Tell me, would you try pounding a nail into the wall with a sponge? Or how about washing your dishes with with a hammer? Ridiculous, right?! Well, simply put, to perform any task effectively, you need the right tools. In speaking with a number of curlfriends over the passed few years and through my own experiences, it seems a day in the life of many naturals include the same basic items. Follow me as we explore seven tools I’ve found necessary for natural hair care and styling.
1. Regularly spritzing your hair with a spray bottle of H2O, either alone or with some added (ahem) “juices & berries” will help keep your strands in tip top shape. Infusing natural oils like sweet almond or jojoba will give your hair a soft, healthy look and feel. Adding essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint or rosemary will also aid in growth and make it smell purtty too! Some even add dollop of ”cheapie” conditioner or a leave-in. By all means use whatever you have in your arsenal and don’t be scared to switch it up every so often!
2. Keep knots at bay and make styling a breeze with a good detangling brush. While many turn to the ever-popular Denman, my detangling brush of choice is the Tangle Teezer. I gotta say… I LOVE THAT THING! I’ve found it most effective in getting those nasty shed hairs out of the way after taking down protective styles, even more so than my #3…
3. A quality wide-tooth comb is also great for detangling especially while conditioning. Many come with a convenient hook on the end for hanging in your shower, like this one from Ouidad.
4. Wearing a silk or satin bonnet or scarf at night or sleeping on a satin pillowcase like this one will help your tresses keep the moisture you’ve worked so hard to retain. Cotton scarves will not only suck the moisture out of your hair but can cause unwanted friction that leads to breakage.
5. Not just for shaping your ‘fro anymore, a pick, the tool probably most associated with natural hair,works wonders to conceal those gaps from your twist-out or braid-out. Simply hold the hair with one hand, gently insert the pick randomly at the roots and lift. This will also create volume. Depending on your style preferences, though, you may not even need this tool. I, personally, can’t go anywhere without it!
6. So, that blow-out didn’t quite turn out the way you expected huh? Bobby pins to the rescue! Keep a bundle in the medicine chest at home for updos or pin-ups and stash a handful in your purse for an on-the-go roll ‘n’ tuck quick fix!
7. Surprise, surprise… your fingers are the most effective tools you have! By using your fingers to detangle while pre-pooing, you can feel for any knots (large or single-strand) and gently work them out with little damage to the hair strand.
And there you have it! These seven tools are essential to caring for and styling most natural hair. This is simply a guide to the basics. Add or subtract as you test out to see what’s most appropriate and practical for your hair situation. Do what works for you! Until next time, stay beautiful! 😉