PHOTO CREDIT: GOULDYLOX.COM

I love my wash and go. I rock it often and I love the freedom I now have with wet-and-wear hair. This love goes back to my childhood and my dread of relaxers, blow-dryers and pressing combs. From the age of 7 up until 35 my connection to these tools was weighing on me. When I moved to another climate and ditched all of the chemicals and previous maintenance of my tresses, I truly felt free.

I have traded in the pressing combs in favor of new "tools" that are absolutely essential to caring for my hair. While my tools may be different from yours their uses are the still same: achieving hair that I am happy with day in and day out, all the while staving off damage and breakage.  My tools are pretty simple and minimal but without them I would be lost.

Water

Most curlies and naturals now know how integral water is to our tresses and I shudder at my past where I felt like water was my hair’s enemy.  Water gives my curls and coils life and without it my hair becomes thirsty and brittle.

I use water to not just cleanse but to revive my curls almost daily. I also have a spray bottle of water and lavender in my bathroom that I use not only to wake me up with a quick spritz to my face in the morning, but to also wake up my hair.  Some may see water as the base for their hair products but I see it as a tool to keep my hair hydrated, healthy and happy.

Fingers

Ten fingers and they all serve a purpose when it comes to my hair. I ditched all combs (even those wonderful wide-tooth ones) a few years ago and never looked back. I have one or two in my bathroom solely for creating parts but I have found that whatever they can do, my fingers can do much better. Honestly, I use no combs or brushes and even when I need to detangle my fingers handle the job more quickly and gently than a comb ever could. I like to feel the knots with my fingers and remove them gently with conditioner.  I feel I have better control than allowing a comb to find them.  Control freak? Maybe so but this is one tool I’m glad is free and I can never lose!

Honestly, I use no combs or brushes and even when I need to detangle my fingers handle the job more quickly and gently than a comb ever could.

Goody’s ouchless updo barrettes

I love these things and thank Kimmaytube every time I pick one of the many I have lying around the house before placing them in my hair.  She hipped me to them a few years ago on a video and I have to say there is no more versatile, comfortable or useful hair tool I have then these.  They come in big and small sizes and I use them for stretching my hair to rocking a high puff to securing sections of my hair.

I have them in black and brown and though I own the smaller sized ones, I rarely use them and use the bigger ones every single day. Whether I am wearing them in a low ponytail (my version of banding to stretch my hair) or rocking my high puff with it securely but gently up top, I know it will stay, be kind to my hair and always work.

Bobby pins

Despite being natural for almost 10 years, I have only recently started using this common tool. Like many of you, I recently discovered I was using them all wrong, and never really had a need for them until I began pinning up my sides for certain styles.  They are cheap, easy to use and despite the fact you can buy a zillion for $2, you always run out!

From pinning to tucking to securing ends without damage, bobby pins will always be a tool that most naturals and curlies not only use daily but treasure immensely.

Q-Redew

I do not use much heat on my hair, but one heat source I not only love but respect is the hand-held steamer, Q-Redew.  This is how a wash and go lover can get 2nd, 3rd and even 4th day hair without jumping in the shower to revive those curls and coils.  It hydrates, moisturizes and within minutes I’m done even if I started out with the flattest, frumpiest or driest hair around.  I use it more during the winter months but pulled it out recently when the thought of jumping back in the shower was too much for me to handle.

OK, now it is your turn…what are the tools you just cannot do without?