Now, every natural girl, curly girl, kinky girl and coily girl HATES tangles. They are annoying, time-consuming (to remove carefully) and counterproductive to our hair growth goals. They can make washday a hellish nightmare, and can be a transitioners biggest problem.
Who wants that? I am not saying washday should be an orgasmic experience (as the old Herbal Essence commercials would have you believe) but they should at least not be something we hate and put off doing. It seems I have slowly moved away from tangles becoming a weekly occurrence and I just realized this the past few weeks. There are a few tips I've learned over the past year but there are also some vital tools that have really kept those tangles at bay.
Water is so essential for our hair. Water is hands down the best moisturizer and our hair craves it! Now, it should come as no surprise that water is a valued tool for combating tangles. While I am in the shower, on either wash do or just reviving my curls, I first allow the water to run through and down my hair. I let it saturate the hair and bring it back to life.
I then, even before applying any product, gently run my fingers through the hair while the water is running. This is allowing the water to move through all the hairs and allowing it to help remove any tangles that are even THINKING about forming. Now, I'm not yanking and if I feel resistance, I stop and move on to the next section. This is just supposed to be waking up my hair. The water is moisturizing my hair and making it easier to manage without breakage.
Leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, cheap conditioner, ultra expensive conditioner....whatever, it truly does not matter as long as it works. Conditioner is made to condition the hair and once you place it in your hair it should help the tangles melt away.
After the water has worked its way through your hair it's now time to help breakdown some more stubborn tangles and you need to slather it on. I mean slather it! I would rather use too much conditioner than fight with my hair so I don't mind using a lot and it's part of the Curly Girl Method. Smooth the conditioner through the hair and if you have one with a great slip then you have found gold!
Finger detangling is amazing. My fingers work better than any comb created by man. Even though I used to detangle with a wide-tooth comb, I've only used a comb to create a part in my hair in almost a year! Finger detangling allows you to feel the tangle prior to yanking it and it is far more gentle than a comb. It's cheaper too and you don't have to try and find it! I have also found less shed hair by using my fingers.
Applying oils to our natural tresses is nothing new to most naturals but have you tried it when working with tangles? Try applying an oil of your choosing to the conditioner before applying to sectioned hair. This allows the conditioner to maximize its softness and glide. I like to use few sprays of Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir. My sister hipped me to this tidbit and I've been using it ever since.
Water, conditioner, fingers and oils. All four tools have pretty much eliminated tangles from my wash day and co-wash routines. I have less shed hairs too because there are less tangles to fight. My 4 tools prep my hair for maximum softness and manageability. Sounds like a lot of work? Well, think about all the time you spend tugging and tearing at your hair and then let me know what sounds like a lot. My wash day may be long but it is drama free and when you think about it...who that heck wants hair drama in the shower?