Photograph of Joely Harvey
Monday, the 9th of August, by Joely Harvey

The Ultimate Hair Tool Checklist

Knowing what your tools are best for is the key to good hair styling. Each comb, each brush and each accessory is designed for a very specific reason, and whilst you can use them for other things too, it’s always best to know what their intended use is to get the best use out of them.

Knowing what your tools are best for is the key to good hair styling. Each comb, each brush and each accessory is designed for a very specific reason, and whilst you can use them for other things too, it’s always best to know what their intended use is to get the best use out of them.



Paddle Brush

A paddle brush is your standard hairbrush, used mainly for simple detangling and smoothing for all hair types. Use with a hairdryer to create a sleek, straight style. It has more flexible bristles so if using to detangle thick hair, use slowly and cautiously.

Round Brush

A round brush is your more standard blow-drying brush. They are ideal for creating lots of volume whilst taming frizz and keeping the hair sleek and smooth. The bristles typically heat up when blow drying and the brush therefore acts like a hair curler. They come in a variety of size options for different hair lengths and thicknesses so be sure to have a range of sizes in your kit. A lot of professional beauty retailers will sell round brushes in a set with a variety of sizes.

Vented Brush

Vented brushes are great to use of all hair types and to help achieve a speedy blow dry. The holes on the back of a vented brush allow hot air to pass through to speed up the drying process.

Teasing Brush

Teasing brushes can be used on all hair types for adding volume at the roots. They’re great for adding texture and support to up-dos or to create a firm base at the root of the hair for adding clip-in extensions.


It’s important to note that a lot of beauty retailers will sell most of these combs as a set which is a great way of stocking your kit.

Wide Tooth Comb

Wide tooth combs are perfect for detangling wet hair of all hair types, as they’re often less rough than brushes, they minimise breakages. Along with this, they are fantastic for brushing out curls to create cohesive, big, bouncy curls without pulling the style out.

Sectioning Comb

Sectioning combs are fairly self-explanatory, they have a plastic “tail” that comes to a point making them ideal for sectioning hair. These can also be used for setting hair when using heated rollers.

Pin Tail Comb

Pin tail combs are similar to a sectioning comb but have a metal “tail”, they are also ideal for sectioning the hair but are better for traditional hair setting when the hair is wet.

Cutting Comb

Cutting combs are used when cutting the hair, they typically have two sides with different comb widths on either side.

Teasing Comb

Teasing combs are similar to teasing brushes, but plastic and with less bristles. They’re great for adding volume and texture to hair styles but not ideal for fine hair. There is typically a metal pick comb on the other end too, which is great for Afro-Caribbean hair types.

Pick Comb

A pick comb is something you will most commonly use on Afro-Caribbean hair types, to brush them and out and style them efficiently. They are designed to lift the hair and usually have wide teeth and can be made out of either plastic or metal.


There are a lot of different hair accessories and each one has a different, specific use.

Sectioning Clips

Sectioning clips simply, are to hold the hair in place during sectioning for cutting or styling. They can be made of plastic or metal but plastic are more common to use.

Curl Clips

Curl clips are small, metal, double-pronged clips that are ideal for styling and setting the hair. They can be used to hold rollers or barrel curls in place to cool or holding finger waves in place to set.

Waver Clips

Waver clips are a newer addition to the hair styling world, they are designed to set your waves in a similar style to the curl clips. They are also ideal for holding styled hair off the face for makeup application as they offer a no-crease design.

Hair Grips

Hair grips come in a variety of colours to match hair colours and also sizes and are used to hold styles in place. It is important to always have these to hand and to have a lot of them.

Hair Pins

Hair pins are used in styling hair to hold hair in place, but are not intended for strong, secure hold. They’re smaller and thinner than general hair grips and the two sides don’t touch, they can also be bent to sit flat against the scalp.

Elastic Hooks

Elastic hooks are a great alternative to regular elastic hair bands. They hook onto the hair and can be wrapped around as many times as needed and hooked again to secure the hair tightly. They are great when creating sleek ponytails.

Synthetic Hairbuns

These hairbuns are great for creating wedding and prom styles, they are made of a mesh netting and get pinned into the hair and then covered. They add volume for bigger styles on finer hair. They also come in different sizes and shapes for every style.

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