Tangles happen to the best of us (and the rest of us). Whether your hair is stick straight or coiled up tight in a z-shaped formation, you’ve experienced a tangle of some degree in your life. How you deal with tangles may vary, but we all get them. There are basic rules of thumb about detangling your hair, no matter what your texture is. Take it from this tender-headed woman who’s experienced her share of pulling and ripping snarly tangles from her hair – there’s a better way to get it done!
Here are 6 helpful tips for detangling your hair:
1. Fingers can help (and hurt) Finger detangling is generally considered a great preliminary way to begin the detangling process, and many women with natural hair swear by strictly finger detangling. I have a tendency to pull and rip out single-strand knots while finger detangling my hair, so my advice is proceed with caution in this process. It is always helpful to separate your hair into sections and detangle that way.
2. Use the right tool. For years I suffered through detangling because I tried to use a fine toothed comb. For my particular hair texture, I require a wide toothed comb. Recently I got turned on to Ouidad’s Double Detangler comb, which is excellent for my thick, coily hair. I also love Felicia Leatherwood’s Detangle Brush for extra definition.
3. Know your hair’s preference. I know many who say they prefer to detangle their hair when it’s dry. I used to dry-detangle and my hair wound up coarse and frizzy for trying. It turns out that my particular hair texture prefers to be detangled when wet, and now I don’t dare detangle unless my hair is soaking wet and slathered with a thick conditioner. It prevents snarls and excessive pulling.
4. Start from the bottom. Conventional beauty wisdom will make you think that you’re supposed to comb your hair from the root to the tip, but I’ve discovered through the years that the opposite works much better for me. Part your hair into four sections. Slather it with thick conditioner, let that set for 2 minutes. Then section by section, comb from the tip up to the root of your hair. This will help to avoid pulling and pain.
5. Products can help. There are so many amazing detangling hair products on the market to add extra slip to your detangling efforts! I’m a big fan of Karen’s Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment, and Kinky Curly’s legendary Knot Today detangler.
6. It’ll happen again. Life happens, and before you know it your hair will be tangled once again. The best you can do is make use of anti-tangle inducing agents, like a satin bonnet or satin pillowcase at bedtime. Keep calm and detangle on!
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.