my many layers of moisture and this diffuser, my hair feels...to be honest, more moisturized than it does when it air dries. Last bonus -- I did NOT pull my hair back at all today! The diffuser helped lock my styling products in place, and although I did experience shrinkage, it was considerably less present in that front/center area that gets on my nerves sometimes. So much so that I rocked my hair as-is, with no fussing and pinning back. Epic win. Epic.

ion folding diffuser review
#nofilter check the shine!

ion folding diffuser review
#nofilter check the definition! My hair doesn't feel dry AT ALL!
Bottom Line: I'm in love. I'm a believer in diffusing. And I'm so glad I chose the Ion Universal Folding Diffuser. If you're looking for a travel-friendly, frizz-busting, shine enhancing diffuser, this is the way to go. Although most ladies will opt for the air dry this summer, I'll have no parts of it. Diffuse me, baby!

Overall Product Rating: 4 stars. If there was some sort of latch to lock the nozzle in place once it was unfolded and ready for use (to avoid folding under pressure), I would give it 5 stars hand down. But overall, definitely still worth it 100%.

ion folding diffuser review
For those that are curious, here are the wash and go stats:
Detangled with Aussie Moist in-shower (my hair was soooooooooooooo disgustingly matted for some reason, I swear I went to bed with tangled curls and woke up with a bird's nest on my scalp). Cleansed with tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate-Free Shampoo and deep conditioned with Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. Added a few pumps of Aussie Moist into my hair after rinsing out my hair as a light leave-in. Applied Ouidad Whipped Curls (review coming soon) as my second leave-in (for some reason my hair really takes a liking to the double leave-in thing), and Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk for moisture and nourishment. Styled with TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier for definition, and diffused for 35 minutes on medium heat high speed.

Are you #TeamDiffuser, or do you rock with the air drying? If ya'll are interested in a video tutorial on diffusing without massive shrinkage, let me know!

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12 comments

  1. Please do a video!

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  2. I'm working on it! I had one recorded, but the lighting was horrible, so I am going to redo it :)

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  3. Ok. I have hair similar to yours, and when I do my wash&goes, my hair comes out defined but frizzy. For now, I use a hooded dryer to dry my hair. What should I do?

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  4. What products are you using, and how much? Sometimes it's all in application and how much you're using. Let me know, and I'll try my best to help!

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  5. Week before last, I decided to try SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Conditioner, SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk, and SheaMoisture Curling Souffle. I raked and scrunched my hair in the shower. Then I airdried my hair for 30 minutes, and decided to use my mom's diffuser. I diffused for about `10 minutes, and my hair came out moisturized and a tad crunchy. But I loved it! It was still damp afterwards though.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Where is the best store to get them? Could you please give me a recommendation! Thanks so much

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  8. Need characterized twists or a volume help? Utilize a diffuser connection on your blow dryer to improve the common surface of your hair and give your style a delightful, bouncy, sans frizz look.

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing! my old diffuser is out of order and I am looking for a new one.totally gonna check this one out!

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  10. wow your curls look amazing!This diffuser is kinda great for your hair. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Thanks for sharing the info! Definitely gonna check this diffuser out!

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