Upon becoming a natural, one of the first rules we all learn is how to “properly” detangle our curls. This rule includes what tools to use, whether to detangle on wet or dry hair and in which direction to detangle the hair. Could some of this information be damaging our natural hair and causing some of the problems that plaque many of us such as split ends, single strand knots and breakage?
First, let’s talk about what tools to use when detangling and my own personal experiences. The natural hair community is pretty much split down the middle on whether the Denamn brush or wide tooth comb is better for detangling. I personally prefer the Denamn brush to the comb. The teeth on the Denman actually bend a bit and seem to detangle my hair quicker than the comb, which results in less stress due to less passing of the brush back and forth through my strands. While, I don’t mind the wide tooth comb, it just takes more effort to get all the tangles out with a comb than the Denman but, I will use a comb in a pinch.
Remember, the less passes you have to do while detangling the less damage you’re also doing to your hair. With every pass of the brush or comb you are exposing your hair to more damage.Unanimously, among naturals detangling on wet hair is a must. It was for me too until I started noticing more breakage in my bath tub and sink when I detangled on soaking wet hair in the shower. Wet hair is more elastic than dry hair, allowing it to stretch more when detangling. To most women this means,it’s less likely to snap off and break during the process.
Think of it like this, take a rubber band for example and stretch it out over and over and over and over again. You may not notice any damage the first few times but, over time you will start to see small tears and holes all throughout the rubber band. Although, the rubber band is stretchy it is also fragile. Wet hair in turn is also more fragile than dry hair.
Now, that doesn’t mean go off and detangle on dry hair either. Dry hair that is lacking moisture (as most of our hair is on wash day and in need of a conditioning) can easily snap and break from detangling. While this method works for some, it certainly doesn’t work for all.
My medium is using a conditioner to coat my strands and applying a conditioner with lots of slip to act as a barrier between the comb and my hair and help glide the brush through my hair.And finally, we are told that we have to detangle from tip (ends) to root. Great advice! It is smarter to work the tangles out and then move up the section to the root. The problem is, I think many naturals took this as “Concentrate on the ends and then move up the section”. I have watched many YouTube videos where someone will detangle a section and spend way too much time on their ends. Remember, the more you pull a comb or brush through your hair the more damage your are likely doing to your strands.
If it takes extra effort to detangle your ends then maybe it’s time for a trim, a new conditioner or detangling tool. Remember the rubber band example? Yes, this is what you do each time you swipe the comb/brush through your ends especially when wet.
Now as always if what you’re doing is working for you then by all means continue on BUT, if you’re dealing with breakage, split ends, etc. then maybe these tips can help you!The post Split Ends and Breakage- Could How You Detangle Be The Problem? first appeared on Demetrion Ware.