Detangling your hair is a REQUIRED process as long as you’re rocking your natural hair. Why? Because your natural hair tends to shrink and coil into itself so combing alone will not help you get rid of those knots. You need to detangle.
How do you properly detangle though? There are different steps and processes you need to go through to do it the right way to ensure your hair health and length retainment. You definitely do not want to end up with hair breakage.
When do you need to detangle your hair?
- When washing your hair, you need to pre-detangle. The pre-pooing stage before you wash your hair allows you to properly moisturize and detangle your hair.
- Detangling is especially necessary if you just took out a protective hairstyle and this comes before the actual washing. This is because protective hairstyles usually hold in hair that’s been shed so pre-detangling your hair helps to get rid of the already shed hair and in turn, prevent breakage.
- Another time you need to pre-detangle is if you have put off wash day for a while. Detangling your hair ensures that more tangles are not created so that you don’t lose more hair as washing your hair tangles it up. Detangling your hair also ensures that you spend less time washing it but this does not mean you still won’t detangle after washing, it only makes it easier.
- You should also detangle your hair before styling it as it makes it softer and easier to manipulate.
Here are the necessary steps you need to take when detangling
1. Get the right tools and products when detangling your hair -
You’ll need to get the proper styling tools and products to detangle your hair. Some good combs to use when detangling your hair are:
- The Wide-Toothed Comb - Their wide spaced teeth makes them perfect for detangling hair.
- The Denman Brush - The Denman brush works the same way as the wide toothed comb and is great for detangling wet hair as it goes down to the root to loosen knots without disrupting your coil pattern.
- The Shower Detangler - This comb can be used while in the shower. It’s uneven teeth help to detangle hair and a lot of hair can slip through it without breaking the ends.They are perfect for kids or if you have a tender scalp.
2. Dampen your hair first -
Make sure your hair is wet before detangling because detangling dry hair is a suicide mission and your hair will suffer for it! (Not to talk of the banging headache you’re sure to experience!)
Detangling is way easier when your hair is damp because the comb glides through your hair easily without friction. Moisturize, detangle and style while it is still damp so that it doesn’t break or shrink. This way, you also retain length.
Do this by using your spray bottle container, one important tool you must have for your natural hair, to properly hydrate your hair.
3. Section your hair -
Detangling your hair is so much easier when your hair is parted into sections. That way, you can easily locate all tangles and take them out from ends to roots.
Detangle each section turn by turn so your arms don’t feel like you just finished lifting ways by the time you’re done.
4. Condition or moisturize your hair -
The detangling process will not be complete without some moisture and I’m not talking about water this time. Some conditioner (or leave-in) works perfectly for this purpose, applying evenly to each section of your hair to soften it.
The best detangler is one that has coconut oil or milk as an ingredient and this is most effective. I use the Whipped Coco Shea butter mixed with Jojoba oil to detangle my hair and the results are quite obvious; my hair is back to its real length! I work this combo from my hair roots to the tips and spread it evenly while detangling gently.
5. Start by finger-detangling your hair -
No matter how wide toothed your comb is, you have to begin detangling your hair by using your fingers. Combing straight out can make the tangles worse and rip your strands out, causing breakage and split ends.
Finger detangling involves low manipulation and gives you the opportunity to feel the knots and tangles and individually smoothen them out. Just take sections of your hair and pull them apart gently while using your fingers to comb through afterwards.
Remember to use a suitable comb to comb out your hair -
Depending on your style, use any of the combs above to properly comb out your hair after finger detangling. Style as desired and if any tangle shows up, make sure to work it out with your fingers first before combing out.
N.B - Never begin detangling from the roots, start from your ends and work your way to the roots. Also, use your fingers before going ahead to use a wide toothed comb to comb out.
Don’t be impatient -
How you wish there was some magic spell to “abracadabra” your hair from being all knotted up to soft and supple, right? Well, there isn’t. And that is no reason to detangle your hair like you’re going to war. Be gentle especially at the ends as they’re the weakest hair strands.
Never skip detangling! Whether it’s a regular style day or it’s a wash day.
Detangling not only makes your hair easier to manage, it also softens your hair so that it is not so curled around each other and elongates to its real length.