Natural Hair Beginners Tool Kit, What’s Needed?
Whether you’re starting from a T.W.A or an inbetweensie afro setting yourself up with the correct tools is very important. No matter your hair type there are certain essentials that you truly need as a natural that simply work and save so much time. I let my hair grow out a lot before I went natural to eliminate the “BIG” factor in big chop so my teenie weenie afro stage was short lived. However I’ve done my research on which of these products were the most helpful for the TWA. Here is a list of the top 12 things that should be in your hair care kit making anyones transition butter smooth.
A Spray Bottle
As I’m sure you know by now after tons of research and youtube surfing water is going to be one of the top priorities and the key to length and moisture retention. The easiest way to administer water hands down is a spray bottle, when purchasing keep in mind that grip is everything as your hands will become slippery from products while styling. Preferably I go for plastic simply because of the wipe clean surface as these things can get a little homely from everyday use. TWA Approved
Good Moisturising Cream
Knowing what your hair needs is key in finding this product, I learned this through trial and error.This product is important because it will next in line to be applied after water. A good moisturising cream is essentially your sealant. Since it will be applied so often try and look for a light almost fluffy consistency. My product of choice is “Olive Oil Smooth N Hold Pudding”. I love this cream because when all of my other products were running low it literally replaced all of them combined. In searching for the right cream remember to apply the “does it do it all” factor i.e. curl defining, moisturising, hair absorbency. TWA Approved
An Oil That Strengthens
Oils are amazing for coating hair strands and protecting them against moisture stealing cold weather and breakage. However this is not due to the hydrating factor of oil because quite frankly oils aren’t hydrators. They’re important because they coat the strand and add on another layer of protection ultimately strengthening the hair. My choice is Palmer’s Coconut Oil, the brand is amazing but coconut oil in general is one of natures miracles. Personally, it’s one of the only oils that actually coats all of my hair and leaves it feeling soft days later. I apply it after my water and cream as a third layer and it does wonders, especially if you have problems with frizz.
Wide Tooth Comb/ Brush
Due to the nature of natural hair a wide tooth comb with depth is a must, they prevent breakage and can aid in evenly dispersing product through your hair. However your combing method is everything, many still see breakage even with a wide tooth comb and it can be worrying. Make sure that you’re combing from the ends first in sections. Simply running the comb through will spark a battle with curls that will fight back and break off. Once you’ve combed through and all is detangled I suggest a wide tooth comb with a set of smaller teeth, they’re great for curl definition at your ends. TWA Approved
Washing your hair is important and having the right tools in the shower is even more crucial so finding a great conditioner should be top priority. There are a lot of products out there to choose from but ultimately it’s up to what your hair needs and responds to. Notice how much slip it gives your hair, meaning is your hair a breeze to comb through after your wash? The feel of your texture is important as well if your hair doesn’t feel soft under running water as your washing it out then the cleanser is too strong and your conditioner isn’t hydrating enough. Many suggest washing your hair solely with conditioner (co-washing) as many of the times washing leaves our hair too clean and robbed of moisturising supplements that our hair needs. I use a few conditioners but my favourite is “Tresemme Naturals” it has the “does it all factor” and moisturises my hair enough to set me up for my after wash regimen. TWA Approved
Stick On Mirror For Your shower
Wash days, can seem endless depending on which stage of hair growth you’re in. One thing I found that helped with my washing process is a shower mirror. When you can see everything you’re doing it helps reduce tangles and produces a more accurate result when washing out conditioners and shampoos. They’re also great for length checking as the running water stretches down your curls. Shower mirrors are a simple yet powerful addition to any naturals hair care arsenal. TWA Approved
Bobby pins have come to be a great addition in my hair styling routine. No matter how good your hair style turned out there’s always that one curl that is stubborn and wants to curl away from the rest. They encourage shape retention and are great for stretching out curls. I always suggest using the larger one’s because they don’t get lost so easily and won’t break your hair off for those moments when you’re doing your hair in a rush. They also have more reach and strength behind them for larger fro’s and delicate up-do’s.
Spandex Hair Bands With Grip
A key ingredient with retaining length and minimising breakage is to implement easy styling methods that don’t put too much strain on your hair. Quite frankly the simpler the better. Spandex hair bands are perfect for that and can push back the hair amplifying the shape of your fro. However be cautious of how tight they are, your edges are very fragile and can break if pulled too tightly. I suggest wearing spandex bands that have coating on the inside to help balance slip and strain around your edges. They look better as well because the coating allows the band to nestle into your hair creating an effortless look for low maintenance hair styles. TWA Approved
Most naturals will have to combat dryness on a daily basis due to the fact that some hair is naturally dry. A good way to keep dryness from becoming more of an issue than it needs to be is finding yourself a good deep conditioner. Not only do they penetrate but they can improve your hair texture. Hydrated and not so hydrated curls differ in appearance greatly meaning they need a little extra love and attention that most products just aren’t equipped to give. A great choice is “Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque” The improvements are seen almost immediately and you won’t have to use nearly as much product to make up for hydration that simply needs replacing by a good deep conditioner. You’ll know when you’ve found a good one because you won’t have to use it very often. TWA Approved
The satin cap was important when you were wearing relaxer’s and it’s important now. These moisture retaining caps are amazing but you don’t have to stop there. A silk scarf or anything along those lines will be of great use depending on your hair style. If you tend to lean more towards using a lot of oils a scarf is better for minimising product from being transferred onto pillows and sheets. I personally use a jumbo satin cap with an elastic band around the edges. I never have to worry about it slipping off at night and due to the size they can better contain a vast amount of hairstyles, especially for those lazy nights of sleeping on your fro which I hope are few and far between. TWA Approved
Styling your hair should be one of the times when you’re most cautious due to the fact of during this time the most stress and breakage occurs. When sectioning off your hair the best way to minimise all of these negative factors is using this style of hair clips. Not only do they easily partition off larger sections of hair but they also push hair down and out of the way and contain fly aways. Cloth bands are of great use as well but they easily allow tangles and knots to form and sometimes breakage from taking them on and off.
All of the curls present in your hair aren’t super containable as you very well know so knots are expected. Having a pair of scissors on hand to eliminate damage from knots that will only cause more tangles and dry ends is essential. Using a pair of shears like hair dressers use isn’t the only option. I usually use a pair of cuticle scissors to cut my ends and have been doing so for over a year now. I haven’t noticed any adverse reactions and when you think about it they’re designed for skin removal which means that the blades are smaller and will deliver a clean cut that won’t fray. All in all different types of scissors are pretty much the same except for the blade. Shears have a similar design to cuticle scissors but have a different handle for styling purposes but the most important goal is the removal of those pesky knots.
All of these products and tools are things that every natural should have because they’re proven to aid in the most miraculous ways in the up keep of our hair. However the very specifics of these tool and products are up to you and the needs of your hair so don’t just take my opinion for it. I encourage every natural hair to be choosy and try it for themselves and if it works great! If it doesn’t remove it from your hair regimen and keep searching. Your natural hair is much too precious to not discover the best possible methods for your hair type!