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?