Updated April 7, 2023
Afrotextured hair is in a class by itself. Compared to other hair types it is less dense around the scalp, tightly coiled, and adaptive to hot climate. Having less density around the scalp helps in regulating body temperature. The structure of afrotextured hair (i.e., tightly coiled, dense) affects the growth pattern and styling options. It grows upwards and outwards into an afro and more readily forms into a locking pattern. Afrotextured hair also requires more moisture and is fragile.
Using the right tools is important. In this post we review natural hair tools that detangle, lift, and gather from black owned brands. Twist combs and curl sponges are also featured.
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Go directly to any of the following.
- Detangler Combs and Brushes/The Unbraider Brush
- Hair Gathering Tools
- Twist Combs and Sponges
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Afropicks lift the hair up, away from the scalp and are great for detangling. Though patented in 1970 in the United States, the afro pick dates back thousands of years. You can find afropicks at the following.
- Afropick (advertisement) offers a diverse selection of afro picks that include salon grade combs made of anti-static plastic, metal, and sandalwood. A variety of patterns are available.
Afropick products are also available at Target (advertisement).
- Afropick products are also available at Macy’s (advertisement)
Detangler Combs & Brushes / The Unbraider Brush
Detangler combs have wider teeth and larger spaces between them. Detangling brushes have flexible bristles and are designed to be gentle on the hair.
- Briogeo (advertisement) offers hair tools and accessories that include a detangler brush, wide tooth comb, and sectioning hair clips.
- Cocopie Curls (advertisement) has decorative wide tooth combs made of resin.
- Grace Eleyae has curved and wide tooth comb and detangler brush at Sephora (advertisement).
- Kazmaleje at Target (advertisement) offers detangler and paddle combs.
- Pattern Beauty (advertisement) offers a mini wide tooth comb and a mini shower brush that are great for travel, and use on wet hair.
- Precious Tresses (advertisement) has a detangling brush with a rubber grip handle and flexible head.
- The Unbraider (advertisement) has an unbraider brush to take down braids at half the the it takes to do this manually.
- Brush With The Best has detangler brushes in several colors. Bristles are widely spaced to prevent breakage. Brushes are also available on Amazon (advertisement).
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Hair Gathering Tools
Hair gathering tools for afrotextured hair are big and flexible enough to accommodate the density, and flexible to prevent breakage and hair stress.
- Brown Bead Beauty (advertisement) has a diverse selection of hair ties for locs.
- Disax Designs (advertisement) has extra large, colorful, and African print scrunchies. Scrunchies are sold individually and as packs. Silk, velvet and solid colored scrunches are also available.
- Jewelry With Me (advertisement) has ponytail hair cuffs made of aluminum. Several color options are available.
- Joyful Heads (advertisement) offers culturally themed bun wraps that are flexible and stylish. These are great for locs and box braids.
- Nothing But Natural1 (advertisement) offers a hair stocking in several colors/patterns that can be used for multiple purposes, including styling.
- Puff Cuff (advertisement) has banana clips that keep your hair in place without tension. There are many clips from which to choose from original to teeny.
- Swirly Curly has oversized, thick afro-puff scrunchies in several colors. Ponytail holders in black or brown are also available. Products are also available on Amazon (advertisement).
Twist Combs and Curl Sponges
Twist combs and curl sponges enhance and style coils.
- Twist It Up Comb (advertisement) offers a twist comb in six colors.
- Curl Sponge offers a variety of curl sponge products that include glove sponges and curl sponges that are double-sided.
- Nudred has diverse curl sponges that include those with big and small holes, and a curl sponge with handles for changing out the sponge.
In reviewing these natural hair styling tools, I hope you find one or more that work for you.
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- Carefoot, Helen. “Silk pillow cases may provide some hair and skin benefits, but they’re not miracle workers.” 6 April, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/silk-pillowcases-hair-skin-benefits-myths/2021/04/05/a7dcad7c-866a-11eb-82bc-e58213caa38e_story.html
- Cornwell, Paul., & Malinauskyte, Ernesta. “Defying damage: Understanding breakage in afrotextured hair.” 30 January, 2020. https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/research/biology/Defying-Damage-Understanding-Breakage-in-Afro-textured-Hair-567425551.html
- Heywood, Felecity. “The afro comb: Not just an accessory but a cultural icon.” 7 July, 2013. https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2013/jul/07/afro-comb-accessory-cultural-icon
- Sandeen, Del & Miller, Nigella. “What to know about dreadlocks: A guide.” 9 December, 2020. https://www.byrdie.com/locs-or-locks-400267
- United States Patent Office “USD217997S” 7 July, 1970. https://patents.google.com/patent/USD217997S/
- Wikipedia. “Afrotextured hair.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-textured_hair