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6 Styling Tools Every Natural Should Have

• Jul 21, 2012

We recently shared our list of top hair care tools that every natural should have, now we’re giving suggestions on styling tools. Check it out:

By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

1. Good quality metal rat-tail comb

I emphasise on the good quality part because if you do not get a well manufactured, properly tapered end, you can end up with a comb that rips your hair. A metal rat tail comb in my experience works better and is more gentle than a plastic rat tail comb. This particular comb costs about $5 which is on the expensive side as far as combs are concerned but it is very well made. I would expect to replace it after about 3–5 years of regular use.

2. Handheld mirror and hair shears

Natural hair is generally bulky and it is difficult to see the back of your head when styling especially as hair gets longer. A handheld mirror will save you a lot of neck twisting. Hair shears are available widely and if your hair, like mine sometimes forms knots that cannot be undone by fingers, it is well worth having a pair to hand to make a clean cut. In my view professional hair shears can be very expensive  ($100-$500) and are intended for regular daily use in a salon. For at home hair care, you do not need professional shears, any standard pair of hair scissors (from $10-$50) will work (do buy hair scissors as the blade is sharpened for hair cutting).

3. Know the difference — open and closed bobby pins

For updos and buns you need bobby pins. The standard bobby pins that we know are closed pins which you have to then pry open to use. If you have a lot of hair or if your hair is partly/fully shrunk, you may want open bobby pins instead. These do not have as strong a hold but you can cross one over the other for greater hold. Make sure that the ends of your pins are sealed to ensure your hair is not damaged. Also do know that there are large and small bobby pins, having a selection of both allows you to work easily when styling. These are very cheap, often around $1 for a large pack.

4. Hair bands

This is a basic in the arsenal of most naturals. You need more hair bands than you can count.  If you know that you have 10 then you have too few. Hair bands are useful for holding hair in sections, preventing twists/braids from unravelling while washing hair  and can also be used to gently stretch hair via banding.  Try to find seam free bands as they will not snag on hair. These hair bands cost $2 for 10 so buying a few packets is worth it.

5. Hair sticks vs hair claws

I used to use large hair claws but after breaking quite a few, I realised my hair is more than the claw can handle. I switched to hair sticks and in this picture is my all time favourite which cost $20. However, I have had it for 10 years and I can say that for natural hair, hair sticks are definitely worth an investment as they can hold a lot hair and do not break easily.

6. Hair flowers

These are an essential for days when there is no time to style hair or when a style is getting a little tired . Hair flowers add a touch of femininity and give polish to a simple style like braids in a low bun. If you do not like hair flowers, then scarves and decorative clips can equally do the same work. Non hair accessories like earrings and other jewellery are also an option.

Ladies, what are your must have styling tools?

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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25 Comments on "6 Styling Tools Every Natural Should Have"

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I only own 3–4 and 6…so far I survived.


I <3 headbands! They’re helping me get thru the twa stage where styling choices are limited and i know ill fall in even more love with head bands since am nearing the awkward stage (i have about 4–5 inches of hair). The best part is they only cost me a dollar at the dollar store! I currently have 12 head bands lol mostly black ones for professional wear.


I’ve lived without all of this. I can’t even imagine using a rat tail comb in my hair for anything besides parting it.


The rat-tail comb is excellent for detangling knots at the end of your hair if you use the end of the comb — not the fine teeth.


Even a good quality rat tail comb would tear my hair out, I need space between the teeth.


I think the rat-tail comb is for parting, with the tail end. Definitely not for combing.


Interesting list. I agree with the bobby pins and the shears.

Annie L.
Fun post! Girl in the photo <3<3<3 MAGIC STAR MINI RAKE Seamless, creates perfect parts and doesn’t scratch my scalp. GOODY OUCHLESS DOUBLE DIPPED TIPS SNAGLESS STYLING BOBBY PINS Oh, the drama! Every time I find these mega, thick-haired bobbies they get restocked with GOODY OUCHLESS COMFORTIPS BOBBY PINS, the standard drugstore size. An Amazon seller sent me 6pks of the Comfortips though advertised the Double Dipped Tips on the site! It drives me crazy. I sometimes can’t even keep the names straight myself but I’m positive KimmayTube sells them at Luv Naturals. HAIRTOYS I love beautiful, handmade hair… Read more »

Good article. I love my flowers and headbands it just jazzes up any style.

Bobby pins are handy too,i dtry not to use hairbands but i do own some.

I don’t own a handheld mirror or scissors. When my hair gets longer i will invest in hair sticks.


I could never get parts with a rat tail comb. I don’t know if my hand lifts or what. I got this comb from LUV Naturals after seeing Kimmay use it. Guess what? I am FINALLY starting to get parts. YAY:)



Goody is so frickin’ awesome!! I’ve never seen this comb and the tip doesn’t seem pointed enough to part well, but I don’t doubt that it works! Gotta see if I can find this one in stores as I don’t fancy paying shipping. Thanks for sharing!




I hope you do find it in the store because I hear you about the shipping. HHJ


Banana clip

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

Amen to that. oh and flexi barrettes. Goody again

Cee Mac

A rat tail comb (the tail spec.)for PARTING my hair, hair accessories- A BIG MUST, bobby pins, hair bands/scrunchies most def for sectioning hair, my soft brush, and last but certainly not least, my free fingers 🙂

Re bobby pins vs. hair pins: Pamela Ferrell cleared this up for me forever in her book Let’s Talk Hair when she said “Bobby pins are for holding the hair FLAT. Hair pins [what you’re calling “open bobby pins”] are for holding the hair FULL.” As an example, I notice some naturals using bobby pins for pompadours, buns, and “tuck and rolls” when they could be using hair pins instead. They come in different lengths and sizes and are much gentler on the hair than bobby pins. Plus they’re really easy to use once you get the hang of them:… Read more »

OOOOH! Good to know! Thanks for sharing.


I’m w/ Cee Mack. My brush is on my list. I only have about two inches of hair so a frohawk is really my only style other than a wash and go. The brush is ESSENTIAL. I can’t get the hang of bobby or hair pins, so I use hair combs. Three on each side does the job quickly and well. LOVE them and can’t envision NOT using them lol


Hi Jessica, just popping by to tell you how much I love, love your blog. I found you toughh google about 2 years ago and can’t stop reading you ever since! Thanks for all the crafty inspiration! I love sharing your information on pintrest!


Im surprised a denman brush isn’t listed. Gives you really nice curls while wet, then add in a leave in conditioner and setting gel.


I only use #s 3 & 4. My can’t live without, go to tool is my beloved Afro Pick! Metal teeth, not plastic.
Detangling, combing, styling, all in one! I can’t believe this one didn’t make the list. Bonus points if it has a Black fist.


[…] can use a rat tail comb to undo your protective style but if your twists or braids were properly installed it is often […]


[…] manageable sections ALWAYS, using hair clips bobby pins, hair bands and/or 2 strand. Always use a metal rat-tail comb for precise parting. However, never use its teeth on curly hair! Detangle with your fingers (or […]


hi! just my 2c: the “closed bobby pins” i was told are called either “bobby pins” or “slides”, while the “open bobby pins” are called just “hair pins”. i have gone to every bloody pharmacy, department store, hair salon, and dollar store in three towns — do you THINK i can find hair pins??? hell no. apparently they are some rarified collector’s item now.


Du anar inte hur avundsjuk jag blir ne4r det sle5r mig titt som te4tt vad du fe5r gf6ra i sklaon’ pe5 dagarna. Suck. Men jag fe5r helt enkelt skylla mig sje4lv 🙂 Jag har ju en egen vilja e4nde5.

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