May 25, 2016

Should I Detangle My Natural Hair Before or After I Shampoo?

 IG @ebonybomani 

by Sabrina Perkins of

The natural hair community is chock full of information of all kinds. From co-washing to deep conditioning and sealing, there are many different tips and tricks that are shared by some of our favorite natural hair gurus. One of the most discussed topics by far is definitely the different methods of detangling and whether it’s more effective when done either before or after shampooing the hair.


 While the efficiency of each detangling method varies from person to person, it’s important to look at the facts of the different characteristics before making your choice. So, which one is best for you? Let’s take a look...

Detangling the hair before shampooing is a great method to use if you’ve just taken your hair out of twists or braids. Removing the bulk of the shed hair beforehand will reduce the amount of breakage and tangling you might experience if you waited to detangle your hair later on in the washing process.

This method is also great if you prefer to wash your hair while it’s plaited due to the fact that it ensures that the amount of tangles formed will be significantly less than usual. Some natural prefer this method when they have put off washday a tad too long and know some of those tangles need to be worked on prior to shampooing which can create tangles on its own.

The bad thing about this method is that you may need to detangle the hair again after you shampoo in order to get rid of the tangling from the friction of washing the hair. However, detangling before washing the hair can cut down on wash time and leave less fall out in the shower.

If you ask any number of naturals, most opt to detangle the hair after it has been shampooed and doused in the conditioner of their choice. Whether it’s with a wide toothed comb or your fingers, the best part about this method is the fact that the conditioner provides slip and makes the hair softer, making it easier to detangle the hair. Detangling post-shampoo will also guarantee that you won’t have to detangle twice, but it will leave a lot of shed hair in the drain.

The down side to detangling after is you may have created even more tangles with your shampooing. Many opt for pre-pooing to help eliminate this problem. I prefer this method because I do not suffer from a ton of tangles.

All in all, your decision will really be based on your particular regimen and situation. Whether you choose to detangle before or after you shampoo, (or both as many do) no way is the “right” way so try both ways and see which method works best for you!

Do you detangle before, after or both? Share below!

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