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PHOTO COURTESY OF AFRICAN EXPORT

When people complain about the drudgery of natural hair, chances are they’re referring to detangling, the arduous and mind numbing process associated with keeping curls and coils from sticking together tighter than a sorority. Let’s face it. Rocking curly hair is awesome, but trying to maintain it as it has settled into a gravity defying, fluffy shape…not so much.  

Keeping textured hair detangled can be a frustrating, time-consuming task, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m convinced there is a lazy naturals way to tackle all natural hair tasks, which is why nearly all of the videos on my TribeCalledCurl YouTube channel demonstrate the easiest ways approach styling and maintenance. If done correctly, detangling can also be quick and (relatively) painless for those with sensitive scalps. Some might even call it easy. Ok, maybe easy is pushing it, but it sure doesn’t have to be hard. Here is the lazy naturals way I detangle in under ten minutes flat.

Saturate my situation

Anyone who attempts to comb her hair dry is a glutton for punishment. To avoid both crying and tearing the hair from my scalp, I make sure my hair is completely saturated with water before detangling. My favorite time to detangle is on washday after I’ve slathered on a conditioner or co-wash with lots of slip like Eden BodyWorks Coconut Cleansing CoWash, which helps me zip through tangles, mats, and knots. When detangling in between styles, I saturate my hair with the following conditioning cocktail before combing:

  • 92 oz- conditioner like Curls Milkshake
  • 2 oz- aloe vera juice
  • 4oz- water
  • 2 oz- olive oil 

Section hair

Textured hair is best combed in parts, and I find that dividing my hair into sections makes detangling easier and faster. I always create at least four sections, but if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I do six: two in the front (loosest and waviest), two at the crown (pen-spring sized coils), and two in the back (diameter of a pencil).

Start at the ends

Combing from ends to roots helps remove shed hair while minimizing breakage and painful scalp tugging. It’s the only way I comb my hair, wet or dry; that was a trick statement. Actually, I never detangle my hair dry. I hold each section firmly near the ends and rake the comb through, repeating the process as I work my way up the hair shaft. If my curls are especially matted, I’ll finger detangle first.

Once I can run a comb easily through each section, I consider it complete and move on to the next. I repeat the process throughout my entire head, which takes roughly ten minutes, sometimes even less since I had my ends trimmed. I detangle about three times a week, though the need may vary according to your texture. Good luck with your own detangling mission and may the force be with you.

What elements have you added to or subtracted from  your detangling session to make it more efficient?

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