Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tips for Reducing Tangles and Knots

Morning, curly mamas! I'm going to share some tips on reducing knots and tangles in our hair. One of the biggest problems is hair breakage due to misuse or overuse of certain tools or products. This mostly happens when it's time to wash the hair, and a lot of hair is shed and broken off. Something we've probably heard growing up is to never comb your hair when it's wet, never ever ever! Well, that doesn't exactly have to be the case. We CAN comb our hair even while it's in the most vulnerable state... IF you follow these directions.
1. ALWAYS use a wide tooth comb, aka 'shower comb'. All of those other tiny combs you have stashed in your bathroom are not for use on wet hair. Your hair will fall out with those. Use something with wide teeth. It is best to only comb after shampooing and you're in the conditioning part of your regimen.
2. It is best to prepare your hair for washing, as in use some type of oil to 'soak' your hair in. It can be olive oil, some type of conditioning oil, whatever you like to use. I usually use extra virgin olive oil in mine and my daughter's hair the day before I wash it so it soaks in overnight. The extra moisture really helps. I don't even need to use a conditioner!
3. Wash your hair in sections. This greatly helps. I  have tried it my hair and my hair didn't get as nappy afterward. Part your hair with your fingers in two or four sections, whichever you feel like comfortable with, and shampoo it that way while parted. This greatly reduces unnecessary knots.
4. Use a detangling shampoo. Even if you do not have a sulfate free shampoo yet, use one that detangles, or at least claims to. Much easier to manage your hair.
5. DO NOT be afraid of water! After shampooing, it's okay to re-wet your hair if you're applying a product that works best on wet hair. Another thing we've grown up on is to keep our hair away from water, that water is the enemy. Water is NOT the enemy! Water is good for our hair, contrary to popular belief.
6. Style your hair in sections. If you're already on the natural journey, then more than likely you'll want your curls to show as much as possible. After shampooing and conditioning, use a thick moisturizer on your wet hair, especially if your hair craves moisture. Do not use any brushes. Braid or twist into several sections and let it air dry. I say air dry because it is the healthiest way to dry hair. Heat isn't always needed here, unless you're going for a certain special style. Even then, I would still recommend using a hair steamer such as this one on this website.

I currently do not own a hair steamer yet, but one day I will. I am not an advocate of heat on hair. I barely straighten my hair at all, and I don't blow dry or sit under a dryer like we've all probably grown up doing.
7. DO NOT 'overwash' your hair! I know some African-American women who are constantly washing their hair, like three times a week. That is not necessary at all. Unless you're sweating profusely every day or in a swimming class where your head is always laced with chlorine, there's no reason to wash your hair more than once a week. Our hair requires as much moisture as possible, but sometimes, too much water can dry it out and create more tangles than necessary. Thus, the excessive dandruff and itchiness. Water is not the enemy, but it can be if you overuse it. If you absolutely have to wash your hair more than once a week, then you should not use a drying shampoo. You should consider getting a good co-wash formula or just simply condition it while wet, which I will talk more about at a later date.
These are all the tips that I can think of at the moment. I will add more if I remember any more. Hopefully, I've helped you guys. These tips are awesome on little girl's hair, because even though they may have 'baby hair', their hair is more prone to tangling up because of them being active little girls, running around, possibly having their little heads all over the floor, all that. These tips work on my girl's hair, and her hair is NEVER tangled after washing and she hasn't had any breakage in months. This is due to me constantly studying her hair and studying what works with it and what doesn't.
So, I hope you enjoy my tips and try them out. Let me know what happens! Comment here or on the Facebook page. Happy curling! =)