Detangling. Sort of a dirty word for curly, kinky and coily haired naturals. Childhood memories of sitting between my mothers legs holding a cup of water as she sprayed Johnson & Johnson’s No More Tangles, then dipped a brush into the water to distribute the product throughout my matted mane followed by the snap, crackle and eventual pop of another broken comb. *sigh* These are not happy memories. And while detangling is still unavoidable there are some tricks to make it much easier.
First and foremost always detangle hair when it is wet, preferably in the shower.
Second, avoid piling your hair on top of your head when washing. This will only create more tangles and add to your frustration.
Third, use a good slippery conditioner. This will coat the hair and help the comb glide through the tangles and snares without ripping and breaking the hair.
Fourth,do finger comb! Your fingers are great tools for starting the detangling process. Plus you can actually feel when you get to a tough snarl and work to untangle it.
Fifth, always detangle from the END to the ROOT. Starting at the roots will result in forming giant knots at the ends of the hair that can be impossible to remedy.
Lastly, use the right tool. There are many tools out there that do a great job detangling curly hair. So how do you find the perfect one? Check out some of these combs used by other naturals.
Wide-Tooth Comb: Considered a curly staple, there are many varieties like this Conair Shower Comb available at any drugstore for around $2. http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/shop_product_detail.jsp?skuId=445906&productId=445906&WT.mc_id=Shopping_Feed_Products_Google_Free_Listing
Detangling Comb: Available at any BSS these combs have sturdy handles and curved teeth designed to glide through hair. http://www.sallybeauty.com/Detangling-Comb/SBS-502112,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair10
Shampoo Massage Brush: This is perfect for shorter hair curlies rockin a TWA. While I would not even attempt to use on my own hair I have used these on my kids when they were younger and it worked great.
Denman Brush: They say imitation is the highest form of flattery and this brush is often imitated by styling toolmakers around the world. These brushes will set you back a pretty penny though they are said to last nearly forever. While they are worth the investment, you can get a knock-off from the dollar store that works well also. http://us.denmanbrush.com/denman-brushes.aspx Available at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
Kakakiki Kombbrush: This brush is said to work only in one direction with the hooks of the bristles pointed away from the scalp. Available online only http://www.kakakiki.com/. Review http://www.happygirlhair.com/2009/09/mysteries-of-kakakiki-reavealed.html
Ouidad Double Dentangler: This is a monster brush with long tines and a lot of weight, perfect for long thick curly hair. Pricey, yes but if you like my sister have a history of snapping combs in two, it is worth it! http://www.ouidad.com/Double-Detangler
Magic Star Jumbo Rake: This comb is made of natural hard rubber and hand-sawn so there are no seams that can snag the hair. Used world-wide by individuals and professionals. http://www.hotcombs.net/products/Magic-Star-Jumbo-Rake.html
Mason Pearson Detangling C2 Comb: Another comb with a popular following. http://www.adiscountbeauty.com/store/products/Mason-Pearson-Comb%2C-Detangling%23C2.html
Tangle Teezer: This fascinating compact brush is said to be amazing for detangling even the thickest curly hair. Purchase it here in the US from Sally’s Beauty Supply in stores or online.