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Curly Nikki

Top Tools Used to Detangle Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202126 Comments
Top Tools Used to Detangle Natural Hairby Chai of Back to Curly

A few months back I put together a few tips and methods I’d learned over the years for properly detangling natural hair, the majority of which I still practice today. The basics still apply especially after embarking on this year’s hair challenge, but after recently reading through many of your regimens, I thought it’d be helpful to add to the pile of goodness.

Now, while I’m happy to proclaim that my detangling routine is no longer as arduous a struggle as say…three years ago, it’s still my least anticipated part of my weekly routine. With that said, I still think it’s always important to learn and improve on caring for natural hair no matter if you’re newly natural or 10 years in. Implementing and evaluating hair’s needs on a consistent basis will no doubt save you not only time, but increase overall hair health.


This was by far the most mentioned method to detangling & after my first attempt last week while in the shower I can understand why. After pre-pooing and sectioning hair into quadrants, I began finger detangling & loosening up small & large tangles. According to Miss Priss, you’re able to catch more knots & believe it or not our fingers are in fact “The Original Tool!” So true, but often when fingers aren’t enough hand held tools can be called in to finish the job.

Whenever I think hair reviews for Natural Hair I instantly think EmpressRi, and sure enough she reviewed this comb early last year. This is a great alternative for those who abhor the use of a brush of any kind when detangling or styling hair, the Ouidad according to Isabelle is “kind of like using two shower combs at once in quick succession.” If you’re endowed with thick/dense hair, my guess is this would be ideal. Fine Haired curlies might be safer with a more gentler tool.

Even I have a special place in my heart for this comb and the reason why I stopped using it was simply because I’d failed to carry it with me during my most recent move. This tool works wonders while in the shower using a steady stream of water when hair is soaking wet. Not great for overall curl definition, but gentle enough on hair to free up previous tangles. Ideal for use during the Summer for those wash-n-go’s or when you want an easy no fuss routine, without worrying about excess breakage. Whether you fall into line with the 2a’s or 4c’s, it seems to work well across the board.

This method is popular amongst naturals who love their original Denman brush for detangling & defining, yet prefer a gentler tug when smoothing and eliminating tangles. This is great no matter your hair’s texture & especially if you notice excess breakage or split ends caused by over manipulation. A great how-to on modifying the Denman brush is a vid from A Grl Can Mac.

What We All Agree On…

  • Sectioning is essential
  • A great detangling conditioner with adequate slip helps tremendously (think Aussie Moist, Suave Condish, Herbal Essences)
  • A wide toothed comb will always have your hair’s back…
  • Patience, Prayer & some Good Music will lead you to still waters tangle free hair…

*Please fill me in! If there are any tips I might’ve glanced over or completely left out, drop ’em in the comments!*


  • Anonymous says:

    I recently tried out the ouidad. I really do like it but I returned it because of the seams. Seamless combs such as the Hercules Sagemann Magic Star Comb are healthier.

  • KCAS says:

    Ouidad comb was a waste of money for me. I found it so heavy that I rarely used. I used to keep in the bathroom and days ago it fell and got broken. What a relief!! I like the Denman brush and lately I've tried the finger combing.

  • Levone says:

    Shower Comb and tangle teezer lover here for my entire family! I definitely need to start finger combing as well though before attempting any other method of detangling.

  • Sharmer says:

    I have recently started detangling my hair before I get in the shower. I am able to detangle more attentively because I dont have worry about getting out quickly before I pass out from all the heat and steam. Lol

  • Anonymous says:

    @Annie L: You're welcome!

    I've been eyeing the Hercules Sagemann seamless comb but I wouldn't it anyway. Finger combing works really well for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Another vote for the Tangle Teezer…I'm sorry some people have had trouble with it but not everything works for everybody and that's okay. It's really cut down my detangling time significantly and it doesn't rip my hair out (unlike the Denman).

  • ggrox says:

    Same with Lisa, Amazon nor carry the Jilbere anymore…has it been discontinued?

  • Lisa says:

    I have searched and searched for the Jilbere comb. Do they still make it and where can I buy it, if so?

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    I still love my Tangle Teezer and my Jibere shower comb.

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    Giovanni Smooth as Silk and the Modified "Fenman" never fail me…

  • Anonymous says:

    a great detangling tool I learned is using an oil on dry hair prior to shampooing. I let the oil marinate on my hair for a while and then I detangle with my fingers or a wide tooth comb a little before I shampooo. I have modified the technique but I learned it essentially from kimmaytube. I give her the credit here.

    I also use my fingers primarily. they are the best darn detangling tool period. 😉

  • D says:

    I would disagree about using the Denman on hair that is prone to split ends and breakage. If you have fragile and/or fine hair, the Denman (even the modified one) can seriously shred your strands. Use with caution!

  • Annie L. says:

    Thanks mango!

    I have a great Hercules Sagemann seamless comb but rarely use it. Finger combing w/slip works best for me and stops me from ripping through knots and curl clusters and actually take what amounts to little time and effort to twist them free instead. Oh and I never got into sectioning (so lazy) and I'm cool without it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Like Ms. Pillowz, I too use ACV/distilled water in a spray bottle and it works wonders.

    Loving Me Tee's

  • Anonymous says:

    Tangle Teezer is still the best for ends still look great!

  • Exhale1913 says:

    I also still love the tangle teezer. I use it after finger detangling dry hair with oil, and adding just enough conditioner to make it damp. It works like a charm! Removes all of the shed hair and makes the hair so smooth. I've used it since Jan, and I haven't noticed any breakage and I use it about once a week on me and my daughters. IMO, being gentle and patient is the key to detangling. I've also had success by detangling in stages fingers —> wide toothed —> smaller toothed as an effective way to remove shed hair and smooth my hair.

  • Ms. Pillowz says:

    Tangle Teezer has saved my life, or should I say my hair, or maybe it's a combo of the 2. lol Thank you so much for the recommendation! I've told EVERYONE about it. As other users have stated, it does slip out my hands when I have conditioner on them.

    I also use Apple Cider Vinegar, which also helps to detangle without the use of any other products.

    Ms. Pillowz

  • Natural-ness (LV) says:

    I love the tangle teezer for myself and my daughter. Anything that I can use to detangle my 3-year-old's hair without tears is a plus for me!

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    I agree with Anon(March 16, 2011 10:25 AM) I'm a fan of my Tangle Teezer other than it slipping out of my hands. It works for me.

  • mangomadness says:

    Great article!

    Finger combing it my method of choice for tightly coiled hair. I've been doing it for the past couple of months and I love it. It's gentle and gets shed hairs and tangles out just fine. I have also found that it reduces breakage, ssks and split ends. Try it!

    Here is a good article on finger detangling method: (

    Here are some YouTube videos on finger detangling:


    My Detangling Tips:
    -If you use a tool (comb/brush), to detangle try finger combing first to get rid of major knots and lessen breakage.

    -If detangling after shampooing doesn’t work for you, try detangling *before* shampooing.

    -If detangling in the shower doesn’t work for you, try detangling in front of a mirror.

    -If detangling with conditioner-soaked hair doesn’t work for you, try detangling with an oil/water mix or an aloe vera gel/oil mix.

    -If detangling on soaking wet hair doesn’t work for you, try the “damp detangling method”: (

    -Keeping your hair in stretched styles makes detangling infinitely easier.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm not big on new fads or cool tools lol. I'm pretty boring and stick with my trusty wide tooth comb haha. I absolutely hate finger combing (it hurts) But I do think I should at least try fingering combing again instead of tugging my hair out when the comb comes across a knot.

  • Anonymous says:

    Still loving my Tangle Teezer. I haven't noticed any split ends or increased amount of breakage. My only complaint is that it's so hard to hold the darn thing when there's conditioner all over my hands!

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree about the Ouidad comb, definitely not a favorite. I am a huge fan of the Hercules Sageman brands, the Magic Star, a smaller rake and a finer tooth comb (all seamless) help to detangle my strands. The tangle teezer has caused some breakage so that's been put to bed for awhile.

  • Brittany says:

    I know some say you shouldn't but I always dry detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb and my fingers. Otherwise it takes forever to do when wet and I shed way more hair.

  • Jessica says:

    I still like the Tangle Teaser….I wonder why people dropped that so quickly?! Its still the best for me. Wide tooth combs still rip my hair out and hurt even with conditioner.

  • Anonymous says:

    Im sorry but that Ouidad comb is horrible. Denman or Jilbere sure…

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