Let’s Natty Chat….
Well, I have had a few Curl Friends of mine debate over the last few weeks over whether or not it is easier or wiser to detangle their natural hair when it is dry or wet. As Newbie Naturals, we were taught through countless hair forums and tutorials that were to never comb our hair unless it is drenched with conditioner. Then some of us were told or read or saw videos where we could also detangle on damp hair soaked with a little or conditioner. So in what state is our hair weaker or stronger? Are both methods successful? Does hair type or texture make a difference when detangling wet or dry? One thing is certain, that you should NEVER attempt to Detangle on bone dry hair.
FIRST….Let’s take a look at our hair strands & its structure. Understand that each strand of hair is made of keratin proteins (which are strands of amino acids made of chains that are held together). These bonds are broken down when hair is wet, and we all know that hair when wet, it is known to be in its weakest and most vulnerable state, which can make hair more fragile and prone to breakage.
So let’s take a look at the Pros & Cons of the outcome of both of these Controversial Methods.
What it is: This Method is used when hair saturated in water and then coated with conditioner (with lots of slip) in order to easily comb through tangles, knots & to remove shedding. Hair is usually detangled in sections, using more water and/or conditioner as needed to loosen tighter kinks and/or curls, knots, etc.
PROS: This is my Preferred Method on wash days, even though I use a lot of water & a half a ton of conditioner…It is a whole lot faster! One of the benefits is that many of the conditioners on the market are formulated to coat the hair strand, softens & smooths out the cuticles to limit breakage & damage. Even though hair is in its most Fragile state, the hair is more flexible and allows you to temporarily alter & manipulate your hair; curls separate more easily when wet, allowing the conditioner to reduce friction from combs or brushes.
CONS: Lots of water will swell the hair fibre, which is why we get severe shrinkage with curly hair. Curls in its wet state, will break much easier. You have to take extra precaution to handle your hair gently when it’s this wet so heavy-handers…BEWARE! If you have a tighter curl patter, you run the risk of detangling your wet curls & coils, only to have them tangle up again when they are fully dry due to shrinkage. The Curlier the hair is…the more breakage can occur due to curls (especially when wet) that wrap around & curl within themselves. Curly hair is best managed when curls are a little stretched. I tend to not detangle my hair when I’m wearing curly styles like puffs or wash & go’s; I let my curls do what they were designed to do. I only detangle my hair when it’s been stretched from a previous bun or braid style; I find that I put way less tension on my hair when I’m not fighting my curls to behave. I’d rather stretch them then control them.
What it is: Hair is more than 60% dry when detangling. Mist or dampen hair with water that has been mixed with Oil or little conditioner or as I prefer…BOTH! But the Key is that hair is not wet or soaked at all. You can also detangle on fully dry hair that’s been coated with oil for needed slip. I personally dry detangle with my fingers only, every time I pre-poo. I use a combination of Oil & Conditioner or a Conditioning Hair Mask that melts tangles & has a lot of slip.
PROS: Remember that hair is in its strongest state when it is dry. It is best to try to stretch hair first (braid, big twists, banding, etc.) for loosen tight curls & coils. Even though hair is less weak, you still want to Lubricate your hair with an oil to provide a Smooth Barrier when detangling. Dry detangling allows your hair to maintain volume while detangling, which keeps it manageable, instead of detangling curly/coily wet hair.
CONS: One of the main downside to dry detangling is time and patience. If you choose NOT to Lubricate your hair at all, you will run the risk of snapping your hair, producing split ends, and cuticle damage due to hair’s lack of flexibility and pliability. Dry detangling can be very painful and frustrating if you don’t take the time to learn the process for “Your Hair” to eliminate damage and breakage.
*At the end of the day, we know your hair and what regimen works best for us.
Share your thoughts…What Method do you Prefer?
What has been your Pro’s and Con’s?
What Products do you use (if any) when you Detangle?
Leave your Comments below…We would Love to Hear from You!!!
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