Looking for a way to create voluminous, well-styled curls? Mastering the hair pick is a great way for those with type 3 or 4 hair to style curls and add volume to any look.
So, what is a hair pick? A hair pick (sometimes spelled “hair pik”) is a type of comb that is flat and square-shaped, like a painter’s brush but with harder teeth. It is used for combing and grooming very curly, thick, or textured hair. As the hair pick has longer, wider-set teeth, it is the number-one grooming tool choice for afro hair or curly hair types. It not only detangles with minimal tension and damage on the hair strand; it also helps lift from the root, creating big, voluminous hair.
Read on to learn how you can use a hair pick or afro pick to style your curly hair:
How to Use a Hair Pick
Step 1: Wash, co-wash or moisturize.
Regardless of where you are in your hair care regimen, it’s important to start with moisturized strands to prevent breakage and roughness when using a hair pick. Apply a leave-in conditioner, such as SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment to prep your strands.
Step 2: Diffuse or dry your hair.
It’s key to pick your hair when it’s dry! Picking on wet or damp hair is more likely to cause breakage or unwanted frizz. Diffuse your hair to start styling your curls the way you like (you can check out our handy guide to working that diffuser attachment here.). Once your hair is dried the way you like it, it’s time to create some volume.
Step 3: Flip your hair.
Flip the head over and using your hair pick, pick the hair at the bottom, nearest to the nape of the neck. Comb a couple of inches upwards, towards the roots.
Step 4: Shake it out.
Give your head a wiggle: Shake hair, then section it off into manageable parts.
Step 5: Use the pick on each section.
Comb each section through, starting at the root, as this will create the most volume and help shape your style. As you pick at the root, move your hand up and away, pulling down will place the volume in the wrong direction. It’s better to use short tugging movements to avoid damage.
Step 6: Finish with a shine spray.
Form your arms into a capital letter L (to ensure proper distance from your head), and apply a shine spray such as Bed Head by TIGI Headrush Shine Hair Spray.
Tips to Help You Master Hair Picking
1. Decide between plastic or metal hair picks.
Plastic picks are more gentle on hair than metal, making them perfect for finer hair types. However, although metal is less gentle, it’s great for thicker hair types that need a sturdier brush to get through the curls. It’s best to play around with different ones to see which works best for your particular kind of curl.
2. It’s crucial to keep your curls moisturized.
Don’t skip on the moisturizer! Make sure hair is well nourished. Natural hair is more susceptible to dryness, so invest in some serums (we like Suave Professionals Define & Shine Serum Gel) and make a habit of protecting hair while you sleep via a wrap or bonnet.
3. Pick evenly.
Make sure when you use your hair pick that you get around to every section of hair. If you only focus on the top and sides, your style will be uneven. While the top may feel like the most important part, the look will come together best if you take time to pick evenly.
4. Day 3 curls will bring the most volume.
Do not be surprised if you don’t have extreme volume on day one of hair picking. Since you’ve just washed your hair and added a lot of moisture, your curls will be weighed down. The real volume comes around day 3. Remember to pick your hair every day to maintain the look and bring out as much volume as possible.
5. There is such a thing as over-picking.
While picking is a great way to style natural hair, over-picking can lead to breakage and frizz. Try not to rely on your pick too heavily throughout the day. An initial hair pick in the morning and one touch up throughout the day should be enough to keep your style in place.
Those are all the tips and tricks on using a hair pick. Remember, practice makes perfect and learning which pick and technique works for your hair type may take a few tries. Happy styling!