The Denman Brush is an item I use daily on my curly clients as well as on my own head of hair. I love the versatility of this brush! It gives a nice firm scalp massage and it also allows the formation of perfect curl clumps. The spacing of the bristles can be changed by removing rows, which will give you less tension (with fewer rows) and more tension (with all the rows). Because curly girls often go multiple days between washes it is critical to cleanse and stimulate the scalp on wash days. The bristles are firm, but not so firm that they hurt or irritate the scalp. There are a lot of knock offs, but personally, I think the little extra for the Denman brand is worth it. These brushes have been around for ages and there’s a reason for that, they are work horses who multitask.
The Wet Brush Pro is another item I use daily in my shop. This brush helps me glide through thick heads of hair, distributing conditioner with ease. The Denman can also be used for this step, but I prefer the Wet Brush Pro because of its larger size and flexible design. Distributing the conditioner through the hair strands is important because the products I use and recommend must be manually pressed into the hair. This brush turns a head of curls into a creamy hydrated dreamland!
My tighter textured gals will benefit from the Felicia Leatherwood Brush it is like the Denman brush but on steroids. It has stronger bristles that allow me to work through a head tightly textured curls more efficiently. I like to use the tip for de-tangling small sections of hair then I turn it sideways and use the full brush to distribute hydration and product from scalp to ends. It's a workhorse that has held up well over time.
The Black Orchid diffuser is the holy grail of drying curly hair! I love it so much I have one at home and one at the shop! The size is nice and large so it accommodates large amounts of hair at a time in it's bowl without constricting the air flow. The large bowl also allows for efficient hover drying techniques. It universally fits most hair dryers, as long as the nozzle is round, average sized and doesn't have a hump on it.
At the shop I have a professional hood dryer folks go under to set their curls, or in some cases to do all their drying. Most folks rely on a diffuser, like the Black Orchid, at home, but for me that means 40-ish minutes of holding a dryer to my head. The solution is a hood dryer, the one I have at home is the Babyliss Hood Dryer! It is a little bit of an investment at $120, but one that is well worth it for the convenience of not having to hold a diffuser, the amount of time it saves me, not to mention the feature which allows me plug my device into the USB port and listen to a podcast or music. My only complaint is the base is REALLY big so it takes up quite a lot of floor space. I'm experimenting with ways to maybe use a stool as a base to make it more manageable, I'll report back if it works.
The Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey is the go to book for anyone starting their curly girl journey. I read it early on in becoming and curl specialist and I lend it to clients all the time. It is a great foundational understanding of how to manage your hair. I believe there is an updated version coming out that will remove the references to oils being good for your hair. Like anything it's full of great information and not so great information, but overall I found it helpful and so have my clients. Take what works and leave the rest behind.
There is another book by Lorraine called Silver Hair-A Handbook which is a wonderful resource for anyone considering stepping away from hair color and embracing their grey. It's a very personal choice and everyone makes it for a slightly different reason. I personally don't color my hair and enjoyed the validation I got from reading it. I lent my copy out and haven't gotten it back, so it's on my list to purchase again.
In the shop I carry the full line of Inner Sense Organic Beauty which I completely adore, BUT there are times when I recommend these products to clients. Little Twig Conditioner is a wonderful co-wash and I'd say it is comparable to Long Hair Don't Care. LHDC has been a staple of the curly world for a long time, but it is difficult to get on a consistent basis and pretty expensive. The Little Twig product is marketed as a baby conditioner and is a great alternative for folks looking for clean/gentle ingredients. It comes in several scents or a non scented version. It has a great price point at under $15 which is also a HUGE plus for folks on a budget.
The other product I love and often use on my own hair is Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic. This is a much beloved product in the black girl curl community and it works wonders on tightly textured hair, but it also works wonderfully in my looser wavy/swavy hair. With it you will get good slip and definition. My only complaint is with my hair type I am not able to get multiple days of great curls the way I do with some other lines. It is my go to for days I'm washing and styling, but don't need a multi day set. This is not the case in kinky/coily hair. It offers wonderful slip and a great set for that type of hair, especially when topped with I Create Hold from InnerSense.
Everyone needs to drink their water and I find I enjoy it a whole lot more from my DLYN Water Bottle. This nifty bottle makes alkaline water for you in only 20 minutes! I recently bought the insulated version for my husband, which you can find here, it's almost double the price, but it is also larger and keeps your water cold. You'll want to register your bottle when you get it so you'll get automatic reminders to change your filter. The filters are small and only need changed about once every three months. Of course that will be different if you drink more or less water each day. This bottle brings me joy!
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a Vietnamese Coffee mix called Vincafe...I was introduced to this by the owner of my favorite pedicure place. It is sweet and delicious....it is a real treat and I'm sure it is full of calories and sugar, but since the label is not in English I pretend it is actually healthy and just drink my fill!
What would life be without every family member headed in a different direction? I keep track of it all on the front of my fridge with this cute magnetic calendar. Everyone gets their own line each week for the entire year!