As a curly, you’re probably used to regular hair detangling sessions either in the shower (while there is lots of conditioner in your hair) or when you're done and your hair is still wet. While this seems like the easiest time to detangle, many curlies absolutely CANNOT detangle in the shower while their hair is still wet. For them, doing so results in a lot of hair, sometimes skinny chunks, coming right out. If this describes you, you’re not alone.

What is Happening

Your hair is extremely prone to breakage and damage while it’s wet. Because of this, some curlies, myself included, cannot comb through our hair while we’re letting the conditioner set. But why is this the case?

One reason could be that you’re tugging too hard as you detangle. Another possibility is that you’re scorching your hair in hot water, opening its cuticle and making it instantly more sensitive, before you apply conditioner and attempt to detangle. Finally, it could be that you’re not familiar with your hair’s protein/moisture balance, which means you could inadvertently be creating the problem by using the wrong products in the shower or handling it too much while it’s wet.

What You Can Do

If you find yourself pulling out a bizarre amount of hair while detangling in the shower, simply don’t do it! Instead, condition your hair as usual and let it set while you finish up, then gently pat it with a towel so it’s not dripping wet. While it’s still wet, apply a leave-in conditioner, such as Curl Junkie’s Curls in a Bottle or As I Am’s CocoaShea Spray, both of which get great reviews from our curlies.

Once you have your leave-in in your hair, work with a wide-toothed comb (or your fingers) and work from the front toward the back getting through your hair. If you’re using a good leave-in, your comb should practically glide through your hair.

Detangling Products to Use

Both detanglers and leave-ins are a godsend for curlies. They allow us to get through hair that we’d otherwise never be able to manage. In addition, the slip that a good conditioner gives will definitely help detangle.

How do you stop breakage during detangling?