Learning how to detangle your natural hair is one of the most challenging aspects of being relaxer free. That’s why so many of us naturalistas dread wash-day…the whole detangling process can truly be a beast! Y’all remember that scene from The Color Purple when the little girl was screaming while Ms. Celie was combing her hair? “It hurts her!” *smack!* Yep, it’s one of my favorite movies, can’t you tell? And unfortunately, sometimes I feel like that little girl when I have to tackle my head. Reckless detangling can cause excessive breakage and damage to your hair; so it is important to take extra care during this process. However, most of us live busy lives and we don’t have hours on end to spend simply detangling our tresses. So here are a few tips to help you detangle your natural hair quickly!
Avoid Hand-in-Hair Syndrome
Ugh! I’ll admit it! I’m so guilty of constantly touching and fiddling with my hair. And we all know the more you play with it the more prone it is to breakage and tangles. So try to avoid drastic or constant style changes between washes. Make a conscious effort to keep your hands out of your hair unless it’s necessary! I know it’s hard but I just remind myself that the more I touch it now the longer I’ll have to detangle later.
Work in Sections
Do not and I repeat DO NOT pile your hair on top of your head like “they” do in commercials – your hair will be complete tangled mess. Instead when you begin the washing/conditioning process put your hair in at least four sections (or more if necessary) using clips, braids, twist, etc. The smaller sections are easier to work with and give you more control. The goal is to maintain those sections throughout the entire process until you are ready to style.
Conditioner is Key
Use a conditioner with great slip and saturate your hair! There are several conditioners out there on the market for us naturals, so find the one that works best for your hair. I’ve discovered that adding natural oils (like olive oil, sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil etc.) to my not-so-great conditioners gives them a little extra slipping power. Once you’ve saturated your hair allow the conditioner to set a while or marinate (lol)…this allows your hair to soften making it easier to detangle. And for even better results allow the water to stream through your hair.
There are several detangling tools out there but I recommend starting with your fingers. However wide tooth combs are great too. I haven’t personally tried the tangle teaser or Denman brushes but they have both received great reviews. Find what works best for you.
I know every naturalista has their own process, how do you detangle your natural hair? What products do you use to decrease detangling time?