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All you have to say is the word “tender-headed” and many of us are instantly taken back to sitting between your mother’s legs squirming and crying when she was trying to comb your hair. I wasn’t so much as tender-headed when I was a child (I was the good daughter, ha!), but my younger sister would be in sheer hell as she twisted, cried, poked out her bottom lip, and argued with my mother every time she had to get her hair combed, brushed, or braided. 

Many of those same tender-headed women have learned to wear their hair in styles that allowed them to have less pulling, combing, and yanking. As more women go natural, there is the chore of detangling and some may feel they are reverted back to the days of sore scalps and tears. Asiapeters is one such woman and is looking for answers in our Curly Q&A section.


What is the best way to transition when you're tender headed? I have been tender headed all my life even with a relaxer.


Wear styles that allow for less manipulation, tangles, and pain. I understand that transitioning poses some problems because you are working with more than one texture and in comparison to our relaxed ends, our natural hair is more prone to tangling and sort of going through an identity crisis. No worries as one does not have to big chop just because they are tender-headed and here are a few we love for our tender-headed transitioners.

Be gentle

The days of sitting between your mother’s legs and having her brush and comb your hair are over. What may have been the norm back while we were young is no longer the norm and all that harsh brushing and combing is actually detrimental to your hair, edges, and mood. We need to be gentler to our hair and actually, I mostly finger detangle, rarely use a comb, and would not be caught dead brushing my hair.

Take time during detangling sessions

Transitioners are working with more than one texture, and while that can be a hassle for some, it can be a pleasant experience if you do not try and rush it. Rushing through your detangling leads to yanking and yanking leads to more hairs lost and a sore scalp. You already know your plight so take out the time necessary to detangle patiently with some music, wine, and a good movie so you worry less about how long it is taking and more about how painless your wash day is going.

Use a great detangling product, tool, or conditioner

If you are prone to a tender scalp then make sure your detangler is everything! If you have to splurge on the product that works the best or use a lot then by all means do it since this is a touchy area for you. Not every detangling tool is ideal so you may have to give a few of them a try to see which ones work best with minimal pain.

Opt for stretched styles

A stretched style is not synonymous with a straight style but rather hair that is less likely to tangle. Tender-headed women should steer clear of styles that create more tangles like wash and go’s. Roller sets, two-strand twists, braids, and braid-outs are great for keeping tangles at bay. Make sure to get hair fully detangled so the styles remain less frizzy.

Opt for the wash and go

I may be contradicting myself but someone like my sister who is so tender-headed that braiding or twisting her hair requires screams, the wash and go is ideal for her.  Even when she was transitioning she rocked it and she keeps it moisturized almost daily so her hair rarely tangles. If you are seriously tender-headed and the necessary twisting and braids of some styles is just too painful then a wash and go may work.