A Detangling Brush Is A Curly Girl's Best Friend. Here's How To Use It Correctly

Detangling curly hair can be time-consuming and painful, and runs the risk of damaging your fragile coils (who else has flashbacks of a parent almost ripping out their scalp?). But with the proper brush and technique, detangling curly hair doesn't have to be a source of stress.

A quality detangling brush will have firm, plastic bristles and a flexible structure that can work through your hair without resistance. If you're not familiar with this kind of brush, just look for brushes that have backs made of multiple sections, either bars or a zigzag shape. By not having a solid back, a detangling brush can comfortably contort to some of the funky angles you need to get at when working out a big knot. This design prevents breakage and makes the detangling process much easier.

Having the right tool will make a major difference, but once you have a decent detangling brush, you'll still need to have the correct brushing method to get the best results.

Before you pick up the brush

When you have curly hair, a good portion of the detangling process should take place before you even start brushing. Your first step should be to wash and condition your hair. Dry curly hair is quite difficult to manipulate, whereas wet, conditioned hair will have enough of that important slip for you to work a brush through it. If you have a looser curl pattern you can try to lightly detangle your dry hair before getting it wet, but you should still detangle after conditioning as well.

After you've applied conditioner to your hair, you can begin the detangling process with your fingers. Your fingers are wider and more flexible than any comb or brush, and this is the most gentle way to work out the largest knots without tearing out your hair. Once your hair feels relatively detangled when you run your fingers through it, you're ready to go in with your detangling brush.

Start at the ends

The biggest detangling mistake is to place your brush at the roots and drag it through your hair. You might see people do this in movies or commercials and assume that's the normal way to brush your hair, but sadly, our hair in real life is too delicate for such a harsh approach. If you brush from your roots down, you'll be taking the tangles at the top of your head and pulling them down to the tangles at the ends, creating massive knots, the dreaded stubborn fairy knots, and even a stuck hair brush. Instead, you need to start at the ends of your hair and make sure that part is detangled before putting your brush anywhere near your roots.

If you have a lot of hair, divide it into several sections for easier brushing. Hold a section of hair in your fingers and brush downwards through the very ends of your hair. Gripping your hair with your fingers as you detangle the ends will prevent any tugging at your scalp, thus avoiding unnecessary pain and protecting your hair follicles from any tension damage. When that small section of ends is fully detangled, you can gradually start brushing downwards from higher starting points until you are smoothly brushing through from root to end. Repeat this process until all sections of your curly hair are fully detangled. With tangle-free curls, you'll have a much better time styling your hair and creating defined, voluminous texture.