I wonder if I’m the only natural hair girl who likes to hear stories on why people went natural. Most people said they were tired of relaxers damaging their hair and others also felt the need to seek their inner beauty. My story is a little bit of both. I had long relaxed hair and honestly I cut my hair because was tired of getting cuts every time I relaxed my hair and I wanted to be able to explore and have more fun with my hair. I started with a bob, then I went to a pixie and then ended with a really low cut (sweat….as we call it in Ghana). Then I finally decided to just grow it natural after a month. I have been natural for 5 years and I have definitely learnt a few things about my hair during this journey. Whether you have natural hair or you’re considering to go natural, I think it’s best to have a few tips. Throughout my journey I have realised that you need to be open to doing your hair yourself 90 percent of the time if you live in Ghana because most of the salons have no clue when it comes to taking care of natural hair. Due to that I started doing my hair myself and these are my top ten tools that have been consistent in my routines and I think it’s time to share with my fellow natural hair sisters as our kinks and curls have a mind of its own.
- WIDE TOOTH COMB
This must be a staple. One of my difficult experiences will be detangling my natural hair and for many naturals as well. Finger detangling can be a great way but it’s very important to run a comb through the entire length of your hair to ensure all the tangles are out. Don’t just use any comb for detangling, it has to be a wide tooth comb. I even used it at the beginning stages when I was about 5 months in and had a cute fro.
2. BLOW DRYER
The blow dryer is very standard in my hair arsenal. I had my first blow out 6 months natural and I loved the outcome. I remember how excited I was to see my hair bigger. I don’t usually apply a lot of heat to my hair but this has been quite helpful for stretching my hair for some roller sets and slick down pony. Heat damage is actually low using this type of heat. The interesting thing about the blow dryer is that it has a cool and hot temperature so even if you don’t want the heat you can dry your hair using the cool temperature on your blow dryer. It’s also perfect and goes hand in hand with a hooded dryer.
3. HAIR BRUSH / EDGE BRUSH
Another personal favourite. The one thing I do not joke with when it comes to my natural hair is my slick down edges. There is a smaller brush for the edges but personally I prefer the bigger ones the men usually use. It’s multipurpose for me. I can use it just my edges and also for my slick down ponytails.
4. HAIR CLIPS
Honestly, trying to tackle all your hair at once can really be a nightmare. Parting off small chunks of hair is definitely the way to go. Whether you’re detangling, applying product or styling it’s very important to work in sections. It makes it easier and faster. The claw clips are a personal favourite as it’s able to grip thick hair and holds sections tight in place.
5. SCRUNCHIES / OUCHLESS BANDS
It’s very important to have the bands without the metal things in them so they do not pull your hair. You will definitely need a scrunchie or ouchless band to do a pony or a high puff.
6. SPRAY BOTTLE
This is also one of my greatest must tool for natural hair as water is imperative to moisturise natural hair. It ejects the water as a mist which makes it easier to work with. Personally, I mix water with coconut/argan oil with a little bit of leave in conditioner in my spray bottle to help refresh and moisturise prior to styling and deep conditioning.
7. BOBBY PINS
These are perfect for creating a variety of hairstyles.
8. MIXING BOWL
I use this very often. Thats what I use to mix all my products for my deep conditioning routine and even my hair dye sometimes. I know you can use whichever container works best but after my several quarrels with my mum at home for using her storage bowls for my hair I just advised myself and got my own. Moreover this is so easy to wash products out.
9. SATIN/SILK BONNET
This is probably one of the things I wish I got earlier. I used to see people use it but I never took it seriously. It’s such a staple for protecting your hair at night especially if your trying to preserve your natural hairstyles at night. Since I started using this to sleep and I realised the reduction of friction and damage whiles the tossing and turning in my sleep. It’s so easier for me to protect my perm rod sets as well. I have a friend who actually applies products in her hair before sleep sometimes so she uses the satin bonnet and it prevents her from ruining her sheets and pillow cases.
10. HOODED DRYER
The hooded dryer was my last addition to the family and I wonder why it took me this long. I would always have time to keep my deep conditioner in for longer hours and even my roller sets but since “life” happened and I have a busy schedule I don’t really get enough time to do that. It was so stressful putting my hair in perm rods and then when I wake up to style it I realise it didn’t drywall enough. As my hair has become thicker and longer, the hooded dryer helps to cut down my drying time. I also use it whenever I have to deep condition so it helps to steam my hair.