By Chinwe of Hair and Health
Let’s be real. Not every loose 4B/4C natural solely uses her fingers as her tools. Wide tooth combs and the ends of rattail combs are just a few other necessities that may be in our stash. That being said, are there certain “natural hair” tools that we should probably avoid? The answer is yes. Here are four of these tools:
1. Tangle Teezer
This tool was (and still is) so talked about in the natural hair community that many ladies jumped on the bandwagon – including me. However, as quickly as that craze started, YouTube videos and hair care forums flooded with the talk of breakage and split ends from the Tangle Teezer. What’s more? A large portion of that talk was coming from those with 4B/4C natural hair. With that, I quickly put my Tangle Teezer into hiding. It just is not designed to “teeze” our kinky “tangles” without doing a bit of damage over time.
2. Denman D3 or D4
Before the Tangle Teezer bandwagon, there was the Denman D3 (and D4) one. I admittedly jumped on that one – for a short minute – too. Unlike the quick flood of complaints that followed after the Tangle Teezer, there was no flood after the Denman – it was more gradual and subtle. Nowadays, it becomes pretty clear across the hair care boards and YouTube that the D3 and D4 is more so used for curl definition, which 4B/4C naturals lack. Additionally, some of us who have tried the tools complain about snagging and breakage. However, not all Denmans are created equal; there are the D31 and D41, which have wider spaces between the nylon pins and may be better choices … but, I’m good.
3. Velcro Rollers
Velcro rollers work by gripping to the hair via tiny (usually nylon) loops. Just the sound of that does not sound too kind for our kinky tresses. Now, imagine separating those tiny loops from your hair once dry. While these rollers posed no real problem on my relaxed hair, I can envision them doing great damage on my 4B/4C hair. Additionally, I don’t have to look far to read a few horror stories from those with my hair type who have been bold enough to use them on their natural hair. I’ll pass and stick with my smooth snap‐on magnetic rollers.
4. Alligator clips
These are the metal clips with the teeth, hence the name “alligator”. Do you really want an alligator latching onto your hair? (Okay, that was a lame attempt at humor.) So, back to the alligator clips, whose teeth can easily tangle with our kinks and tiny coils. They are generally used for placing the hair into sections or as part of hair accessories (e.g., a flower hair pin). It is probably better to go for the smooth duckbills clips (especially plastic ones) instead.
Ladies, have you tried any of these hair tools?