Having the right products, tools and accessories can make a HUGE difference when you’re starting off your curly hair journey.
Though there are a lot of curly gadgets you can buy, and they’ll all seem like a valid purchase, but the truth is you probably need way less than you think to grow your hair healthy. I’m all about ballin’ on a budget, so if you want to show off what your curls can do, it’s important to have the right tools without blowing up your wallet.
This journey could be so overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have access to things like Pinterest, because let me tell you that baby was a lifesaver! However, throughout all of my research, the same tools kept cropping up as “must haves” for people with curly hair or transitioning to natural. This list will continue to grow as I continue to grow in my love for my kinky head of hair! I’ve linked a few examples of where I buy mine but there are a TON of options and resources out there; I’m a bargain hunter but I’ve learned that sometimes you get lucky with a bargain bombshell but also, curls require some investment. The best tool you should keep in your utility belt is patience; these things don’t happen overnight, and you have to be willing to go the distance if you want the hair you desire.
Diffuser– a hair dryer attachment that, when used correctly, helps prevent frizz, maintains natural curl pattern, speeds up drying time, adds volume, and does less heat damage to the hair follicle. Most hair dryers come with one, here is the one I have but I’ve also heard great things about Curly Co.’s collapsible diffuser.
Heat Cap – deep conditioning with heat makes all the difference! I chose to get mine from ThermalCare and I love that it’s reversible and available in a variety of colors.
Satin Bonnet– a great alternative to the pineapple style if you want to keep curls healthy, nourished, and intact overnight. Unlike other synthetic materials, satin won’t snag and pull at your hair, creating unwanted friction and split ends. They’re relatively inexpensive almost anywhere, I’ve got a couple that I cycle through to keep product build-up from happening.
Shower Cap– in case you’re wanting to keep your second or third-day curls from frizzing out, a shower cap is a great way to shower without the humidity affecting your hair. BONUS: you can use these when you do a deep conditioning treatment as well.
Silk Pillowcase– Following along with the reasons not to use a cotton towel, cotton pillowcases cause unnecessary frizz and if you toss around at night they will absorb the oils from your hair.
Microfiber Towel– when used with the plopping method, it allows curls to stay intact, adds volume, and prevents frizz. I’ve also heard great things about the Hair Repair towel, so I’m eager to try it & I’ll report back to y’all!
Scrunchies– Scrunchies are so important for curly hair! Small hair ties pull and create kinks, which can cause knots and breakage.
Spray bottle– use these to refresh your curls if you don’t want to commit to a full wash n’ go routine.
Styling Clips– useable to help roll and hold a curl while it dries, or place at the root to help promote volume and airflow.
T-Shirt– when you dry your hair with a towel it promotes frizz and breakage, a t-shirt is a great way to smoosh curls dry without breaking their curl pattern.
Wide-Tooth Comb– this can help detangle your curls, comb in conditioner or equally distribute product through your hair.