Growing up I was that kid who did her homework first, took weekly dance classes, read teen magazines cover to cover, then changed hair styles and nail polish almost everyday or every other day. I was so into fashion and beauty that I was given three teen magazine subscriptions for one of my birthdays. I read every beauty tip and tried many of them.
I was obsessed with those glossy pages to the point that my brother was annoyed that there weren't any magazines for guys his age. Because of his consistent comments, my mother and I created a magazine just for him with articles about health and dating which my mother wrote, and with fashion and style tips which was my department. His makeshift glossy pages had cut outs of photos from various magazines with especially written articles just for him. I doubt the magazine was really any good, yet it's the thought that counts. Right?
Now I have no idea why I've included this little story other than how easy it is to be influenced and sometimes confused by the glossy "pages" of information on curls and coils out there. There is information in magazines, on blogs, from vloggers, in books, and from product lines and hair stylists. Some say the same thing, while others consistently contradict themselves and each other. I guess the only way to really know what works for you is to try it.
One Month Comb Free
My latest curl experiment has incorporated only finger detangling my hair. I haven't used a comb or brush since mid January. The last time I had decided not to use a comb or brush was when I was locing my hair five years ago. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel since I'm not trying to loc my hair now, but I'm going with it.
Why would anyone not want to comb or brush their hair? My decision to try this again stemmed from the 2nd edition of Curly Girl The Handbook by Lorraine Massey. You can read all about my story behind redesigning my hair regimen here. It is now a combination of the Curly Girl Method and the Tightly Curly Method. There is nothing worse than being embarrassed by what God gave you naturally. I decided to do everything I could possible to love my own curls even if that meant no longer combing my hair.
There are certain standards of grooming that are hard to let go of, and not combing or brushing your hair is one of them. I've honestly had a fear that if I only finger detangle my hair, then I will have knots upon knots that will turn into a crazy hair disaster. Slowly but surely I'm figuring it out.
A few month ago I tried finger detangling my hair dry using oil before washing it. It was a tedious three hours. I have no idea what I was thinking. I was adding another ritual to my hair care while giving myself an excuse to watch a movie. But I usually try something a few times before I decide it's not for me. Dry finger detangling my hair didn't work out and took way too long. There were better things I could do with my time.
Once my hair is cleansed and saturated with conditioner, I let the conditioner soak in my curls for at least ten minutes. I then add a bit more conditioner and finger detangle my hair in 4-6 sections. It is true that when you use your hands to gently pull and comb through your hair. you can feel where the knots are and slowly release them. Once and awhile I simply cut a knot out with tiny sharp cuticle scissors that I use only on my hair.
After each section is complete, I smooth each curl as I learned in the Tightly Curly Method from Teri LaFlesh. This does add extra styling time to my hair, but it also helps my curls to create smooth clumps that move freely and individually once my hair dries. This method prevents extra tangles and unnecessary knots that I've experienced with traditional wash-n-go hair styles. The extra curl smoothing also helps me find previous knots or tangles that I may have missed earlier.
Benefits of Going Comb Free
Going comb free has greatly improved my curl definition, and my hair is no longer frizzed out by combs or brushes. I noticed that my curls weren't defining themselves easily, especially with my two years of weekly or monthly henna treatments and braid-out hair styles. My curls hadn't gone any where at all, they just weren't as defined when I was combing my hair.
If you are curious if your frizzy hair will wave, curl, or coil, why not try a week of using a botanical conditioner only and finger combing your locks from the ends up. Do this just as you would with a comb or brush when your hair is wet and saturated with conditioner. Leave most or all of the conditioner in your hair depending on your hair texture.
I will say that finger detangling your hair is a completely different hair care experience and takes some time to get used to. I'm honestly not sure if I'm going to stick to this for life or invest in an extremely wide tooth bone comb, but so far so good. It is certainly a bit more minimalist.