Without a doubt, you have encountered tangles in your hair. Well, unless you have locs, that is. Tangles are caused when hair strands coil around each other. Tangles are a part of every naturalista’s hair growth journey and it is very important to know how to remove tangles and knots from natural hair without causing any damage. Detangling thick, natural, and dry hair can be very time consuming and difficult. Have you tried combing through your hair after a few days of rocking a badass afro puff only to hear the sound of hair ripping? Pretty sure you have.

So, here are some steps to help you detangle your mane with as little damage as possible: 

Work in sections

Sectioning your natural hair into four or more sections during wash day would greatly reduce the amount of tangling that can happen without sectioning. It may make wash day a little longer but it’s better for your hair in the long run. The idea is to treat your hair as gently as possible, thereby reducing the amount of damage done. Wash hair in sections and retwist when done with each section. Sectioning also ensures that the conditioner is evenly distributed throughout your hair. Spray hair lightly with water before sectioning, you want hair to be just damp not wet. Dripping wet hair is weaker and is more prone to breakage and damage.

Use lots of Detangling conditioner

Applying conditioner generously on your hair will give it the necessary slip needed to detangle safely. A great slip allows hair strands to slide past each other. Detangle your hair easily when deep conditioning as the hair would be properly moisturized and this will provide enough slip to allow you to work out tangles easily. Try out the African Naturalistas Moisturizing and Detangling Conditioner that has been specially formulated to help you work out those knots.

You can also use any of the African Naturalistas Carrier Oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, or olive oil to detangle during pre-poo when preparing the hair for shampooing. They not only provide the necessary slip to work through tangled hair, but they also help to seal in moisture. 

Moisturizing and Detangling Conditioner
Be gentle

Rough handling of hair will only lead to pain and hair damage. Be patient and gentle in working out the knots and tangles in your hair and your hair would thank you for it.

Start from the tips

Work your way gently, starting from the tips, all the way to the roots. Most people make the mistake of starting from the roots. This only moves the tangles down to the ends of the hair, causing more pain and breakage.

Use your fingers

Your fingers are gentler than combs and brushes, especially for already damaged hair. Take your time in gently pulling apart tangled hair, this will cause much less damage than just running a comb through the knots and tangles. Rough handling of your natural hair will only cause pain and heartbreak as a result of breakage and damage. Less breakage due to gentler detangling will ultimately lead to better hair retention.

Finish with seamless wide-tooth combs...

Or a Denman brush. If your fingers have done as much as they can, finish with a seamless wide-tooth comb. Small combs will only snag the hair and cause breakage. Ensure that each section remains twisted after detangling to ensure that the hair doesn’t tangle again.

Twist each section after 

After detangling, twist each section again. This ensures that your strands do not immediately coil up on each other and tangle again.

Ensure that your natural hair remains moisturized while detangling.

If your hair begins to dry out while detangling, spray some water to dampen it.


Protect your hair

Before going to bed, put hair up in twists or in a bun and cover with a satin bonnet or scarf. You may also use satin pillowcases. Whatever the case, avoid cotton pillowcases as they can dry out your hair and cause tangles. The African Naturalistas Reversible Hair Bonnet is perfect for sleep time.

African Naturalistas Reversible Satin Bonnet

Do not leave protective styles in for too long

Protective styles are not meant to last forever. Leaving them in for too long, even if they are just twists, can cause stubborn tangles.

You don’t have to lose your mind over your hair, lose the tangles easily instead with these tips. What has your detangling journey been like and what do you wish you had learned earlier about safe detangling?

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