How to make wash day stress free and easy
Detangling natural black hair can be really stressful to some people. Very tight curly, coily or kinky hair has a tendency to tangle easily and as this type of hair tends to be dry, combing through the tangles would cause breakage. Detangling should not be taken lightly as tangled hair can sometimes get so badly knotted that only a pair of scissors can get rid of the knots! When your aim is to grow your natural hair long then scissors should never be part of your wash day routine!
1. The first step to detangling is to section the hair into smaller manageable sections. 4-6 sections through the head should be enough depending on the thickness and length of the hair. The next step is to lubricate the hair. Apply a small amount of a natural oil on each section and gently pull apart the hair that has clumped together with your fingers (if the hair was in a braided or twisted style). Good oils to use are coconut oil, carrot oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil etc. Rake your fingers through each section to gently begin the de tangling process, you will not get fully detangle the hair at this stage and never attempt to brush or comb natural hair when it is dry.
2. If the hair is especially long or thick then to avoid further tangles, braid or twist the sections loosely then shampoo the hair thoroughly with a sulphate free shampoo. The shampoo will get rid of the oil that you added in the previous step and leave the hair completely clean without drying it out.
3. Apply a deep conditioning treatment of your choice and sit under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes to allow the deep conditioner to penetrate the hair. It is advisable to use a conditioner with either silicones or natural oils as they have the greatest 'slip' and make detangling a dream!
4. While the hair is still wet with conditioner, use a wide tooth comb to detangle each section beginning from the tips and working your way to the roots of the hair. Make sure that each section is completely free of tangles before, re-braiding again loosely and moving on to the next section.
5. Once hair has been completely detangled, rinse the conditioner out of the hair thoroughly with warm water. At this stage, you may want to undo all the braids as all your hair is now free of tangles.
6. You may also want to use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to get rid of any residue that the conditioner left behind. Just mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 4 parts water and stream this through your hair. Work in with your fingers gently and rinse out thoroughly. Don't worry; your hair won't smell of vinegar once it's dry!
7. Finish off with a cold water rinse to help the hair cuticles close and proceed to style as usual. See the article on how to deep condition hair.