We talk about conditioners, moisturizers, and stylers ad nauseam, but tools are also an integral part of some regimens. Many believe that blow-dryers, combs, and brushes are completely unnecessary and even damaging, but the right tools with the proper technique can make for an easier naturally curly experience. The primary purpose for hair care tools is to expedite the styling and maintenance process. Combs and detangling brushes help to thoroughly detangle in a shorter time than fingerdetangling, while microfiber towels and gloves help to shorten dry time. So what are the best tools? Here are six must-haves that the NaturallyCurly office cannot live without.

The Curly Tee Towel

"Since discovering the Curly Tee Towel, one of my least favorite parts of my curly hair regimen has been made better. The adjustable tie at the front is convenient. Yes, it is similar to a T-shirt except for one thing: the closed sleeve. This allows me to walk around, do my makeup, or any other task while I am waiting for my hair to dry. I like to use the Curly Tee Towel to plop styling product into my curls, too. On wash-and-go days, this tool is my go-to because it allows my hair to fall naturally how I want it to dry while wearing it out. At the same time, I don't have to worry about my curls dripping all over the place--and I don't have to grab a diffuser to speed up my drying process." -Devri, Type 3c

"Curly Tee Towel has been a great find for me and I use it regularly now in my weekly routine. I've used it for so many different things - sitting with leave-in conditioner, drying my hair after a wash, even wearing it to bed sometimes as my scarf. It's also great for when my hair is wet and I'm applying makeup. I love the innovation of the sewn together bottom - seems simple, but very clever idea." -Kami, 4a

Curls Like Us Towel

I am addicted to the Curls Like Us Towel. I never leave home without it. The material is just like a t-shirt, but it's sewn in a tube so I can fit my hair through it and twist it. It's smooth and doesn't ruffle or damage my waves at all. I always notice a difference when I don't use it! Studio Drying Gloves are a handy tool that I love to use when I need to squeeze out extra product and water out of my hair. Sure they're funky looking, but it works! I slide the glove on and scrunch all the water out of my hair. It really gives me great definition that my hands alone can't give. I normally like to fingerdetangle, but when I need the extra support I always reach for my NaturallyCurly Shower Comb. It has a little hook so it's easily accessible in the shower, and it gets all the tangles out without breaking apart my waves into stringy strands. Definitely a must use!" -Susonnah, Type 2a

Wide Tooth Shower Comb

“I have been using a wide tooth shower comb ever since I discovered it in high school - I never cleanse without it. I use it to comb my hair while it is saturated with a slip-filled conditioner. This works to detangle my hair, but more importantly it divides my hair into sections that will eventually curl together, also known as "clumping." I have Type 2c hair so it's important that the teeth are wide because if they are any thinner (or if I use a brush) then I'm left with stringy, limp waves. It's also important that I do this in the shower, because once I get out of the shower and my waves start to dry they are more susceptible to frizz. “ -Cristina, Type 2c

Plastic processing cap

"If you want to up your deep conditioning, then using a plastic processing cap is a must. If you don’t want to purchase one, then the produce bags or checkout bags at the grocery store will suffice. Simply use this to cover your hair while you pre-poo or deep conditioner for 15 min. Being able to trap your body heat can help some of the ingredients in your deep conditioner to adsorb to your hair’s cuticle, leaving your strands feeling supple. Any time I have attempted to deep condition without one my hair never feels as soft and moisturized, so no matter where I am, I always manage to find a plastic cap to deep condition my parched strands." - Jamie, Type 3b

Ouidad Detangling Comb

"The Ouidad Detangling Comb is the best comb I have ever used. It has double rows of teeth to eliminate difficult knots and prevent curls from springing back and re-tangling. The teeth are long to reach through the densest of curls. It also allows for fewer combing strokes so curls remain defined and frizz-free. With this comb I do not worry about the teeth breaking over time. First I run a little water over my hair, coat it with a slippery daily conditioner, and then detangle starting from the ends and working up to the roots. When comparing this to a shower comb or detangling comb, the Ouidad Detangling Comb gives the least amount of breakage and allows me to create the largest sections." -Amanda, Type 4a

Denman Brush

"The Denman brush was one of those tools I didn't think I would need. It was pricey and it resembled other detangling brushes. Then I tried it. I was so foolish to think it was just another brush. This thing is amazing. It quickly moved through my pre-finger detangled hair and made for even smoother detangling. It is great for definition, clumping ,and distributing the product throughout my hair. I never had snagging, pulling, or worst, ripping. I only use it on wet hair that has been fingerdetangled. I'm still too cautious to try it solely as a detangling tool. I heard of people removing rows, but I do not have to do that." -Nikki, Type 3c



Colortrak Tools The Croc Clip

On wash day I used to grab whatever was accessible to section my hair and as a results I experienced breakage because of it. Whether it is the Goody ouchless elastics, prong clips, or bobby pins, they all either snagged my hair, flew off, or rusted over time. One day while in Sally Beauty, I stumbled on The Croc Clip. I was extremely hesitant about spending $8.99 for a pack of four hair clips but I figured I would give them a try. Sure enough they were worth the money. These unique double-hinged clips hold large amounts of hair and have a rubber finish to ensure no slipping while working with wet hair. They can be used for coloring, cutting, and styling. These clips do not pop off, rust, snap my strands, or pull my roots, so if you have dense, coily hair then I highly recommend purchasing these sectioning clips. – Amanda, Type 4a

Read more: Prongs, Butterflies, and Duckbills: How to Use Hair Clips the Right Way

Satin scarf and bonnet

By now most women with textured hair know that sleeping on a cotton pillowcase will withdraw moisture from your hair, but when it comes to style preservation I realized that this pairing of a satin scarf and bonnet helps to maintain my wash and go. After using a satin scarf to secure my hair in a modified pineapple, I cover my ends with a satin bonnet. This protect my ends that are protruding from the pineapple while also helping to create a round shape for when I release it in the morning. Only using a satin bonnet causes my hair to matt and so does solely relying on a satin pillowcase. Consider using a satin scarf and a satin bonnet together to preserve your wash and go’s. – Amanda, Type 4a

Diffuser attachment

Everyone knows blow drying with heat can be harmful to curly hair, but when you have high porosity hair sometimes it’s just not an option to let it air dry. I use the cool setting to avoid heat damage, and wait until my hair is partially air dried before I start diffusing. I also find that if I don’t diffuse my curls can look limp and flat, but if I diffuse upside down then I get bouncy ringlets with lift and volume at the root. – Jamie, Type 3b



Spring Bands

I know these look a little scary, like they might get caught in your curl and you have to cut them out with scissors – that’s what I thought too. But these hair Spring Bands have never gotten caught in my hair, and they’re actually invaluable to me because I can use them to pineapple my hair at night (watch Nikki pineapple with a Spring Band here). Regular hair ties are too loose, and if I double wrap a hair tie it’s too tight and leaves a dent that pretty much rules out 2nd and 3rd day hair. These are perfect because you can pull your hair back loosely for a run or to wash my face and it won’t leave a dent when you pull it out, and the spring means that it is not so loose that it slowly slides out of your hair throughout the day or night. Plus, they don’t stretch out or break like other hair ties, and they don’t have a metal clasp that snags and pulls out your hair – I hate that! – Cristina, Type 2c