I have used several tools and techniques to detangle my 4C hair. I have been a user of the Denman brush, wide tooth combs (still a fan), and other tools for a long time. I have always noticed how much hair is on the brush or comb after detangling and it was always a nice clump of hair. For the past few months I have been solely relying on my hands and fingers to detangle my hair and I have noticed a significant decrease in breakage when using the technique described below. Not only was the breakage significantly less but they were smaller pieces of strands whereas with the Denman brush and other tools I had breakage that were mid-shaft length or longer.
Remember minimizing breakage is the key to length retention. This technique also reduced the time it takes to finger detangle. As most of you know, finger detangling could take up to an hour or longer depending on length and thickness but it only took me roughly 20 minutes.
Fingers with manicured nails
Having manicured nails play an important part in detangling and reducing breakage. You don’t want your hair getting caught on a chipped nail. J
On freshly washed or shampooed hair, add oil (preferably coconut oil) and your favorite leave in conditioner. Let air dry until moist to the touch (about 30 minutes).
Some people like to detangle their hair using loads of conditioner that “provides great slip”, but the truth is your hair is most susceptible to breakage when it’s wet. If you apply loads of conditioner to your hair, what do you think is happening? It’s getting extremely wet and if you are using a Denman brush, comb or other tools then the damage is only heightened. When you allow your hair to dry with the oil and leave in conditioner for about 30 minutes, your hair will remain soft enough to detangle without the threat of severe damage due to breakage. Also, by using your fingers it’s easier to navigate through the knots and tangles.
Use your finger nails to part your hair into a small to medium section. Use one hand to hold the section mid-shaft and use the other hand to pull at the ends to elongate the strands of hair. Gently detangle by parting the section with your fingers from side to side and then top to bottom (like a + sign). If your hair is really tangled part the hair like a # sign.
Start to do a two-strand twist to about mid-shaft length. Use your finger nails like a comb to detangle the ends of both strands. Continue to twist and detangle the ends as you move further down the shaft to complete the two-strand twist.
Repeat steps 2-3 for the remainder of your hair. Done!
I hope this post was helpful. Please comment and provide feedback.