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FEATURES Jul 12 2012 9:24PM

How to Finger Detangle Hair Using Natural Oils

by Fran of HeyFranHey.com

Believe it or not, if you were to step into my bathroom there wouldn’t be a comb or brush in sight. Considering how much hair I have, people find that pretty hard to believe. But the truth of the matter is, the reason I’ve been able to retain so much length and fullness is because of that very fact! Even being a veteran natural, I had the detangling process all wrong for so many years. And was guilty of falling prey to every comb and brush trend in the natural hair market. Once I stumbled across the simple world of finger-detangling with a natural oil, my hair health was forever changed! Here are a few tips on getting started.

Detangling Before Washing

When your hair is wet, it is in a very fragile state. The water causes it to stretch, making it more susceptible to snapping off. I used to jump under the shower with my hair full of tangles and try to run a denman brush or wide toothed comb, loaded with conditioner, through my hair while it was soaking wet. I would lose so much hair with each wash! Even with the large amount of hair loss, I continued to detangle my hair the same way for years, assuming it came with the territory of having lots of natural hair. What made me rethink the process was how slowly my hair seemed to be growing. Not to mention how thin and shapeless my wash and gos were beginning to look like after an extended period of time. Something had to be modified!

I asked myself, what if I were to jump into the shower with my hair already detangled? Wouldn’t that drastically minimize hair loss? I began to add rich creams to my dampened hair, before washing, and brushing through it all in really small sections. Once fully detangled, I would jump into the shower as usual. I noticed a major improvement immediately. It was almost half the amount of hair loss. I remembered reading blog posts where people were suggesting adding oils to the hair before washing to help minimize dryness and breakage. I decided to swap the creams and spritz bottles and try an oil instead. Way healthier and more economical! I purchased a large jar of organic coconut oil, being that it’s one of the most moisturizing, and divided my hair into small sections. The beauty of oil is that you don’t need water to help it penetrate, so the process was even simpler. I grabbed one of the small sections, coated it with coconut oil and noticed, immediately, how buttery soft my hair began to feel. This inspired me to ditch the brush, altogether! I began to finger-detangle a small section from the ends up to the root. Once I was done, I jumped into the shower and cleansed as usual. The loss was almost a third of the initial amount! The fact that it was tangle free, and even moisturized, before hitting the water made a huge impact on my wash process. I’ve been doing this method for two years now and have noticed my old fullness coming back. Not to mention, the less hair that snaps off, the more you’re salvaging, so length retention is at an all time high! In my opinion, finger detangling is the golden ticket.

Natural Oils

Not every oil is made for finger-detangling. It’s best to use the ones that penetrate, as opposed to oils that sit on top of the strand, since moisture plays a major part in this method’s overall health benefits. Out of all the oils I’ve tried, coconut is definitely my favorite and go-to jar. However, I know there are people who have a hard time using it, complaining of brittle hair and various other side effects.  Coconut oil penetrates because of its small molecular structure, which is able to enter the hair shaft. However, it’s not the only one you can use. Olive oil and Avocado oil are also extremely beneficial options. I’ve used all three and have had fantastic results!


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