Our natural hair is usually described with words like coarse, kinky, knotty, rough and hard. A word that is scarcely used is delicate. It may surprise most but our kinky hair is delicate and should be handled as such. Handling it otherwise leads to tangling and breakage.
The purpose of detangling/ combing hair is to remove shed hair so that it does leave your hair a knotty nightmare. You shed hair every day and this shed hair does not necessarily fall out. Shed hair generally settles amongst other hairs on your head….a tangling party is always going on on your head. That is the reason why it is important that we take time to detangle/comb our hair every so often.
One of the easiest ways of committing hair suicide is to use the wrong sort of comb. Even when you do have the right sort of comb, over-combing is not a good idea as our hair does not like a lot of manipulation. Natural hair really does not need more than 2 -3 types of combs and perhaps one brush.
To make things easy, here are the combs that I would recommend and a few tips on selection and use.
This is the most important comb in your arsenal as it is very versatile. It can be used for styling, detangling and making lines in the hair.
For parting your hair precisely, either to place products on your scalp or in order to style your hair, you can use the tail part of a rat tail comb or the local wooden comb. I personally use the local wooden comb.
Don’t ever feel tempted to use this comb to detangle or style your hair. You may as well just hang nooses around each individual hair and kill them (I can be soooo dramatic, lol!).
If you don’t have a rat tail comb or a wooden comb, you can use a chopstick or even your fingers to part your hair.
This is hands-down the best way to detangle your hair. However, it takes a long time as you have to section your hair properly and then section into smaller sections that you can work with. With each mini-section, you run your hair from root to tip and detangle. Patience is a virtue when using this method. The pay-off is that you have almost no hair loss. You get rid of the shed hair and that is it.
Let me share with you some other combs/brushes that are popular among those with natural hair:
Ouidad detangling comb
I do not own any of these so I cannot really comment on them.
Tips for choosing a comb
Run your fingers around the comb and make sure that it seamless. If it has any excess plastic bits, don’t buy it as these will snag on the hair. You know how it is when you have hang nail and you run your fingers through your hair? Yeah, you have hair getting caught on that nail. Imagine doing the same thing with a comb that has excess plastic or wood hanging out of it. It will grab a hold of a lot of hairs and yank them out of their roots. Apart from the fact that this can be painful, it is also an unnecessary waste of beautiful hair.
Also, ensure that the teeth of your comb are equally spaced apart. There is no point buying a wide-toothed comb that has its wide teeth set close together. It totally defeats the purpose of using a wide toothed comb.
Whatever method you choose, please remember that you absolutely should not detangle or comb your hair while it is dry (a post on this later). Always have conditioner in your hair either in the form of a leave in conditioner or a real thick conditioner.
All pictures of combs/brushes came from this source.