by Geri of Geraldine the Great
Alright- so, there’s much ado about finger detangling, as of late.
It’s one of my most highly touted methods to attaining length, and for preserving healthier hair strands.
I mention it often, and in fact, a reader recently took me to task about it with the following comment:
Q: You’re killing me with this finger detangling, but I am doing it.
Can you walk me through your steps from dirty, ready to wash hair, to clean hair waiting to dry?
I absolutely can walk you through my steps, Liz. But, I must warn you; finger detangling can be very, very, very, time consuming. The thicker or denser your hair is, the more minutes, or hours, you’ll possibly have to add to your routine.
Whenever I finger detangle, I weigh the amount of time it takes for me to complete a detangling session against, not only to my growth rate (1/4th of an inch per month), but also against how easily I can loose length from the breakage I get with with brushing.
Simply put, I would like to retain every 0.25″ of hair that emerges from my scalp every month. The prospect of losing tiny fragments of hair every single time I detangle my hair with a tool, is bothersome. Little pieces of breakage add up, so personally committing to this lengthy process, once or twice a month, in exchange for healthier and longer hair, is worth it to me.
I don’t know of any other ways of getting around this arduous process, but to accept it, and to grind down to getting it done. There aren’t any secrets. So, if you opt to include finger detangling in your routine, breathe through feeling overwhelmed and try some of the tips below.
Tip 1. Pace yourself. Break the process into smaller chunks of time during your wash day.
Tip 2. Pop in a movie, or two, to distract yourself as you work.Tip 3. Incorporate finger detangling into your hair regimen slowly- perhaps, try it once a month, to see if it’s a method you could really commit to.Tip 4. Take it easy. Try finger detangling the more fragile sections of your hair, and gently brush detangling the hardier sections.
I’ve included a pictorial for you Liz, and for anyone who’s sketchy about incorporating this method into their routine.
4–5 week old loose twists
I begin by gently unraveling my hair. You can choose to do this on dry hair like I did, or you can lightly moisten your hair with water to make the strands more malleable to work with.
Knots always occur. I tease them apart as best as I can, and only resort to snipping them off with my scissors, if they are impossible to remove manually.
Splits are also trimmed off as I come across them. Look carefully, you’ll notice the mid-strand bubble splits that serve to torment my existence. Once these occur, I trim a few centimeters above the bubble split, to ensure that I’m creating fresh blunt ends.
As I mentioned earlier, you can choose to dry detangle with just an oil, but depending on the dryness of your hair, you can still suffer breakage. Small bits of your ends can still pop off easily without proper lubrication. I highly recommend softening up the hair with a modest amount of conditioner, to combat this.
I coat my hair with conditioner, and tease the strands apart, releasing remaining shed hair.
Tedium has its rewards, and ultimately, once I’m done, I always feel like a superhero; comfortably detangled hair with nary a brush or comb in sight.Like hell yeah! I did it!
Truth moment- I had to split this session up over a few days, because I kept starting it late at night. The crinkles are the four unraveled giant braids I kept the detangled sections in. In the mornings for work, I’d simply bun everything up.
It takes works, true. But, you can do it. However, you gotta be honest with yourself.
What are your hair goals, if you have any? Are you trying to gain length? Thickness? Ease? Style?
I wanted length, and finger detangling was one method I used to get it.
What are you willing to do, (or not do) to get yours?
Geri is the owner of GeraldinetheGreat.blogspot.com; a down-to-earth, natural hair blog that mixes in healthy hair tips with fun lifestyle anecdotes for women and men with highly textured hair. She is Nigerian American, a classic introvert, a makeup artist, a born writer, and a Bob’s Burgers fanatic.
Follow her on Instagram @Gerimua.