1. Oils, oils, oils!
Moisturizing is essential for a healthy head of natural hair, and extra virgin oils are a staple for many naturals. Coconut, olive, and Jamaican black castor oils are very popular, as are grapeseed, avocado, and the ever expensive argan oil.
2. A brand new Denman brush
Detangling is crucial for preventing matting and for obtaining optimal curl definition. The Denman brush serves as a go-to for many a natural’s detangling needs. At $20 a pop, replacing a Denman after its been beat up is kind of daunting. Perfect stocking stuffer!
3. Pretty head coverings for going out
Everyone has bad hair days, and a pretty, colorful scarf is the perfect ticket out of them. Tie on a scarf and no one will ever know that your hair looks like it lost a fight with a Tasmanian devil underneath. And with so many different ways to style them, the looks are endless!
4. Protective head coverings for staying in
Hair care continues even as we sleep! Silk or satin bonnets, scarves, wraps, and pillow cases work best, as harsher fabrics like cotton can zap moisture from the hair, encouraging breakage. They are essential and inexpensive, an plentiful at supply like Sally Beauty Supply.
Naturals go through a lot of conditioner — it has tons of uses, and thick hair requires much more than the dime sized amount the bottles recommend. A lifetime supply would be ideal, but if your pockets can’t accommodate that, a few bottles of their favorite (Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa and Kinky Curly’s Knot Today conditioners are internet darlings) make a thoughtful gift!
7. Raw honey
One of the best things about being natural is trying out all the DIY recipes that the ‘net is brimming with. Raw honey is a staple of many of them, renowned for its humectant and moisturizing properties. Manuka honey is purported to be the best, but it is pricey, costing as much as $40 a jar. The good news is that local raw honey works just as well.
8. A hair steamer
Steam is one of the best kept secrets for a healthy head of natural hair, and a good steam treatment is often the highlight of a natural’s trip to the salon. It helps infuse conditioners into the hair, increasing strength, moisture retention, and curl pattern definition. They can be a bit pricey — the popular Huetiful steamer will run you about $150 — but with the money saved on salon visits, it could be worth it!
9. Basic hair pins, clips, and holders
While completely integral to the styling process, hair clips, ponytail holders, and bobby pins are small and fragile and naturals run out all the time. Not having to think about replenishing them would be a definite luxury! The Goody spin pin is great for creating up-dos with thick hair, and these bobby pins come in their own holder—how genius is that.
12. Gift cards!
Turn your natural into a kid in a candy store with a gift card good for their favorite hair goodies. Stores like Sally Beauty Supply as well as Target, CVS, Walgreens sell popular natural hair care lines like Shea Moisture, Miss Jessies, Cantu, Taliah Waajid, and Kinky Curly. Give ‘em a card and turn ‘em loose!