Going natural was one of the best decisions I made for myself and I have zero regrets. However the early stages of my journey were a real challenge as I knew next to nothing about my hair and what it needed. I assumed that my natural hair would flourish using the same tools and products that worked on my relaxed hair. I was sorely mistaken.
This handy guide will cover the hardware that you can use to maintain, style and protect natural hair. I'll cover the essentials as well as tools that aren't entirely necessary but you may want to try. If there is anything I've missed out, let me know in the comments and I'll update the list.
Read Also: 10 Tips For Growing Healthy Natural Hair
- Wide Tooth Comb
I'm a huge advocate of finger detangling but once a while you just need a comb. Seam free styles are best as these won't snag your hair and cause breakage. The Hercules Sagemann Magic Star 9 comb is one of the best combs out there for natural hair. It's a little pricey at £14.99 but if you are serious about limiting breakage, this is the one for you.
- Shower Cap
You'll need one for these to protect your styles while showering but these also come in handy when you are doing hair treatments. If you are planning on doing messy treatments like clay masks or henna, you may also want to get disposable caps. You can get multi-packs of 6 for just over £1.
- Spray Bottle
You'll be surprised how useful you will find this. A lot of natural hairstyles start with damp hair and this will save you having to jump in the shower every time. A quick spritz will also refresh your wash & go on a day to day. Prices start at just over £1 and vary depending on size and quality.
- Satin Cap
A satin cap is the hair hero you didn't know you needed. It will save your hair from breakage and keep your styles looking fresh all week. You can get them in varying sizes depending on your hair length/thickness. Go for caps that have a wide satin band as opposed to an elasticated edge as you can end up with annoying indents on your face the morning after. If you a rough sleeper or just don't like sleeping with stuff on your head, go for a satin pillow case.
- Sectioning Clips
This clips are so handy when it comes to sectioning your hair for detangling/styling. While you can get metal ones, I much prefer the rubber ones. They have better grip and I can keep them in while I'm doing heat treatments without worrying about them getting damaged.
- Hair Pins & Bobby Pins
Prior to going natural, I only used bobby pins but hair pins (the ones shaped like a 'u') are much kinder to curls and have great grip. Keep both in your arsenal as they come in handy for styling.
- Extra Large Hair Bands
All those small small hair ties you were playing with when you were relaxed are not going to cut it anymore. Invest in extra large hair bands, these are great for securing puffs. I'd recommend ouchless bands that have a seam free finish that won't snag your hair.
- Cotton Tee
That old band tee that you haven't worn in years now has a new lease on life. When it comes to drying your hair, towels are too rough and create unnecessary tangles. A cotton tee soaks up all the water without roughing up your curls.
The Not So Essentials
- Denman Brush
When I went natural, these brushes were EVERYWHERE! Natural hair bloggers raved about them so there were top of my shopping list. It's a great brush but as I tend to live in wash & gos or puffs I rarely use it. It does come in handy when I do a blowout or want a smoother finish on my styles. If you want a Denman get one but depending on how you wear your hair, they are by no means necessary.
- Flexi Rods
You know that girl with the twist out with the perfect flick at the end? Her secret is flexi rods. Take your twist outs and braid outs to the next level by curling up the ends with rods. You can also use them to create waves on blown out hair.
- Edge Smoothing Brush
These stiff brushes are designed to smooth your edges and lay down your baby hair. You can buy one or keep it old school and use a toothbrush.
- Diffuser Attachment
A diffuser attachment for your hairdryer will save you from crispy ends and damp roots. These get right in there and are handy to have around if you are planning to use heat on your curls.
If you have low-porosity hair or just struggle to retain moisture, a steamer is worth the investment. It may seem like a luxurious purchase but there a few options at various price points. You can go for a mini version of a salon steamer which starts at £50 on Amazon or you can go for an electric steamer cap which starts at just over £10. The most inexpensive option is to get a bonnet hood dryer attachment. These start at a very budget friendly £4. Although it's main purpose is drying you can use it as a steamer. Apply your DC, stick on a shower cap and then slip on the hood dryer.
- Scalp Massaging Shampoo Brush
This was a fairly recent discovery for me and now I can't imagine wash day without it. This little brush helps to lift up dirt and product build up without irritating your scalp. They are also fairly inexpensive, prices start from £3.50 for the Denman shampoo brush.
- Applicator Bottle
There are lots of store bought oil mixes I love but on occasion I do like to make a custom blend for hot oil treatments. An applicator bottle is really useful for applying and storing my mixes. You can get them for under £5 from Amazon.
- Afro Pick
You can't have an Afro and not have an Afro pick. Do it for the culture.
If you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it, let me know in the comments below.