10 Tools That Make Natural Hair So Much Easier

Photographed by Winnie Au.
In the natural hair community, there are plenty of women who use their fingers to handle their curls and coils, but we've completely run out of patience for that. Our editors at NaturallyCurly tested out many, many ways to detangle, section, dry, and sleep with textured hair: Here are the 10 tools we swear by to make natural curls low-maintenance and 100% manageable.

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Ouidad Double Detangling Comb
"This is the best comb I have ever used for my type-4 coils. It has a double row of teeth to tackle difficult knots, and prevent curls from springing back and re-tangling. The teeth are long, to reach through the densest of curls. They also allow for fewer combing strokes, so curls remain defined and frizz-free.

"With this comb, I don't worry about the teeth breaking over time. First I run a little water over my hair, coat it with a slippery daily conditioner, and then detangle, starting from the ends and working up to the roots. Compared to a shower comb or detangling comb, the Ouidad Detangling Comb gives the least amount of breakage and allows me to create the largest sections." —Amanda, type 4a
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Colortrak Tools The Croc Clip
"On wash day, I used to grab whatever was accessible to section my hair and, as a result, I often experienced breakage. Whether it's Goody Ouchless Elastics, prong clips, or bobby pins, they all either snag my hair, fly off, or rust over time.

"One day while at Sally Beauty Supply, I stumbled on The Croc Clip. I was extremely hesitant about spending $8.99 for a pack of four hair clips, but I figured I would give them a try. Sure enough, they were worth the money.

"These unique double-hinged clips grasp large amounts of hair and have a rubber finish to prevent slipping when your hair is wet. They can be used for coloring, cutting, and styling. These clips don't pop off, rust, snap my strands, or pull my roots. If you have dense, coily hair, I highly recommend them." —Amanda, type 4a
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A Plastic Processing Cap
"If you want to up your deep-conditioning game, then using a plastic processing cap is a must. If you don’t want to purchase one, then produce bags or plastic bags at the checkout counter of the grocery store will suffice.

"Simply use one to cover your hair while you pre-poo or deep-condition for 15 minutes. By trapping your own body heat, the caps help some ingredients in a deep conditioner to absorb into your hair’s cuticle, leaving your strands feeling more supple.

"Any time I attempt to deep-condition without a cap, my hair doesn't feel as soft and moisturized, so no matter where I am, I always manage to find a plastic cap for the sake of my parched strands." —Jamie, type 3b
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Wide-Tooth Shower Comb
"I have been using a wide-tooth shower comb ever since I discovered one in high school. I never cleanse without it. I have a mix of wavy and curly hair (type 2c), so it's important that the teeth are wide. If they're too thin, or if I use a brush, I'm left with stringy, limp waves.

"I run the comb through my hair in the shower while it's saturated with a slip-filled conditioner. This works to detangle my hair, but more importantly it divides my hair into sections that will eventually curl together, also known as 'clumping.'

"When my wavy curls don’t clump into individual curls, they just look like one frizzy mass. It's also important that I do this in the shower, because once I get out of the shower and my waves start to dry, they are more susceptible to frizz." —Cristina, type 2c
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Satin Scarf & Bonnet
"Only using a satin bonnet causes my hair to mat, and the same thing happens when I rely solely on a satin pillowcase. Consider using a satin scarf and a satin bonnet together to preserve your style." —Amanda, type 4a
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Satin Scarf & Bonnet
"By now, most women with textured hair know that sleeping on a cotton pillowcase will withdraw moisture from your hair. But when it comes to style preservation, I have realized that pairing a satin scarf and bonnet really helps to maintain my wash-and-go.

"After using a satin scarf to secure my hair in a modified pineapple, I cover my ends with a satin bonnet. This protects the ends that are protruding from the pineapple, while also helping to create a round shape for when I release it in the morning." —Amanda, type 4a
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The Curly Tee Towel
"This towel has been a great find for me, and I now use it as part of my weekly routine. It's good for so many different things — sitting with leave-in conditioner, drying my hair after a wash, and even wearing it to bed as my scarf.

"It's also great for when my hair is wet and I'm applying makeup. I love the innovation of the sewn-together bottom — seems simple, but it's a very clever idea. I have short, coily hair, but I know our editors with everything from loose waves to tight coils have been raving about this." —Kami, type 4a

Related: 4 Signs You Need To Pre-Poo
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Denman Brush
"The Denman brush was one of those tools I didn't think I would need. It's pricey and resembles other detangling brushes. But then, I tried it.

"I was so foolish to think it was just another brush — this thing is amazing. It quickly moved through my pre-finger-detangled hair and made for even smoother detangling. It's great for definition, clumping, and distributing product throughout my hair. With this brush, I've never had any snagging, pulling, or ripping, which is pretty incredible.

"I only use it on wet hair that has been finger-detangled. I'm still too cautious to try it solely as a detangling tool. I know some people in our community remove every other row to make it more like a wide-tooth brush, but I have had great results without having to do that." —Nikki, type 3c
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Studio Drying Gloves
"Studio Drying Gloves are a handy tool that I love to use when I need to squeeze extra product and water out of my hair. Sure, they're funky-looking — but they work!

"I slide the glove on and scrunch all the water out of my hair. It really gives me great definition that bare hands alone can't. Because I have loose waves, if I don’t scrunch and use the right styling products, my waves can sometimes disappear. But if I dry my hair with these gloves, it helps to form well-defined waves, while removing the water that weighs my hair down." —Susonnah, type 2a
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Diffuser Attachment
"Everyone knows blowdrying with heat can be harmful to curly hair, but when you have high-porosity hair, sometimes it’s just not an option to let it air-dry.

"I use the cool setting to avoid heat damage, and wait until my hair is partially air-dried before I start diffusing. I also find that if I don’t diffuse, my curls can look limp and flat, but if I diffuse upside-down, then I get bouncy ringlets with lift and volume at the root." —Jamie, type 3b
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Spring Bands
"I know these look a little scary, like they might get caught in your curl and have to be cut out with scissors. That’s what I thought, too. But spring bands never get caught in my hair, and they’re invaluable to me when I can use them to pineapple my hair at night. (Watch Nikki pineapple with a spring band here.)

"Regular hair ties are too loose, and if I double-wrap a hair tie, it’s too tight and leaves a dent that pretty much rules out second- and third-day hair. These bands are perfect because you can pull back your hair loosely for a run or to wash your face, and they won’t leave a dent when you pull them out. And the spring means that they're not so loose that they slide out of your hair during the day or night.

"Plus, they don’t stretch out or break like other hair ties, and they don’t have a metal clasp that snags and pulls out your hair. I hate that!" Cristina, type 2c

Which curly-girl tools can't you live without?

Next: 3 Reasons To Stop Worrying About Hair Growth, Right Now