How to Detangle

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Once you’ve determined what tools and products will likely work best for your hair, it’s time to decide on a method. Are you going to detangle on soaking wet hair, damp, or dry? There are some definite benefits and drawbacks to each. Let’s spell them out:

Wet Detangling

  • Benefits: The easiest method to quickly detangle hair. The water and conditioner creates an enormous amount of slip, making it easy for the strands to glide past each other and release shed hair. Because hair is wet, it also has increased elasticity which can help prevent breakage. Wet detangling is frequently done in the shower, which makes it convenient to go right into cleansing and conditioning the hair without a lot of fuss.

  • Drawbacks: Requires a LOT of conditioner. I mean A LOT. Although this isn’t a major concern, unless you are on a super strict budget. Definitely only use this method with one of the cost-efficient conditioners mentioned above. Also, although wet hair has improved elasticity, it has decreased tensile strength. Wet hair is weaker, and requires more gentle care.

Dry Detangling

  • Benefits: Uses less product overall. Most dry detangling is done with an oil, such as coconut. Because the hair is dry, it is stronger and can be less prone to breakage. You also have the added benefit of being able to stand in front of a mirror and see your hair, so you can determine how to best tackle tangles.

  • Drawbacks: Sometimes, oil alone is not enough to create the slip necessary for strands to glide past each other and detangle. This can result in knots and wisps of hair breaking.

Damp Detangling 

  • Benefits: Damp detangling is like having the best of both worlds. Hair is wet enough for strands to glide past each other, but not wet enough to significantly decrease tensile strength. Damp detangling often involves a DIY cocktail, which can impart the perfect amount of moisture and conditioning, and double as a pre-poo treatment.

  • Drawbacks: Once your detangling is done, the cocktail has to be thrown out. There’s no way to guarantee that any preservatives from the conditioner or other products can withstand being mixed in a spray bottle for weeks on end. This can be a waste of product, if you end up making too much regularly.

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