Top 10 Detangling Tips for Length Retention

detangling tips

Let’s face it. Detangling your hair can be a chore. Sometimes you just don’t wanna! But…it’s inevitable. You have to let down your mane and get to detangling and removing shed hair….eventually.

If you never detangled your hair, eventually it would just dred up. I’m not an expert on locs but I think the only reason you wouldn’t want to detangle your hair is because you actually want it loc up.

At any rate, let’s assume length retention is your goal. Hence the title of this post!

There are some tips that can help you with length retention when you are detangling your hair. Like to read them? Here they go:

  1. Detangle in sections. Don’t try to remove all the tangles from your hair in one fell swoop. Section your hair in 4, clipping each section out of the way and then work through each section methodically and carefully to remove tangles. If you have longer hair, it may be necessary to create 6 (maybe even 8) sections.
  2. After detangling a section, twist or braid it and then clip it out of the way so that the section-does not get re-tangled.
  3. Detangle on damp not wet hair (unless you are using the shower stream as an aid, and even then you need to be careful) because your hair is stretching, making it prone to breakage.
  4. If dry detangling, always use a lubricating oil to allow for the free flowing movement of your strands.
  5. Finger detangling is preferred for fine hair or hair that’s prone to breaking. You can feel the tangles in your hair with your fingers –  not so with a comb. A comb will rip through your strands before you have a chance to remove the tangle.
  6. Detangle from the bottom up when using a comb (a large tooth comb). When using your fingers, you can detangle some at the roots if that’s where your hair is most prone to tangling.
  7. A combination of oil/conditioner works well on detangling dry hair.
  8. Detangle when you pre-poo. You’ll be prepping your hair and detangling it in one step, cutting down on manipulation which leads to unnecessary breakage (like any breakage is necessary!)
  9. Never detangle when you’re in a hurry. If you’re in a rush, you’ll try to do it quickly (ultimately causing breakage from rough handling). Some detangling sessions can take upwards of an hour.
  10. Keep a pair of scissors handy that you use only for trimming/cutting your hair. If you come across a  SSK (single strand knot), clip it out. You can try to manipulate the tangle out but if it’s in good and tight, you can cause more harm than good to the surrounding hairs by trying to remove it. It’s best to just snip it out. Notice, I said snip, not pop 🙂

Detangling is the favorite part of my hair routine (just kidding). It’s a necessary step in any hair care care regimen. During the process, you can quickly evaluate the condition your hair is in. Does it feel dry? Do you feel lots of little balls on the ends or along the hair shaft?

Putting a little extra effort into detangling your hair will help you retain some of your precious length. If that’s your goal, these 10 tips can help.

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She’s a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their “crown.”


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