I may be projecting my own experiences here, but detangling may be the second biggest obstacle, after breakage, any curly hair transitioner faces when their hair reaches a certain length. However, it’s a problem that is not unique to them. In fact, ALL curly girls face it at some point in their journey. One thing’s for sure, we all want to reduce time detangling curly hair.
The first problem arrives when you’re just starting to enjoy the first few inches of curly hair growth and you seem to hit a brick wall. Suddenly, detangling your hair takes a LOT more effort from you. Things have changed and what you did before doesn’t seem to cut it now.
No joke! No more 5 minutes sessions with swift moves to detangle curly hair. Those days are gone, my friend, and believe me, I got no pleasure in telling you this. As a true friend, I am just opening your eyes to reality.
This is not scare tactics, thought love or some other approach to this hair conundrum. Well… maybe it is. Sometimes it’s best to rip the band-aid quickly and move on to deal with the issue. Whereas in the beginning, I could spend one hour detangling my hair, these days, I am very glad to say, that time has reduced significantly to half and sometimes less. Waist long hair takes time to gently detangle… (Not complaining though! 😉 )
So what would you say to a few tips on how you can reduce the time you spend detangling your hair? Sounds good?! I thought so.
But before I continue let me just remind you that I have shared a few other tips on this subject but from a different angle. You may want to have a look at them once you finish reading this blog post. Here they are:
- 5 Tips For Detangling Curly Hair
- Finger Detangling Curly Hair: Do You Really Need To Do It?
- 9 Tips to Keep Tangles and Knots at Bay
#1| Hold On To Your Protective Styles
This is an oldie but a goodie, plus it never fails. Keeping your protective hairstyles in for longer will reduce tangles and knots. The fact that you’re not messing around with your hair, the wind is not playing with it and you’re not tossing and turning in bed means your wash day will go a lot smoother.
You’re not crocheting with your hair and making wash day an adventure to your patience levels. I know that when I keep my braids or twists for three of four days it will reduce my detangling process by 1/3, sometimes half.
#2| Reduce Your Wash & Go’s
We all love to see our curl free and loose, but the truth is that freedom comes attached with an increased risk of tangles, single strand knots and even shocking balls of knots if you keep that wash & go for too long.
If this is your preferred hairstyle, and detangling is a laborious task, I got two tips for you, my free spirited friend. The first tip, keep a short leash on that wash and go. Don’t let it go on for days and allow your curls to have the best fraternity party at your expense. In my experience and that of others, if you let it past the 4-5 day mark you’re asking for trouble.
Second tip, do a mid-week co-wash and fresh your wash and go. When wash day comes detangling won’t take much time. Also, take advantage of other hairstyles that keep your curls formed into a tight group like braids, twists or banty knots. Even if you unravel them once they’re dry, you’ll still spend less time detangling your hair than if you had a wash and go.
#3| Stop The Manipulation
I’m not saying to not ever touch your hair once you wash it. That would be ridiculous. What I am saying is that you are not a ‘hair masseuse’ (no, this is not a real profession. I’m making this up. Or is it?!… hmm). Stop twirling, tossing or parting your hair from left to right.
This increases the chances to develop tangles and the time you spend making sure they’re all melted down when conditioning when detangling.
If you have the gift of showcasing your hair’s versatility by doing beautiful hairstyles, well done on you! Some of us don’t have those skills or imagination. However, unless your hair was straightened, turning your braid out into a half up half down style (ponytail with the top part of your hair), a side twist and a mohawk all in the course of a week you are weaving the path to a longer detangling session.
I get it, you want to get the most of a style, or maybe not go to your workplace with the same style all week. But, if you get too creative too often in a week, you will be paying for it. A solution would be to co-wash, detangle and restyle. But if you don’t mind the time spent on detangling keep doing it, just pay attention to single strand knots, they’ll probably increase as will the need for a trim.
Pre-pooing has proven to be a pre-wash hair care practice that helps reduce tangles and knots and consequently, the time you spend in the shower detangling your curly hair. An oil pre-poo is great for this, but you can also do it with a cheap conditioner or a concoction both.
Some curlies with very tight, coily curls have done well with this practice since their hair tends to coil and tangle even more under the shower when wet. At least, with a pre-poo, they are working in sections, keeping things under control and easing their wash day.
#6| Work In Sections
One of the main, and most desired, features of relaxed hair was how straight it was. This made it easy for us to manipulate, style, control and, yes, spend very little time detangling it. We could literally take a comb or brush, start detangling and be finished in no time.
With naturally curly hair, things don’t run as smoothly. You need to section your hair and detangle each section separately. If you try to tackle this task in one swift move you’ll be wrestling your hair, and let me tell you, you’ll lose! So remember to work in sections while detangling, you can even do it when shampooing your hair. Keep those curls from forming tight alliances. ;P
#7| Find A Conditioner With Good Slip
My last tip is to have a conditioner with good slip, but this goes without saying, right? 😉 I mean you can work with a mask or deep conditioner that doesn’t provide much slip (it’s really not their main purpose), but having a conditioner that lacks such a feature, is enough to never buy it again once you get to the end of it. (check 5 Natural Hair Hacks You Need T Know About to save your products)
Well, this is it, my friend! I hope you can use some or all these tips to reduce the time you spend detangling your curly hair. May you enjoy your wash day! 🙂