Detangling Techniques for Different Kinds of Hair

Is there any greater pain than the snag of a knot on your hairbrush? Between the physical pain it causes to your scalp and the emotional pain of hearing your hair rip, tangles make for major stress. There are many different ways to try tackling knots and , but the right way may depend on your hair type.

Fine Hair

Fine hair is not really the hardest to detangle but you don't want to risk breakage or fallout from brushing. Those with fine hair often struggle to achieve fuller-looking styles, so it is important to maintain the health and integrity of the existing hair. You want to avoid adding any additional tension and/or stretch to fine hair.

Stretching fine hair leads to breakage and damage. When attempting to detangle fine hair, use a lightweight detangling spray and a wide tooth detangler comb. The wide teeth make combing through fine texture easy and without strain or tension to the hair

By adding a detangling spray, you can help to dampen hair if it has already dried,  always detangle damp to wet hair, that's when your hair has the most elasticity and is less likely to break.

Long Hair

With any hair texture, you should always start from the bottom of your hair and work your way up, slowly, gently, and evenly. This especially true for long hair. If you start at the scalp to detangle, you’re only creating more work, headache, and tension on the hair and essentially making the hair tangle up more.

Take your time and do not pull down on hair. Remember the longest part of your hair is the oldest, be gentle.

If hair is really, really long use detangling comb with wide teeth and a long handle for control to start before brushing. Keep a misting bottle of water on hand as long hair is likely to dry as you are working through it. After detangling wet hair mists the locks with cold water. 

Thick/Course/Curly Hair

Moisture, moisture, moisture. Make sure you have plenty of moisture in the hair from both water and conditioning products.

Saturate and separate. Separate the curls using fingers first. Then use a Bristle Brush from ends to root, brushing through one to two inch sections of hair at a time. Unlike with other hair types, curly hair needs to be detangled wet. It's not possible to brush curls out without causing damage, so most curly stylists recommend reserving detangling for wash day.

Take smaller sections/quadrants of hair, mist the section that needs detangling with a detangling spray, and then start with a detangling or wide tooth comb before moving to a brush. Wide tooth combs are good for thick hair because they can penetrate through thick hair and not tear it, explains Hawkins. 

Damaged/Color-Treated Hair

This kind of hair is very fragile, so avoid adding any additional tension or damage to these hair types. Stretching fragile hair leads to breakage and damage. Approach this hair similarly to coarse or curly hair—damp and deeply-conditioned. Be very generous when applying (you will want to rinse when done), let it sit for a minute and use your fingers (not a brush) and slowly pull strands apart end to root.

Now that you have a boosted knowledge on how to detangle different hair types, you can apply these techniques with your customers to make your life much easier.


Source: Byrdie