How to Detangle Natural Hair (Complete Guide)

detangle natural hair

What causes hair to tangle? It does not matter if your hair is relaxed or natural, detangling takes time and takes even extra effort when it comes to natural hair.

Hair tangling is likely to happen as a result of friction between the hair cuticles as they move around and rub against each other and this is a common process to deal with on natural hair texture as you can’t soften with chemicals like you would with a relaxed hair and regardless of your hair texture, detangling once or twice a week is essential.

You need the patience to detangle your natural hair type without causing too much breakage or damages and there is no magic formula to getting rid of tangles other than using products that deliver slip and is not too heavy on your hair to make it easy for detangling

Whether your hair is long, short, straight, or curly, you probably have to deal with hair that is tangled at some point detangling is a crucial part of hair care for all hair types. Read on to discover how to detangle natural hair without ripping it out.

Should you detangle natural hair wet or dry?

Detangling takes lots of patience, gentle touch, water, and deep conditioning and this means you should always detangle your curly hair when it is wet and preferable after washing, this limits breakage considerably.

It is also best to detangle your curls before using shampoo, shampoo tends to make the hairs stick together and you don’t want to have more tangles hence add conditioner to your hair and detangle.

Tips On How to Detangle Your Natural

Detangling is simply using a wide brim comb or hair care tool to brush through your hair and detangling is a crucial part of all hair care routines and it is important to learn how to properly detangle your natural hair to ultimately get rid of tangles and shed hairs that can cause knots, mating, and breakages.

Below are simple tips expert has provided to help you detangle to avoid split ends and damaged cuticles.

1. Wet And Condition Your Hair Then Detangle It In Sections

Short natural hair hairstyle

Your hair needs lubrication to allow you to detangle with ease and wet hair with lots of conditioners will not only make detangling easy but also minimize breakage.

Natural hair can be a bit on the dense side, swiping a comb through it without sectioning it first can lead to missing a lot of knots which is why you should section it into about 6-8 sections and it’s a good idea to twist or braid the section after you are done detangling it, this will prevent it from tangling again.

2. Don’t Start At The Root When Detangling

It is best not to start at the root when detangling, this helps to reduce the tension on your hair in that area. Start from the ends and work your way to the root as the hair is usually dense in the middle which means detangling the difficult parts first to reduce breakage.

3. Use Finger Detangling Before Using Brush Or Comb

2c curly hairstyle
Source; Natural hairstyles

Finger combing or finger detangling is one of the cheapest ways to detangle your hair and it’s very effective especially for fragile 4c hair types. When you detangle with your finger before using a comb or brush, you can easily feel the knots and the tangles and use your finger to release them easily.

If you find the finger combing process not to be thorough enough as it is not something to solely rely on, you can definitely use a comb or brush to ensure you are separating those strands well and removing shed hairs.

4. Use A Proper Comb Or Brush

Combing and brushing your hair to detangle your hair should be done gently and with care which requires using the right comb and brush. Some combs and brushes are better than the other, combs with tiny brushes are not easy to use on tangled hair and might cause shedding. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush with hard, wide bristles and a rubber base.

The best styling and detangling are achieved if you use the proper comb to ease out tangles and a brush to style your hair into shape.

5. Try Using A Detangling Product For Extra Assistance

You can easily work a comb or brush through your hair after using a detangling product to soften the knots, there are some effective detangling products that really do work without causing any damages to your hair. Using a  detangling product keeps your hair soft and hydrated, this also means less snagging and breakage.

6. Be Gentle

Rough detangling will cause you nothing but pain, breakage, and damages to your scalp hence you need to be extremely gentle on your curls when detangling, detangle slowly and carefully and as wet hair is weak, it could easily break. Take your time and treat your hair gently to get the best result.

Why does my natural hair have knots?

How to Detangle Natural Hair (Complete Guide)

When hair is curly and isn’t being treated with chemicals then it’s hard to keep it from getting tangled. Tangles can form when a curly hair strand grows out of the hair follicles and loops itself or other strands causing a knot.

Other causes include manipulation of hair when washing with shampoo that dries the hair out or friction from scarf or pillow.

New read: How to Get Knots Out Of Natural Hair


Knots on natural hair can only lead to breakage and styling can be quite difficult as you can get through the knots and ensure to always detangle your hair in the shower as this is easier and less breakage is done.

Your detangling session will go more smoothly if you do it regularly and there are fewer knots to worry about and it’s also advised to keep your hair in protective styles often and don’t get caught up in the idea that your hair will be 100% tangle-free.

Read more on natural hair care tips:


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