Protect Your Hair While You Sleep

Hair Tools

A List of Must Have Tools Every Natural Hair Kid Should Have!

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Naturals, new or old, tend to suffer from Product Junkie Syndrome. I think it’s an even greater problem when you’re compiling product weaponry to help attack the crowned chaos amid your little one’s head. While we can get caught up in the need to find the perfect product for our child’s hair type, we can’t overlook the most important part of our defense – styling tools.

Even the best products in the world can’t work on their own. When it comes to working on little kinky coils, it’s best to arm yourself with everything you need at once. Trust me, I know. Since we’re all in this together, I want to help you avoid making some of the same mistakes I made while navigating my way through this natural battle. Here’s a few items that are absolute, no contest, no negotiating, must-haves for any natural.


Natural Newbie’s toolkit


A Wide Tooth Comb

There are a lot of things that seasoned naturalistas will argue to be more important that this one but, as a parent, my experience has taught me that wide-tooth combs top the list. I’m not talking any old flimsy wide-tooth comb either. You need one made of solid material, if you have to part with an extra $2-3 to get a good one, don’t bat an eye – just do it.

Trying to detangle with a flimsy comb is like relying on a plastic knife to chop down wood. Popped plastic teeth flying in the air are dangerous projectiles and, as the mom behind the weapon, we’re the most likely target to get hit. Besides, there’s nothing more aggravating than trying to detangle with broken combs or being forced to run to the store every other day to replace a cheap one. I invested in a heavy plastic wide-tooth comb with a hook on the end. I just hang it on the rack in the shower so it’s handy when it’s time to detangle when washing.

But it doesn’t stop at wide-tooth combs. You’ll need an assortment of good quality combs to help you achieve different styles. I recommend a rat tooth comb with a metal end for those who want clean and straight parts whether it be for cornrows or ponytails. Metal ends are stronger than plastic which can chip and snag your child’s hair while parting.

You will need a bunch of combs because, some days, your child’s hair will be next to heavenly. Easily parted and not a tangle in sight. Other days, their hair may be a total disaster. Even with the most diligent hair care routine, it happens. You may forget to braid their hair at night, the scarf comes off while they’re tussling around, or taking out those God-forsaken micro braids may have been more than you could handle.

Aside from that, combs get lost all the time. Almost like the sock monster that lives inside your dryer, your favorite comb could be here today and gone tomorrow. Or even worse, those strong strands could snap the comb in two. Either way, it’s better to be prepared for whatever may be thrown your way by having a good selection handy.


All Satin Everything

Anything that comes in contact with your child’s hair for a lengthy period of time (i.e. scarves, bonnets, pillow cases, hats, or car seat backs) should be satin instead of cotton. Natural hair dries out pretty easily and cotton sheets and pillows only make matters worse. Protect your child’s hair with a silk or satin alternative to prevent breakage and/or loss of moisture. Check out The Natural Hair Shop for quality satin protects to protect those precious curls and coils.


Empty Bottles

While learning how to tame my daughter’s hair, I quickly realized that filtered water and oil was our best friend. Unfamiliar with a way to make my life easier, I used to add oil and water in a cup and rub it into her hair before styling. Now, I’ve graduated to the work smarter, not harder league and realized that spray bottles are a Godsend.

If you want to moisturize your baby’s hair with water or some sort of leave-in, just pour it into an empty spray bottle and spritz until your heart’s content. (Pay attention to the water’s temperature. Sometimes people store leftovers in a linen closet, not realizing how much the temperature of the liquid drops. In the winter time, you don’t want to spritz your child’s head with cold water then send them directly outside.)

Applicator bottles are another lifesaver. Rather than fumbling with open coconut oil containers or mixing up your secret recipe in a bowl just to have a fidgety toddler knock it over. Just pour your pre poo or massage blend into a clean container. Applicator bottles also help you moisturize your child’s hair when it’s in protective styles. You can usually find spray and applicator bottles at your local Sally Beauty Supply store.


Plastic Caps

Clear caps are a saving grace when maintaining natural hair. They serve their obvious purpose by keeping your child’s hair dry when bathing but they have a few other uses as well. The banded caps also come in handy when performing deep conditioning or protein treatments. Or, if you get a little heavy handed with the creams and oils, just pop a cap over their head to keep them from greasing up their clothes (and your furniture – no jheri curl stains, thank me later!)

Although you can get a multipack for just a few dollars, you may want to “go green” and reuse those grocery bags that have been piling up in your pantry. (These actually work really well for thicker, longer hair and even better for children who have long locs which can be too heavy for plastic caps to hold.)


Hair Pins

It doesn’t matter how many you buy, it’s impossible to have enough hair pins handy. They serve so many uses, from helping to hold a style in place to taming stray hairs and even maintaining parts while you’re doing your child’s hair.

If you know exactly how many hair pins you have, you do not – I repeat, you do not- have enough. Pay attention to the different types of hair pins when making your purchase. Closed pins are better for securing styles and laying your child’s hair down. Open hair pins are more useful when added to updos, buns, or manipulating your child’s curls.

Always get rid of hair pins when the plastic coating strips off. Pushing the exposed metal into your child’s hair can cause tangles and even damage and scratch their scalp.


Hair Bands

Some naturals try to avoid the use of rubberbands at all costs. And for good reason. Depending on the style or intended use, hair bands may be a better option. Just like hair pins, you’ll need to keep a lot of them handy. They’re inexpensive which kind of makes up for the fact that they seem to stretch out of shape after only a few uses. They work well for quick styles like puffs and ponytails and also help keep your child’s hair manageable while washing, detangling, or taking their hair out. Hair bands are also used in a heat-free stretching method to achieve a voluminous fro overnight.


Clamps and Clips

Even naturals can find good use for the styling tools that were previously devoted to applying colors and chemicals. Use hair clamps or butterfly clips to section off hair while prepooing, washing, conditioning, detangling, drying, or styling. In a nutshell, you can use a clamp or clip almost all the time.


A Denman Brush

For the best way to tackle tangles, countless naturals swear by this styling accessory. This brush adds a bit of grip, giving you more control while sorting out your child’s strands. Its base is unhinged, giving it the ability to move with your hair – ultimately reducing snagging and snatched hairs.


Bows and Ribbons

This isn’t exactly a tool, but I still vouch for it as a necessity. Sometimes, your child’s twist out may not cooperate or you may oversleep and don’t have enough time to properly attack their hair, here’s where the beauty of natural hair comes into play. After a bit of oil and a quick run-through of the fingers, top their hair with a pretty flower, ribbon, turban headband or bow and they’ll go from bedhead to runway ready in no time.


The Kitchen Sink

Now that you know the basic tools that you need, check out the entire list of tools and accessories that you will need, or eventually accumulate, throughout your child’s natural journey.

For Detangling:

  • Shower Comb/Wide Tooth Comb
  • Denman Brush
  • Tangle Teezer

For Deep Conditioning:

  • Shower cap / plastic grocery bag

For Drains:

  • Hair Stopper (Stops hair from going down the drain)

For Scalp Cleaning and Oiling:

  • Applicator Bottle

For Drying and Straightening:

  • Blow Dryer w/ Diffuser
  • Flat Iron
  • Pressing Comb
  • Goody Ouchless Bands (for banding)
  • Hooded Dryer
  • Hot Rollers/Steam Rollers

For Cutting:

  • Good Pair of Shears

For Updos:

  • Bobby Pins
  • Hair Ties

For Setting:

  • Magnetic Rollers
  • Flexi Rods
  • Curl Formers
  • Spray Bottle

For French Braids:

  • Rat Tail Comb
  • Butterfly clamps
  • Hair accessories (Beads)

For Sleeping: