If you have medium to long hair, you will definitely need to detangle it at some point. Detangling your natural hair incorrectly can cause trauma to your hair. However, if done correctly, it can leave you with softer curls.
How to Prevent Tangling
The first step in the detangling process is actually avoiding knots. Yes, your hair naturally tangles itself at night or during the day, and the type of knots depends on your hair type. Nevertheless, there are ways to prevent too much tangling.
- Use the right products. One of these ways is to use products designed for your hair type. Each hair texture is different, and some products work better on specific hair types. For example, if you have type 4c hair, ordinary conditioners will not do. You will need a deep conditioner, and according to Cleverly Beauty, the best deep conditioners for 4c hair will lubricate the strands and avoid hair breakage during the detangling process.
- Moisturize your hair. Another way to avoid unwanted knots is to moisturize your hair consistently. You can use a liquid, oil, or cream that matches your hair porosity. If you have the time, you can layer using all three products for maximum hydration.
- Cover your hair at night. Sleeping with something on your hair can feel like too much work. And I get it. However, sleeping with a covering, whatever that may be for you, will prevent your hair from detangling.
As a bonus, this also helps you retain moisture in your hair. Look for a satin hair covering, as it is better than cotton. You can also put your hair in a bun before you sleep to avoid your edges from tangling.
- Take advantage of protective hairstyles. To avoid continuously combing and brushing your hair, consider a protective hairstyle to give your hair a break. You can twist, braid, or wear your hair in a bun to reduce the chances of knotting or breaking.
- Consider stretching your hair. Stretching your hair once in a while is a tremendous way of avoiding knots in your hair. You can use a blow dryer for this. To avoid the heat, you can do Bantu knots after conditioning or moisturizing to stretch your hair.
- Trim split ends. You should also trim any split ends you may have. Trimming your hair gets rid of any single-strand knots you may have.
- Wash your hair. Product build-up can cause your hair to detangle. Therefore, make sure that you wash your hair regularly. It is undoubtedly an important step in the natural hair care journey.
How to Detangle Properly
Start Detangling Before you Wash
You can use your fingers for this process. This will help you know where the knots are, preparing you for when you will use a comb or brush. Before you start this process, cut any chipped nails and avoid washing with rings. Chipped nails and rings can get caught in the hair and cause pain and damage.
Be Careful as you Wash
Make sure that you avoid detangling your hair further as you wash. Focus on your scalp first as you wash. When you are done with your scalp, work your way to your hair slowly. If your hair is really thick, experts suggest washing it in sections to avoid knotting again. Do not detangle with a comb or brush when the hair is wet, this causes more breakage.
Once you finish the wash, do not dry it by rubbing it roughly with a towel. Instead, pat it dry to drain excess moisture. Rubbing your hair with a towel will undo any detangling work you have already done.
If you have a blow dryer, you can use it to remove any extra water. However, excessive heat can damage your hair. Therefore practice extreme caution while using it. Use it at the lowest setting and ensure that your hair does not completely dry up. You will need moisture as you detangle.
Divide Your Hair Into Sections
To make the process easier and faster, divide your hair into sections. This will help distribute the product evenly and avoid unnecessary pulling and tagging. You can divide your hair into 4 or more sections depending on how thick your hair is.
As mentioned above, find products that are suited for your hair type, and the right conditioner can help reduce tangles in your hair. Using a conditioner with natural oils creates a slip and makes detangling even easier.
Start With the Tips
Make sure you have the right comb for detangling. As you begin combing out your hair with a wide-toothed comb, start with the tips first and move closer to the scalp as the hair detangles.
When you are done detangling, you can rinse out the conditioner. As you do this, you can run your fingers through the hair to make sure the hair is completely detangled.
Do not try to pull out any knots. Not only is this painful, but it can potentially damage your scalp and any surrounding follicles. If you must, remove the knot that can’t be detangled by cutting it with scissors.