The day is here…..the dreaded wash day! Yikes!
Why do naturals dread wash day so much? Or maybe it was just me. But I think it’s in part due to the detangling process. This process can be tedious with some naturals stating it takes them upwards of an hour to detangle. I cringe at the thought of detangling taking that much time. Ain’t nobody got time for that! At least I don’t.
So, what if I told you I can thoroughly detangle my waist length hair in 10 minutes? Yep! It’s true. In this post I will give you a few tips and tools to use that have made my detangling process so much easier. Now if I could just get my hair to not take 10 million hours to air dry….
To simplify things on wash day, I start by sectioning my hair in six sections using crocodile clips to keep the sections separated. I used to create four sections, but as my hair grew, I needed to create more sections to reduce tangling and make sure I was thoroughly cleansing my hair. If your hair is shorter or not very thick, you can probably get away with fewer sections or no sections at all if you have a TWA (teeny weeny afro).
I start by cleansing with a co-wash that has lots of slip. I love the Eden Bodyworks Coconut Co-Wash. During co-washing I can start to release some of the tangles and shed hair with my fingers as I’m cleansing that section. After rinsing out all of the co-wash, I apply my deep conditioner. This product should also have lots of slip. I use a variety of deep conditioners, but I tend to stick with the Shea Moisture product line. I have yet to meet one of their deep conditioners I didn’t like! I allow my deep conditioner to sit on my hair, with heat, for one hour. I noticed the longer I leave the deep conditioner on my hair, the softer, shinier, and less tangled my hair tends to be.
Before rinsing out my deep conditioner, I grab some vinyl gloves. No, I’m not about to clean the house! The vinyl gloves help my fingers glide more effortlessly through my hair. It may sound odd to use vinyl gloves, but trust me, they help!
Next, I grab my wide tooth shower comb. Do not, and I repeat, do not use a fine tooth comb unless you feel like snatching yourself bald!
Last, I grab my cheap conditioner with lots of…..you guessed it, slip. I love the Aussie Moist conditioner. No, it is not curly girl friendly, but I’m not keeping the product in my hair for very long, so it’s ok. I apply this product very generously. As in, when I think I’ve applied enough, I apply a little bit more 🙂
So, did you see a trend? Allow the products to soften your hair and do a lot of the work for you.
Now you’re ready to wash out the conditioners and detangle. This is the part that only takes me 10 minutes. When rinsing my hair, I rinse that section underneath the stream of water; this helps my fingers and the comb glide easily through my hair. I rake the section with my fingers first since it is easier to feels for tangles with your fingers then it is with a comb. I make sure to detangle each section beginning at the ends and working my way up to my roots. I know the section is thoroughly detangled when I can easily run my comb through the section from roots to tips without encountering any tangles. If I happen to feel more tangles along the way, I apply more of the cheap conditioner until that section is tangle free. Then I repeat the process for the remaining sections. Then I’m all done and have clean, soft, moisturized, and detangled hair!
Below is a picture of my shed hair. That is the typical amount of hair I shed each wash day. We shed between 50-150 strands of hair per day and I wash my hair every two weeks.
Wet Detangling VS. Dry Detangling
The detangling process I use is referred to as wet detangling. Some naturals dry detangle. When I first went natural, I tried dry detangling and would lose so much hair! My method was to section my hair and then grab my wide tooth comb and begin detangling before cleansing without adding any product or water. With this process, I noticed that I also had a lot of small pieces of hair around my sink, which meant I was breaking my hair off during the detangling process. So after attending the YouTube School of beauty (lol), I discovered wet detangling and saw how much easier it was and how I lost less hair. Sounds like a win-win to me! But, as always, do what works best for you. It is all about trial and error. If dry detangling works best for you, then by all means, keep using that method. Whichever method you choose, just make sure you are thoroughly detangling your hair to prevent matting and that you are losing the least amount of hair as possible. I know we all wish wash day could take less time, but we must be gentle with our hair if we want it to be healthy and if we want to retain length.
What methods do you use to help you detangle your hair?