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How I Keep My Ends from Tangling, Knotting and Breaking Pt. 4 Portia’s Advice

• May 21, 2015

Our fourth feature is from Portia. Be sure to check out our first feature from Chinwe, our second feature from Elle and our third feature from Geneice.

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In the beginning of my natural hair journey, I big chopped and my hair was short. Therefore, there really wasn’t much to detangle. As my hair grew, it required a lot more maintenance and I wasn’t exactly sure of how to deal with my new hair. Instead of detangling while conditioning my hair, I didn’t detangle at all. I just washed, conditioned, rinsed and styled. I also didn’t sleep with anything (bonnet/scarf) on my head and I wasn’t using a satin pillow case. My hair just kept rubbing up against cotton pillow cases and that left it very dry. This led to tons of knots and breakage. Additionally, I washed my hair with shampoo almost every day. I didn’t know how to get my curls back after the first wash day, so I just kept washing it. Even though I was using conditioner after washing, the shampoo was still drying my hair out severely. I knew as a relaxed girl that you couldn’t wash your hair every day or it would dry out. As a natural girl, I thought the rules had changed. In some ways the rules did change, but not in every way. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had to do something different.

My Aha! Moment

I wouldn’t say I had any revelations. I knew from almost the beginning that I was doing something very wrong in order for my hair to be so tangled and knotty. I also knew that if I wanted healthy, growing hair then I needed to make some adjustments. I started with going back to wearing a satin scarf on my head at night. Even though my hair wasn’t that long, it was still necessary in order to keep my hair from rubbing and breaking. Back then, there was very little information about natural hair care, but I did as much research as I could and I discovered that co-washing was much better than shampooing every day. I also started to use wide tooth combs to detangle and comb through my conditioner after washing. This made my curls pop and stopped breaking while I styled it. I also included different oils in my deep conditioners since my hair is so naturally dry.

Products That Keep Me Knot Free

I love using castor oil in my deep conditioners now. Jamaican black castor oil strengthens, adds moisture, and thickens the hair. I’ve used it in the past before, but stopped for some reason. For the past 6 months, I’ve been using it consistently and I’ve noticed a difference. My hair holds moisture better which leads to less breakage for me. I also have gone back to using a Denman brush. I stopped using it for a while because it was tearing through my hair. However, now I first detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb, then I go back and use my Denman brush. The brush really gets rid of all those tangles and loose hairs that the wide tooth comb may miss. I also love love love to deep condition with Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Hair Mask. It really has kept my breakage to a minimum.

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My Hair Craves Moisture

My hair has always been a tangle and knot zone since I was a child. That was always my mother’s number one complaint. Her number two complaint was how dry my hair was and how it soaked up any product she put in it. My hair is dry and high in porosity, which means it tangles and becomes frizzy very easily. Even though it absorbs moisture easily, it loses it very quickly. I don’t know about you, but my mother didn’t style my hair every day and make sure it was moisturized. She put a scarf on it at night and styled it every few days. She didn’t know that my hair needed moisture more often and that was why my hair was so terribly dry all the time. If my hair becomes too dry, it will knot and tangle like nobody’s business. This is why I’m religious with deep conditioning, hot oil treatments, sealing in moisture, and using heavy butters on my hair. These are the things my hair will always need in order to stay moisturized and tangle free.

Styles That Prevent Breakage

I like to wear my hair free. I don’t do a lot of updo’s and hair styles throughout the week because that means I have to comb, brush, pull and tug – which leads to tangled hair and breakage. I wear twist outs most of the time and leave it be. I may throw in a bobby pin or two or wear my hair in a puff, but it ends there. To keep my twist out throughout the week, I re-twist every other day using shea butter and my styler. On the days that I don’t twist, I wear my hair in a pineapple and put on a satin scarf. I always finger style and never use a comb until its wash day. If I do find myself needing a comb, I make sure I spritz my hair with water first, then apply my products, then twist. Water makes your hair pliable, which means less breakage. To keep my ends from knotting during the week, I finger comb.

My Nighttime Routine

If I didn’t use my satin scarf and satin pillowcase at night, my hair would feel like steel wool and fall out in clumps. Ok, maybe not clumps, but you get the idea. It wouldn’t be pretty. I need silk and satin to keep the moisture in my hair. Like I said previously, if my hair remains too dry for too long, it will knot up. Also, gathering all of my hair into a pineapple helps a lot. My hair does much better if it’s gathered and pulled up in one place, then it would if I were to let it loose and just sleep on a satin pillowcase. When I sleep with my hair loose, it knots and tangles very easily, especially in the back of my head.

How do you keep your ends tangle and knot free?

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6 years ago

Lovely hair and great article. how did you achieve the style above in the blue and white top??

Nicole's Naps
Nicole's Naps
6 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Castor oil has been fantastic on my hair too! I always apply it after I spritz my hair with water. I can’t believe how great it makes my strands glide. It’s a great detangler. My silk pillowcases didn’t last for long, so I stick to silk/satin scarves only.

6 years ago

I have hair that behave exactly like that but it’s really time consuming especially the night before sleeping because i can’t pineapple my hair just stays upward the day after it’s really annoying so i have to twist every single night

6 years ago

Great article! I learned the hard way that I have to detangle well and use a satin cap.

5 years ago

Thanks for the article! I have a quick question though. I keep finding knots in my hair and when I remove them, they’re because of product? Have you heard of this? If so, what do I do?

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