Detangling. The word is all too familiar to every naturalista out there. Detangling is the process of unraveling knots, kinks, and tangles from your hair in a bid to make it more malleable. Essentially, it is how you get your hair to bend to your will. Sounds good right? Well, it isn’t always that easy. The thing about knots and kinks and tangles is that they are usually abundant in natural hair. This means you could spend over an hour being patient with them, or, worse, lose patience and end up ripping them out (breakage!) So, how do you detangle natural hair without breaking it? And even better, how do make detangling natural hair easier? A problem begs a solution, no? Here are 5 tricks that will switch up your natural hair detangling game!
#1 Use Warm Water
Warm water will make hydrating your hair so much faster. It doesn’t matter your hair’s porosity. High porosity hair naturally accepts moisture quicker than low porosity hair, but warm water makes it even easier. For low porosity naturals, this should be a staple. You can’t trade it off. Fill up your spray bottle and deeply hydrate your hair before you even think about undoing those knots. If you’re unsure about your porosity, find out everything you need to know about hair porosity.
Pro-tip! If you can, let your hair soak up moisture from your shower head. This helps reduce the stress on your arms from spraying one section over and over again to get it hydrated.
#2 Section your hair
Trying to detangle your hair without parting it into sections first is a quick ticket to frustration. Imagine thoroughly going over a portion of hair till it is well detangled, and then letting it get jumbled up with the portion you haven’t detangled. This is why when you detangle natural hair, you need to section your hair into smaller workable portions. The number of sections will usually reflect your hair’s texture. People with fuller hair (coarse hair) tend to need up to 6 or 8 sections, while those with thinner strands can work with 4 portions. But it all depends on you. You should know how much hair you can work with comfortably at once, so section your hair and get to work.
#3 Start from the ends
Starting from the ends/tips of your hair is a very easy way to save yourself from the heartbreak that is breakage. This way, you work out the knots at the tips first, then you work your way down each section of your hair. In the end, you will find that you’re able to easily run your fingers or wide-tooth comb through your hair without bumping into any obstructions from hair that is still tangled.
#4 Use your hands
With natural hair, using your hands gives you such an advantage, especially with length retention. When undoing tangles with your fingers, you know how much pressure to apply at each point without causing breakage. You can easily go in afterward with a wide-tooth comb to finish up each section. However, if you have the patience, your hands can do the entire job. Just make sure you have something interesting to watch while you’re at it, and before you know it, you’re through.
#5 Use conditioner and oils
The combination of both will provide you with a lot more slip than if you were using either on its own. After sectioning your hair, apply your favorite (and most effective) conditioner and work it in with your hands. Apply the oil to your palms and fingertips to make the job even easier. Now you can unravel knots and kinks without putting in so much effort. Some lightweight and affordable oils you can use are jojoba, argan, and grapeseed oil. Also, ensure that your conditioner is safe for you by using this checklist.
There you have it, 5 things you can do to make detangling easier. These are pretty simple things that you can carry out without having to spend a lot more time than you’d like. Another tip you should know when you detangle natural hair is that sealing in the moisture afterward will help you have longer intervals between detangling sessions. This is because when your hair is properly moisturized, it will not get tangled as quickly and easily as it would if it were dry.