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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[…] Do Paddle Brushes Work Better than Wide Tooth Combs for Detangling? […]


I like both but the Denman style brushes give me less frizzy ends if I detangle when wet. I can detangle much larger sections with the wide tooth comb but it’s not as thorough. Much better clumping too. No little balls on the ends of the brush though…that would be tantamount to hair murder!


I started using paddle brushes back in high school. They’re wonderful. My only suggestion would be to purchase the ventilated ones. The ones that have that backing on it will get water and stuff trapped in it. And make the sure bristles have that coating on the ends of it!

I tried a paddle brush for the heck of it and now, I swear, it will be my sole detangling tool with wet hair. SOLE. ONE AND ONLY. Before I was exclusively finger detangling, but I don’t think I was being thorough enough because I got knots easily during the week and a lot of hair broke off with dry styling. So…I wanted to change. I used to use a wide tooth comb, but I never thought it detangled ALL of my hair. So I tried the paddle brush. When I first used it, I had a minor freak out… Read more »

I am SO happy I found this post! I tried a wide tooth comb for the first year of being natural and I hated it. I just started using my denman brush for detangling daily and it’s wonderful! My hair is actually shiny, takes fifteen to twenty minutes to braid my hair every night, and there is less tugging. I’m 3B/C and brushing is perfect for me.