It’s starting to get cooler outside, and you know what that means: College move-in day. Whether you’re starting off the year with freshman jitters or senioritis, packing up your life to go back to college again is a whole thing. There are some important tools that should be at the very top of your packing list. For your hair, duh! Because trying to have a good hair day while living out of a dorm is, like, an Olympic sport, and these tools make it 1000 times easier. If you don’t already own them, definitely express-ship them to your college mailbox ASAP.

1. Water Bottle

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

No, not for drinking. You need a water bottle that sprays your curls with a sustained mist of water, such as this one from Curly Hair Solutions. If you don’t quite understand why this would be any better than using a regular spray bottle, you will immediately understand the first time that you try one of these out for yourself. They make it super easy to evenly wet your hair, and everyone knows that water is a curly girl’s best friend. This thing will make it completely unnecessary for you to go all the way to the bathroom that you share with 15 other people just to do your hair.

2. Steamer

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

College is stressful, and stress takes a toll on your hair in so many different ways. Pamper your curls by adding an extra boost of moisture with a hand-held steamer from Q-Redew. It’s a splurge, but look, your hair will never be dry again with this — it will take your deep conditioning routine to the next level. If you’re on a serious college girl budget (we get it!”>, another option is a portable hooded dryer which can also be used in conjunction with a deep conditioner.

3. CurlFormers

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

For those wash days when you Just Cannot Deal with a twist-out or wash-and-go, curl formers are an easy, low-effort and reliable way to shape your curls without using any heat. Just buy the right number and length for your hair type and use them to create perfectly smooth spiral or corkscrew curls. Fluff them up with an Afro Pick, and boom — an easy hairstyle for the entire school week.

4.Silk Pillowcase

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

Because even the best hair day isn’t worth much if it disappears overnight. Regular pillowcases absorb all the moisture in your hair and create excess frizz. Silk or satin pillowcases, on the other hand, allow your hair to stay moisturized and shiny and frizz-free. Sure, you could wrap your hair with a scarf or headwrap, but after an exhausting all-nighter of partying or studying, it’s a big relief to be able to just pineapple your hair and call it at night. Look for one that can be laundered regularly with the rest of your bedding, because who wants to find the extra quarters to do a load of delicates?

5. Slap Cap

5 Hair Essentials Every College Curly Girl Needs

Lastly, if you’re going to college in a place where it gets cold, you will need to have some cute hats on deck. Hats CAN be a curly girl’s worst enemy. Like pillowcases, they are drying and frizz-inducing and they often flatten/ruin your hairstyle. That’s where satin-lined hats come in. Grace Eleyae makes satin-lined beanies, plus baseball hats, fedoras and berets.

Curly girls in college, what are your must-have hair tools?

Kim Wong-Shing

Kim Wong-Shing is a writer, lipstick junkie, and plant mama in New Orleans. She grew up in Philadelphia and went to Brown University. To date, she has never left a store without checking the hair product aisle first (just in case). Connect with her on Instagram.

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