Problems with washing my hair - Help!

It astonishes me that I can be natural for years, and still not know how to wash my hair. Whenever I wash my hair, as in shampoo because my scalp gets disgusting, I ALWAYS get masses of tangled hair. I tried a new technique. Okay, not new, but I tried it again. Putting hair in two braids. Washing the scalp/top of head only and not the ends of hair. Did that. Hair didnt stay neatly into braids like it did for the girl in the Youtube video, but i figured thats just my hair. Got to the conditioning part where I can unbraid my hair and the ends are nice and clean and not tangled...then I get up top and theres blobs of tangled, crazy hair. I end up having to roughly detangle my hair with fingers, and ultimately the comb, ripping out globs of hair and watching it travel down to the drain. It's like, this is part of the reason why my hair "doesnt ever grow." I always find ways to cause breakage it seems, and in the shower I'm ripping my hair out. Its frustrating. SO I have gone weeks, even months, with a dirty scalp before because my hair looks good and I don't want to rip it out. I love having a light co-wash (even though I never do that) or rinsing hair under water. I love wet shower hair. Tangling ruins that for me. Is there ANY way to wash hair without getting masses of tangles? Are some peoples hair types simply more prone to tangling?

I really want my hair to grow, and I want to stop pulling it out in the shower. >:/

There was a time when I would put it into tiny braids and literally use a toothbrush to scrub in between all the braids. That's just too much, and I still got tangled hair, just to a lesser degree or at least thats what I can remember.

It seems like, for my super curly hair, the simple motions of going back and forth in the hair and on the scalp, naturally cause the hair to coil on itself and tangle up. This seems to mean I can never shampoo my hair.

Maybe I should use conditioner and olive oil first in the shower, leave it in my hair, and then try to shampoo the scalp? in theory, that would seem to prevent it from tangling so much because of the conditioner and oil...

Sorry this is long, but I'm frustrated. And sad.
head full of wild crazy kinks and curls
"Make your choice adventurous stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder, til it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."


"I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'this is fiction.'" -Ian McKellen
Im sorry to hear that, maybe you can try four section instead of one and instead of the braids use ponytail holders

What I do is add an oil to my hair prior to washing and then section the hair off into four sections

As im applying the oil I lightly finger detangle my hair. I then wet one ponytail to get the hair slippery and then I take a little shampoo and focus on my scalp and let the water run down the hair length ( while still in the ponytail)

After I get the scalp in that section clean, I take the ponytail off, and rinse the section fully while rubbing the pads of my fingers on my scalp while the water is running down. I put the ponytail holder back on and repeat to the other three sections

The key to all of this is that I do not wash my hair in the shower, I can only do this over a sink. Takes me 10-15 minutes top.


hope this helps a little
i guess i should also add that it never gets really clean. im deep conditioning now and my scalp is still gross. maybe i really do need to go back to scrubbing toothbrush directly on scalp in several braids. :/
head full of wild crazy kinks and curls
"Make your choice adventurous stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder, til it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."


"I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'this is fiction.'" -Ian McKellen
Im sorry to hear that, maybe you can try four section instead of one and instead of the braids use ponytail holders

What I do is add an oil to my hair prior to washing and then section the hair off into four sections

As im applying the oil I lightly finger detangle my hair. I then wet one ponytail to get the hair slippery and then I take a little shampoo and focus on my scalp and let the water run down the hair length ( while still in the ponytail)

After I get the scalp in that section clean, I take the ponytail off, and rinse the section fully while rubbing the pads of my fingers on my scalp while the water is running down. I put the ponytail holder back on and repeat to the other three sections

The key to all of this is that I do not wash my hair in the shower, I can only do this over a sink. Takes me 10-15 minutes top.


hope this helps a little
Originally Posted by shawnyblazes
i applied oil prior to as well. i was going to do it over the sink but i live in a dorm so its a bit inconvenient. i might just have to do that next time though.
head full of wild crazy kinks and curls
"Make your choice adventurous stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder, til it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."


"I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'this is fiction.'" -Ian McKellen
CoaCoaBean08, do you detangle before shampooing? I used to get plenty of tangles in my hair when I shampooed no matter what type of shampoo I used. I figured that if your hair isn't detangled before shampooing, you could get even more tangles while shampooing. Shampoo tends to make the hairs "stick" together and mat.

So what I do is right before showering, before I even step in, I spray my hair so that it is damp and I detangle with my fingers. Then, I get in the shower and let the water run all over my hair. I separate my hair into four sections, clipping back three of the sections with alligator clips. I then detangle the section of hair again with my fingers. Before I even touch the shampoo, I massage my scalp and rub/scrub it gently just as if I were shampooing. This massaging loosens up the dirt on my scalp so that I don't have to use as much shampoo, and so that the shampoo does not have to do the loosening, just the cleaning away. This makes the shampooing more effective, and this way, I don't have to use tons of shampoo. As a result, I have a much cleaner scalp. I then do the same to the other three sections. After shampooing that one section, I rinse it out completely and repeat the same thing to the other three sections. After the detangling, massaging, shampooing and rinsing, I apply conditioner to my hair and detangle yet again. And guess what - no tangles for me anymore!

I only detangle with my fingers. You could try detangling with a comb or with a Denman-like brush. You could also detangle with olive oil or conditioner for extra slip. Hope that helped

It seems like, for my super curly hair, the simple motions of going back and forth in the hair and on the scalp, naturally cause the hair to coil on itself and tangle up. This seems to mean I can never shampoo my hair.
Originally Posted by CoaCoaBean08
Just a few tips that have helped me...

1. The back and forth type movement while shampooing is a no-no. You should just be massaging small areas with the pads of your fingers.

2. Lather up the shampoo in your hands and then apply it to your hair. Don't pour shampoo directly onto your scalp/hair. This way, it spreads much more easily (which means you don't have to use vigorous scrubbing movements).

3. Leave your shampoo on longer. I know that seems crazy to a lot of people but it is key for me. I have to give the shampoo time to work. So after I've gotten lather all throughout my hair, and massaged all over my scalp, I then leave the shampoo on for at least 5 minutes. Doing this keeps me from scratching my scalp clean (which is a horrible thing to do).

And I think you're on the right track. It's a great idea to detangle your hair before you shampoo. I used to saturate my hair with conditioner, finger detangle, and then braid the sections before even getting in the shower. It makes things much easier once you add shampoo and I still do it now if my hair is super tangled for some reason.

It astonishes me that I can be natural for years, and still not know how to wash my hair. Whenever I wash my hair, as in shampoo because my scalp gets disgusting, I ALWAYS get masses of tangled hair. I tried a new technique. Okay, not new, but I tried it again. Putting hair in two braids. Washing the scalp/top of head only and not the ends of hair. Did that. Hair didnt stay neatly into braids like it did for the girl in the Youtube video, but i figured thats just my hair. Got to the conditioning part where I can unbraid my hair and the ends are nice and clean and not tangled...then I get up top and theres blobs of tangled, crazy hair. I end up having to roughly detangle my hair with fingers, and ultimately the comb, ripping out globs of hair and watching it travel down to the drain. It's like, this is part of the reason why my hair "doesnt ever grow." I always find ways to cause breakage it seems, and in the shower I'm ripping my hair out. Its frustrating. SO I have gone weeks, even months, with a dirty scalp before because my hair looks good and I don't want to rip it out. I love having a light co-wash (even though I never do that) or rinsing hair under water. I love wet shower hair. Tangling ruins that for me. Is there ANY way to wash hair without getting masses of tangles? Are some peoples hair types simply more prone to tangling?

I really want my hair to grow, and I want to stop pulling it out in the shower. >:/

There was a time when I would put it into tiny braids and literally use a toothbrush to scrub in between all the braids. That's just too much, and I still got tangled hair, just to a lesser degree or at least thats what I can remember.

It seems like, for my super curly hair, the simple motions of going back and forth in the hair and on the scalp, naturally cause the hair to coil on itself and tangle up. This seems to mean I can never shampoo my hair.

Maybe I should use conditioner and olive oil first in the shower, leave it in my hair, and then try to shampoo the scalp? in theory, that would seem to prevent it from tangling so much because of the conditioner and oil...

Sorry this is long, but I'm frustrated. And sad.
Originally Posted by CoaCoaBean08
My hair tangles very easily as well.

I shampoo my scalp and hair with my hair in twisted sections (between 6 to 10) and I dilute the shampoo. For every two capfuls of shampoo, I add one cup of water in a separate container that I can pour over each twist individually. But before a drop of water or shampoo hits my hair, I very thoroughly finger detangle it. And I mean I make sure all major tangles are out of the hair with my fingers. When I'm done finger detangling, I can run my fingers all the way down from the roots to the ends without catching it onto any snarls and tangles.

I then apply my prepoo oils (avacado oil, olive oil , and just a tiny bit of carrot oil) to the hair strands only and leave on 20 minutes (with a heat cap, I have low porosity strands so I have to open the hair shaft with heat).

When I shampoo my hair I wet and shampoo each twist one at a time and if one or two come loose (which always happens) I immediately retwist while I hold my head under the shower head so the water and pressure can discourage the formation of any new tangles. After cleansing each twist, I immediately apply my DT/RO conditioner (again with the hair still in twists), let it stay in for the prescribed time then before rinsing the conditioner out, I gently untwist and comb through each twist, again one at a time, (starting at the ends and moving up towards the roots) with a wide tooth comb. I retwist as I comb out each section then jump in the shower for my final rinse out. Again, if any twists come loose while I'm rinsing, I retwist under the strong water stream from the shower head. By the time I apply my LI and styler, my hair is soft and free of all tangles and I've lost only the minimum of hair (shed hairs that would have fallen out anyway).

This sounds like a lot of work and time consuming, but it's become so routine for me (since I do it every week), it's really not that bad and I am definitely seeing the results of much better length retention when I handle my hair this gently and take these steps versus the way I was doing things (not finger detangling first and not washing in sections and ripping through tangles like nobody's business because I was soooo frustrated).

Addedum:
Twisted sections work better for me as opposed to braided sections even though braids hold better in the shower stream and generally don't come loose when shampooing/conditioning the hair. When I braid my hair then wet it; however, it's hard for me to take them back down without getting very, very frustrated and snapping too many hairs because my hair has ALOT of shrinkage, and braiding it then wetting it seems to create tangles in my hair because it shrinks up and winds around itself and becomes a tight, compact braid that doesn't want to loosen. Not fun...

But everybody's hair is different. You might try the method I described with braids instead of twists that way you won't have to worry about the sections coming loose during any part of the process.

HTH!
Me Fascina El Pelo




Low Porosity; Medium Strands; Dense

Last edited by belwillcoily; 01-24-2011 at 09:53 AM.
What shampoo do you use? Is it sulfate and cone free?
I noticed when I switched to Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo versus a cone and sulfate shampoo, my hair did not have the stripped feeling and it didnt tangle as much.
thanks for suggestions, I'm going to apply some of these next time i wash my hair, such as loosening the grime from scalp before shampooing. That sounds like it just might work.

just a follow up, I dont use cones or sulfates. i use the tea tree shampoo from desert essence, which is sulfate free. I also use dr. bronners castille soap and shikaki soap, both sulfate free.

I did detangle with fingers before hand.

i think the suggestion i just pointed out may help significantly. I might re-wash in a week or two to see if it does. i may also leave conditioner and olive oil in while shampooing.

thanks again for replies. On the bright side, I had a good hair day, so that lifts the spirits.
head full of wild crazy kinks and curls
"Make your choice adventurous stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder, til it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."


"I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'this is fiction.'" -Ian McKellen
I'm late to this thread, but I detangle my hair with conditioner and section my hair in 4 braids prior to washing. I totally understand the OP regarding tangled roots after taking the braids down. This happened when I was only using 2 or 3 sections of braids, so I suggest washing with more than 2 braids.

4a fine, thin, high porosity
Poo: SM Y&B, BT TT
C: HE Reconditioning, Suave Almond and Shea
DC: CJ CR, CJ RM
LI: JC DT
Curl Cream: RN BWCC, CJ CCCC
Gel: CJ AFG
Refresher: SM Thickening Mist, SM Y&A Milk, CJ CIAB
Moisturizer: CJ SL, SM CES
Ok I didn't read all the responses but I think shawny had the best idea, try to do the 4 loose ponytails, soap up your hands and then massage your scalp. While those ponys are still in, you can smush shampoo on it, like squeeze it through the length of your pony. Also kimmaytube show a 'buffering' method for when she shampoos that cuts down on the squeaky clean and hard to detangle part. She smoothes her hands down the section of hair from root to tip, using both hands with the hair inbetween. Then before she rinses she adds a little conditioner and smoothes that in so that its not over dry from the shampoo.
4a/b hair that fro's more than curls!
Co-Wash: Tressemme', HE, Avon
Leave In: SM Shea Butter Conditioner. SMCH Smoothie
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Stylers: Aloe Vera Butter, Eco Styler on dry hair, SM products
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