The Path to Perfect Tresses with Fit For A Femme, Part 3 of 6: Reinforcements

Winter is bearing down on us, which means two things for tresses:

1. Heat styling makes sense! Yay! No sweaty summer temps and humidity making it a beastly form of torture.

2. On the flip side, hat head and the heaters cranked all the way up throw a few new wrenches into our game.

3. To say nothing of wind. And snow and rain and wintry mixes.


In Part I you learned how to keep your locks in the best possible shape, and for winter you might want to consider adding a product to manage frizz and static. Remember your weekly deep conditioning treatments? Step it up and leave ‘em in for twice as long, or let it soak in overnight if you need a megadose of TLC.

Part II covered which hot tools to use for a variety of styling options.

Now that your healthy, clean hair is styled, let’s call in the reinforcements!

Part Three: Everything Else (brushes, combs, pins, hair ninja tricks, etc.): 



People ask a lot of brushes. They don’t just tame tangles, smooth hair into infinite shapes, help distribute natural oils evenly, and work magic when it comes morphing one sort of curl into another, they are instruments of self-care. 100 strokes. Me-time in front of the mirror or at bedtime. Someone gentle pulling one softly from root to tip, again and again, the sound of it yours and yours alone depending on your hair’s texture, thickness, length.

Hair is music, so choose your instruments wisely.

That might be a $170 Mason Pearson from Barney’s, but it’s probably something you picked up in a panic at CVS. If you have very curly hair or a ‘do on the shorter side, you might get by without one, in which case please skip on down to the comb section. This is for those of us with piles and piles of hair. We need a proper brush, at least one, if not the trifecta of brushes:

  • paddle brush for dry hair
  • round brush for blow drying
  • teasing brush

My favorite paddle brush of all time is the Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush. It’s well-made, gentle, and does its job beautifully. I stray once in awhile, usually because I want something I can toss into a handbag, and then my go-to is usually from the Spornette section at Amazon I like this one — it’s compact and durable. Spornette also makes a ton of round brushes that are suitable for blow drying, but because my hair is so insanely thick I usually prioritize the speed with which a round brush will let me dry my hair over everything else. Second most important factor is the size, because that determines the shape of the bend if you’re flipping the ends under or out — this jumbo babe from Nexxus is going on my wish list ASAP!


Finally, you’ll need the Spornette Little Tease. How cute is that name and that price? Too cute. Terrified of teasing? Don’t be. Here’s a great tutorial that takes you through it step-by-step. It is often that one little invisible thing between good hair and great hair, trust me.


I’m sure the tomboys could go on for days about comb preferences, but as long as mine is a rattail comb, I’m golden. I use mine to make straight and severe parts, smooth out bumps, separate sections if I’m doing something really complicated like a pin curl, or to comb through my soaking wet bangs before blow drying into submission. I also keep a super wide-tooth detangling comb in the shower, and use it just before I rinse out my conditioner.

I highly recommend keeping a switchblade comb in your purses or pockets. It’s just fun.



Clearly, bobby pins in your hair shade are a must. Tuck bangs away, tuck loose strands into a bun or chignon, use them to access the mesmerizing coiffures of yore. I once bought and then used a 500-pk. of bobby pins. It took a while, but I did it.

The U-shapedpins you’ll find at beauty supply stores might work for people with very thin or fine hair, but for anyone with very strong, thick or textured hair, I highly recommend Capezio Bunheads hairpins for your myriad updos. They’re made specifically to endure the rigors of dancing and they’re like hair anchors.

If I were forced to do this hairstyle with only bobby pins, I’d probably use as many as two dozen, but I only used 3-4 Capezio pins and a few bobby pins: 


This one just wouldn’t even be possible! The braid creates so much of its own tension and pull that even an army of bobby pins wouldn’t be able to hold it: 



I’ll leave you with just a few random tips and tricks:

  • Sometimes bedhead gets it right and I DO NOT brush my hair at all in the mornings, maybe just refresh it with a spritz of dry shampoo or smooth a tear-sized drop of glossing cream over it to tame flyaways and add shine — if it works, roll with it!
  • Learn the right way to use bobby pins — no teeth, ridge side down, and the elusive “locking” technique
  • This gal has the best hair tutorials ever, really easy to follow
  • Add curls overnight without anything but a headband

Next time we’ll review some of my favorite, can’t-live-without-‘em styling products, and I’ll be sure to raid the tomboy’s side of the medicine cabinet, too!