As important as attitude and proper nutrition are to healthy hair, we would undo most of our good work if we used the wrong styling tools on our tresses. What am I talking about? Combs, brushes, clips, pins, and hair grips.
All the above play a role in our hair care routines and either help or hinder hair success. You already know I encourages proactive action so lets begin with an honest assessment of your current tools.
Tasking a few moments to evaluate your hair kit in its current condition will really help. Why? Hair tools come into contact with your hair and are capable of scratching or snagging cuticle layers causing tears, splits and breakage. So what should be the foundation of your hair tool kit?
- Spray Bottle : Yes lovelies, our natural afro hair kit begins with a spray bottle with water. This is because before you begin to detangle or style your hair, it needs moisture. When styling a light misting will give your hair protection against friction and allow it to be flexible enough to withstand the process. (Prior to shampooing more spray can be applied as shrinkage is not an issue in this case). Dry combing, detangling or brushing lead to pain and breakage.
- Fingers: Due to the many bends and coils of our curly hair, and its tendency to tangle, our fingers are the safest tool when it comes to detangling hair. Our fingers put less stress on hair fibers than combs do, affording us more control during the styling process. This is a “practice makes perfect” scenario but the rewards are worth it. Tip: Ensure nails are snag-free and hands are moisturized to avoid damaging the hair.
- Wide-Tooth Comb: Combs with fine teeth just do not get on well with natural hair, not only will it hurt but it will shred your cuticles and lead to length retention troubles. Aim to use combs with long, wide teeth as they require less effort to comb through your hair. Detangling combs are by far my most trusted afro hair comb. Tip: Finger-detangled hair before combing through in sections to limit damage and achieve better results
- Rat tail comb: This is not for combing but rather for making sectioning easier. The tail of the comb is pointed and allows for crisp lines when braiding hair. Think of it as a pencil for the sketch artist. Sharp enough to draw with but gentle so it does not rip the paper. It’s also suitable for smoothing down baby-hairs.
This is a basic list. I have not included brushes as they can be a weapon of torture for afro hair. If you must, then please choose boar or soft-bristle brushes. In my styling life I use my Denman Brush mostly on Kanekelon hair however, the brushes are well made and are recommended by natural hair enthusiasts, but remember to proceed with caution.
Your hairgrips and pins should work properly and preferably must have soft rounded tips or they could scratch your scalp. Tip : Wear your clips and other accessories in different positions to avoid damage to a particular area of your hair.
Do you agree with our list? What do you feel your basic kit must contain? Let us know in the comments below.
Our inspiration for this week is MUA Jackie Aina whose curls are just popping today!
Until step four, Happy Hair Loving!
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Afrotility is the founder of blieq.com , her focus is on natural hair care and styling. She is Passionate about afro hair in all its different degrees of curliness, and believes that “understanding your hair is the key to enjoying it and loving every single curly strand”. She also insists that “no styling without consultation” should be the new standard.
Editor: Ama Badu (Senior Online Editor)