How to Detangle Your Natural Hair without Breakage

Guest Post: How to Detangle Your Natural Hair without Breakage

If you want to have long, healthy tresses, you should master how to detangle your hair without breakage. Maybe you’re looking to add length, or you’re just interested in getting fuller, healthier hair. Learning how to detangle will be one of the most important steps in your natural hair care regimen.

Many black women believe their hair doesn’t grow as fast as straight hair. But African-American hair grows at an average rate of ¼ of an inch per month—the same as everyone else’s. The difference is that our tight coils cling together, and they can tangle and mat within minutes. Tangling is when the damage happens. Plus, having tiny coils makes it difficult for your scalp’s natural oils to coat the hair strand, resulting in even more potential breakage. It’s this damage that causes natural queens to struggle to retain growth. 

The faster you can figure out how to keep your growth, the quicker you’ll be able to show off your long, natural curls. Moisturization and having a reliable detangling process will be the keys to getting undamaged, beautiful tresses.

In this post, you’ll find easy tips to detangle your hair without breakage. Keep reading if you want to know how to retain length and keep your curls healthy and luscious.

When Should You Detangle Your Hair?

The best time to detangle your hair is on wash day, during your conditioning stage in the shower. Water is the most hydrating substance on the planet, and it helps natural hair become softer and more pliable while you’re detangling. 

Straggly ends and hair fairies make the detangling process more difficult because they cling onto healthy strands and snag them. Aim to get rid of shedding hair right before you wash your hair by using your hands to gently finger detangle. It will help shorten the time in the shower and make your hair easier to detangle.

Use a moisturizing conditioner with good slip to loosen tangles. Slip is beauty terminology that refers to how slippery a product is. If you’re natural, you’ll want products with good slip so that your curls can slide apart better. Two natural ingredients that give good slip are marshmallow and slippery elm. You can buy these herbs and add them to your conditioners, or you can look for products already containing them. 

Use the Right Detangle Tools and Products

Using the right tools and products is crucial to mastering the detangling process. Narrow-toothed combs wreak havoc on natural hair because the tiny coils become caught and damaged. Many naturals swear by the Denman brush and wide-toothed combs, but they are not for everybody. If you find yourself with a handful of hair you have to throw away after you comb, you may want to reexamine your tool. 

Often, your fingers are one of the best detangling tools because they can feel actual tangles and sense tough knots. Be sure to focus on the ends while you detangle, and never tear hair apart. Single strand knots should be cut with a quality pair of scissors.

Everyone’s hair is different, so you’ll have to decide whether you should use your fingers, the Denman brush, or a wide-toothed comb. A moisturizing conditioner can double as a detangler if it has good slip. Slip will help you slide curls apart, and will speed the entire process. It’s easiest if you part your hair into four sections and detangle while you’re still in the shower. If it’s not wash day, and you only need to refresh your curls, try using a water spray, a leave-in conditioner, and an oil of your choice.  Keeping your hair in four sections will keep the hair untangled as you move from the detangling phase to the other steps in the LOC method

Protective Styles and Satin Bonnets

The best way to speed your detangling process is not to get your hair overly tangled in the first place. Wearing a style that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance may be one of the best things you’ll ever do for your curls. 

Wash and go’s sound fantastic in theory because they cut down on time spent setting the hair. However, they might not work well for kinky hair. 4b and 4c curl patterns experience shrinkage and tangles faster than the other hair types. A wash and go, or even a cute afro may mean more dryness, tangles, and matted hair by the end of the day. You may be left with dry, brittle hair when you go to detangle, and this could cause damage.

Doing a natural hair up do like the roll, pin, tuck style, or cornrows underneath a wig or extensions will work wonders to keep your hair from tangling and will make wash day much easier.

Wearing a satin bonnet or scarf at night will help keep your hair untangled, and it will guard against friction caused by a pillowcase. Cotton can be drying to the hair and can cause hair to weaken and mat. You may not find little ringlets on your pillowcase in the morning, but you may notice them in the shower on wash day.  

Moisture Goes a Long Way in the Detangle Process
Curly hair thrives on moisture. Moisturizing your hair well on wash day and during the week with a product like Kinky Curly Knot Today, will help you manage your natural hair. If it’s the middle of the week and you don’t want to wet your hair, you can dampen it with a water spray bottle to add moisture. The shower or water spray is also known as the liquid step in the LOC method. You should couple this step with a moisturizing conditioner or detangling product. Then, follow the liquid step with oils to seal the moisture to the strand. High nutrient oils, like avocado, coconut, Black Jamaican Castor, and jojoba will help strengthen and protect your hair.

The last step in the LOC technique is to use a curling cream, leave-in conditioner, or shea butter to coat the hair strand and lock in moisture. Layering products, as suggested in the LOC method, will be one of the best ways to keep your hair hydrated and less tangled during the week. If you find your hair becoming too dry and difficult to detangle, it’s probably time for a deep conditioner. It’s easy to boost your store-bought deep conditioner by mixing in a few oils. Coconut, jojoba, avocado, peppermint, and eucalyptus will all add nutrients and slip to your jar.

The detangling process is a vital part of the natural hair regimen. Being able to pull apart knots with ease is the key to retaining growth and having healthy, beautiful curls. Do you have a unique detangling process? What are some ways you’ve detangled your natural hair without breakage?

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
Patrina @Natural Hair Queen

Guest Post by Patrina @Natural Hair Queen
Patrina is the founder of; 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 sharing her knowledge, and experience to educate women who wish to have moisturized, healthy natural long hair.

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