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!!