It’s 8:45 AM on September 26th and – I am currently sitting here with tears in my eyes… not because of another sad love song, or anything quite that mushy- rather it’s because I am what our aunties and grandmothers have referred to as “tender-headed” and I am struggling to comb through two week old flat twists. These are the moments when I clearly hear the call of the creamy crack… I have what most naturalista’s probably would consider enviable hair, but father God have his MERCY when I’m trying to comb through it! This is the ugly side of natural hair that few people tell you about… the struggle to detangle, the inexplicable knots that form at the ends, the urge to run to straighter and dare I say, more manageable pastures. But alas, I recognize that nothing worth having comes easily and I have learned to take the good with the bad when it comes to my hair. After all, I spent my entire life with relaxed hair, and my natural tresses are going to take some getting used to. As with anything, the more I work at it, the better I will become so hopefully with each style transition the knots, and tears will be fewer.
Here are some tips for detangling your newly (or not so new) natural tresses:
Ends to Root! I realize this advice probably sounds illogical, because we have spent our entire lives coming our hair from root to ends, however when you are detangling, it is important to comb from end to root. Otherwise, you may end up losing a lot of hair, as natural hair tends to knot on the ends.
Moisturize- I will often spray a leave in conditioner on when I am attempting to detangle my tresses, trust me when I tell you a little leave on can go a long way when you are combing out braids. Sherrie Wood, Digital Brand Media VP for Luxe Glam Collective indicated: “ I saturate my hair with conditioner and finger detangle. If I have to use a comb it’s a wide tooth comb”.
Detangle in sections- I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to section your hair off when you are detangling. Even when I’m taking my hair down from braids, or the up do’s that I have grown fond of, I take it out in sections and comb and detangle in small sections. After each section is detangled, I twist it up; otherwise the already daunting task would be overwhelming.
The most important advice I have for my fellow naturalista’s is BE PATIENT… Natural hair can be beautiful but it does require a fair amount of trial and error and incredible patience especially when you are first transitioning.