How to Detangle Natural Hair

My hair is very tightly coiled, and let’s be honest – I absolutely hate having to detangle my hair! It’s when I have to pay the most attention to my strands, being very careful to not rough house them… after all, they are fragile and can easily knot (hence, the single strand knots I tend to get). There are times when I don’t detangle my hair (I know, sue me) but that’s when I’m going for a style that I don’t need to manipulate my hair too much. However, when I want a smooth style or want to decrease the frizz, detangling is absolutely necessary.

Detangling your hair is imperative for the health of your hair and styling. Regardless of if you are transitioning or completely natural, here are some tips when detangling your hair to make it as smooth of a process as possible to avoid excessive breakage while executing this tedious task:

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  1. Pre-poo (only if it’s for you). I don’t practice this method; however, I have heard of other naturals that benefit from this and swear by its results. What is pre-poo? Pre-poo is when you treat your hair with a conditioner or a treatment of some sort before you go through with the washing process. It is said to make your hair softer and more manageable. During this time, one may finger detangle their strands, that is, use your fingers to work out tangles and knots. Again, I personally don’t practice this method, but I do use my fingers on my hair (dry, not moistened by water or product) to work out some visible tangles. My aim is not to fully detangle my hair, but rather make it easier to work with during the washing process.
  2. Divide hair into smaller, manageable sections. Washing your whole head at one time can be cumbersome and also a huge task! The longer my hair has gotten, the more I appreciate and utilize sectioning my hair. I divide my hair into four workable sections, maybe six if my hair is really tangled or needs a good washing. I loosely twist those sections and commence to washing. Even in my twists, my hair will be cleansed, which leads me to my next point…
  3. Avoid tangling your hair while shampooing. How many times have we gotten so happy that our hair was being washed that we piled our strands on the top of our heads and went to WORK, creating mounds and heaps of suds? Do. Not. Do. It. Not only are you being entirely too rough with your strands, but you are creating a massive amount of tangles. While washing your hair, focus on the roots using the pads of your finger tips and less on your ends (or strands in general). During the rinsing process, the shampoo run off will counter as a cleansing agent to your strands. They will get clean, I promise.
  4. Use conditioner with a mean slip. When I say mean, I don’t mean the literal, but I am referencing the fact that the conditioner has enough coating action that when your comb goes through your locks, it easily glides… as if you never had tangles to begin with. My conditioner of choice is Tresemme Naturals. I condition my hair (still in those sections from earlier) concentrating on my ends and working my way to the roots.
  5. Use a tool (or your fingers) to detangle, starting from the ends of your strands and working your way up to your roots. Remember those sections I made for my hair? Working with one section at a time, I unravel the twist, finger detangling my hair first and then using my tool (i.e. wide tooth comb, Tangle Teezer) to gently detangle my strands. After I have detangled that section, I retwist and I’m on to the next, on, on to the next one…

Once I wash the conditioner out (with cool water to close my cuticle) I’m done. My hair is detangled and I don’t have to worry about knots! Depending on how I am styling my hair, I will either keep the twists and work section by section or let all of my hair out of the twists and execute whatever style I want. Just be patient when working with your strands, especially my transitioners out there that have two types of textures. There is no need to be rough with your hair, no matter in how much of a hurry you may be. A good, thorough detangling session is essential to styling and unless you are trying to put in all that time to styling to have the outcome look a hot, tangled mess.

How do you detangle your hair? What are some methods that you use that make it easier for you to get rid of tangles?