How do you detangle your hair?
Over the years in my natural hair journey, my detangling method has evolved. I used to bring EVERYTHING into the shower with me: Two different combs, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, scissors, a chair (haha jk but I as long I stood in there, definitely felt like I needed a chair!). That was all because I thought I could only manage my hair when it’s completely saturated. Boy was I wrong! Thank heavens I learned some valuable lessons that finally refined my hair regimen. And for my lifestyle, bringing a comb into the shower hurts more than helps. Here are my reasons why:
I don’t stretch my hair to the point of no return
One thing I learned during my hair journey was that hair can stretch about 50 percent of its length! And it’s more prone to do so when your hair is completely wet. Now although that’s a good test to determine your hair’s health, it may not be so good when you’re detangling with a comb.
Because when you’re tugging so hard at the comb to get through your curls, you don’t realize how much you’re stretching your hair, and because it’s wet, it will stretch more easily and snap. Have you ever combed through a section of hair and it literally felt like you ripped one follicle, from the root, out of your scalp (and it really hurts)? Well…you probably DID! And that strand was likely stretched from root to tip before it came out. Hair is more relaxed in the shower (because water is her best friend) so combing through it fiercely sort of catches her off guard.
So NOW, I detangle out of the shower when my hair is damp. This prevents my strands from stretching too much because it’s not as wet and it’s actually a lot easier as I can see what sections of my hair I’ve already combed through. Sometimes I skip the comb altogether and end my process once I’m done finger detangling in the shower.
This method helps my low porosity hair
A tip I discovered that works for my hair is steam. My hair has a low porosity level so it’s tough to get hair products into my hair strands. But steam works wonders I tell you! In this scenario, finger detangling in the shower is optional, but as the steam from the shower opens my cuticle layers, I put conditioner (or leave-in conditioner) on my hair and don’t touch it until I get out of the shower. Once I’m out, my cuticle layers close and hopefully trap water and conditioner inside, which makes it sooo much easier to detangle while damp.
My shower no longer gets clogged
I have yet to find the perfect hair catcher sent from the hair gods (but I’m waiting) and because of that, my hair used to always clog up my shower drain. At first, when I didn’t really care, I just used to let my hair clog up the drain and then fix it every few months (isn’t that horrible?). And when I did discover a hair catcher, it didn’t work the way I expected. As I was detangling, my hair and my hair products even clogged up the drain holes in the hair catcher and turned my shower into a bath! It was a lose-lose situation, because it did prevent hair from going down the drain but it made my shower experience dreadful. I hated wash day.
So now instead of using a comb, I only finger detangle in the shower. I don’t shed (or rip out) as much hair which means I don’t necessarily need a hair catcher (although it still helps). And I’m able to catch the strands that do fall out because I can feel it. When I used a comb, it caught some of the hair in the prongs but not at all, which led to so much hair going down the drain.
I save money (and time)!
Now I don’t have the specific evidence for this (like past bills to compare to my current bills) but just using a good assumption, I know I’ve been saving some money on the water bill. Because instead of being in the shower for literally 3 hours, I’m in there for an average of 30 minutes! Who can hate a wash day like that!?
Not to mention I have one of those old school showers that goes from hot to ice very quickly. I have to be strategic during my shower, so not having to remain in there after it gets cold because I still have half a head to detangle is such a plus!
One purpose in all of my points was to emphasize to you the importance of being observant. I realized I didn’t need to bring a comb in the shower with me because I was observant of all other factors that warranted negative results/experiences. Your natural hair journey should not be a pain it should be enlightening! Remember that!