It's been three years since I've combed my hair. Don't get me wrong, I've tried to maintain and manage my unruly hair several times in the past. After all it's "the right thing to do". All civilized people comb their hair (right)? I've murdered many combs and decapitated several brushes during my natural hair journey. For God sakes, I just wanted my hair to look "normal". However since becoming natural I've become extremely tender headed and I refuse to be acquainted with pain. I also experienced a lot of breakage during my combing process. There were too many broken strands of MY hair left in the comb. That's when I realized that the comb was not working for me.
After researching and following several popular You Tuber naturalistas, I decided to use the finger detangling method. I threw away all of my fine tooth combs and opted to use my hands to comb my hair. There are several ways to achieve this.
Detangleing Dry Hair
Finger detangeling dry hair is usualy done to create, maintain or refresh a stretched hair styles. Using water or a water based product will cause your hair to shrink. If you want to maintain stretched hair DON'T use any water while detangeling.
1. Section and twist your hair into at least four sections
2. Apply Coconut Oil (or your favorite oil) to your hair and fingertips
3. Gently finger detangle your hair from the ends upward working your way toward your roots.
4. After you have finished a section, twist or braid it and tuck it away to prevent re-tangeling.
5. Repeat until all of the sections are detangled.
Listen to YOUR hair. If your hair is extremely dry ALWAYS lightly spritz your hair with water before you attemp to style it to avoid breakage.
Detangling Wet Hair
Finger detangling wet hair should be done if your hair is in it's curly state to help alleviate breakage.
1. Section and twist your hair into at least four sections.
2. Drench your hair with water and add a conditioner that has A LOT of slip to one section.
3. Gently detangle your hair from the ends upward working your way toward your roots.
4. After you have finished a section, twist or braid it and tuck it away to prevent re-tangling.
5. Repeat until all of the sections.
Here's Why You Should Finger Detangle
Regardless of ethnicity hair grows on average 1/2 each month. However, if your hair breaks more than it grows your hair growth journey will be at a stand still. It is simply breaking faster or at the same rate than it is grows. Curly/kinky hair is prone to dryness. The body's natural oil (sebum) can not travel down and around all of the hair's curls and kinks, therefore creating an environment where the hair can become dry and easily break. When a comb is used on curly or kinky hair types breakage occurs. Over time this process can stifle hair retention leaving you with broken ends.
Finger detangeling may not work for everyone. You must be willing to experiment and have patience. If you lack those characteristics simply opt to use a large tooth comb instead. Finger detangeling has been one of several methods that has helped me to retain most of my length over the last three years.