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Curly Nikki

Tangles, Shed Hair, and Knots…Oh My!- Detangling Curly Hair

By January 27th, 20217 Comments

Hola Chicas!

Sorry for the late post…I’ve been running around all day trying to get ready for my upcoming STL trip. Since I’m the Queen of Procrastination, I had to finish paperwork, do the laundry, clean the house, pack, and do my hair — I leave today…this is totally ri-got-dam-diculous!

While detangling 7 day hair in the shower, I came to the realization that 3-4 days is the longest I should go in between styling sessions. I stood in that shower stall for nearly 40 minutes! My hair was a tangled mess– mostly due to the shed hairs trapped in the curls. I shed like a dog, and if left unchecked, things get out of hand VERY quickly.

Thinking about the shed hair, and time frames between styling sessions, also led me to think about my detangling tools. There are pros and cons to each of the tools I’ve used in the past.

-Pros: very gentle, fewer split ends, less breakage, great defintion

-Cons: takes forever, lots of shed hairs left behind in the clumps of curls which leads to tangling and knots/matting

Jilbere Shower Comb (wide tooth)
-Pros: gentle, fewer split ends, less breakage, faster detangling

-Cons: less definition than with fingers or brush, lots of shed hairs left behind in the clumps of curls which leads to tangling and knots/matting, can pull or stretch the hair

Denman Brush

-Pros: efficient detangling, great clumping/defintion, shed hairs obliterated, easier styling and detangling next session

-Cons: If you’re not careful it can rip, pull, stretch, and/or break the hair, may cause splits in fine haired curlies

My sweet spot is a finger comb/jilbere combo. To save on time and effort, I load up with Herbal Essence Totally Twisted, finger detangle thoroughly, and finally comb through with the Jilbere. When using this combo, I spend less time in the shower and lose less hair. From now on, I will attempt to style mid-week, even if it’s just a wet bun. 7 days was wayyyy to long.

Every curly head is different and what works for me, may not work for you, and vice versa.

Submit a picture of your hair, and a quick write up of your successful detangling method. Hopefully, your routine may help another curly with a similar texture. As always, send submissions to

Click HERE for my detangling method.
Click HERE for my routine.
Click HERE for my issues with the Denman 3.

Later Gators,


  • tangled hair techs says:

    Great article post. we have found that the best detanglers for very matted tangled hair are products like the Take Down Remover/Detangler cream.

    Detangle brushs and most conditioners are not created to safely detangle severely matted tangled hair. In fact, they could make the matts worse.

  • Zuriyah says:

    I have been using this tool from the UK called a Tangleteazer. It is awesome and works on wet or dry hair. You want to use it in smaller sections to be effective and can go from root to tip or tip to root. I usually part down the diddle load up with conditioner & start from the back. I love it and theres not too much hair left in it when I'm done.

  • Wendi says:

    Maybe it's because I'm new to this natural routine but I've found that if I wash, then condition, then Denman while rinse-out conditioner is still in my hair I lose very few strands.

    I'm a year into transition with 4 inches or better natural growth and 4 inches or so relaxed ends. I use the wash method where I only scrub the scalp and gently massage the hair to keep down the tangles. Oh yeah, my hair is 3c.

  • EmberRose says:

    I'll have to star this in Google Reader so I can remember to send you some pics along with my routine. I find that if I detangle with my fingers with shampoo and then rinse well and apply conditioner and then use the shower comb I get curls that are on fire!

  • Anonymous says:

    ditto on the 3-4 days i get lazy and can go 7 but a small furry animal could be clothed by what with be pulled out ( a curly haired animal:0 ) Fingers have never worked for me as you cant do the ends to scalp thing. I think they reinforce an tighten the knot by the fingers being pulled through. Just my take. Fingers are BADDDDD. And ditto on the comb and denman but i get NO definition from my fingers that would be nice. Denman on the other hand can we say "SOUL GLO" it's too much!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    You're not the only one! 4 days tops is as long as I can go. I also use my fingers to detangle. I have 4a hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just had the same detangling debacle this week. I wanted to reach for the "No more tears". I have a mix of 3b/3c and probalby some 4a and it is very fine, so it tangles easily. The best routine for me is to detangle every 3-4 days.

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