By Christina of The Mane Objective
When it comes to hair tools, we all know that the sun don’t shine forever. Despite obvious signs of overuse, many of us try to keep our hair tools and accessories until the wheels fall off. I can’t judge or blame you, because a lot of staple items aren’t exactly cheap nowadays.
This post was really inspired by a YouTube video tutorial I found myself watching about a week ago. I won’t post the link out of respect, but I was shocked and appalled when the vlogger grabbed a worn out stretched out can’t believe you took that out scrunchie to do her style. White rubber exposed and all. I mean, you and I both know that was wrong, and not a good look for your hair. I know ya’ll probably know this already, but I wanted to draft this post for good measure — and as a reminder for me and you.
1. Bobby Pins
The hallmark of a good bobby pin is that (a) it is coated — black, silver, brown, pink, purple, etc., and (b) there are smooth bulbs covering the tips. If your bobby pins are missing one of the two, it’s time to take them to the trash. Without the smooth coating over the entire bobby pin, the surface is well, rough. Rough = unnecessary friction/tension against your hair. The coating provides a slick surface for your hair to glide across when applying or removing bobby pins. I’ve personally noticed (from experience) that bobby pins missing this coating tend to yank my hair out along with them. The bulbs covering the tip are equally as important, because they protect you from stabbing your scalp, and piercing through your hair and causing breakage. Trust me, I’ve had both happen. Not a happy camper moment.
2. Wide tooth/regular combs/brushes
I’m pretty sure it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. When your comb’s teeth start snapping off, or bristles begin flying out of your brush, it’s time to let go. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about rows of bristles or teeth missing from something akin to a modified Denman. Jagged comb teeth and brush bristles are more inclined to snag your hair and damage it, causing breakage and split ends. Beyond broken utensils, it’s also time to let go of your comb when the teeth begin converging and curving into each other. At that point, the teeth of your comb are no longer equally spaced out, increasing the chance yanking and breaking your hair. I know, it’s your favorite comb. But please, throw it away.
We all know well enough to avoid the metal clasped scrunchies, because of the damage they can do. We avoid rubber bands for the same reason. But someone please tell me, what is the point in holding on to an ouchless scrunchie that is stretched beyond recognition, with its white rubber interior exposed? It completely defeats the purpose of having a covered scrunchie. You may as well just use a regular rubber band. Save your hair from snapping and wrapping around exposed rubber, and grab a set of new scrunchies.
4. Hair Clips
Broken hair clip teeth can be just as damaging as those of a broken comb. Clips and clamps (banana clips included) tend to have rounded and smoothed out tips, to lessen the likelihood of snagging and creating friction against hair. If one of a couple of tips are broken, those pieces become jagged and can damage and tangle your hair. Not to mention, broken or damaged hair clips tend to be less effective at holding hair anyway.
5. Heat Tools
Specifically, flat irons. For those of us that occasionally straighten our hair, performing a quick check‐up on heat tools is necessary. First, if your flat iron does not have a temperature gauge, it is time to do away with it anyway. Don’t rely on “low”, “medium”, and “high” as temperature readings to determine how heated your tool is. Numerical temperature readings on heat devices are far more accurate, and can help you prevent heat damage. Second, check the plates. Whether tourmaline, ceramic, or some other newfangled ionic miracle compound, your flat iron plates should be coated in something that protects hair and evenly distributes heat. If you’ve had your flat iron for some time, you may begin to notice the ceramic wearing and scratching off in places. This is an indicator that it’s time to let go. Flat irons are expensive, but take it from me — heat damage is not worth all the time spent growing out healthy hair.
What are some other warning signs that it’s time to let go of a beloved hair tool or accessory?