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How to Detangle Curly Hair + Why It’s Important

How to Detangle Curly Hair + Why It’s Important

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Inside: Check out this comprehensive guide on how to detangle curly hair gently and effectively. Discover the best tools, techniques, and post-detangling care for your naturally curly hair.

I know, we all dread the ‘D’ word – Detangling; but it’s a necessary evil for us curly-haired gals.

When I first started out on my curly hair journey, I didn’t touch my hair with a comb or a brush. I barely even ran my fingers through it.

And you know what happened? My hair looked terrible. My curls were all stringy and weird looking. I had almost zero volume. It basically looked like I had a really, really bad perm. Not exactly the look I was going for.

But, while experimenting with detangling my hair after applying conditioner, I learned that this is what my hair needed. Instead of stringy waves, my hair was drying in ringlets and I loved it.

So today, I’m going to share my tips and tricks on how to detangle naturally curly hair gently and effectively.

A Curly Girl’s Guide: How to Detangle Curly Hair

Let’s learn to embrace those tangles and make detangling less of a chore and more of a love-fest for your curls.

Why Detangling is Non-Negotiable

Before diving into the hows, it’s essential to understand why detangling is a crucial part of our curly hair journey.

It Prevents Breakage

Knots and tangles can lead to breakage when brushed out harshly. Regular detangling can reduce the chance of this damage.

It Promotes Hair Health

Detangling helps to evenly distribute natural oils from your scalp down the hair shaft, promoting overall hair health.

It Provides Better Product Distribution

Detangled hair allows products to distribute more evenly, ensuring that each curl gets the nourishment it needs.

The Tools of the Trade: Choosing Right for Your Curls

We all know that a standard brush and curly hair are like oil and water – they just don’t mix! So, let’s dive into what you should be using.

Wide-Tooth Comb

This is my go-to detangling tool. It’s gentle and reduces the risk of breakage. Plus, it works like a dream in distributing conditioner through my hair.

This is the one I use and love.

Specialized Detangling Brush

These brushes are designed with our curls in mind.

They’re perfect for separating curls without causing unnecessary frizz or breakage. They’re also good for curl clumping, something I’ll cover in another post when we go a little deeper into the topic of brushes.

Using a brush definitely seems to be the preferred method in the curly hair community, from what I’ve seen. But for some reason, it doesn’t work for me. Maybe I just need to experiment a little more. And if I do, you know I’ll share my results with you!

Here are a few of the most popular brushes for curly hair:

Remember, the golden rule here is gentle and slow. No matter what tool you use, your curls need tender love and care.

The Magic of Conditioner: Your Best Friend in the Detangling Process

I can’t stress this enough: I never attempt to detangle my hair when it’s dry. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Here’s why conditioner should be your partner in crime when detangling.

Provides Slip

Using conditioner provides the slip needed to detangle without damaging your curls. It allows your fingers, comb, or brush to glide through your hair with minimal resistance.

Enhances Protection

It forms a protective layer over the hair strand, reducing the friction that leads to breakage and split ends.

Promotes Moisture

Detangling with conditioner helps lock in moisture, making your curls more manageable and less prone to tangling in the first place.

My tip? Slather on a generous amount of conditioner and let it sit for a few minutes while you’re in the shower. The longer it stays, the better the slip, and the easier it’ll be to detangle.

After you’ve let it sit and you’ve “squished to condish“, you can run your wide-tooth comb or brush through it.

Detangling 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’re armed with the right tools and knowledge, let’s dive into the process.

Start at the Bottom

Always start detangling from the ends and work your way up. It reduces breakage and is much easier on your arms!

Section Your Hair

Detangling in sections makes the process more manageable and ensures that you’re not missing any knots.

Sectioning your hair also helps with curl clumping.

Be Patient

Take your time, especially when you come across a particularly stubborn tangle.

Wrapping It Up: Post-Detangling Care

Here are a few more tips to be sure to follow, along with detangling.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Are you sick of me saying this yet? Lock in the moisture with your favorite leave-in conditioner or curl cream.

Protective Styling

Consider a protective style that keeps tangles at bay. Braids, twists, or a pineapple updo are all great options.

Regular Trims

Regular trims help keep your ends healthy, reducing the chances of tangles and knots.

Detangling doesn’t have to be a nightmare!

I hope some of these tips have helped you understand the importance of detangling, as well as how to do it without damaging those curls.

With the right tools and techniques, you’ll start to notice a huge difference in the way your curls look.