By Akilah of

In the natural hair community, one important procedure is necessary for every single hair type: detangling. We tend to overlook the issue, or settle on the idea that using a wide-toothed comb on wet hair should do the trick. I, too, believed that there was no more to be said on the issue, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Enter: My paddle brush (I use a standard Goody brand one found at any Target or Drug Store). The thought of using this intimidating brush on dry natural hair is nightmarish, but I recently tried it out on my hair while I was deep conditioning and it was even better than the wide-toothed comb. Let me repeat: IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN THE WIDE-TOOTHED COMB!

The paddle brush adds a smoothing element that a comb simply cannot. While detangling from tip to root, it holds the conditioner within the brush which (A) retains the conditioner of choice onto hair follicles—which better coats them, and (B) reduces the amount of hair lost during the detangling process. Not only did the conditioner feel more effective, but detangling took a lot less time.

Detangling is one of the key processes to growing your hair long without having to do quite as much maintenance. Have you tried a paddle brush for detangling? How did it work?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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51 Comments on "Do Paddle Brushes Work Better than Wide Tooth Combs for Detangling?"

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At the beginning of my journey, I would have said that wide tooth combs are the ONLY way to go. But I have learned from experience that such a comb does not do a really good job at finding all the tangles and shed hairs in my head. Now I use either my fingers or my knockoff denman; these methods make me feel like I did a more thorough job.


not sure if this counts as a “paddle” brush but my best detangling experiences come from my denman. 2nd to my finger detangling, though


I used a detangling paddle brush a few times in the past, but I did not like the amount of hair that came out. There was so much hair. I have extremely coily hair, so maybe that is why. Or maybe my hair was breaking at the time…

Sybil Smith

Yess! It gets to ALL the tangly bits more effectively than the comb, and takes less effort!


I’d always hear that paddle brushes stretches/snags(because of the root of the spokes on the brush) the wet hair then eventually cause breakage, this has kept me from using one. I’m happy to hear that this works for you!!! I’ve been so loyal to my tangle teezer but I think I may try this!!