Many naturals have hair growth goals, but are struggling with retaining length. Learning to properly detangle natural hair will ensure that you are not just breaking it off. It will also help with overall healthy hair care, as improper detangling can result in split ends and damaged cuticles. Here are some tips on detangling your hair without ripping it out.
Wet and Condition Your Hair
Try wetting your hair thoroughly, then applying a generous amount of a slippery conditioner to your hair. When the hair is wet and lots of conditioner is applied, it is in a very ideal state for detangling. The water and conditioner provide lubrication and slip to the hair, which will make it super easy to detangle. your hair needs lubrication in order for your comb or brush to glide through. The more slippery your hair is, the more easily your comb or brush will go through it. Wet hair is also more elastic than dry hair, and will stretch under the tension of a comb or brush. Dry hair can easily break when combed because it has less elasticity and won’t stretch much before breaking. Wet hair with lots of slippery conditioner in it can make for easy, breezy detangling.
Detangle in sections
After hair is nice and lubricated, separate it into about 6-8 sections. Detangling your hair in sections can make life so much easier. Focusing on one section at a time is much less stressful than trying to detangle your whole head at once, and it ensures that you’re getting all of the parts of your hair. Detangling in sections also enables you to separate the hair you’ve already detangled from the hair that still needs to be detangled. You can use plastic hair clamps or duck bill clips to secure your sections, and make even smaller sections if needed. It is always a good idea to twist or braid the section after you are finished detangling it, to prevent it from tangling up again!
Use a Proper Comb or Brush
Combs and brushes are great for detangling, but some combs and brushes are better than others. I recommend using a wide-tooth comb or a brush with hard, wide bristles and a rubber base. Combs with tiny teeth are not as easy to detangle with as wide-tooth combs, and can cause more breakage than necessary. Invest in combs with teeth ½ an inch apart or wider.
Start From The Ends and Work Your Way Up
Don’t begin detangling from the middle or the root of your hair! You can’t detangle downward from the middle if the ends below it are tangled. Instead, begin detangling from the ends of the hair. Hold the ends of your hair with one hand and detangle with the other hand. Once the very end is detangled, begin detangling an inch above that. Continue detangling from a point higher than the one before until the section is completely detangled.
Try Finger Detangling Before Using a Brush or a Comb
Finger detangling is using your fingers like a comb, and separating strands of hair. Detangling with your fingers before using a brush or a comb can be great because you can feel major knots and tangles with your fingers and pull them apart gently. Take the section of hair and first pull the hairs apart gently with your fingers, separating any tangles. Then, comb your hair with your fingers! Finger detangling makes using the comb or brush much easier afterwards.
Detangle Before and After Shampooing
Shampoo tends to make the hairs stick together, so you should be sure that the hair is as separated as possible and has the least amount of shed hairs as possible before shampooing. You don’t want to have tangles in the hair and then add even more tangles by shampooing! You also want to re-separate the hair after shampooing. After rinsing out the shampoo, add conditioner to your hair and detangle!
Always be gentle when detangling your hair. Rough detangling will cause nothing but pain, breakage, and damage. Detangle slowly and carefully, especially at the ends of your hair where it is the oldest and weakest. Your hair is awesome! Treat it like it is!