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3 Unconventional Ways to Detangle Natural Hair

• Oct 9, 2014

detangling natural hair

About a year after beginning my healthy hair journey, I was fairly certain that I had successfully mastered growing my coily hair. However, I had yet to figure out how to detangle my fro without it being an all-day affair. Perhaps, that’s an exaggeration, but it lasted much longer than I felt necessary. So for the last 4 years, I’ve been on a quest to make detangling my hair easy, relatively quick and painless.

As a basic rule of thumb, my hair is always coated in conditioner and I use a wide tooth seamless comb when detangling. These are a few slight modifications that can help to make your detangling sessions less stressful.

Under Running Water

If you’ve never detangled your hair under running water in the shower then you don’t know what you’re missing. Trust me! This works best if you section your hair before washing and coat in conditioner. You don’t need to detangle until you go in the shower.  Take one twist down and let the water run down the hair as you comb through the section with a wide toothed comb. The pressure from the water helps to naturally detangle the hair and assists in combing. I don’t do this every time I wash but I do find that when I use this method  more shed hair is removed than when I detangle with conditioner alone. Therefore, if you find this beneficial you might consider doing it once a month in order to remove shed hair that may have been left behind in your previous detangling sessions.

Different Combs, Different Sections

My hair is multi-textured and as a result some parts of my hair are easier to detangle than others. For example, the middle sections of my hair are looser textured but the strands are rather coarse, making it the most difficult section of my hair to comb. For that section of my hair it is necessary that I only use a wide tooth. Other sections of my hair have fine strands so I find that I can use a comb with narrower spaces in the comb. This is useful during the times I may choose to lightly straighten my hair with a blow dryer and I need to thoroughly detangle my hair.

Root Stretching

The part of my hair that becomes the most tangled over the course of a week is my roots. The hair at the root is new growth, healthy and thus the most tightly coiled part of my hair. I find that simply stretching the hair while combing (be sure the hair is coated with a slippery conditioner) can make detangling your roots easier.


Do you use any unconventional techniques to detangle your hair? What is your fastest method of detangling your hair?

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11 Comments on "3 Unconventional Ways to Detangle Natural Hair"

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Everything mentioned in this article is literally used by millions of women and men worldwide, all the time. It’s a wonder detangling with a comb didn’t make this list.


You have really studied how your hair behaves geniece! No wonder you grew your hair to waist length. I just started doing the same and seeing results.. Thank you!


Detaining my hair in the shower is the best thing I’ve done for my natural hair. I just section my hair in 4, wash one section, comb through gently (It actually is very easy and painless), wash the shampoo out, then put on some conditioner, comb through again… twist up the section and repeat throughout your head. I’VE BASICALLY ELIMINATED BREAKAGE!!!!! Like, there is literally NO HAIR IN MY BRUSH. Detangling in the shower is like, the best thing you can do for your hair. Try it, guys.


For sure! Detangling in the shower is the best thing for my hair


Interesting article. I too have coarse, loose coils in the middle of my head and that is indeed the most difficult parts of my hair to detangle.Kinky Curly Knot Today is a big help when it comes to detangling my hair.


I was wondering if there are any conditioners out there to use that won’t ruin your curl pattern after detangling? Because I detangle my hair without any conditioner in my hair because when I do, it takes away my curl pattern. But I think when I do detangle without product, it might be why I lose so much hair when detangling. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Kay Von kent

Whoa! I really want to try the last one. Thanks Geniece. Like Nessa, Kinky Curly is really good for detangling my hair.


I have always detangled in the shower, as I have to wash/co-wash and moisturize my “kinkurly” hair every day. I could put the Balm of Gilead on my hair, and I would STILL have problems detangling. God must have had a REALLY good time when He made my hair…and I wouldn’t trade my type 4WTH hair for anything.


Bentonite clay is good to wash with a couple of times a month. It detoxes strands, softens, and reduces tangles. And your curls pop! Enjoy

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

under running water? that’s such a waste of water! I wash my hair over the sink, as I can’t stand in the shower for too long. afraid i’ll slip.

Pamela Wilson

I need help I put conditioner yellow out on part of my hair and it’s matted I’ve tried washing it,blow drying,and oil nothing working how do I get my hair right please somebody out there HELP ME

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