Detangling Curly Hair After a Few Days of it Being Out | Curly Hair Care
How to Detangle Curly Hair
Curly hair is beautiful, but it requires lots of loving, tender care. Otherwise, you can end up with frizzy, dry, unruly hair that you will fight with day in and day out. Anyone with curly hair knows that it can easily become a tangled mess. What you may not know is that ripping a comb through curly hair is not the best way to detangle it. In fact, it is one of the main reasons for damaged hair, aside from the use of harsh chemicals and dyes. Read on and learn how to safely untangle it without damaging it.
Dry vs. Wet Detangling
Consider detangling your hair with water and conditioner.This method is best for dry, coarse, or tight curls. These types of hair are not well-suited to dry detangling. Dry hair will be prone to breakage, and tightly curled or coiled hair needs extra moisture to properly detangle. Water breaks down the bonds in your hair, making it weaker, more fragile, and more malleable.
- Condition your hair after you take out braids. If you have had your hair in braids for a while, do not comb through your hair when it’s dry. Use the wet conditioner method to detangle your hair. This will ensure that you do not yank out hair.
- Brushing dry, curly hair can make it frizzy and even more knotted.
Consider detangling your hair while it's dry.This method can work well if you have loose curls or thicker, heavier hair. You will use your fingers, a wide-mouthed comb, or a paddle brush to work through the tangles and smooth out your hair. Even if you plan to wet detangle your hair, try to dry detangle as much of your hair as you can to make the job easier.
- In general, hair is easier to detangle when it is dry. Dry hair is stronger, so it won't break when you pull it. If your hair is too stubborn, then you may need to coat your brush in lubricating oil or olive oil to ease the detangling process.
Try different methods for transitioning hair.If you are growing out your hair, you might need to experiment with different methods of detangling. If you have shorter hair, you might be able to use dry-detangling. If you have longer hair, you might need to condition while detangling. As your hair changes, check to see if you need to change your detangling method from dry to wet.
Choose an instrument for detangling.When dry-detangling your hair, you can use your fingers, a wide-tooth comb, or a paddle brush.
- Using fingers can make it easier to find and work through smaller knots.
- Combing or brushing hair can result in some breakage. Your hair is not very flexible when it is dry, so take care when detangling it this way.
- A paddle brush is better for long, loose curls. It probably won’t work on tightly curled hair.
Separate your hair into four sections.Pin your hair into four sections so that you can tackle each section separately. If your hair is especially thick, it might help to separate your hair into more than four sections.
Use oil to lubricate your curls and prevent breakage.Put a bit of lubricating oil, such as coconut oil, on your fingers. This will reduce any friction that your fingers may experience as they run through your hair.
- Consider using argan oil to lightly spritz your hair. This will make it easier to comb through your hair with a comb or paddle brush. You can find argan oil at your local beauty supply store.
- Consider wearing latex gloves to make your hands slip through your hair. You may also consider wearing gloves if you don't want to get the skin of your hands oily.
Find the tangles.As you start to comb through your hair, find where the thick and thin masses of tangles are. Separate out one tangle at a time. Pull the knotted area away from the rest of your hair if possible. If you can see it in the mirror, try taking a quick look to get a read on the situation.
Work the knot from the end to the root.Run your fingers through your hair, working each knotted area one at a time. Start at the end of the chunk of hair. Work your fingers through the bottom of the knot. As your fingers undo some of the knot, work your fingers through more of the knot until you get to the root.
Pin each detangled section into a loose twist.As you finish detangling a section of hair, loosely twist it and pin it up. This will break up your work and prevent your detangled sections from re-tangling.
Continue detangling the rest of your hair.Work through the rest of your hair, section by section. Pin up detangled sections as you go until all of your hair is detangled.
Dry detangle as much as possible with your fingers.Many people have hair that cannot be fully detangled when it’s dry. However, you may be able to make the job easier if you detangle as much as possible before you cover your hair in conditioner.
Wet your hair.Detangle your hair in the shower, or simply rinse your hair down. This makes it easier to detangle, as the hair will be smoother.
- Consider towel-drying your hair before conditioning. This may ensure that your hair isn't too wet for the product to take hold, but is moist enough to avoid further tangling.
Add conditioner to your hair.Apply the conditioner onto the wide-toothed comb while standing under a low pressure shower. Smooth the conditioner into your hair, from bangs to back and tips to roots, and slowly take out the knots and tangles. Make sure that your hair is fully and thoroughly slathered with conditioner. If the hair is too thick, use your fingers. Do not pull the hair, as that may lead to hairfall.
- Make sure to spread the conditioner inside the tangle. Poke your fingers through the tangle; put product on the "inside" of your hair and not just on top.
Give your hair another quick rinse.
Detangle your hair using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.Using gentle detangling motions, start at the bottom of the hair and work your way up. When you come to a big knot, use your fingers to tease it apart. Do not rip through tangles with a brush or comb. Comb gently, with small quick movements.
- As you comb, immobilize your hair with one hand so that you don't feel it pull at the roots.
- You may get a knot or pluck some hair out, but don't worry too much. You are not damaging your hair, you are just removing hair gone wrong. The conditioner will protect against damage, and your hair will be smooth and tangle-free when it dries.
Braid the hair to protect it from soap for the rest of the shower.
Rinse the conditioner once you're done with your shower.Once the wide-toothed comb can slide easily through all of your hair, rinse out the conditioner and pat your hair dry. Use a microfiber towel or old tee shirt — traditional terrycloth towels can cause frizz.
Style your tangle-free curly hair.Put in your styling product of choice (whether it is mousse, gel, or a styling cream) and let your hair dry. You can also dry it with a hair dryer (with a diffuser) on a low heat and intensity setting. Try to avoid touching your hair before it is completely dry, which may create frizz.
Keeping Curly Hair Tangle-Free
Condition your hair every day.To help prevent tangles in curly hair, condition your hair every day with the help of a wide-toothed comb. Overall, the ultimate key to fewer tangles is keeping your hair nourished, moisturized, and protected from environmental factors such as the sun and pollutants.
Shampoo less often.This will also help control frizz. Avoid washing your hair every day, no matter your hair type, as this can dry out your scalp and your hair. Shampoo your hair a few times a week, at most.
Make sure that your hair is dry when you get into bed.Try to shower in the morning. Hair is more malleable when it is wet, so it might get rubbed the wrong way while you toss and turn in the night. It may be very hard to tame your tangled hair in the morning if you showered the night before. If you must shower at night, give yourself a few hours before bed so that your hair has time to dry out.
Get rid of split ends.Keep your hair in healthy shape by getting regular trims. Cut a small amount from the tips of your hairs to remove any split ends from your hair. Your hair will have fewer tangles if you don’t have split ends.
Put your hair up before you sleep.Consider braiding your hair or tying it up loosely before bed. Securing your hair on top of your head will reduce friction and tangling overnight. Your hair won’t be able to move about so freely, and you will be less likely to roll over it and tangle it.
Sleep with a satin headscarf or pillowcase.Satin is a slippery fabric, so your hair will slide more easily over the surface and tangle less than with a cotton pillowcase. This will help keep your hair from tangling up in friction when you sleep.
Try a new short haircut.Consider simply trying a new, shorter hairstyle, especially when it is warm. You might even look younger. Maintain your hairdo by keeping it simple and easy, washing it only according to what your hair type needs. For instance, if you have dry and thin hair, only wash your hair twice a week, and make sure that you use a quality shampoo and conditioner. In the winter, when the weather is cooler, you can grow out longer hair to cover the nape of your neck.
QuestionAre there any differences in detangling bi-racial thick curly hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere's a line of hair-care products designed for this called "Mixed Chix."Thanks!
QuestionCan I use baby oil in my hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionDoes Garnier Fructis work as a conditioner?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure. Some people say that this works really well with relaxed hair.Thanks!
My hair is naturally very curly, but also very fine. I have tried wet de-tangling with a wet comb, pick, etc, but I end up with a large handful of broken off hair. What should I do?
- Use a moisturizing conditioner for curly, damaged, or dry hair.
- There is such a thing as over-conditioning. If you use too much, your hair may look and feel greasy until you can wash all of the product out.
- Do not cut out bad knots. Get them wet and add conditioner. Allow the conditioner to sit for awhile and then gently pull the knot apart.
Things You'll Need
A hairbrush or a comb
A shower or a bath, or, if necessary, a sink.
Consider the following products:
- Kinky-Curly Knot Today: Type 3s will love this leave-in conditioner. Smooth it over your hair, comb out the knots and let your hair soak up the moisture.
- Curly Hair Solutions Slip Detangler: This detangler is perfect for ladies who just colored their hair, but great for your natural hair as well. It acts as both a leave-in conditioner and a detangler, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing out the conditioner once you’ve detangled.
- Denman D3 Brush: This brush kills two birds with one stone. It acts as a great styling brush if you use a blow dryer or diffuser and it detangles curls too. Because the teeth are closer together than a wide tooth comb, be sure to use a generous amount of conditioner in order to lubricate your curls and prevent breakage.
- Shower Comb: Convenient, affordable and perfect for curls.
Video: HOW TO: Detangle Long Curly Hair
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