Knowing what tools you need for your hair is vital to ensuring you keep curly strands healthy, manageable, and happy. Our curls need more than just heavy sealers, satin-line beanies and curl wands for holiday parties. There is a plethora of curly girl tools that every curl girl needs in her stash.
Wide tooth combs
Wide tooth combs are a given on a curly girl’s tool list, but did you know about the array of combs available for every hair type? Yes even the rat tail comb serves a purpose. We love our fingers for parting and detangling but we still need combs in our routines from the shower to the style.
The shower comb was the first comb I bought when I became natural. It is easy to use, has the convenient hook to hang in your shower and excellent for detangling and combing through product when washing or conditioning my hair.
Another favorite of mine would be the double detangling comb by Ouidad. Ergonomically designed to glide through curls without ripping or tugging, the double row of teeth help with eliminating knots while detangling in the shower.
Another double sided comb but has the power of waves. Great for thick, textured hair for removing knots and tangles and the wavy design allows it to glide effortlessly through your hair.
Not just for Afros from yesteryear, this inexpensive tools is still a popular item for Afros of all shapes and sizes. The Afro pick gives the curly Fro the volume many curly girls crave. Check out how BronzeBeauty goes from flat to fab with only two minutes and an Afro pick.
Inexpensive and easy to find, the rat-tail comb is a great tool to keep on hand for parting the perfect part or for laying down those stubborn baby hairs. Just remember it is not meant for combing our curly tresses!
Hair clips have several uses for curly girls from creating volume to sectioning hair when creating a style.
There are several types of sectioning clips from duckbill, to plastic to even crock designed. All are for sectioning large amounts of hair when coloring, cutting, washing, and styling. They come in every color and size you can imagine and should be kept on hand at all times.
Metal hair clips are great for adding volume and height to curly hair roots. As curly hair grows longer, the weight often leaves the roots flat and to combat it, metal hair clips applied to wet or damp hair) will give roots back their life. Duckbill clips can be used to add volume to curly hair roots and the video below shows several ways to use them.
The Denman brush is a favorite wet or dry detangling brush among highly textured curlies from 3C-4C. It is even a favorite for styling as it helps creating clearly defined curls. There are several styles of Denman brushes with the Denman D3 Brush being a favorite. This medium styling brush has seven rows of nylon pins with an anti-static rubber pad that is easy to grip and control when styling. Some curlies have found the brush was too dense with its seven rows of pins, so it can be modified by removing every other row of bristles to cut down on snagging. Iknowlee has a quick video on how to modify your Denman brush easily.
This one may seem an odd choice but this horse brush has increased in popularity for working brilliantly at brushing wet or dry curly hair. These brushes were created to remove tangles from horse manes but curly women are swearing by them for preventing hair pulling or breaking as the brush moves with the hair instead of against it. It does so with its seven to nine flexible comb rows that bend out and snap back. These brushes are super cheap and I even have one and found it worked effectively and without ripping my hair out.
When this unique brush came on the scene, curly girls went wild over how effortlessly it removed tangles and knots in wet or dry hair. Created with patented teeth formation that bend and flex throughout the hair, this brush is great for distributing conditioning treatments as well as tangle removal.
Hair diffusers are another essential tool for curly hair. They are a blow dryer attachments that minimize frizz while giving a boost to curls that may lay flat due to hair’s weight. Unless using a blow dryer to help straighten hair, a diffuser should always be used when drying curly hair and there are several different types to choose from. Any curl diffuser will work but there are some really unique ones that are worth taking a look at.
This soft flexible diffuser is was designed to prevent heat damage while controlling frizz. It has a unique design and gives over all diffusion to your curls and super small so it can be taken anywhere right in your luggage or purse.
A popular diffuser that literally looks like a hand, the DevaCurl DevaFuser is an innovative tool that delivers 360-degree airflow to your strands while helping to enhance your natural curls and coils.
Tiffany Darlyn shares a great video on how to use a diffuser along with how she applies her leave-in and styler prior to diffusing her hair.
Hair Drying Tools
Even if you choose to air-dry your hair, one has to stop hair from dripping. A hair towel is necessary for plopping hair without causing frizz or disturbing the curl pattern. Using a regular bath towel is a serious no-no so check out some popular towels great for drying curly hair without roughing it up.
Old cotton t-shirt
We all have one and they are excellent at plopping or just drying curly hair. I used one forever until I fell in love with another towel (mentioned next) and you cannot go wrong with an old tee for absorbing just the right amount of moisture without ruffling the hair’s cuticle and causing frizz.
This towel was specifically created for curly hair and actually cuts down on hair’s drying time. Soft, big, and using technology to whisk away water without frizzing curly hair, this towel is absorbent, lightweight, and gentle to your tresses. I love this towel and so does my daughter as she stole mine and I had to buy another one.
There are several types of microfiber towels that gently dry curly hair without disturbing the curl or causing frizz. From the Curls Like Us Cloths to the DevaCurl DevaTowel Anti-Frizz Microfiber Towel, it should be quite easy to find one that gives you just want you want in size and drying time. These towels use a smooth microfiber texture that is ideal for keeping curls frizz-free and non-disturbed.
Made up of microfiber, these gloves (created by several brands) help speed up drying time and allow you to use your hands to keep complete control of touching and squeezing.
Heat caps are great for boosting moisture in deep conditioning treatments and even drying hair. While the hooded dryer is still a favorite, at-home hair care is becoming more comfortable and many find the bulky, heavy hooded dryer a nuisance. Heat caps allow you to move around as much as you want or even lie down as you either dry your hair or deep condition. I love the microwavable deep conditioning heat cap from Hair Therapy Wrap but many love soft hooded dryers like the Curlformers Deluxe SoftHood Hair Dryer Attachment that works with your blow dryer.
Satin Pillowcases / Scarves / Bonnets
Having a satin pillowcase, satin scarf or a satin bonnet (or all three) is crucial to nighttime curly hair protection. Simply sleeping on a cotton pillowcase is not an option for curly girls as they whisk away our hair’s much needed moisture and can even cause breakage from the friction when sleeping. If you listen to nothing else on this list of tools to have, make sure to take heed to this point as your nighttime routine is vital to moisturized, healthy curls, waves, and coils.
Headbands / Wraps
Headbands and wraps are a popular way for curly girls to just push back their hair or used to hold back hair in a puff or ponytail. Our curls are not always cooperating and a great way to get them acting right is a headband or wrap. As we enter fall they are a viable option for protecting hair from the cooler temps while still looking stylish.
There are several types of hair ties and they come in every color on the color wheel. We love them because they keep our hair in place, out our of our faces and off our neck in a pinch. They also travel well because we can wear them on our wrists.
What's your Holy Grail hair tool? Share below!
Do you have fine hair? Read our fine-haired writer Rochelle's must-have tools for fine hair.
Like what you see? For more articles like this, sign up for our newsletter!
For more curly inspiration, follow us on Instagram @NaturallyCurly.