Finger detangling is simply detangling your hair while wet using your fingers to comb & rake through your hair to remove tangles and potential knots from forming in your hair. I began finger detangling about a week or so after I began doing the "Curly Girl Method" and I have been doing so ever since! I no longer use styling tools such as wide tooth combs, paddle brushes, denman brushes, tangle teasers, etc... to comb through my hair. I only use a soft boar bristle brush to slick my hair into a ponytail and I use an old toothbrush for slicking my edges down with Ecostyler gel. As well, I use the end of a rat-tail comb for creating nice part(s) for my hair.
Why I finger detangle:
I finger detangle because I have found that it is more gentle on my hair than using styling tools. Finger detangling allows me to truly feel my hair for any knots as well allows me to see if I need to add extra water or product. Another reason is that finger detangling saves me time and clean up when I am styling my hair. I have much less breakage and can truly bond with my hair and get to know the feel of it a little better. Once I became more comfortable with finger detangling I began to get through my hair much faster than I ever did using styling tools.
Tips for finger detangling:
*Make sure your hair is very well wet with water and a good conditioner or styling product of your choice that offers great slip! Slip - meaning that the product allows your fingers to glide easily through your hair and detangle without much work.
*Finger detangle your hair in small separated sections being sure to apply a good amount of water and product. Separating your hair into small sections allows you to get through your hair faster, more thoroughly, and certainly creates less frustration during the detangling process.
*Saturate each wet section of with the product; smooth your hair in between both hands in a downward motion from root to tip allowing the product to penetrate all strands. After doing so, form your four fingers into a claw and begin to rake your fingers through your hair starting with the ends and working your way up. This way you don't break or pull your hair unnecessarily. Remember to be gentle with your hair as to not break it!
***Note: The average person sheds at least 100 strands o fair per day so if you see long strands of hair that means it is just shaded strands that would normally come off into your comb or brush. if the hair seems much shorter then it may be that your hair has breakage and you want to be more gentle when detangling.
*Finger detangling can be messy and feel little gross at first when having all the product and wet hair in between your fingers. However, if you stick with it and keep a small towel to wipe any excess product from your hands and/or skin you get used to the process and it will become much more comfortable and much easier.
*Keep a spray bottle filled with water, a bit of conditioner, and a bit of oil near to wet your hair down a bit more while detangling each section. You may use just water or add in some aloe vera juice to your mix if you prefer!
*Some people finger detangle in the shower which is what the "Curly Girl Handbook" written by Lorraine Massey suggests. I however, detangle my hair in sections while in the mirror so that I can truly see my hair and be sure of what I'm doing and that I am getting all of my hair in the process.
*If you are afraid of your hair tangling back up while in the process, you may twist, clip, or braid each section as you go through to keep to out of the way. This certainly helps if your hair is thicker or longer.
*I finger detangle every time I rinse or co-wash my hair which is every other day. Doing this while wearing protective styles goes quickly. However, when I wear wash n' go's the process takes a little longer.
*My favorite product for for finger detangling is Tresemme' Naturals conditioner!
*If you are committed and faithful to keeping your hair moisturized, finger detangling will be a great breeze!
Hope this helps! Give finger detangling a try! Not all people like this method so if it doesn't work for you, find what does work for you and keep at it as long as it is healthy for your hair!