There are a number of ways to style your strands, and while curl-caressing hair products often get credit for the style you rock, the truth is they can’t work their magic unless they’re paired with the right set of natural hair care tools.
Whether you’re just getting acquainted with your unique style or are still mastering the basics of how to style curly hair, this guide will take a peek inside our bathroom cabinet and break down the essential natural hair tools everyone should have.
11 Must-Have Tools For Luscious Curls
From the shower to the sheets, here are the 11 reigning go-to curly hair accessories and tools for styling.
#1 Detangling Brush
When wash day rolls around and you’re twirling around in your bathrobe like the monarch of your self-care kingdom, a detangling brush is the magic scepter that clears the way for whatever spellbinding look you’re after this cycle.
You’ll use your detangling hair brush in the shower (or as soon as you hop out), while your hair is wet. Its purpose is twofold:
- Remove any snares from your wet hair
- Coax perfect-match coils together for maximum definition
A good detangling brush, like PATTERN’s Shower Brush, should combine knot-busting prowess with a gentle touch. To work it like a charm, use it in the shower after moisturizing your tresses with some velvety conditioner. Then using your detangling brush, start from the bottom (a la Drake) and work your way up. For more tips on brushing your hair, read our guide on how to brush your hair.
#2 Wide Tooth Comb
If the detangling hair brush were a Gemini, our next must-have natural tool would be its other half: the wide-tooth comb.
While you should always use detangling brushes on wet, conditioned hair, PATTERN’s Wide-Tooth Comb is versatile enough that it allows wet, damp, or dry strands to glide easily through its spacious teeth. Use it as a gentle detangler for any little spots you missed or to add bounce and buoyancy right before you step out of the house.
#3 Microfiber Towel
If there’s one piece of wisdom we at PATTERN can impart to our curl-friends, it’s to save the cotton towels for your skin—and keep them far away from your hair.
While they make for cozy textiles, cotton fibers simply aren’t finespun enough to coddle and conform to your curls’ natural inclinations. Cotton fibers have a bad habit of:
- Crushing the cuticle
- Leaching out moisture and conditioner
- Harboring icky substances like bacteria (and icky smells)
- Smushing around dirt and debris rather than removing it1
Instead of soaking up excess water with a bath towel, swaddle your locs with a microfiber towel for curly hair designed to maintain moisture and texture without messing with the cuticles of your strands. Microfiber is impressively absorbent and won’t stop your inspired hair-do in its tracks.
#4 Sectioning Clips
Sectioning clips are, quite literally, space holders—they’ll allow you to give each section of your curly hair the attention it deserves. You’ll need them to work section by section, whether you’re conditioning your locks or keeping them pinned back while you’re shaping the rest of your masterpiece.
Choose a natural hair claw clip or hair pins with a strong grip that won’t budge while you’re giving each zone of your curly hair attention. Clips are especially handy for folks with multiple curl pattern types, enabling them to tend to each unique texture individually.
Unless you’ve got close-cropped curls shorter than 3” or so, make sure to have a few of these babies on hand!
#5 Edge Tool
From masterful statement looks to delicate, lace-inspired handiwork, there are an infinite number of ways to create a work of art with your baby hairs—so think of your edge tool as your finest paintbrush.
PATTERN’s Edge Tool provides three ways to lay your edges:
- Brush side, to soothe, smooth and wave any rebellious strands.
- Comb side, for finer handiwork like waves and loops around your temples, forehead, or the nape of your neck.
- Pointed end, to part, section and define the styles.
You’ll use your magic wand to whirl your face-framers into fine ornamentation that’ll transform any style into something otherworldly.
#6 Hair Pick
The hair pick is a legacy tool. It is an iconic instrument no natural wearer should be without. Use it to:
- Tease out length
- Breathe new life into flattened styles
This tool is the one to reach for when it’s time to give your coils their comeback. You’ll just want to learn how to pick your hair properly before you give it a go. If you’re mid-way between shampoo sessions and need to breathe life into your curls, a few nudges with our Hair Pick will perk your volume right up. Keep it on your bedside table or in your purse—it’s the hair equivalent of popping a mint for an immediate refresh.
#7 Spray Bottle
A misting spray bottle is one of the most hard-hitting and affordable styling tools in your inventory.
We all know that water is the nectar of life, and it’s just as essential when it comes to keeping your hair nourished and buoyant between washes. Fill it up with some pure water or add a dollop of your go-to conditioner. Then spritz section by section (thank you, hair clips) as you style your locks for the day ahead.
It’s worth noting that a rickety spray bottle (you know—the kind that shoots a single jet of product into a single bullseye on your head) won’t do its job properly. Look for models that mist with fine, even and buildable distribution to give you maximum control over where and how it lands in your hair.
#8 Diffuser & Heat Protectant
The heat protectant is the guardian angel to your coils, and a good one should shoulder the weight of the long-term toll heat can take on your hair. Luckily, diffusers can assist as well.
A curly hair diffuser broadens the airflow from blow dryers to ensure your curls stay moisturized and voluptuous. But while blow dryers and diffusers can be a critical factor in achieving a hair look that’ll leave onlookers breathless, used in excess they’ll cause damage to:
- Your hair’s cuticle
- Your hair’s natural supply of keratin (the protein that keeps hair glossy and nurtured)
- Your hair’s natural fats and lipids (the ingredients that keep and maintain your hair’s ability to hold moisture)
Excessive heat can fry your hair’s ability to bounce, and, over time, bounce back into its truest form. To cultivate your truest pattern with longevity, use a heat protectant for curly hair on any occasion you choose to break out the blow-dryer, flat iron or any hot tool.
It’s easy to sleep on the utility of scrunchies, despite how effortlessly adorable they look sweeping up your curls on a low-key day where the sweatpants are staying on.
When choosing the right scrunchie, be sure to look for the following:
- Material – Polyester scrunchies won’t give your tresses the love they deserve. When in doubt, always opt for silkier materials, like our Satin Scrunchies or Velvet Scrunchies, which will cradle the structure of your texture.
- Size – Make sure you give your curls enough space to breathe and be themselves. The more voluminous your crown, the more important it is to scale up your scrunchie size to avoid crunching, crimping, or cramping your coils’ inherent style.
#10 Flexi Rods
Your ticket to springy, defined styles lies in a good stash of flexi rods. These are the secret to securing the dreamiest coils imaginable.
The main appeal of flexi rods is that you don’t always need to blast your locks with heat to make them work for your hair. For gloss, bounce and hold, you’ll pair them with:
Supple flexi rods are comfy enough to sleep in to wake up to effervescent, juicy and joyful curls.
#11 Conditioning Caps
There comes a time in every natural hair wearer's life (usually around every one or two weeks) when a deep conditioning treatment is in order.
Deep conditioning isn’t just an excuse to preen—it’s also a way to:
- Encourage hair growth
- Avert damage caused by heat
- Lock in moisture to the hair shaft
- Amplify your curl game
On this day, always pair your go-to deep conditioner with the final item in your arsenal: the conditioning cap.
The type of cap you buy is entirely up to you—there are some who swear by microwaveable heat caps that thermoregulate with materials like flax, and others who dress their crown with a good old-fashioned plastic cap to lock in moisture. However you go about it, make sure to give your curls at least 20 minutes during your home conditioning treatment to nourish them to the fullest.
Get Acquainted With Your PATTERN
Whatever look you’re going for on any given self-care Sunday, your hair deserves nothing less than extraordinary, down to its most finespun baby strands.
For more ways to nurture, style and cherish your crown, rediscover the glory of your natural texture with PATTERN’s collection of curly hair products, tools and accessories. Make your curls shine with PATTERN.
- Mollenkamp, Becky. "Differences Between Microfiber And Cotton." Clean Link. https://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article/Differences-Between-Microfiber-And-Cotton--20239