Apr 7, 2013

It's Only Natural..."Detangling Natural Hair"

Oh the pain of detangling!!
photo: various sources
One of the most difficult things to look forward to when removing my hair from braids and twists is the process of detangling. It's a neccessary evil, but never the less is a routine that I could definitely live without if I could. Dealing with tangles and hair shed that would have normally fallen out on a daily basis from constant manipulation is a pain and the fear that too much hair is being lost is a nightmare for anyone. Everyone has a different technique that helps the process go by as smoothly as possible, my two favorites are my very own fingers and a wide tooth comb.
I prefer my fingers because I can feel the tangles out for myself and can control the force of how to get out them out. It takes a little bit longer but I feel that this works best for me, since I rarely where my hair out and this is about the only time I get to see my hair and can give it the best care. Afterwards I use a wide tooth comb to make sure there a no serious tangles hiding away in my 'fro. I do this entire process after parting my hair in eight sections and spritzing my hair with a water bottle. Just a little bit of dampness in my hair helps the process before I actually wash my hair and further detangle after conditioning. Here is a little more of a breakdown of the tools and techniques I use and other ways that can be helpful in detangling natural hair:

- My  favorite tool of choice, lol, can be very efficient at finding and removing tangles. You can feel any tangles easily and separate them gently since you can control how much force is needed for the tangle to be removed. Its good for helping minimize the amount of breakage that can occur during the process. The downside to this is that it can be quite time consuming, going through section by section, but it is the most gentle and for me...the most reliable.

Wide Tooth Comb:
-My second favorite tool of choice. The wide tooth comb is great at detangling strands and efficient at removing shed hair that helps to create most tangles in the first place. It also helps to minimize damage since the teeth of the comb are wide. I have two trusty Goody wide tooth combs, one silver and one black that I designate for before wash detangling and during conditioning detangling. A bit neurotic I know, lol.

Denman Brush:
-I personally don't use this tool, but I have always been quite curious. An oldie but a goody, Denman Brushes have been around for a long time and as a child my mother used it to help detangle and brush my hair. I remember the snagging and hair pulling that occurred every now and again, but it did the trick for the most part. It's teeth are good for capturing shed hair to prevent matting. In some cases, due to the amount of teeth these brushes have, people modify their Denman Brush by removing certain rows to prevent snagging and unnecessary hair damage.

Detangling your hair can be done when hair is dry or wet. Each technique has its benifits. I prefer to do both to make sure that as many tangles and shed hair are removed as possible.  I use he dry technique of detangling my hair with my fingers for when I first remove my hairstyle, since the hair tends to be strongest when dry even after dampening a little to ease the process. I use the wet technique after deep conditioning, which is easier to detangle at that point and creates for slip to help the wide tooth comb do its job.

What tools and techniques to you use to detangle your stands?

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