Thursday, March 20, 2014

Detangle That Fro

Detangling | One Naturals Perspective 

By: MissT of Karif Beauty 
If the methods for detangling seem endless, that’s probably because they are. Various tools include the Tangle Teezer, Denman brushes, the Hair Bean, and wide-tooth combs, just to name a few. Oh, and your fingers. And then there’s dry detangling, oil detangling, wet detangling, conditioner detangling…and the smoothing method…and specific finger motions…and..... you get the picture.

Throughout the natural hair world, every expert has
their recommendation on how best to detangle kinky and coily hair, and there’s a plethora of information and tutorials available on youtube and natural hair blogs (if you want specific sites, let me know and I’ll send them your way). This is not a detangling how-to, although that was my original intent with this post. Learning how to properly detangle natural hair is an experimental process that depends on your hair’s texture and what tools and products work for you. Like all things natural-hair, there’s no right or wrong way.
Here’s my story
When I first started looking into detangling my hair, I didn’t use tools. After all, according to the experts, finger detangling is the way to go if you want to maximize your length retention. Therefore, I was all about finger detangling and raking my fingers through my hair like a comb. It was a quick process. Now, anyone who knows anything about finger detangling knows that it is not a quick process and that my method is not the way to go about it for tightly coiled hair. I would miss tangles, which would then turn into knots, and I would always wonder where they were coming from. I detangled, right? Well, the more I researched and became increasingly addicted to hair vlogs on youtube, the more I learned what finger detangling really required: a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of slip. I gave it a try. I oiled up my stretched hair and sat myself down to detangle my strands tiny section by tiny section. And I quickly gave it up.
I truly believe that finger detangling alone is the best method for reducing breakage and retaining length. But my daily schedule (and my resulting lack of time and patience) doesn’t really  permit me to spend hours dedicated to the single task of detangling my hair. I wish it did, but that’s not my reality. 
 I had to find a method that works for me: I get out my favorite conditioner and my wide-tooth comb. With my hair wet and slathered with product, I use my comb to find the tangles, sliding it down from the root until I feel tension. Then I use my fingers to feel for the knots and finger detangle them out. I also keep a pair of scissors nearby to cut out the more stubborn knots (better to cut it out than to snap it, right?). The whole process takes me about 40 minutes as opposed to several hours. It may not be the gentlest method, because there’s always the possibility of pulling too hard with the comb and snapping my hair, so I compensate by proteining it up and trimming regularly.
 I adjusted my length expectations accordingly. I probably won’t get the average six inches per year (particularly with my scissor-happy nature), but that’s okay. I’ve found what works for me, and so should you.

Indigenous Curls Thanks MissT for sharing! 
Sound off! How do you detangle your strands? How long does it take you?

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