So many products and so little money seems to be the curly-haired mantra. With many companies creating more and more products aimed at curly hair and product junkie-ism at an all time high, it can seem like the want list for many naturals is an ever growing one. If you are a curly whose pockets aren’t as deep as the ocean, then you need to narrow down your list to the essentials. Having trouble doing this? Then read on to find the top five hair tools that are an investment for your curls.

1. Satin Lined Beanie or Hat

It’s getting cold out there, and with the cold weather comes dry hair. Don’t let the winter weather strip the moisture out of your strands the moment you step outside. Protect your hair with a satin lined beanie or hat.

A cheaper alternative is to wear your bonnet then don your hat, but the problems I incurred with this solution are that sometimes the bonnet pokes out from under the beanie or makes it lumpy looking. The silkiness of the bonnet can also cause your beanie to slide off your head and get lost.  So avoid the drama and invest in a cute hat that has a satin lining built in.

MORE: Quick and Easy Hat Hair Remedies

2. Real Satin Bonnet

Investing in a real satin bonnet rather the cheaper nylon available at your beauty supply store will help keep as much moisture in your hair and ward off the winter dryness, even while you sleep.

A real satin bonnet will cost you anywhere between $3 on Amazon to $45 a double lined bonnet. The investment is well worth it, though, since you will wake up with hair that is as soft as butter.

3. Steamer or Heat Cap

Between the cold outside and dry conditions created inside your home from the heat your strands will be taking a beating this winter. Staying on top of your deep conditioning sessions is one way to help prevent winter dryness.

Take your deep conditioning one step further by investing in a steamer or heat cap. Steamers release water vapour to moisturize your strands whilst the heat cap uses heat to open your cuticle to allow your deep conditioner to work even better. For curlies on a budget, the Hair Therapy Wrap easily heats up in your microwave and is cordless so you don't need to be tied to an outlet.

4. Proper Hair Shears

Most curlies know of the importance of trimming our ends regularly to get rid of those pesky split ends and single strand knots. But what many of us don’t know is that using regular scissors to trim our hair can make the problem worse. Before trimming, ensure that you get scissors that are labeled as hair shears, such as the Tweezerman Stainless Styling Shears. They will be more expensive, but they will be very sharp, which is exactly what your hair needs.

MORE: Tips for Trimming Curly Hair

courtesy; $19.59

5. A Good Blowdryer

Although leaving your house with wet hair won’t make you catch a cold, it can lead to damage as the water in your strands freeze and expand. Avoid this damage by making sure your hair is completely dry before you leave the house.

But don't go and grab just any old blowdryer, be sure to get the best bang for your buck. Look for a blowdryer that uses ceramic and tourmaline technology such as the Revlon Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Dryer to avoid frizz and prevent damage.

Most importantly, your blowdryer needs to have a diffuser attachment to gently dry your curls.

Now that you have this list I hope your to-buy list has gotten shorter, or did you just add five more things to it? Either way, you can’t go wrong with these top five hair tools.

Do you have a different top 5 list? Feel free to share it by commenting below.

This article was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.