5 of The Best and Worst Detangling Tools for Fine Natural Hair

This is a very subjective post but I feel that I am an authority on the subject of detangling fine hair because I have a lot of it. It takes ages to detangle and I have been in this game for over 10 years, constantly trying different things. Now, we’re talking fine individual strands, not overall hair density. I am also skipping out finger detangling. I fully endorse it. It is the best thing ever, but if you have limited time, it will not work. So here’s the list starting from best to worst:

1. Hercules Sägemann Magic Star comb

magic rake

Taking its rightful place in first position (I really cannot sing the praises of this comb enough) is the Hercules Sägemann! It is a seamless, rubber comb that unlike the flexible combs and brushes touted to be less damaging is completely stiff! It is the closest that a comb will take you to finger detangling. The stiffness of the comb means it acts like your fingers, stopping wherever the hair is too tangled to proceed. It works well on dry or wet detangling. It’a not as beneficial in the mini or jumbo rake size for clumping curls, but my hair does not clump, so I don’t care. If your hair does clump, there are smaller combs from the same manufacturer that could work post-detangling.

2. The Shower Comb

widetooth shower comb

It is cheap and cheerful but not often seamless. You should pay close attention to the finish of the teeth, skipping those that are raggedy and avoid those with decorative painted tips since that paint will chip over time.  I found that shower combs unlike the Hercules Sägemann, are not that great on dry hair, but conditioner combing is easy breezy.

 

3. Goody Ouchless comb

goody ouchless comb

Sitting right in the middle of the rankings is the Goody ouchless comb. It is seamless, but a little strange as the teeth have no points and are rod-like. Additionally, the spine of the comb is flexible. I have managed to break this comb twice and therefore gave up on it. It’s not really much better than a shower-comb, but it costs more.

4. Denman D3

denman-classic-d3-styling-brush

We are now entering into the devil’s territory. I have yet to find a brush that will not split my fine hair and the Denman D3 did not disappoint. It was stealthy too, because at first, it works beautifully especially with conditioner combing as it has nice firm well shaped bristles and decent spacing. However, a week or two later, I had split ends galore. Some naturals modify the Denman by taking out some of the teeth and say it works just as well without splitting. This was not my experience. I do not think this brush is badly made, I just think it does not suit fine hair. Medium and thick strands…….go for it!

5. Tangle Teezer

tangle teezer

This shredder wreaked havoc on my fine strands. Mid shaft splits, split ends, breakage…..all within just two detangling sessions. The claim is that the flexible teeth work to stop hair breakage, but I experienced the exact opposite with horrific immediate breakage. I found too that the teeth were not really well made  and some were rough and snaggle prone. I know some naturals love the tangle teezer but if you have fine hair, steer clear. On a positive note, it works wonderfully on a long haired cat!

 

Which tools do you swear by when it comes to detangling your hair?

The Natural Haven

The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

38 thoughts on “5 of The Best and Worst Detangling Tools for Fine Natural Hair

  1. “…it works wonderfully on a long-haired cat!”

    Hahahahahahah :) I may have to try it on my Husky mix now, she hates her Furminator.

    • My corgi-beagle and Chihuahua hate the furminator. It’s heavy and cold. Will try the tangle teezer on them. BTW they looooooove the knock-off “tingler scalp massager” you can buy one for them at Forever 21, LOL!

      • Hahaha, my dog is already so spoiled! So of course, I’m probably going to buy a Tangle Teaser and a scalp massager for her in the near future :)

    • I am not being sarcastic or rude, so please don’t read it that way. . . . The author clearly says in the very first paragraph why she is not going to mention finger detangling in the rest of the article.

    • She said at the beginning that she was excluding finger detangling, and she noted her reasons for doing so. This list is more tools-focused.

  2. Nice post Jc. I wish you would do a series on fine hair on your blog. I too have been natural for over 10 years and am always looking for other fine hair naturals to see how they care for their hair. I have been wanting one of those Sagemann combs for a while now gonna have to do a Google search and hunt one down. I love to finger detangle but sometimes it can take too long. I don’t even look at those brushes. I knew from day one that wasn’t gonna work for my naps n kinks lol.

  3. I have fine 4a/b hair and the tangle teezer was a godsend for me. They way I use it is by first coming through the hair with a wide tooth comb to stretch it and then I use the tangle teezer. My hair is so dense and it gets out all the shed hairs. I haven’t experienced any breakage with it.

  4. The key to detangling is not to allow my hair to become tangled and gnarly in the first place. However, when I’m lazy and slip, the only tools I use are my fingers and shears (for those gnarly knots). I’ve been finger detangling for so long, that my hair pretty much remains clumped until I physically separate them. I may need to cut three (or fewer) knots in any given session.

    When it comes to curl definition, nothing gives me better “natural” definition than my fingers. It takes a few minutes to de-tangle a section of hair and I spend few more minutes unraveling and smoothing clumps that feel rough. It probably sounds more labor intensive than it is, but by the time I’ve detangled, each coil has been smoothed individually or via raking.

    The good news is that one thorough detangle will do once a week. The other times, are usually a light detangle with more attention to the bang area and crown. My crown always needs more attention than the rest of my hair.

    The bad news is that once I began finger detangling exclusively, I couldn’t go back to combs. I used a wide and fine-tooth comb for a curlformers set and my poor scalp was sore for days. Not to mention, it was all for naught. I wanted my hair to be extra smooth and it was. For a few hours. These coils will not be defied! Resistance is futile!

    • Yep, me too. I bought my Sagemann combs several years ago, and they were/are great. But once I learned about finger detangling, I haven’t felt the need to use any comb in my fine kinky hair (except when using curlformers or roller setting, which I rarely do).

    • Lol. That reminds me of my own fine 4a natural hair that is thick in density. Whenever I straighten it ( which is rarely ), it behaves for a little while before changing into a big thick fluffy fro. It doesn’t like to follow the crowd but that’s okay, neither do I.

      • BGLH, Is there a post about having fine hair with thick density? I’m confused because I have fine hair but not thick density…how can one have both? thanks

        • Simple! Your individual strands are fine, but you have a lot of hair on your head. Someone could have thick strands of hair, but the overall density of the hair could be thin or medium.

  5. I LOVE MY SAGEMANN COMB !! I even have the one with curved teeth. I also have a Tangle Teezer which I use the same was TC does. Sagemann first , then the Teezer. Sometimes I use a Ouidad Double Detangler, a very large heavy wicked looking comb with a double row of teeth about an inch apart.

  6. That Herculese Magic Star Comb is the bomb.com! I’ve been using it on my thick, yet fine textured 4a/b hair for the past couple of years and detangling is a breeze. LOVE IT!!

  7. Has anyone tried “The Wet Brush”? The Denman seemed to pull my hair out snap crackle pop style while the Tangle Teaser seemed to inflict its damage on the DL.

  8. I may get a lot of thumbs down for saying this, but I can’t help but feel like the finger detangling craze, is just that, a craze. Much like the Denman and tangle teezers had their run a few years ago. I’m not saying that finger detangling is awful. On the contrary, I believe in it and use it myself. But only as the first line of defense in a series of tools (including a modified Denman) aimed to detangle. Here’s my take: I exclusively detangled early in my hair journey literally spending up to 8 hours detangling on any given wash day. What I found months down the road, is that even with patience and diligence, I really couldn’t get at all my shed hair. What that later meant for me down the road is severe matting and tangling, that took even longer to detangle. Lesson learned. I now detangle with my fingers first to remove the majority of my shed hairs , before moving to a shower comb, and only 1-2 passes with the modified Denman (biggest point to make here is that I only passed the Denman through each section no more than 2 times) while using small sections. I must also note, that I don’t use the Denman at every wash either. Every other wash seems to do the trick, while keeping my hair thoroughly detangled. This has worked for me, and I no longer have to deal with massive tangles and knots anymore. I’ve never tried a tangle teezer so I can’t speak to that, but I can attest to the benefits of a modified Denman used with care and caution. That, and I no longer have to have marathon detangling sessions either.

    • When you finger detangled, did you use an oil? I had the same problem the first time I finger detangled, but then I used coconut oil and it worked out pretty well (afterwards I put on a shower cap and allowed the oil to penetrate my strands over night). It seems, however, you have found a way to incorporate it into your hair care regiment, which is excellent because it is easier to feel the knots.
      I do have a question about the Denman brush. When modified, how many rows of teeth does it have? I have tried the brush by Felicia Leatherwood and all I can say is DISAPPOINTMENT! For someone who is a hair guru, she needs to revamp that comb. The teeth are not well shaved down (jagged edges all around the tips). Also, it ripped out so much hair. I know the Denman is capable of having rows removed and I was wondering how you like it during your detangling sessions? (BTW I bought 3 Leatherwood brushes and was going to give2 of them out as gifts but now I am going to throw away all three because I couldn’t give someone that brush know how it jacked up my strands).

    • Depends on your hair & how you use it. I do what tc said. Use the Sagemann first ,then the Teezer or use the Teezer with a head full of condish.Another way is to section the hair into manageable sections & use the Teezer on each section with or without condish. My brother uses his on his beard. I had to get him his own because he tried mine once & then kept stealing it !!

  9. I use the tangle teezer. I know a lot of girls claim that it broke their hair off. It actually helped me. Cuz with combs I had a tendency to just pull it through rough tangle areas. With the teezer it made me stop and concentrate on these rough areas. But I only used it after I had washed. I used rhassoul clay as as cleanser/detangler/conditioner. So I never have to detangler my hair because the clay stretched it. I use the teezer to clump my curls when I want ultra defined twist outs. Also I went from shoulder length to nearly mid back length while using the teezer in conjunction with good hair practices.

    • I use my Teezer AFTER using the Jumbo rake. No problem with breakage & split ends….YET… so I only use if a few times just in case. I have fine 4ab hair

  10. I’ve heard wonderful raves about the Hercules comb, but are they really that much better than the bone seamless combs? I have several bone combs, but I’ve been exclusively finger detangling for a year. I think I need to change my routine, because I’m not seeing the length retention I expect. So I’m wondering, is the Hercules comb better than the bone combs?

    • This comb is the TRUTH. I bought the combo pack that has the Jumbo (pictured above) and the mini version. I also bought the HS13620 Detangling Styler Comb . It gives and little more of a finished look and detangles a little more deeply. The combs have no seems, they glide through your hair, and are antistatic and super sanitary. They don’t react with anything and they are very sturdy (which I need because I have broken three combs in the past). After two uses, I have noticed little to no hair come out during detangling, which makes me super happy because I have fine strands. I will be purchasing the HS6450 Tail Comb and Matador Pick most definitely in the near future and I’m still deciding on the HS5580 Styler Comb and HS703WW Styling Comb to round out my collection. I mainly finger detangle my hair, but Hercules combs are the only ones I trust to assist in smoothing for a roller set or deep detangling for a protective style that will be in for a while.

      • I TOTALLY AGREE !!!I have the the combo,too. even got a set of spares.They have a curved version of the jumbo rake & I got that set,too. All other combs ON THE PLANET can take a seat !!

  11. The denman brush worked wonders for me when I first got it but now… I rarely use it. I was in denial that it was the reason for my split ends and all I stick to now are shower combs and my fingers.

  12. I’ve always used a paddle brush mainly because I wore weaves and eventually when it came time for my natural hair it was the only brush I had. I used it in the shower occasionally separating in 4 sections and brush from the ends up after I apply my conditioner and just brush all of it while I rinse..Head full of 4A natural hair (in between apl & bsl) and I’ve been wearing quick weaves/sew-ins for least 9-10 years…Sure I have had my issues in the past but never from my paddle brush.

  13. The Denman brush is hell on wheels for my fine hair. I trashed it and got a Bass brush that works great. I have a goody shower come that I use weekly for my hair and it works wonders

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