Stop for a minute and think about the most challenging aspect of your hair routine. Is it washing your hair? Is it styling? Well, for me it is detangling. I can thoroughly wash my hair in 20 minutes, even less if I wash my hair every 5–7 days. I can make my styles as simple or as complicated as I choose, so on a busy day I spend no more than 5 minutes refreshing a simple protective style. Detangling, however, is something that “takes as long it takes”. By this I mean, the length, texture and thickness of hair dictate the amount of time and effort needed to remove tangles and knots. As a result, some women can accomplish the task in half of an hour, while for others it may take two hours. So, how do we resolve this challenge? Well, if manufacturers of hair utensils are to be believed, it is investing in detanglers designed to help you easily remove knots. These tools, however, can sometime be more harmful than helpful.
The Hair Detangler Revolution
The go-to detangler for hair, the traditional comb, is by no means a new invention. Over time, however, inventors have enhanced the comb in an effort to make hair care easier. As natural hair styling in the United States and other countries around the world, particularly over the last 15 years, became more popular, so too did the demand for hair detanglers designed to manage tightly coiled hair textures.
The Denman brush, which actually functions more like a comb than a brush, is great at separating small sections of hair. This can be quite useful for some styles and for thorough detangling. However, due to the texture of my hair, it would take me two hours to detangle my hair using a Denman, a situation I know would lean to impatience, carelessness and ultimately damage on my part. That being said, my hair never incurred any damage from using the Denman, so although it wasn’t practical I did find it to be hair friendly.
The Infamous Teezer
A few years ago just about every hair vlogger I followed posted a video on the Tangle Teezer. Women were over the moon that this little comb was able to help cut their detangling sessions in half. I was one of those women who jumped on the Tangle Teezer bandwagon and swore that it would be my new go to hair detangler. Then six months passed and I noticed hair breakage and a lack of length retention. I was still vigilant about deep conditioning and protective styling so I couldn’t figure out why my hair seemed to be stalling, even regressing, in terms of progress. The only thing that I changed in my routine was the Tangle Teezer, which I later learned, also led to damage for other women with tightly coiled hair texture. Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad product. It has a near five star rating on Amazon, so clearly it’s working well for many people. The important thing to keep in mind with hair detanglers is that not all hair textures will benefit from an otherwise decent product.
Hair detanglers that try to reinvent the basic design of the comb can be beneficial but they can also create problems for your hair care routine. For the last 3 years, I have consistently used a wide tooth seamless comb and decreased my hair detangling time, while minimizing damage. I have learned that fine tooth detangling tools aren’t necessary because at the end of my day my hair knots and tangles as easily as the wind blows. I simply need a device that will help me to remove shed hair and major tangles. So the next time you come across a detangling comb or brush that seems too good to be true, remember it probably isn’t as wonderful as you think it is.
Have you had success with hair detanglers other than the traditional comb? What are your favorite hair detangling devices?