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Curly Nikki

Finger Detangling Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202135 Comments


  • Anonymous says:

    I use a mix of a light water-based instant conditioner (Nutress = very inexpensive) with a lot of slip and castor oil. It works really well and I have cut my detangling time in half.

  • Califabulous says:

    I started finger detangling while rinsing conditioner from my hair while in the shower. I have MUCH less hair loss than when using a hair tool but I still see a lot of hair loss. I wash once per week and I do not know how I would detangle my dry curls without pain (tenderheaded) and breakage! My shower time is super long because of this so I guess I am going to have to find an out of shower detangle regimen…one day :) good video tho. she has LOTS of patience which is def a necessity when you're natural

  • Accountable to God says:

    I'm a 100% finger detangler now. I use to use tools all the time. But once I saw how much my ends were suffering when using detangling tools I had to change what I was doing. Now I don't have to trim my hair as much and I don't have as many single strand knots.

  • cynhen says:

    I always finger detangle; only use a comb when I shampoo and condition my hair. Using my fingers is the safest way to keep my hair loss to a minimum.

  • Margarette says:

    Takes too much time. Especially with my extremely thick 4a-ish hair. Interesting video but this method seems limited to those who have hours a week to spend on hair instead of just one. Now I admit my hair would probably love this kind of attention and deep moisturizing. But it would take upwards of 2 hours to get through my entire head. I just don't have that kind of time. Give me a wide toothed comb, a good pressure shower, and a good conditioner any day.

  • Lillian says:

    I finger detangle on dry hair and put my conditioner on and twist it up, then let it sit for about an hour. I then rinse the conditioner out of my hair while still twisted, which keeps it from getting tangled again. When I shampoo (once a month) I have a spray bottle with shampoo that has been watered down some and twist my hair and only spray the shampoo on the scalp and massage in. I love this method, because once your hair gets to a certain length it is really hard to deal with w/out twisting up in sections.

  • janice says:

    This is my 2nd official time going natural the 1st time was in '98 to '04 I did the big chop and scared everybody. I didn't know what I was doing and didn't take good care of my hair as I treated it as if it was still processed. I am so thankful now that as I go through this purposeful journey again I have your support. I am now 3 months in. It is very helpful to finger detangle before doing anything! Using natural products are wonderful.

  • jmarie63 says:

    Love this and will try this method

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair is shorter, finer, and much more coily than hers but my method of finger-detangling is basically the same. Key difference: Rather than take the twists out, I shampoo with the twists in. I will then take them down individually to apply conditioner and then twist right back up. It helps A LOT to have a detachable shower head and strong water pressure. Yes, the total process does take longer but for length retention on fine, supercoily, super-shrinky hair it really does help.

  • mangomadness says:


    Here are some finger-detangling tutorials from YouTube:

  • Debbie says:

    also can people describe HOW they detangle…like literally how you use your fingers when you are working in your hair? I sort of just run my fingers through a wad of strands and if my fingers get caught, then I seperate whatever hairs are tangled….is this ok? I feel like I could be missing alot of hairs…

  • Anonymous says:

    dawn brame, i detangled while applying my deep conditioner (honeysuckle rose + EVOO) for the first time last week and I was blown away by the results….I now know I HAVE to have conditioner and an oil or else it's bust. It's something I'll do when my hair is really dry because I used alot of DC lol…

  • Anonymous says:

    @MrsNumbles – I'm transitioning too and you ain't said nothing but the truth!

  • Anonymous says:

    I just starting finger detangling about a month ago. I do a light detangle before I wash on hair that has been sprayed with water and oil added. And then I thoroughly detangle as I'm applying my deep conditioner. It is a long process and I don't think I could do it if I didn't long playing in my hair. I just love my hair. I'll see how beneficial this process is in like 6 months.

  • Bridget says:

    I usually finger detangle after I shampoo with lots of conditioner in my hair. On occasion when I do a pre-poo treatment, I will finger detangle before I shampoo.

  • Anonymous says:

    Big ups to Nikki for spotlighting other vloggers and bloggers on her site. That's sisterly love at its finest!

  • Naijaprincess says:

    My hair is super duper coily with about 80% shrinkage. I've been finger detangling since September and it has done wonders for my hair. My hair is growing in thicker and it's now at waist length! It works for me! I saturate my hair with shea butter for slip because conditioner strips my hair, no matter how gentle it is. Following this I work in sections and under running water. Have tried dried detangling, but I prefer wet detangling.

  • Flygurl74 says:

    Doesn't matter if I wear my hair in a braid-out, twist out, or just wild n free, if I don't do some type of detangling before I wash my hair, I'm going to have a gang of tangles. So, yes it's very necessary for me.

  • FemmeFox says:

    I MUST finger detangle on dry hair. I combine my finger detangling and pre-poo. This has greatly reduced my breakage and my hair re-tangling when I wash. The other reason that I detangle before I wash is to preserve my curl pattern. I love my kinks and coils and am not really a fan of them too stretched out.

  • Naturally Nita says:

    I also shampoo FIRST and then finger detangle after conditioning before running a comb through. My shampoo (which is Elasta QP creme conditioning shampoo) has a lot of slip which helps with freeing shed hairs during my washing. I admit with the other ladies that since I switched to wearing stretched styles like twistouts, my tangles are greatly reduced.

  • mangomadness says:


    I finger-detangle before shampooing on dry, stretched, sectioned (12 parts) hair. Section-by-section I apply conditioner, finger-detangle and twist. I let the conditioner sit, rinse it out in the shower and shampoo my scalp via an applicator bottle. After that, I apply my leave-in conditioners and seal my ends.

    Sectioning, finger-detangling and washing in twisted section have greatly reduced breakage and tangling in my tighthly coiled, Afro-textured hair.

  • Naeema says:

    I HAVE to finger detangle my hair. It is super coarse, super thick and super, duper kinky! My hair will laugh at a comb, then curse it out. lol. Literally, combs just weren't made for my type of hair as they do more harm for my kinks than good. Instead, I use my fingers to remove shed hair, feel for any knots, then gently separate the strands as Nikki Mae demonstrated in her vid. Not more time consuming for me than arguing with a comb. lol. So the time spend is what it is…..I think without this method, I'd have very little length retention and probably be very frustrated. Finger detangling is a MUST for many of us.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    I love to finger detangle my hair and my girls' hair. We have noticed less breakage and shedding. We do have a good old fashion comb detangling session once a month though. I do this when I wash with the clarifying shampoo (also done once a month).

  • Anonymous says:

    I tried my first attempt at finger detangling/shed hair removal last week. I sectioned my hair into 8 and pre-pooed with olive oil for an hour. I went through each section and gently detangled and removed shed hairs. When I shampooed the next day I noticed a drastic difference. Wash time was reduced…loved it. This is now a part of my routine.

  • Anonymous says:

    I do a mix and just go on feel. I have a lot of hair and it's pretty long but it just doesn't seem to get that tangly while dry or wet, so I use my fingers to feel things out and I use a big comb, and it's pretty easy to feel that you shouldn't yank through and need to divide things up (but even then it could be a matter of going through gently with the comb in a smaller section).

    So if it works for you, that is fine, but I had natural hair growing up and we didn't do any of this stuff and my hair was just fine and I always had plenty.

    I'm glad that I know my hair and don't have to rely on other people to tell me what I can and cannot do, b/c not everyone's regimen has to be so complicated.

  • African Violet says:

    I finger detangle between washes when I'm about to co-wash and style, otherwise I'd be finger detangling only to have it tangle again when I wash. On wash day, I use shampoo and rinse out conditioner with no detangling occurring in the shower at all. Once out of the shower and with my hair towel dampened, I finger detangle a bit before applying the leave-in. After that I use a wide-tooth comb to make sure that the hair is fully detangled.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous @ Feb 21 10:30 AM: You are so right, while I have no problem finger detangling my hair (4a/b and I think for 3c in the back), I cannot do this on my daughter's hair. She is super coily.

    I recommend everyone get that Quidad Detangler Comb–it is great with detangling pretty much in 2 strokes (even works fabulous on my daughter's hair). I'm not sure why most women complain about its heaviness, it's lighter than my Sedu blow-dryer and I have poor upper body strength! ;-)

  • Anonymous says:

    This method seems to work well for people without super shrinking hair. I tried detangling my hair (very coily ~70% shrinkage when wet; fragile)like this only to have it tangled again after shampooing. I use VioletFem's method. Shampoo, detangle with a rinse out conditioner, deep condition, style.

  • ExpatCentral says:

    Love the video!

    Since I'm still transitioning, I usually finger detangle while it's dry first, then if I'm not feeling lazy I'll section it and wash. Detangling two different textures, without sections, after it's wet? E.V.I.L – which is why I've already chopped off half of my relaxed ends…LOL

  • VioletFem says:

    I should also add that I usually wear my hair twisted or in a twist out which doesn't require as much detangling prior to washing my hair as an afro would.

  • VioletFem says:

    @ Quite.
    I agree. My hair is really kinky (i.e. fragile) so this seems like it would stress it even more.I detangle my hair after I've shampooed it. I use a a rinse-out conditioner to detangle then I deep condition, rinse, and use a leave-in and style.

  • Mel says:

    I have a lot of hair and dry detangle, with a little bit of oil on my ends if needed. But my hair is usually twisted or in a twistout pattern which means I don't have as many tangles as a natural who wears an afro or puff. It is more time consuming but when you are trying to be gentle/retain length…..

  • Anonymous says:

    What a sweetheart!

  • Quite says:

    It seems very time consuming and impractical to wet dirty hair, taking small sections of hair, saturate with conditioner to detangle, then twist, THEN get in the shower to shampoo? un unh…*grabs double detangler* Is this is how everyone does this process or only naturals with a lot of hair like nikkimae? just curious..

  • Quite says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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