IG @DoyinBadewa

by Doyin Badewa

I am definitely here for finger detangling my hair and I have been doing it for months now. I had just taken out my faux locs and did not rethink continuing my regular finger detangling ritual before shampooing my hair and let’s just say it did not turn out so well. I ended up with a big mess of tangles and lost a lot more hair shed than usual. I realized that because I had the faux locs in for quite a while, after taking them out (and not detangling it for a few days after that), I had developed some major kinks that finger detangling alone was not able to remove. With the length and amount of my hair, I had to go back to my neglected faithful combs. If you ever fall into a hot tangling mess like I did, remember:


1. Be patient – I cannot stress how important this is. You will get frustrated and angry, but do not let this ‘little’ wash-day hiccup defeat you. Take your time and focus on method rather than getting it done quickly.
2. Conditioner is your best friend – Use as much conditioner as you need. The conditioner provides slip to your hair and makes it easier to comb through. Let it do the job for you.
3. Wet your hair – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water also provides a lot of slip and makes it easier to comb through.
4. Use a combination of your fingers and a comb – Use your fingers initially to remove as many kinks as possible, then proceed to use a wide tooth comb, wooden brush or denman brush (whichever one works best for you).
5. Work from the bottom up – I am sure we have all heard this before. The worst mistake you can make is to start combing through your hair from the roots, not only will you end up in a world of pain but you will also pull out a lot of new growth.
6. Don’t be afraid of losing hair – you will always shed hair after a protective style. Don’t panic. Focus on detangling it properly now so that you don’t have to detangle it everyday for the next one week.

The Denman Brush is a very popular detangling tool among the curly community, but it has also been known to be a controversial topic. It is used mainly to detangle natural Type 3c and Type 4 hair when wet.

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Many curlies rave about the way a Denman can cut down their detangling time, and it also works to evenly distribute product in curly hair. In addition, the brush helps achieve curl definition.
However, as with any tool or product one size does not fit all. Some curlies find that the brush pulls out too much hair, and others have experienced frizz. Furthermore, the Denman has a higher price point than other brushes, ranging between the $10-$19.

So is a Denman Brush better than a regular brush?


It depends on your detangling preference.

Many curlies view the right detangling tool as an investment, and if you want to focus on curl definition and decreasing your detangling time, then a Denman may be for you. There are a variety of Denman Brushes to choose from, though it’s best to purchase a brush that uses 5-7 rows of bristles.

If the brush snags your hair, all is not lost! Don’t be discouraged if the brush doesn’t live up to your expectations on the first try, you may just need to modify the brush to suit your curls. Many naturalistas remove every other row of bristles to create what is known as a “modified Denman.” Also, be sure that you are using the brush slowly to avoid unnecessary hair pulling.

Prefer a cheaper alternative? Try generic brushes, wide tooth combs, and (the cheapest option) finger detangling.

Don't Forget Your Conditioner  

No matter what tool you choose for your detangling session, it’s essential to use a conditioner with “slip.” This allows the tool to easily slide through your hair. 

CN's Favorite Conditioners for Detangling: 

Rinse Outs/Instants:
  • Aussie Moist 
  • Trader Joe's Nourish Spa 
  • Hello Hydration 
  • Aubrey Organics White Camellia 
CN Says:  
With all of these, it's essential to apply heavy handedly and then work some water into it-- the water increases the slip action and aids sets fling even further. I apply to my wet hair while in the shower and then pass my hand under the shower stream and then work in a little more conditioner.
Leave Ins:
  • Giovanni Direct Leave In   

Tips for Detangling: 

While detangling, start from the end of your hair and slowly work your way to the root. Create sections and twist your detangled hair as you go to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Lastly, take your time while detangling your hair. Always schedule your detangling session on a day when you’re not in a rush to be anywhere. Rushing this process can cause hair breakage and pulling.

CN Says:

The Denman wouldn't let my fine strands be great.  

It's incredibly efficient- not just at detangling, but in removing hairs that aren't yet ready to fall. I also notice an uptick in split ends with regular use.  There's also the definition thing- it defines the hell out of the length (clumps and curls galore) but leaves the roots shrunken and frizzy.  

Which brings me to my 10 digits.  Despite the time and patience needed, they're still the number one detangling tool... that and a super slippery conditioner like some Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner... or Aussie Moist... or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and I'm good.  Plus, fingers alone give my wash-do-the-most-and-gos the best definition.  

What about you? Are you a Denman girl? 

This article was originally published on September 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity. 

 by Kanisha Parks of BlackNaps.org

When you decide to transition to natural hair, it’s important to have patience when detangling. Sometimes dealing with two textures can be rather frustrating: there will be times you wish you could just glide the wide tooth comb through your hair quickly and easily. Well, detangling can be made much easier if you have a few tricks up your sleeve, so if you’re having trouble enduring detangling sessions with your transitioning hair, try employing a few of these methods:

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1. Free Up Your Time.
Two of the worst times to detangle your hair is when you’re in a rush or extremely tired. Of course, there will be times when these circumstances are unavoidable, but it’s important not to allow this to cause you to cut corners and ultimately cause more damage than good. You don’t want to rip through your strands rapidly so that you can hurry up and get it over with. Try your best to prepare for wash day so that you will have time to effectively detangle. And if you’re still on a time crunch, the next few tips will still help you maneuver through your tangles with ease.

You can detangle before or after washing your hair, but make sure your hair is saturated with water and some kind of conditioner. Do not detangle dry hair because it is far more likely that you will cause breakage if you do.

2. Finger Detangle First.
It sounds time-consuming and exhausting, but it’s actually a time saver that your hair will certainly thank you for. Finger detangling simply means going through your hair with your fingers and separating any tangles that you feel, starting with the ends and working up to the roots. For added slip, you can use latex gloves: they work with your conditioner to smooth the hair and make for an even easier detangling session. Some transitioners only finger detangle and don’t use combs at all, which is perfectly fine, but to ensure that all of the tangles are out, you can follow up with a wide tooth comb.

3. Use a Seamless Wide Tooth Comb.
When you choose a wide tooth comb, make sure to find a seamless comb like this one by Hercules Sagemann. These combs have been widely recognized in the natural hair community as a terrific combs for detangling. A seamless comb won’t snap or snag on your hair and will help you glide through the tangles much more efficiently.

4. Work In Sections.
Depending on the length of your hair, you may have a vast amount of territory to cover. If you have medium to long hair, divide it up into 4-8 sections. Doing this will help you seek out every tangle, whereas if you were to try and detangle your entire head at one time, you might miss some. Plus, when you detangle in sections you are able to clip away the parts that have already been detangled; you can twist or braid the section of hair to keep it stretched.

5. When In Doubt, Add More Conditioner.
Don’t neglect the importance of conditioner as an agent to get your hair properly detangled. You want to use a creamy conditioner that will soften your strands, making them more pliable and therefore easier to separate from one another. Adding oil also helps with making your hair more manageable for this process. Also, many naturals like to detangle in the shower because the stream of water helps the conditioner slide down the hair shaft and tackle the tangles.

In this video, long term transitioner Jen of Just Grow Already demonstrates how she detangles her tresses:

How did you get through your detangling sessions while transitioning?

Washday blues…ugh! They will have you cursing for sure. We love our curls, coils, and waves but sometimes we get tired of the extra work many of us face during washday. I used to dread washday but now I have gotten my washday down to a science by planning ahead. This is a necessary component of healthy hair, so I put on my big girl panties and do what I gotta do!

Let’s not even pretend you do not understand what I am saying. You, yes you are the biggest culprit for your tangled washdays. I am calling you out (myself included), because we can make them easier if we take the time to ensure they run smoother. Here are a few ways to avoid tangles and simplify your washday.

Read On!>>>
1. Do not put off washday
Let me say this one more time for the people in the back row, yea, you in your feelings right now, I’m talking to you! Do not put it off until you have a tangled mess to wash! How many of us have procrastinated washday because we are either tired, forget, dread it, or feel too lazy marinating in our own funk to care? This is part of the reason washday becomes a chore. Putting it off is not only keeping your hair dirtier longer, but you are allowing the tangles to accumulate.

Dr. Oz says the average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs every single day and about 100,000 shed hairs follow a predictable cycle. They are either growing (anagen phase), not growing (catagen phase), or resting (telogen phase) and then they are released during the last phase.
These hairs that will shed do not stop when you do not feel like washing your hair. They only grow more intertwined throughout the length of your attached hair.

No one is suggesting that you detangle daily, but if you put it off then you are allowing the shed and unshed hair to become more densely tangled. Every single time I put off washing my hair I regret it. If you are reading this article with hair that has not been detangled in a month, here are some tips to help what could be awaiting you.

2. Pre-poo
A pre-poo is an oil treatment that is applied prior to shampooing your hair. Favored oils for most naturals include olive oil or coconut oil, but you can select whichever oil you like. A pre-poo will help to dissolve your tangles, and the longer you let it sit (15-30 min) the easier it will break down the tangles and allow your washday to become a breeze.

3. Section
I cannot stress this enough! I understand if you are in the TWA stage and it may not be necessary, but when your hair is no longer a TWA and you notice more tangles when washing, it is now time to make a change - this typically occurs when the hair is around 6 inches in length. Washing in sections allows you to be more productive by allowing you to concentrate on smaller portions.

4. Use tons of conditioner
Conditioner is your friend. Love it, cherish it, and use it! Washday is not the time to be stingy, and if you already incorporate the Curly Girl Method or the Tightly Curly Method then you already know the power of conditioner. Conditioner allows you to remove the tangles successfully without yanking out gobs of hair. Adding a few drops of oil to your conditioner will also help in eliminating tangles without ripping out strands of hair. And please, do not forget to detangle starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

5. Co-wash
Not everyone is into co-washing and I understand. Despite your misgivings on the subject, if you are noticing more tangles with shampoo, then you may want to give co-washing a try. Shampoos are meant to cleanse and many (but not all) contain harsh surfactants that alter the pH of the hair and induce tangles as you massage the scalp. Co-washing is just using daily conditioners or co-wash formulated products (such as As I Am Cleansing Co-Wash and DevaCurl Low Poo) to gently cleanse while also conditioning your tresses. I have tried the sulfate-free shampoos but my hair does not like the stripped feeling, so I jumped on the co-washing bandwagon and never looked back.

Trying one or more of these tips should really cut down on your tangles. Remember to take your time so you are not tugging at your hair.  

Has anyone tried any of these methods? If not then what are you using to doing to make your washday easier?

by Michelle of Radiant-Brown-Beauty

Let’s face it. Detangling your hair can be a chore. Sometimes you just don’t wanna! But, it’s inevitable. You've gotta let down your mane and get to detangling and removing shed hair… eventually.  If you never detangle your hair, it would eventually mat up. I’m not an expert on locs, but I think the only reason you wouldn’t want to detangle your hair is because you want to loc it.  At any rate, let’s assume detangled tresses and length retention are your goals. Hence the title of this post!

Read On and Chime in>>>
There are some tips that can help you with length retention when you are detangling your hair. Like to read them? Here they go:
  • Detangle in sections. Don’t try to remove all of the tangles from your hair in one fell swoop. Section your hair in 4, clipping each section out of the way and then work through each section methodically and carefully to remove tangles. If you have longer hair, it may be necessary to create 6 sections.  
  • After detangling a section, twist or braid it and clip it out of the way so that the section-does not get re-tangled.
  • Detangle on damp not wet hair (unless you are using slippery conditioner and the shower stream as an aid and even then you need to be careful because your hair is stretching, making it prone to breakage).
  • If dry detangling, always use a lubricating oil to allow for the free flowing movement of your strands.
  • Finger detangling is preferred for fine hair or hair that’s prone to breaking. You can feel tangles in your hair with your fingers – not so with a comb. A comb will rip through your strands before you have a chance to remove the tangle.
  • Detangle from the bottom up when using a comb (a large tooth comb). When using your fingers, you can detangle some at the roots if that’s where your hair is most prone to tangles.
  • A combination of oil/conditioner works well on detangling dry hair.
  • Detangle when you pre-poo. You’ll be prepping your hair and detangling it in one step, cutting down on manpulation which leads to unnecessary breakage (like any breakage is necessary)
  • Never detangle when you’re in a hurry. If you’re in a rush, you’ll try to do it quickly and some detangling sessions can take upwards of an hour or more.
  • Keep a pair of scissors handy that you only use for trimming/cutting your hair. If you come across a SSK (single strand knot), clip it out. You can try to manipulate the tangle out but if it’s in good and tight, you can cause more harm than good to the surrounding hairs. It’s best to just snip it out. Notice, I said snip, not pop!
Detangling is the favorite part of my hair routine (just kidding). It’s a necessary step in any hair care care regimen. During the process, you can quickly evaluate the condition your hair is in. Does it feel dry? Do you feel lots of little balls on the ends or along the hair shaft?

Putting a little extra effort into detangling your hair will help you retain some of your precious length. If that’s your goal, these 10 tips can help!

How do you detangle your hair?

CN Says: