Detangling is one of the dreaded tasks that every natural must do if
she wishes to properly maintain her hair but let’s face it- it can be a
pain in the posterior. It is a constant battle between getting the
tangles out and removing shed hair but not snagging the hair or over
manipulating it. With all of this headache associated with this process I
thought it would be helpful to give a thorough breakdown of the tools
and methods that can help us get through this ordeal while keeping as
much hair as possible on our heads and out of our combs and brushes.
The Denman Brush is a detangling tool that’s been around for quite some time now and has been reviewed extensively on CurlTalk.
What makes it so popular is the efficiency with which it can detangle
due to its somewhat flexible teeth and the fact that it can capture the
shed hair to prevent your hair from matting. For some naturals whose
hair can’t tolerate all the teeth, the brush can also be opened to
remove columns of teeth and make the spacing between them wider to
minimize damage done to the hair. These brushes are commonly known as
modified Denmans. However, if snagging is your primary concern then
consider purchasing the D31 or the D41 as opposed to the popular D3 as
it is better suited for detangling since its teeth are more widely
Like most detangling tools, the Denman brush can wreak havoc on your
ends if used too often without caution, which is why I prefer to use it
as the final step on my hair to smooth it out before styling. In my
opinion, the Denman is just about the best darn ‘clumper’ there ever
was. Even my fingers can’t create the smooth and elongated ringlets that
my Denman can and I am not the only one who uses it for this purpose.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube of women who do just that.
As a detangler, the Tangle Teezer
does what it’s supposed to do very efficiently. The tangles literally
melt because the teeth are extremely flexible. Instead of just getting
stuck in the tangles or ripping them out, the Teezer gently coaxes
tangles until they unwind. The noise it makes can be misleading. That
scratching sound can freak you out a few times and cause you to
periodically check the brush to check to be sure you haven’t ripped out a
huge chunk of hair. It also does a decent job at catching the shed
My main issues with this product are the lack of a handle and the
design and spacing of the teeth. I loved this product when I first used
it and might have gone overboard with its use because the split ends
appeared soon after. It was then that the rose colored glasses came off
and I took a closer look at this brush. The teeth for one are not as
smooth as I would have liked. Unlike the seamless teeth of the Denman
and wide toothed combs, some ends of the teeth on the Teezer are jagged
and could snag the hair. The teeth are also quite close together and you
don’t have the option of removing some of them for modification.
I find it quite annoying that there is no handle. While I understand
and appreciate what they attempted to do by making the teezer the
perfect shape to fit in your palm, the design got really annoying in
record time. When wet, the plastic it is made of becomes very slippery
and the slip and slide game of the Teezer whizzing all around the
Wide toothed comb
The wide toothed comb
seems to be the most preferred product by many naturals for detangling.
The reason it is so widely loved is because it can detangle efficiently
and remove shed hair, while minimizing damagewith widely spaced teeth
that are large and seamless. While on the subject of combs, an honorable
mention must go to the Ouidad Double Detangler
that has the same concept of a wide toothed comb however it has a
second column of teeth that are staggered to maximize detangling.
Although not a popular option, I still felt that this product should be mentioned. While the paddle brush
does get the shed hair out, there are many problems with its design
that make it unsuitable for detangling curly hair. For one, most paddle
brushes have little balls at the end of the teeth which can snag on the
hair. The teeth also don’t flex at all which can cause them to rip out
tangles. They can also be quite large, heavy and cumbersome.
This method is preferred by naturals whose hair tangles easily or who
are about to shampoo their hair. Dry detangling is done by applying
oil, conditioner, or a mixture of the two to the hair, then detangling
it before cleansing. This method is great for several reasons:
- It can be done in front of the mirror and out of the shower to make it easier to see and remove the tangles.
- There is less chance for breakage since the hair is strongest when dry.
- The oils and or conditioner not only act as a lubricant for easier
detangling, but they also help to moisturize the hair to reduce the
dryness and matting that shampooing can cause.
The second method involves detangling the hair when it is wet and
well lubricated with conditioner that has good slip. The reason why this
method is so well loved is because:
- When the hair is wet it is more elastic and it is easier to detangle.
- The conditioner and the water creates more slip than oil and conditioner.
For maximum results, however, why not do both? A good dry detangling
session before washing will help to improve your results when you
detangle wet with plenty of conditioner after cleansing.
Now that you have read about the different detangling tools and the
methods, I wish you all the best in your detangling endeavors.