Picking cool hair accessories that won’t damage black hair

Jennifer Dawson looks at what you can do to limit the damage from hair accessories

The beauty of natural hair is one powerful form of #blackgirlmagic. Of course, hair that you straighten or dye can also be eye-catching and glorious. The whole point is to keep your beautiful head of hair as healthy and low maintenance as possible while expressing your individual sense of fashion.

Hair accessories can do a lot for your look and to keep your hair in place. However, much like with brushes and other beauty products, not all hair accessories are made equal. More importantly, not all of them are going to work well on naturally curly hair. Thankfully, there are a host of options available that can suit your style and protect your locks at the same time.

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Look at how it attaches to your hair
Some hair accessories, especially cheaper ones may feature teeth or snaps that pinch or pull your hair. While you want to manage your hair with your accessories, you don’t want to damage it. Metal hair accessories, especially those that flatten or pinch your hair against metal edges, can cause a lot of damage. Look at clips and barrettes carefully before investing in them.

Similarly, many hair ties and elastics can have sticky or abrasive coatings that can pull out your hair or tear it, leading to split ends and other unwanted damage. Smoother surfaces and softer materials are often a better option for hair accessories that help you look the best you can without damaging your hair.

Pay attention to materials and coatings
Materials matter for all hair accessories, not just short-term solutions for pulling your hair back like clips or barrettes. Actually, coatings and materials are incredibly important when looking at items that will be in your hair for longer periods of time. If you get your hair done and like to add a little flare with accessories, pay attention to your options.

Beads, crystals, and barrettes intended to hold in braids or other hairstyles aren’t always made for long-term use. They may react chemically to your shampoo or even to your water. That can weaken, damage, or discolour the hair nearby. Make sure anything staying in your hair for more than a single day is appropriate for long-term use and doesn’t have coatings or materials that could damage your beautiful hair.

Consider what you’re doing later
It may seem strange, but having an eye toward plans later in the day for your hair when picking accessories is important. Will you have time to carefully remove the accessories you put in, or will you need to quickly and efficiently pull your hair back or take it out? Are you headed to the gym or going to church? Choosing the right accessories for your current needs and your plans can reduce the potential for damage.

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