A few weeks back, a friend of mine who has a daughter told me that she was having some serious trouble getting through doing her daughters hair. It caught me off guard because her daughter didn’t seem tender headed when I did it, which was ever so often. So, I asked her what styles she was doing on her daughter’s hair and why she thought it was such hassle. The styles she did were the same ones I do whenever I’m home, in Maryland, and I stop by to do her daughters hair. Cornrows with beads at the end (a Black girl classic), twist outs, individual plaits, etc. Nothing was different.
That was, until I saw her actually doing her hair. For some reason, I had never paid attention to her process with her daughter’s hair. But what I saw startled me. I realized that the reason her daughter hated getting her hair done so much was because my friend was completely combing and detangling her hair all-wrong.
This got me to thinking: do all Black women really know how to comb their hair, correctly? I started to feel like we don’t. So, I felt it may be cool to offer a few tips I’ve learned from my fellow hair experts as a beauty editor on how to properly detangle our hair.
First things first: the type of comb (or brush) you use is important.
You shouldn’t be detangling hair with anything other than a wide toothcomb. The comb should have smooth teeth (no chipped or peeling plastic). One of the top-rated combs I’ve heard about non-stop is the Ouidad Double Detangler Comb. Many other women like to use a brush to detangle their strands. Two favorites amongst bloggers and editors are the Denman Brush and the Tangle Teezer.
Are you moisturizing your hair first?
Even “dry detangling” requires some sort of oil, water and moisturizer mixture. The point is, if you’re not going to detangle your hair while it’s well lubricated (whether in the shower during wash night or with a deep conditioner in), you must add some type of moisture to your hair when you’re getting ready to detangle it.
Make sure you’re combing from ends to roots.
This was the main reason my friend’s daughter hated getting her hair done. She was combing her hair from root to ends, not ends to roots. This pulling and tugging hurts like hell and damages the hair and also leaves the scalp super sensitive. Be sure to section off your hair, and grab each section firmly in the middle. Then, using your preferred tool, start by combing out your hair from the ends and working your way up to the roots.
Do you ladies have any further detangling tips? If so, share them below in the comments section!
(Photo: Blend Images/Tanya Constantine/Corbis)