I am yet to meet a natural who has not left in a protective style or worn a twist out for a little too long. Some of us also know that our hair really does not care for wash and gos but because of time or because you were feeling like it, decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace full on shrinkage. The end result for most of us due to the mix of water (either from washing/moisturizing or indeed if it rains) and the natural shrinkage of curly and kinky curly hair is matting and tangling. Here are three ways to deal with matted and tangled hair.
First though I will say in bold — Do not under any circumstances, soak matted hair in water or shampoo it before detangling it. These two actions will only lead to more tangles.
1. The dry detangling method
This method is ideal for hair that is kinky curly or hair with a high level of shrinkage when wet. By keeping hair mostly dry, it becomes easier to handle as further shrinkage does not occur and the hair remains in its strongest form. The dry detangling method does have to be used alongside finger combing because combs and brushes can be too aggressive on dry hair. This method requires small sections and a lot of patience so if you are not willing to work on your hair for several hours or even a day depending on length, it would be better to pick either of the next two methods.
2. The conditioner soak method
In this method, hair conditioner is used first on dry or damp (not wet) hair and allowed to soak and soften hair. A hair dryer can be used to heat up the conditioner to make it adsorb more to hair. Interestingly, MsLala makes an observation that her conditioner looses its slip if she stays under the dryer for too long, so 30 minutes is the maximum time recommended. The rest of the process is simply creating small sections and working at them with a comb slowly to loosen up the matted hair and tangles.
3. The water and oil method
This method also employs the staple themes of small sections and patience. It, however, uses just a misting of water to give hair some flexibility and a little bit of oil for slip. Another key difference is that the combing is done from root to tip which is against the practised norm of natural hair. She does make a valid point that as the ends are already detangled and combing them further is unnecessary. She also does not try to pull the comb all the way through, but simply gradually works her way up to the ends. This may be an adjustment that some would find beneficial to preserve their hair ends.
Ladies, which of these methods do you use for detangling? And why?