One of the steps that was new to me was detangling. If I'd known about this process when I first went natural, I probably would've started wearing my hair curly much sooner. It makes such a difference, especially for my thick, 4a/3c hair!
If you're newly natural or you're having trouble detangling, here are some helpful tips:
- The Tools I like to detangle using a wide-toothed comb and a Denman. Some ladies prefer to use their fingers. Figure out which method you prefer and stick with it. You're less likely to become frustrated and cause damage to your hair if you choose the method that works best for YOU.
- Wet hair My hair is always dripping wet when I detangle. If you're using tools and not your fingers, never detangle your hair when it is dry as this can lead to breakage.
- Give it slip! When detangling it is best to use products that provide slip, whether it's your favorite conditioner, olive oil or another lubricating product. I love to use my detangling conditioner. It's light, has a yummy scent, and gives my hair great slip. :)
- Divide & Conquer It's easier to manage your hair (especially when you have a lot of it like I do) when it's in sections. Separate your hair into as many sections as you need to make it easier for you to handle it with care. I put my hair into 6 or 8 sections using hair clips. The longer your hair, the more likely you'll need to section it. If your hair is short, you may be able to get away without sectioning. I'm not sure; I've never had short, natural hair.
Here is how I detangle:
- Take each section and apply my moisturizing and detangling conditioner liberally to wet hair.
- Hold the section of hair with one hand, and with the other, I take the wide-toothed comb and start combing the hair from the tips on up. By holding the hair mid-shaft, you're preventing unnecessary yanking and breakage. When I get to the roots, I slowly and gently comb through the entire section of hair, making sure there aren't any tangles.
- I do the same with my Denman brush, taking extra care not to tug at my roots as I gently pull the brush through the section.
- After I brush each section, I braid the section so it stays detangled. Our hair naturally gravitates toward itself, one curl easily intertwining with the next, so you want to make sure you keep each detangled section separate. Who wants to detangle twice??
- Rinse. I take out each braid and let the shower water run through it. Then I re-braid it before rinsing the next section. Some ladies can keep their hair twisted/braided while rinsing, but since mine is so thick I prefer to rinse each section unbraided.
Speaking of the shower, here's a tip on saving water: detangle at the sink. I soak my head with the showerhead, then I wrap a towel around my shoulders and detangle at the sink. When you need to re-wet your hair, use a spray bottle. Once my hair is detangled, I hop in the shower to rinse it out. This saves water and allows me to use the mirror while detangling.
Hope this helps!