August 5, 2015

Denman Brush For Natural Hair: Should You Switch?

The Denman Brush is a very popular detangling tool among the curly community, but it has also been known to be a controversial topic. It is used mainly to detangle natural Type 3c and Type 4 hair when wet.

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Many curlies rave about the way a Denman can cut down their detangling time, and it also works to evenly distribute product in curly hair. In addition, the brush helps achieve curl definition.
However, as with any tool or product one size does not fit all. Some curlies find that the brush pulls out too much hair, and others have experienced frizz. Furthermore, the Denman has a higher price point than other brushes, ranging between the $10-$19.

So is a Denman Brush better than a regular brush?


It depends on your detangling preference.

Many curlies view the right detangling tool as an investment, and if you want to focus on curl definition and decreasing your detangling time, then a Denman may be for you. There are a variety of Denman Brushes to choose from, though it’s best to purchase a brush that uses 5-7 rows of bristles.

If the brush snags your hair, all is not lost! Don’t be discouraged if the brush doesn’t live up to your expectations on the first try, you may just need to modify the brush to suit your curls. Many naturalistas remove every other row of bristles to create what is known as a “modified Denman.” Also, be sure that you are using the brush slowly to avoid unnecessary hair pulling.

Prefer a cheaper alternative? Try generic brushes, wide tooth combs, and (the cheapest option) finger detangling.

Don't Forget Your Conditioner  

No matter what tool you choose for your detangling session, it’s essential to use a conditioner with “slip.” This allows the tool to easily slide through your hair. 

CN's Favorite Conditioners for Detangling: 

Rinse Outs/Instants:
  • Aussie Moist 
  • Trader Joe's Nourish Spa 
  • Hello Hydration 
  • Aubrey Organics White Camellia 
CN Says:  
With all of these, it's essential to apply heavy handedly and then work some water into it-- the water increases the slip action and aids sets fling even further. I apply to my wet hair while in the shower and then pass my hand under the shower stream and then work in a little more conditioner.
Leave Ins:
  • Giovanni Direct Leave In   

Tips for Detangling: 

While detangling, start from the end of your hair and slowly work your way to the root. Create sections and twist your detangled hair as you go to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Lastly, take your time while detangling your hair. Always schedule your detangling session on a day when you’re not in a rush to be anywhere. Rushing this process can cause hair breakage and pulling.

CN Says:

The Denman wouldn't let my fine strands be great.  

It's incredibly efficient- not just at detangling, but in removing hairs that aren't yet ready to fall. I also notice an uptick in split ends with regular use.  There's also the definition thing- it defines the hell out of the length (clumps and curls galore) but leaves the roots shrunken and frizzy.  

Which brings me to my 10 digits.  Despite the time and patience needed, they're still the number one detangling tool... that and a super slippery conditioner like some Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner... or Aussie Moist... or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and I'm good.  Plus, fingers alone give my wash-do-the-most-and-gos the best definition.  

What about you? Are you a Denman girl? 

This article was originally published on September 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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