Calling all natural hair Queens who need to know about detangling natural hair without breakage! We all know by now how much of a journey it can be to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. One thing that you really need to ensure that you know how to do is properly detangle your hair.
Of the many processes that naturals must go through to make their hair grow and stay healthy, detangling is something that most are doing wrong. Take a look below and see how to properly detangle natural hair without breakage.
Benefits of detangling natural hair
The most obvious benefit to detangling natural hair is growth. When your hair is matted and tangled, your hair is much more prone to breakage.
Understand that there is a big difference between shedding and breakage. Shedding is something that all hair does.
On average, your hair sheds about 100 strands a day. You can always tell if your hair is shedding by looking at the hair that has fallen out.
If the hair has a white bulb at the end then the hair has gone through the natural shedding process. It’s very healthy, and you have nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, breakage is another story. Anything from heat, excess friction, and even the wrong products can cause the hair to break off.
When your hair is nice and detangled, it will not break off. Therefore, you are able to retain your hair length.
Another benefit of detangling natural hair is less pain. Our coils are already tight and curly, and if we try to run a comb through it without detangling first, there’s no question that pain is soon to follow.
Taking the time to detangle natural hair first will be a lot easier on your head. The final benefit of detangling natural hair without breakage is manageability.
One of the perks of being natural is the ability to style your hair in different ways. Natural hair is versatility at its finest, and not having it detangled ahead of time could cost you a lot of time and effort.
To save yourself a lot of extra trouble while you’re styling your hair between washes, you should always detangle your hair.
What is the best method for detangling natural hair?
There is a lot of speculation surrounding what the best method is for detangling natural hair without breakage. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a one size fits all method for detangling natural hair.
A lot of it is determined by your hair type. For example, if you have really thick and tightly coiled hair, you may find it difficult to detangle your tresses without the aid of some type of conditioner with great slip.
Those with finer hair may be able to use just water. One thing is for certain when detangling natural hair: you must always use some type of liquid aid when doing it.
If you neglect to do this, your hair will break. You can’t run a comb through a dry, tight coil and expect for it to not get damaged.
Now, although this step is important for everyone regardless of hair density, hair porosity also plays a role in detangling. Recall that although hair is easier to deal with when it is wet, it also is much more vulnerable.
Those with high porosity hair, have hair that is prone to damage since it typically already is damaged. Therefore, you cannot detangle the hair when it is soaking wet like some of the other hair types can.
Running a comb through your high porosity hair while it is soaking wet will only damage your hair more. Therefore, wait until it is about 25-50 percent dry until you start to do your detangling.
Depend more on your leave in conditioner, and less on water. You will be surprised at how much your hair grows when you don’t try to detangle while it’s wet.
How often should you detangle natural hair?
The best way to have healthy hair is to keep your hands out of it. In other words, the less you manipulate it, the more likely it is to grow.
Therefore, you do not want to detangle your hair all the time. However, you also don’t want to neglect detangling or it will be prone to tangles.
The best thing to do is to detangle your hair every time you either change hairstyles or wash your hair. If you notice that you’re having to detangle more than twice a week, that’s a sign that you’re over manipulating your hair.
The best thing to do is to limit having your hands in your head at all.
How much hair should you lose when detangling natural hair?
The best way to answer this is to use your own judgement. Remember, hair sheds about 100 strands a day. If you have globs coming out when you detangle, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Detangle hair before or after washing
If you do not follow any other advice from this article, please be sure that you detangle your hair after every single wash. When you wash your hair, you’re pulling, tugging, and rubbing your hair together all over the place to get it clean.
99 percent of the time, that’s going to cause it to tangle. The only way to make sure your hair doesn’t come out in clumps is to detangle it.
Although you can do it either time (before washing or after washing), it is recommended that you do both depending on the state of your hair before the wash. Use your better judgment on this one.
If you are coming from having a press, you can probably just finger detangle before the wash if at all. On the other hand, if you’re just coming from braids or a sew in, then you definitely need to detangle before washing.
Keep reading to learn about detangling natural hair without breakage based on the state of the hair.
How to detangle super knotted hair
Detangling super knotted hair will be very painful. However, it is not impossible.
Start by getting the hair damp. Part your hair in 6-8 sections, depending on hair thickness.
Put a generous bit of coconut oil on each section before working on it. Because you have knots on your hair, you don’t want to start with a comb.
Finger detangle each section before running a comb through it. The reason is simple.
When you use a comb, you’re not quite as reactive to knots. You can actually feel the knots with your fingers as you work your way through the hair, so you’re less likely to experience any breakage.
After finger detangling, next you want to take a comb to the section. Using a wide tooth comb, start from the ends and work your way up the root.
If necessary, feel free to add conditioner at the point.
How to detangle matted natural hair
Matted natural hair is a little bit more difficult that knotted hair. When the hair is matted, you can’t really part it.
Therefore, you need to focus on getting the hair softened first before trying to detangle. After getting the hair damp, put a generous amount of conditioner into the hair.
Allow it to sit for about twenty minutes before proceeding to part hair into small sections and working a comb through the hair. Other people have used a different approach to detangling natural hair without breakage when it is severely matted.
Some women believe that wetting the hair actually makes it more matted because the hair starts to shrink. Therefore, they opt to keep the hair dry, and slowly pull the hair apart by finger detangling.
Since the hair is dry, no combs are allowed; it will be too much for your tresses. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when detangling natural hair without breakage is to not soak your hair in water.
Also, trying to shampoo it will mess up your hair even more, so steer clear of that step when you’re detangling matted hair.
How to detangle natural hair after braids
The same rules apply when detangling natural hair without breakage after wearing braids. Carefully take your time to unbraid your hair to prevent excess knots from forming.
Rushing will only cause the hair to get knotty, and you don’t want that when your hair is already delicate from the braids. After that, proceed with your regular detangling routine before and after you wash your hair.
Detangling natural hair after a weave
Too much tension on the hair while it is under a weave could also cause excess breakage. There is one thing that I need to clarify and stress again before wrapping up this article.
How can you tell the difference between shedding hair and breakage? Shedding hair still has the cuticle intact whereas hair that is broken off does not. Detangling hair both before and after you put a weave in your hair will help to eliminate a lot of extra breakage that may come from having your sew-in installed for too long.
Detangling Natural Hair Products
African American hair is prone to being nappy, so it is important that you have the right products if you’re detangling natural hair without breakage. Spray bottles filled with water and leave-in conditioner are great to use while you’re detangling so that you can keep your hair damp during the process.
Tools like a denman brush have also been proven to be very effective in place of wide tooth combs, or a paddle brush; if you want to get a more even distribution of the product. Bear in mind that when detangling in the shower or after you’ve washed your hair, you want to use a good leave in conditioner.
We really like TGIN’s triple moisture replenishing conditioner. The product is absolutely fabulous for detangling.
It is a very light cream that has a nice smell to it. It not only aids with detangling, but it also makes black hair super soft.
Make sure you rinse out to ACV if you use it, because its acidic levels may be too much for your curly tresses.
Of all the ways that you can detangle your natural hair, Finger detangling is probably the safest way to detangle natural hair breakage. There are advantages and disadvantages to finger detangling the hair that should be taken into consideration.
The biggest advantage is that you will experience the least amount of breakage since you can feel the knots. The biggest disadvantage is that it will take a long time.
Be prepared to spend several hours on your hair at a time if you decide to finger detangle depending on the length of your hair. Despite the time frame, there’s no question that this is the best method for maximum hair growth.
Combs and Denman brushes are great, but there’s no escaping that extra tension. Now you you’ve had a general overlook at detangling natural hair.
As you can see, it is not a fast process. It will take time to make sure you do it right.
Detangling natural hair without breakage is tricky business, but just follow these tips and you’ll be fine.
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.