I comb my hair once a week on wash day either in the shower with conditioner on my hair or if I prepoo, I "wet" my hair with avj mixed with a little olive oil and brush it with my denman to detangle. Throughout the week, I use my fingers to detangle if needed.

I'm thinking if you don't brush out your curls, you may not need to braid it every night; you can just keep your natural curl definition by not brushing it away. Maybe just put on a moisturizer and pineapple, bun it and/or put a bonnet or scarf on for bed and your curls should hold up some.