Taking down finger coils and avoiding tangles and breakage is possible. With some patience while detangling, and using the right conditioners, you can prevent hair damage each time you remove finger coils.

Start by unraveling your finger coils before you shampoo and condition your hair. Separate all the finger coils until they are all loose.

Use a Shampoo that Will Not Strip Your Hair

Use a sulfate-free shampoo that will cleanse curls, removing buildup gently. I like Joico Curl Cleansing Shampoo. I recommend this shampoo, because it will not dry out your curls, and prepares the hair for conditioning and easy detangling.

Use a Conditioner that Combats Tangles

Please do not comb or brush your hair out after you take down your coils. Wet your hair down, shampoo, and apply a conditioner that gives the hair super slip. It is always easy to remove tangles when your hair is wet and conditioner is applied. My go-to conditioners that help detangle and soften natural hair are Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner, Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, and Avlon Keracare Humecto Cream Conditioner.

I recommend the Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner if you need to remove tangles in Type 3c and Type 4 hair. I also recommend using this conditioner if you are going to blow-dry and flat iron your hair, because it does not weigh the hair down, and will leave your hair feeling soft.

Your hair can break if you try to manipulate it while it is dry. That is why I recommend saturating the hair with one of these conditioners before you remove any tangles.

The Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm can be used on Type 4 hair, and it is creamier and heavier than the Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner.  The Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm gives great slip, and if you do not have time to steam your hair or sit under a hooded dryer, your hair will still be as manageable and soft as if you applied heat for deeper penetration.

The Avlon Keracare Humecto Cream Conditioner is not as heavy as the Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, but is not as light as the Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner. You could use this conditioner if you have problems with your ends knotting up after twist outs or finger coils.

Control Your Hair While Detangling

If your hair has a tendency to knot up, especially on the ends, I recommend using a wide tooth comb to detangle.  Start at the nape of your neck, taking small sections and applying your conditioner on the ends, slowly working your way up to the roots. As you apply the conditioner and detangle a section, create an oversized Bantu knot or two-strand twist to keep conditioned and detangled hair out of the way, and in control. Follow this technique until the hair is completely detangled. Let the conditioner sit for twenty minutes, and rinse. Use a leave-in conditioner of your choice. I like It’s a Ten Miracle Leave in or CHI Keratin Leave In Conditioner Reconstructor Treatment.

Maintain A Proper Moisture Balance While Wearing Finger Coils

Prevent tangles and breakage before you take down finger coils by keeping your hair and ends moisturized, which can be done with a butter or cream-based product while finger coils are in.

Have a 3-Month Routine With Trims

It is also important to trim your hair every three months to help prevent dryness on the ends of the hair, and to make detangling a pleasant experience for you or your hairstylist. Trims help prevent breakage when taking down finger coils, because they help avoid the ends of the hair matting together.

Need a visual? Here is another way to remove finger coils.


Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pNQAJzcwivU Have a favorite technique of your own for taking down finger coils? Share it with us in the comments below!
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been edited for clarity.