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by Patrina (@nathairqueen)
Mastering your detangling session is one of the most crucial moves you can make as a natural queen. It’s everything. It could be the main reason you’re not seeing length, or maybe even why you’re struggling with washing and styling.
Your detangling session is probably the time when you are the roughest on your hair. Often, it’s our own hastiness that causes us to pull our strands apart and accidentally cause breakage. So, patience is the first and foremost step to detangling your natural hair.
Curly hair can easily tangle because of all the tiny coils that tend to cling on to each other. You probably already know to keep your hair well-moisturized. The drier your hair becomes, the more tangles and frizz you’ll have.
After that, it’s all in the technique. Do you struggle on wash day when it’s time to detangle? Here are five useful tips that will make detangling your natural hair much easier.
Does it seem like your detangling session is too big to handle? That’s because it probably is. Break the task into smaller chunks by sectioning first. Only detangle one section at a time. Part your hair into four sections with a wide toothcomb. Keep the sections separate by making loose twists, clamping it with clips, or tying it with a ponytail holder.
Then detangle one section at a time. Keeping your hair in sections will help it stay tidy and organized while you work. It will make the job quicker, and your hair will have fewer opportunities to tangle. In fact, you should never have more than one section out, even when you’re shampooing and conditioning.
Try detangling with your fingers first. If you have weak ends that are prone to breakage, you may even want to use your fingers only.
Fingers are gentler than a comb, and they’ll be more in touch with any potential problems. They can feel knots and guide them apart much better than a comb can.
After you unravel all major tangles, you can move on to using a wide tooth comb or Denman brush. Or, you may want to stick with using your fingers only for a while until your strands are strong enough to withstand detangling tools.
Your conditioner should contain enough slip for tangles and fairy knots to slide apart easily. Slip is a beauty term that refers to how slippery a product is.
All the products you use on your hair should contain slip so that you’re not breaking your hair as you wash and style. Slip will help potential tangles to slide apart effortlessly.
When you feel an impossible knot, place a dime-sized amount of conditioner on it. Then gently guide the knot apart with patience. If it still doesn’t budge, see tip #5.
Dry hair is much harder to detangle, and it is more likely to break. Always detangle while the hair is fully hydrated, or at least damp. You could even take it one step further and detangle your hair with running water.
Detangling under running water is the ultimate way to detangle your hair. Water makes natural hair softer and more pliable. Plus, the gravity of the water makes strands less likely to wander upwards.
Run your fingers through your hair in the shower to clear tangles, and then use a wide-toothed comb if you’d like.
Sometimes you’ll come across a knot that just won’t unravel. It could be a single-strand knot, or maybe it involves several hairs. Either way, don’t pull.
Pulling will cause weakened and split ends. Instead, snip above the knot with a good pair of hair shears. You’ll avoid breakage because your ends will have a clean cut.
Place the shears in front of you while you detangle so you can resist the urge to pull your knots apart, and stash them away in a drawer so you’re not tempted to use the scissors for cutting paper or plastic.
Also, consider searching for straggling ends before you ever step into the shower. Stragglers tend to snag onto your healthier strands in search of moisture. Then they cling onto them and form knots. Try to look for straggling ends before they wind themselves around other strands. Either unwind them or snip them.
Getting regular trims with your stylist will help to keep your ends healthy and may even prevent tangles before they happen. You’ll find it’s much faster and quicker to detangle when your ends are thick and strong.
It’s not necessary to trim on an exact schedule, though. Rather, book an appointment when you notice that your ends tangle much easier than before.
What about you? Do you have any special ways of detangling your natural hair?
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Patrina is the founder of Naturalhairqueen.net; a blog to educate and inspire women with natural hair. Patrina just celebrated her 10-year natural hair anniversary, and achieved her goal of waist length hair. With the knowledge she has learned over the years she is dedicated to share her knowledge, and experience to educate women who wish to have moisturized, healthy natural long hair.