I’m sure some of you transitioning to natural hair are going through the ongoing struggle of detangling your hair every time wash day comes. I remember occasions when it took me 45-minutes to an hour just to detangle my hair. This is because we now have two different textures, the new texture and the relaxed hair. Our new growth, due to its shape, gets tangles very easily so, the point where the two textures meet, the line of demarcation is where the “battle” happens. However, you need to be gentle. This is the weakest part of your hair. It will break easily!
With any luck, you won’t be at the same point of despair I was (yeah, shed of few tears of frustration). I want your transition from relaxed to natural hair to go as smoothly as it can go. Ladies, for this to happen, I am going to make a very important appeal – from now on, Never, Ever wash you hair like you used to.
Don’t be so confused, it’s a very simple request that will have a tremendous effect on how your detangling session runs. From now on, please don’t shampoo your strands vigorously on the top of your head like a wool ball and expect your conditioner to work miracles. Here are my tips to make detangling easier.
Pre-pooing is very important when wash day comes. If you don’t know what this is please read about it here and here. By applying a vegetable oil on your hair, you protect it not only from the excessive cleaning effects of shampoo which depletes the hair from sebum but also from becoming very dry. Another important advantage of pre-pooing is that it helps to further condition your hair. Your hair becomes more manageable and thus, facilitates the detangling process.
2| Section Your Hair
It is very important to section your hair before washing. If you follow my first tip, once you have finished pre-pooing separate your hair into sections, twist or braids. This way when you shampoo your hair it won’t get more tangled, which increases knots and single strand knots in your hair.
3| Shampoo With Sections In Place
Spread shampoo or cleansing conditioner on the scalp and massage it gently with the tip of your fingers making sure to get rid of all the dirt. Take your time, a good 3 minutes will suffice. Don’t worry about the length of you hair. Take the lather from the shampoo and gently clean your hair in a stroking motion. If you feel it’s not clean enough reapply, but once will be sufficient if done properly. Read how to avoid hair breakage when washing your hair.
4| Apply Conditioner and Finger Detangle
Grab your favourite conditioner and coat each section, making sure to cover your hair from roots to ends. If you follow all these tips you will notice that your hair will be easier to detangle. I advise you to finger detangle as you will be able to feel any possible tangles and knots and work them through. If you use a comb or a brush you will only create further knots and tangles since you won’t feel them. However, if you prefer using a comb be patient and gentle with your hair.
5| Use Protective Hairstyles
Using protective hairstyles will protect your hair not only from the environment and keep it moisturised, but it will also avoid tangles and knots. It’s perfectly OK to do a wash and go, a Bantu knot out or a twist out. However, by wearing your hair out you will touch your hair more frequently, it will rub against your clothes and as days go by this will make your washing day more difficult. Try to keep your twist and braids for as long as you can before you unravel them.
6| Wear A Pineapple
A pineapple is simply putting your hair in a high and loose ponytail. Ideally, you would do this when you go to bed. Having your hair restrained at night in this way will help avoid unwanted tangles. If your hair is not long enough loosely tie it at the back.
Hopefully, these tips will help your wash days go easier so you can spend more time doing the things you love most.