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3 Ways to Cut Your Detangling Time and Stop Breakage

• Feb 7, 2013


By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

Natural hair is not something that is mastered in a few days. It is generally the case that you need to take a few baby steps to gradually change habit of a previous lifetime. This is especially true when it comes to detangling, things that work when hair is relaxed and straight will generally never really work with natural hair. Here are 3 little changes that can help both reduce the time you spend detangling and any breakage associated with it.

1. Stop changing hairstyles 3–4 times in a week

Day 1–2 — pinned up twists, day 3 — twist out, day 4–5 — bun old twist out, day 6 — comb out to afro or natural curls, day 7 — wash hair and start all over again. If you are doing something to your hair every single day of the week, you may be doing too much. Hair that is very kinky or has tiny curls/coils is susceptible to tangling every time it is manipulated. This will be exacerbated if the hair is also fine in thickness. If your hair ticks these boxes, you need to reduce the amount of times you are changing hairstyles. You can start for example by wearing the pinned up twists for 5 days and change to a twist out for one day. Lengthening the time you spend in a style where it is not necessary to separate strands or fluff your hair up will dramatically reduce tangling and this means that detangling too will be easier. The fewer hairstyles you have within a week, the lower the overall manipulation of the hair and the lower the breakage.

2. Prepare in advance, for the weather and exercise

It really is a big myth that naturals do not need to worry about the rain. If you happen to have a lot of shrinkage and have chosen to wear your hair in a free style (curly, afro, braid out, knot out or twist out), then rain water will not only ruin your twist out but it can also cause uncontrolled shrinkage and serious tangling. It is a good idea to carry a hair tie with you so that if you get caught in the rain, you can change your open style into a bun and control the shrinkage induced by the water. Equally too if your hair is naturally curly and you normally wear it out, having similar equipment is good if humidity changes and your spirals begin to separate and form frizz. If you intend to exercise, prepare in advance for that and select a hairstyle that will be easy to handle while sweating, in higher humidity and that can cope with a rinse of water or full wash post-exercise.

3. Scared of trimming?

If the idea of trimming is not something you particularly enjoy, try dusting. An eighth of an inch will generally not impact how you style your hair and for most lengths is a virtually invisible cut. Cutting the same amount every other month or so will be useful for maintaining trimmed ends. Hair that is freshly trimmed is generally much easier to detangle as there is less tendency for fingers, combs or brushes to get stuck and there is the added benefit of getting rid of any old knots, tangles or damage. If your hair thrives without trimming, then you naturally will not need to do this. However, if you notice that your hair is getting harder to separate especially towards the ends, try a mini trim or dusting.

Ladies, have you tried any of these tips? How do you cut down on your detangling time?

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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21 Comments on "3 Ways to Cut Your Detangling Time and Stop Breakage"

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Is there a reason why we have never seen JC hair?
its not even on her blog.well at least not in the last year


Thanks for linking that post Brianne! I was really nice back in 2009 lol, right now I am thinking, I am seriously beyond bored of that question. I must try to be nice and patient again 🙂

There are over 60,000 people who read my blog every month, they go there for science.…..If that is not your cup of tea and your preference is to see pictures and styles that is really ok with me!


Yeah me too. I always wonder why we never see JC’s hair until I stopped reading her blog, not offensively, but its great to see the hair like youtubers and other blogs.

Its like having a teacher teach outside the door because they are too shy to get in class..

Ubah Uma Luar

Never tought about that. Come to think of it it kind of Reminds me of MA.AD from Inspector Gadged…


I hav recently been using this product from Liquid Gold. I used the shampoo for Co washing and I was so surprised that my overly thick and kinky hair was snarl free even before I put in a leave in conditioner from Enjoy and then my hair was really kink free I could comb straight through it.

Jennifer Kennedy

Protective Styles — hands down has been #1 in helping me avoid tangles.

The times when I wear my hair out for days in a row — I’ve had a SUPER hard time detangling my hair. However, if I choose to wear a 2strand twist out, I always put my hair in big fat twists before going to bed. This prevents major night time matting.

I dust instead of trimming evenly — but I haven’t noticed that helping lessen the tangles.


Awesome article! I typically wear my hair in a low manipulation style (mini-twists for almost two weeks) and then I might do a twist-out before wash day. Very rare. But, I’ve been working on trimming knots and split ends on a more frequent basis to minimize tangles and other associated issues that may occur with detangling my tight coils. So far so good.


I try to not manipulate my hair much, but I have to comb my hair every day, if I don’t — the shedding will be off the chain the next time I detangle.
*i wear a bun everyday, so it’s the same style, but come the end of the day I just detangle and moisturize in order to prepare my hair for the following day. Maybe in the summertime I will adopt a once-a-week style..


ha, i love that picture!

Thick Nigerian Hair

#2. I’ve always wondered who these naturals are that don’t run from the rain. I probably run more now than I did when I was relaxed. My shrinkage is a…hectic problem. I’m not saying I don’t like it, I’m saying it gets in the way of everything (detangling, washing, conditioning, styling, etc.). It’s actually the reason I’ve significantly reduced my use of the modified “denman” brush. Let’s add to shrinkage the time it takes to dry my hair (air dry or hair dryer).


I still cannot commit to advice # 1. I just like to change my style every 2–3 days and I really love to wear my hair out. I also find that the more I wear it out, the more my for is stretched and the easier the detangling.


Ifeel the same about #1. I actually feel that my hair gets MORE tangled if I don’t wash it every 3 days or so. Protective styles seem to do the trick though..

kim sayles

im happy that someone has more advise for my thick coil hair it tangles alot when i comb it my hair come out and it gets so dry my scalp itchs .


I became a bit of a compulsive styler, and that has GOT to change. After trimming my hair YET AGAIN after putting them in twists and witnessing the ravaged ends, I need to go back to more protective styling. My hair is super-coily AND fine, so constant change is a no-no.


when I wash my hair I ALWAYS have it in chunky 2 strand twist so they dont get too tangled up as I wash- especially when I shampoo! de-tangleing is also easier since they are in sections.

Grey Poupon

Protective styling all the way! I’ve never done a twist out. My hair can’t be out. Tangles galore.

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty
I definitely agree on the trimming part. While I don’t think it’s necessary to trim every 6 weeks, if you notice that your hair is getting SSKs and tangles more often, it may be time to trim. I do however think that change your style every 3 days or so can help with keeping tangling to a minimum for wash day. Only because let’s say you have pinned up twists then you take them down after a few days to stretch in a bun. You wouldn’t just throw it in a bun. You’d lightly finger detangle (or however you do… Read more »
Try using It’s a 10 product.… It really works, because I had the same problem with my frizzy, dry, tangly hair. I bought all kinds of shampoo, conditioner, leave in condition, even paid services for a deep condition treatment for frizzy, taming hair. Well none of these products I ever bought worked. Until I got recommended by one of my monster- in law co-workers. She told me to buy: It’s a 10 miracle leave-in product. Well, I bought it, Tryed It, and I LOVE IT! It’s a 10 miracle leave-in product really works! And the best thing about this miracle… Read more »
kendra smith

Natural hair is hard to maintain, however it can be achieved. If black women would stop falsifying their natural styles and keep it real then it’s possible to accomplish and maintain. India said it best I am not my hair.


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