Upset young african american female pulls comb out of tangled coily hair and looks at reflection in round mirror in living room on beige wall

5 Easy Tips for Detangling Natural Hair

More and more women these days are embracing their natural, coily hair. It’s a thing to celebrate for sure. But it can be a hassle trying to maintain. Natural hair types can give a whole new meaning to the phrase “twist and shout.” But don’t tie the knot with messy hair, get to work with these 5 easy steps for detangling your natural coils!

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

According to an article published by the Department of Dermatology at Wayne State University, natural hair types retain less water than others, making natural hair more prone to dryness and breakage. Before beginning the detangling process, be sure to work plenty of moisture through your hair. This will help whatever detangling tool you use glide more easily, and less pulling and breaking will occur. You can apply moisture by using a detangler spray, gel or leave-in detangler. Most detangling products will recommend using them while your hair is still damp, either after you’re fresh out of the shower, or by using a small spray bottle and a brush.

2. Tangle toolbox

The type of brush or comb you use on your hair matters, especially for natural hair types. Nikki Walton, creator of the Curly Nikki blog, recommends trying to use your fingers to detangle before attempting to use a brush or comb. She suggests that being able to “feel out” the tougher spots can be beneficial and may result in less pain later on in the process. Once you’ve completed that initial step, reach for something that is going to be accommodating to the natural coils of your hair. Usually, a wide-tooth comb is best for working out natural kinks and curls. Anything with wide, plastic bristles that won’t get easily caught in your hair is a suitable option.

3. One step at a time

Don’t try to bite off more than your comb can chew – tangles and knots are best dealt with in smaller sections. You can use a clip or loose hair tie to section off your hair for this. Each section may have its own unique set of knots and kinks, so the smaller sections help you to focus on one problem at a time. Once you work out one section, try to keep it separate from the rest of your hair during the process to prevent any new knots from forming while you work. The size of your sections will vary depending on the thickness and length of your hair. Be patient with your hair and with yourself and you learn what works best.

4. Started from the bottom, now we’re free

The best method for detangling in sections is to start from the bottom of your hair, working your way up. Don’t move up to the next portion until the current one is fully detangled. If you move too quicky to the top, you may end up pushing knots and tangles from above into the lower parts, creating an even bigger problem. Once you no longer feel resistance in the section, move up, working through just a few inches at a time. Remember to work with your hair’s pace and not to race against it.

5. Can’t stop, won’t stop

The key to successful detangling each time is to do it consistently. Ayana Aden at the Curl Market blog suggests detangling every 7-10 days. The longer you wait between detangling sessions, the bigger the knots can grow. The bigger the knots, the longer they will take to undo. Whenever you wash your hair, make it a habit to apply a detangling product and take a little time to work out any new developments. You (and your hair) will be grateful in the long run.

For extra help with those pesky knots, try Hair Food’s Mango & Aloe Detangling Spray. Just a few simple sprays into your natural hair from this lightweight recipe will help fight frizz and revive those luscious coils back to life.