DETANGLING CURLS AND COILS

Flashbacks from childhood makes us afraid or even helpless when it comes to detangling our hair.  One thing we have in common is that most of us hate detangling our hair.  For some of us it takes entirely too long.  Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the process of detangling hair is the reason why hairstylists will always stay employed.  Let’s not forget that parents have to detangle their hair and their child’s hair.

Because we hate detangling our hair so much, some of us rush through the detangling process causing more breakage and damage to our hair.  We watch or read suggestions from other people saying we should only use our fingers.  As a representative of type 4 curls, never using a comb is out of the question.  Trust me, I’ve tried only finger detangling numerous of times but I always come back to my wide tooth comb.

Let’s chat about why properly detangling our hair is so important.  Detangling our hair makes styling our hair sooooooooo much easier.  Also, detangling our hair removes previously shedded hairs.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), normal hair shedding is 50 to 100 hair strands a day.  If we don’t detangle our hair and remove those shedded hairs, it can cause future problematic tangles.  This reason is especially valuable for people like myself who have tightly curled or coiled hair.  It’s much harder for those shedded hairs to escape through tight curls and coils.

Below I listed my detangling process from start to finish.  After I cleanse my hair, I get ready to apply my deep conditioner.  This is when my detangle process begins.

  1. I split my hair down the middle with my fingers creating two sections. There should be a left side section and a right side section.  I make sure to saturate both sides with a water and aloe vera juice mix.  I twist one of the sides into a bun and clip it to my head.  Now I’m ready to detangle the other side of my head.
  2. For the side of my head I’m about to detangle, I create four little sections starting with the back of my head first. Note:  I clip the other portion of my hair out of the way while I’m detangling one section.  In the back of my head (i.e. back right position of my head), I spray more water if needed, and I start to finger detangle the section.  Finger detangling is quite hard to explain by text.  My best advice is to move slowly while finger detangling.  Start finger detangling towards the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots.
  3. After I have finger detangled the sections, I add my deep conditioner to my hair. I work the product into the section of hair with my fingers, similar to the finger detangling process.
  4. After I finger detangle the section with the deep conditioner, I take a wide tooth comb and gently get rid of any tangles I may have missed.
  5. Once the section is completely detangled, I two strand twist the section and move on to the next section and repeat steps 2 through 5 over again. Note:  Because this detangling process takes time, you may have to reapply a lot more water (with a spray bottle) as you go along.  Apply as much water as possible to get through your sections.  For the people with shorter hair that can’t be two strand twisted, you may be able to bantu knot the section and bobby pin the hair down.  If your hair is too short to fit into bantu knots, then you probably don’t have to section your hair at all.
  6. Once all of the hair is detangled, I put a plastic cap over my hair and let the conditioner sit for at least 30 minutes (sometimes under a hooded dryer) and then wash the product out of my hair.

The process is over. Yay!!! Your hair will be soft and easier to work with for whatever hairstyle you have in mind.  I do this detangling process once a week when I wash my hair.  This process requires patience but it’s helpful for the type 4 curly hair people.  If you have wavy or loose curly hair, you can follow this same process but you can lessen your hair detangling sections from 4 on each side to two or none.  If you try this process and it’s still hard to detangle your hair, you may need to switch your shampoo/cleanser.  The wrong cleanser can make detangling your hair a terrible experience and cause you to shed unnecessary hair.  Please let me know if you have any questions below.  Also, let me know steps you follow to detangle your hair.  Thanks for reading.