7 Curly Hair Tools I Swear By

Nov 10, 2019

When I looked at my limp, dry curls four years ago, I drove to CVS and piled a dozen hair products into my basket. Shampoos, moisturizers, oils and pretty much anything that read “natural” or “for damaged hair” on the label. I was convinced that with the right products, my hair would instantly revert back to the state it was in when I was a kid. But the lack of results over the following few months made me question if the tools I used were the real problem.

Think about making a cake: You can have all the right ingredients in front of you, but without the right pan or mixer, you might end up with a crumbly mess stuck to the bottom of your baking sheet. My head was that crumbly mess. The hour-long deep conditioning treatments meant nothing when I was constantly damaging my hair every time I brushed it or tied it in a ponytail.

To help you avoid the mistakes I made, here are seven tools I used while transitioning and still use today.

Wide-tooth comb

I sometimes think back to the days when my grandma sat me on the floor and yanked a bristle brush through my hair. (I’m almost positive this is why I have a high pain tolerance now.) Well, I grew up still using these brushes to tug on my hair, developing rough detangling habits that made my ends split faster. But this all changed once I got my hands on a wide-tooth comb. The comb takes longer to get through the hair, but I end up with less breakage and shedding. I keep one in my bedroom and one in the shower. And I always detangle on wet hair, starting at the bottom of each section while easing my way up to the top.

Denman brush

While a wide-tooth comb does the trick when it comes to detangling, I still need a firm brush when pulling my hair up into ponytails. The denman brush is perfect for brushing large sections of my hair because it doesn’t have the tiny balls at the end of the bristles. The tiny balls are terrible for curls because our hair wraps around them and gets pulled out. More pulling = more breaking = split ends. This brush is also amazing for clumping together your wet locks so you get super defined curls when your hair dries.

Scalp massager

When I became obsessed with leave-in conditioners and growth oils, I started packing them onto my hair. After just a day or two, I would feel my scalp get itchy and my hair no longer felt clean. No matter how many times I shampooed, I knew my pores were clogged, which only prevented growth. I then started using a Vanity Planet scalp massager every time I shampooed and instantly felt a deep clean. I stopped getting that flaky buildup and the massager has become a staple in my wash routine ever since.

Blowdryer diffuser 

Everyone has a blowdryer in their home, but a diffuser will give your ends a slight wave if you’re suffering from heat damage. When I first started my hair journey, I would air dry and blow dry on low heat, but my ends were still stringy. The diffuser didn’t completely bring my curls back to life, but it definitely gave my ends some texture. Scrunching upward while drying will add the volume you need during this transition.

Satin accessories

When I had a relaxer, my elastic hair ties chewed at my weak ends. These ties were too tight and pulled at my strands every time I took them out. They also led to severe breakage and headaches. Satin scrunchies are what saved me. They not only hold all of my hair in one wrap-around, but the satin cloth keeps my hair moisturized.

To add onto this satin trend, I also bought pillowcases and sheets to match. I’m not one of those people who can sleep with a scarf or bonnet on my head, so I knew the only way to keep my hair from drying out was to get rid of the cotton cloths.

Spray bottle

We all know curly hair needs moisture, even if that comes from spraying a little water on your hair daily. If you’re transitioning, washing your hair every day for that added moisture isn’t the best idea since the shampoo strips away your natural oils. Your hair, however, still needs water, which is why I take my spray bottle and give my hair a light mist every morning to refresh my curls. This re-activates the products in your hair and gets rid of some frizz you might have gotten during some good sleep.

The bonus that comes with buying these tools is that they’re all relatively inexpensive and can last up to years with proper care. If you find yourself dishing a ton of money on products and aren’t seeing a huge change in your curl pattern, it’s worth incorporating a few of these items into your routine.

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