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.

Wide-toothed comb

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.

Rat-Tail Comb

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

Denman brush

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.



hey! am glad to read this post because i had been going natural for years, though i skin -cut sha :))….but this time around, i want it to grow long so as to be plaiting it, I have a bad frontal way that looks so scanty….tnx for the tips & coming over to my blog.

Natural Nigerian

Hi, best of luck with your natural hair journey. I had “iyabo” for sometime as well but I managed to reclaim most of that hair back when I went natural.

Lily Johnson

Thanks for the information. I didn’t really care about the kind of combs i had and their names i didn’t even know. (lols) Nice blog you’ve got here.


Nice blog. Taking real shape. I like your attention to detail (choice of pictures, crediting sources etc). Great work cousin.


Very nice, a picture of the traditional wooden comb would have been a nice touch IMHO. Quite informative and on point.

Natural Nigerian

You are right. I was away on vacation when I did that post and so could not photograph my comb (which was at home). Will try and update the blog with a picture of the wooden comb.

A Simple Thing

I like this blog already! I have a Denman D41 – I used it last year and it literally ripped my hair out. It can be really harsh on fine hair, especially the ends. It’s a bit too efficient at getting rid of hair.
However, a lot of people find that that it’s okay when they want definition or something.

Natural Nigerian

Ouch! Did you use it after detangling you hair or was that what you were using to detangle? For the Denman, you need to detangle first.

Regardless of how you went about it, I have heard of others that have had your same experience even after carefully detangling with a wide toothed comb or their fingers. I guess if it doesn’t work for you, you toss it.

Thanks for liking the blog :).


I love your blog and i’m a nappy headed lady too…..! My daughter is 3 plus and I cant imagine scalding her hair with any type of relaxer….! even when I had a perm on, i wouldn’t do it…! My mum did not allow my sis and I to relax our hair until we were out of school….we actually forced her hand cos we went and did it ourselves …almost ruining our hair in the process…lol!
thanks for talking plain and true!

Abimbola Odusote

Thank you for writing about combs, I am going back natural after about 25years of relaxers and my hair is in locks right now to grow it out and will probably keep it that way for about 2years and then take it from there……Thank God for boys no need for haircare except visits to the barbers with daddy…lol

Natural Nigerian

Welcome back to the fold 🙂 – we all started from natural hair, didn’t we?. Do you have locs for real or do you use a kinky braid extension? My transition to natural hair was largely aided by using kinky braid extensions.


Wow, had no idea that there were so many different brushes for so may different purposes. I think its especially time for me to buy a Denman!

Natural Nigerian

Just went over to look at your hair. I think the Denman will be good for you.


I have most of these combs but I barely use any of them. I just use my fingers, it allows me to untangle those knots in a less painful manner and they is quite fast. combs often get stuck in my hair and pulls and breaks too many hair. I still use the rat tail comb when parting my hair for styling.


How about those pick ‘fro combs? I use one of those.
PS. You are doing a great job with this site – it’s been educational.


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