After weeks of pushing back #washday, the day or reckoning finally comes. You’ve set aside a day to square up against your beloved yet tangled ‘fro and the thought just makes your arms and neck sore. Well, this what it’s like for me most times, but in the course of my natural hair journey, I have come across tips that make the whole process less daunting and fairly bearable.
Work in sections
Depending on how long or thick your hair is, part it into manageable sections and work though each section delicately. You can use clips, chunky twists or bantu knots to keep your sections in place. As you work through each section, think of your Afro as a fine piece lace, and handle it with as much care as possible. Start from your ends and work your way down to your roots so you don’t build up additional knots as you go.
Use a detangling conditioner
Always detangle your hair wet. I would go as far as saying detangle your hair in the shower but, that would be an immense waste of water so, keep a spray bottle close by and spritz your hair as often as necessary. A good detangling contitioner is key and will add slip to your hair, so you can remove knots easily. My current ‘go to’ is the Jamaican Roots Cowash and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration is a also firm favourite.
Use the right tools
Starting with your hands, separate your strands and undo as much of the tangling as possible. Move up to a wide tooth comb until you can comb through the hair from root to tip with little to no resistance. Where necessary, use trimming scissors to cut off single-strand knots.
Be very patient
Try not to de-tangle your hair if you have to leave your house within the hour. Rushing through it may cause unnecessary breakage. It typically takes me about half an hour to an hour to work through my whole head, so set aside some time, settle in and catch up on my favourite TV show while I do it. I also take breaks often, if I feel my arms getting tired, or my neck feeling strained.
Trim as necessary
Healthy, even hair tangles a lot less than uneven hair. (I should really follow mu own advice here). A regular trim will help to minimise tangling, and also prevent unnecessary breakage, which will ultimately help you to retain healthy length.
Detangling is a chore, and I would be lying if I said I enjoy it but putting these tips into action really makes it less stressful. Anything that makes my natural hair journey an easier path to walk is holy grail stuff in my book!
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