Oh, detangling! [sigh] I have such a love, hate relationship with this step of caring for my hair. It’s an essential part of maintaining healthy hair, but it can also be one of the toughest and most time-consuming parts, especially when you have kinky, afro-textured hair like I do. Here are four tips that have helped me to shave a huge amount of time off of my detangling process.
Tip #1: Wear hairstyles that keep your hair stretched, such as braid-outs, twist-outs, roller sets, etc.
These types of hairstyles keep your hair from getting tangled, when compared to wash and go styles. This is because they help keep the hair strands separated, while preventing them from matting together because the hair is stretched out.
Tip #2: Wash your hair in sections and gently smooth the shampoo down the strands.
Washing all of your hair at once can definitely be a recipe for tangles. Sectioning the hair helps you to focus on distinct areas as you go. It’s best to only scrub your scalp with the pads of your fingers or carefully with a wide-tooth comb if you need a little extra cleansing. I usually do this with four sections and I use sectioning clips to hold each in place. When washing, apply your shampoo near the roots and put your fingers in right at the scalp and rub gently. This will create all the lather that you need. Then, to clean the strands, gently smooth the lather down the hair. Washing this way helps to prevent tangles and knots.
Tip #3: Deep condition WITHOUT detangling your hair.
This is something that I learned from going to the salon to get my hair done. I noticed how easy it was to comb through my hair after getting a deep conditioning treatment under a steamer. I also noticed that the beautician applied the deep conditioner with her hands thoroughly without coming it through before I sat under the steamer. This works to make detangling easier because shampoo (even if it’s sulfate-free) removes moisture from your hair. Moisturized hair is easier to manipulate and handle than hair that is not moisturized. I don’t own a steamer, so to create this same effect at home, I apply conditioner thoroughly in sections with my hands, after washing my hair. Then, I put on a shower cap and sit under a hooded dryer on warm for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a hooded dryer, you can wrap a big, thick towel around the shower cap and let that settle in for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Tip #4: Detangle on damp hair with a wide tooth comb and a smoothing comb.
After rinsing my conditioner out, I apply leave-in conditioner section by section and gently detangle from the ends working my way up the the roots with a wide tooth comb. After using that comb, I do the same with a detangling comb, which has teeth that are more narrow than the teeth in the wide tooth comb (an example is the purple comb pictured above). This helps the strands to be smooth in preparation for hair styling and setting.
What are some things that you do to help make detangling easier? Please share in the comments section below!
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