Detangling Afro Hair

Mar 19 , 2021

Nkey Chibuzor

Detangling Afro Hair

Ever woken up in the morning and shuddered upon remembering that you have to comb your hair? The sheer horror of painfully raking a comb through a dry, badly matted hair can keep the lily-livered from combing their hair for days. How about those moments you felt like wailing just seeing clumps of your hair ripped off and tangled up on the comb. 
Tangles and knots are real nightmares. Detangling them becomes a bit of an uphill task when you're trying to maintain natural Afro hair. The naturally kinky and coarse texture of the African hair, coupled with the springy zigzag coil of the hair strands make tangles and knots unwanted but regular visitors to your doorpost. 
Detangling involves unknotting and separating strands of the hair, in order to make it smooth, neat and easy to comb through. Detangling natural afro hair can be quite stressful, especially if you don't know the right way to go about it.
Unknotting matted hair using your fingers, comb or hair brush may seem like the ideal thing to do but it creates a greater risk of hair breakage and split ends. However with the right process and necessary products, it can be as easy as ABC. Before we look into the best ways to detangling African hair, let's find out why hair gets matted.

What Causes Afro Hair To Tangle

  • Lack Of hydration: Dry hair lacks enough moisture, and is easily disposed to tangling caused by friction. Hair dryness could also lead to frizzing and breakages.
  • Wrong bedtime routine: Sleeping without braiding your hair into a protective style exposes your hair to damage and make the strands vulnerable to tangling and breakages. Weave your hair into a loose braid when you want to catch some zzzzz's, or cover it up with a silk or satin bonnet.
  • Comb your hair: Comb your hair at least once a day if you're on your natural hair. Leaving your tresses uncombed will cause your already kinky curls to get rough and kinkier, leading to more knots and tangles. 
  • Heat and chemical treatment: frequent heat or chemical treatment on your hair will damaged your hair cuticles. The cuticles, which is the outer covering of your hair, when damaged becomes rough and open, thus creating room for the hair strands to knot up on themselves.

How To Detangle Afro Hair

  1. Finger detangle first: Try freeing as much knots and tangles as you can with your fingers. With the fingers you're more likely to be gentle with your hair, and it makes it easier for you to gently unravel any knots or resistance you encounter.
  2. Detangle with conditioner: The importance of using a conditioner when detangling African hair cannot be overemphasized. A conditioner helps to soften and smoothen the hair and make detangling easy and less painful. 
  3. Detangle hair in sections: Part your hair down and across the centre, into manageable sections. Detangling your hair in sections will save you more time and stress. 
  4. Start combing from the ends: Start detangling gently from the ends of the hair strands, working your way upwards to the scalp. This will help to prevent breakages.