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4 Hair Tools That Help Retain Length in Natural Hair

Avatar • Feb 1, 2014

Recently Updated

Once you’ve learned the techniques necessary to maintaining your hair, you might find that you will need to change the hair tools you use. I found that as my hair grew longer, I needed to consider adjusting the tools in my arsenal to meet the changing demands of hair care.

1. Elastic Hair Bands

The temptation to use heat on a regular basis is often a result of wanting to display the length of your beautiful hair. Excessive use of heat can lead to hair damage and negatively impact the health of your hair. As an alternative I use elastic hair bands to stretch the length of my hair, thus allowing me to display length without manipulating your hair unnecessarily. When choosing hair bands be sure you select  those without the metal connector as these can snag your hair.

2. Seamless Wide Tooth Comb

The word “seamless” is key. You can usually find a traditional wide tooth comb at most beauty supply stores or places like CVS or Target. I used these types of combs for years when detangling my hair. Why did I change to a seamless comb? Well, as my hair grew longer, I no longer had the time or energy for long detangling sessions. I would normally detangle with a wide tooth comb, then re-comb the section with a smaller toothed comb. When my hair was shoulder length, this didn’t take an inordinate amount of time so I didn’t really mind. A seamless comb prevents snags that can be created by the seams of a traditional wide tooth comb, and allowed me to comb sections of my without out strands “catching” on frayed seams. This really helped as my hair grew longer. I will warn you that a seamless comb may be more expensive than a non-seamless comb, but you won’t need to repurchase. I use the Magic Star Jumbo Rake comb and absolutely love it. I paid around $20 for mine and have had it for about two years . Trust me, it’s worth it.

3. Hair Color Applicator

The longer my hair grew, the more important it became to learn how to wash my hair without creating tangles and knots. I choose to wash my hair in 10 sections that have already been detangled. In order to effectively apply shampoo (non-sulfate of course!) to my scalp I mix 2 parts shampoo with 1 part water in a color applicator bottle. In doing so I limit any tangles that might occur along the length of my hair, while getting my scalp properly cleansed.

4. Hair Brush

Okay, this was kind of a trick. No to hair brushes!  I’m serious. Occasionally smoothing your edges with a soft bristle brush is fine. However, I would not under any circumstances recommend combing the length of your naturally curly or coily hair with a bristled brush. Besides ineffectively detangling, brushing will also create split ends galore.

What hair tools do find essential to retaining and maintain long natural hair?

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del
del
6 years ago

Seamless combs do tend to last forever. I bought one 10 years ago (sadly, the internet shop I bought it from is now closed) and it’s still going strong. I wish I could find another one just like it.

cocoberrie
cocoberrie
6 years ago
Reply to  del

Have you tried http://www.hotcombs.net/ I’m sure they would have the Hercules Sagemann seamless combs. I bought mine after I saw the review on Natural Haven and I’m glad I got one. It was well worth it. 🙂

Thetruthisoutthere
Thetruthisoutthere
6 years ago
Reply to  cocoberrie

I agree with you. I signed up for email messages and received a Black Friday discount code. I am so glad I purchased the Jumbo Rake!

del
del
6 years ago
Reply to  cocoberrie

Thanks, I’ve heard of the Hercules before, I’ll check it out!

Dee
Dee
6 years ago

I bought the magic star and a dual comb from them that was also seamless. I can’t see or feel a difference from my cheapy combs. Maybe it’s something you see an improvement on over time but I’ve had mine for 5–6 months and $34 for two combs doesn’t seem worth it at this point.

Tabatha_Frm_ Ri
Tabatha_Frm_ Ri
6 years ago

(IMO) it doesn’t matter what kind of brush,comb,fork,rake,yard broom one chooses to use on his/her hair. he/she has to be extremely gentle.

shayshay
shayshay
6 years ago

Tools matter. People with thicker strands may be able to use seamed combs and hard brushes successfully, but my fine hair can barely stay intact if I touch my hair with so much as a slightly chipped fingernail.

Candace
Candace
6 years ago

Do you have a video on how you wash your hair in 10 sections w/the applicator bottle? I’m anxious to try your method but I’m visual; got to see exactly how to do it. I purchased my 3 seamless combs from hotcombs.net — magic star jumbo rake, the HS1975 Styling Comb & the HS7370 Contour Comb. I didn’t notice a difference at first when combing BUT my stylist did & immediately purchased a few combs for herself. She was more hyped than I was & showed me how much hair I loss with a regular comb; definitely sticking w/seamless combs.… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
6 years ago

My tools for length retention are fingers (for detangling), applicator bottle (for cleansing scalp via diluted shampoo), Scunci No Slip Grip The Evolution hair ties (for sectioning; for banding hair while in braids; for buns), Meta Grip bobby pins (for updos) and hair pins (for buns).

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Does anyone else feel like their hair is not clean after washing it in twists/loose braids? Or do you feel like it take forever to rinse them thoroughly?

I actually had to stop washing my hair in twists because it always seemed like I could never completely rinse the product out of my hair. OR doing the un ravel rinse and re twist method seemed to elongate my hair time in the shower by 30 mins which was a waste of water and time.… I guess I’m a bit frustrated, lol

SmilingFace
SmilingFace
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Yes, Tracy I feel the same way. I have tried to wash in twists and it takes me longer. Also, as I’m washing one section, shampoo gets on another that I already washed. This causes me to spend more time rinsing and washing. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

shayshay
shayshay
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Yes, I also can’t wash in twists or braids for exactly the same reason. When my hair dried and I took out the twists or braids, I found that old product, dirt, etc didn’t wash or rinse out completely. I have thin, fine hair, so I generally wash in 2 sections (right and left side). I clip up one section. The section I’m washing is untwisted, but I hold it in my hand. I don’t let the strands fly free or wash it loose. I twist or roll that section and clip it up when finished and repeat the process… Read more »

M2
M2
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

I was there. So I now wash in smaller sections the longer my hair gets. It prevents unraveling and allows for easier rinsing. I think u should focus on rinsing ur twists differently than u wud loose hair n slightly shift ur expectations to get the result u want. I wash or condition braids first then roots/scalp over my entire head n I dont worry about sections getting re-soapy etc. I squeeze water through them until clean water comes out. But I make sure to detangle before I start near it. I have used a mix of water n cheap… Read more »

Charity
Charity
6 years ago

Rollers have become an essential tool to my hair growth retention. Rollers have been very useful in keeping my ends stretched to avoid friction, frizzing, and single strand knots (which usually causes unwanted trimming for me).

I often place my hair into 4–8 large twists at night and place rollers on the end. I also use large magnetic rollers to stretch my hair after washing. It has made a dramatic difference.

Precious
Precious
6 years ago

Ok! I’m lost! I did not realize I’ve been washing my hair wrong;( I have mostly 4c s shaped coils. I have thin strands and lots of them. It takes ages doing anything with it. With an 9 month old Bub and an 11 year old middle schooler, I am at my wits ends with trying to keep my hair healthy, retain my length and find the right products and tools. My hair isn’t in any “protective” style. Braids destroy my hairline but luckily it’s grown back. Living in Western Australia, I have had to turn to the internet for my… Read more »

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Precious

I don’t think there’s a wrong way to wash 4C coils–I think there’s just the way that works for you. I too have fine, type 4 strands…what’s your current length like? I ask because my wash regimen has been highly dynamic based on my length at the time. When I had shorter hair (chin-length stretched or less), washing in clipped-up sections or free worked best because the time and tradeoffs for washing in twists/braids was not at all worth it. I also just plain shampooed, conditioned and went about my life, but that might have been because I didn’t know… Read more »

Precious
Precious
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

Thank you so much for that reply! Just read it! I needed the detail as I could not picture washing my hair pinned up but the explanation makes it clear. Thanks.

My hair is still short, shoulder length when stretched and I did my first trim a week ago since my big chop. I will check out the 4c style icons, especially who’s lengths are similar to mine!

Regards

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Precious

You’re welcome! I’m happy I could help 🙂

nappy headed black girl

I’m all about the ouchless headbands from Goody. No metal and they stretch for days.

Spirit
Spirit
6 years ago

I use all of the products you mentioned EXCEPT THE HAIR BRUSH. I do use a hair brush when I have it straight (blown straight) which is less than once a year. But I also use small rubber band to platt my hair. I do the LOC METHOD of moisturization and I platt my hair like in my pic and secure the platts with small rubberbands. It has worked magic on my hair. I do color my hair, part b/c I like the color and part b/c its easier to monitor the hair growth when I SEE my roots come in.… Read more »

Emerald
Emerald
6 years ago

My 4C hair is almost AMPL . Once I pre-poo I don’t have to shampoo in sections, never gets tangled. I finger de tangle then pre–oo overnight with coconut oil & a little bit of conditioner. U can use any other oil. After shampoo I dry and DC, rinse, dry out most of the water then band & air dry completely. Wash day is a BREEZE.

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