Washing and Detangling Natural Hair (Part 2)

Whether your hair is short or long, curly or kinky, washing and detangling your hair can be one of the most intimidating tasks for a natural. When washing hair, you have to remove product buildup without drying it out or creating excessive tangles. In this two part series, we are exploring the washing and detangling process. So take notes, go home and experiment, and report back on how things work for you.

In part one, we reviewed how to wash natural hair.  One of the most important points to remember is that the way you wash your hair can either simplify or complicate your detangling process. In part two, we will discuss the next step in a hair regimen… Detangling.

Here are some quick and easy tips for detangling natural hair:

Detangling Tools:

Fingers, wide-tooth shower comb, denman brush, paddle brush, tangle teezer.

Detangling Products:

Cheapie conditioner, Qhemet Biologics Detangling Ghee, oil, water, aloe vera juice, bentonite clay, henna.


  •  Finger detangling is a great way to work through tangles minus the threat of mechanical damage from combs and brushes.
  •  When using combs on natural hair, it is important to use wide tooth combs.
  •  Comb hair from ends to roots.
  • Detangle natural hair while it is damp. Water allows the hair to be more pliable.
  •  If there is excessive tangling and knotting at your ends, then it may be time for a trim.
  •  A denman brush, paddle brush, or tangle teezer can be used to smooth hair prior to braidouts, twistouts, and wet sets. Those with fine hair may choose to avoid brushes altogether or modify a denman  by removing rows.
  •  Deep condition with heat to soften hair prior to detangling.
  •  Use a cheapie conditioner so that you will not feel guilty using up to half a bottle during a detangling session.
  •  If your conditioner does not have enough slip, add an oil of your choice.
  •  Detangle hair under running water with the use of cheapie conditioner.
  •  Is your hair a little tangled while restyling an old twistout? Try spritzing with an aloe Vera juice/water mix and some detangling ghee to melt through the tangles.
  • Use a satin bonnet or head scarf at night to avoid tangling while you sleep.
  • To slightly loosen your curl pattern and to ease detangling, consider a henna or bentonite clay treatment. Please note that it will not make drastic changes to kinky hair. In curly hair, it may cause some significant changes to your curl pattern so use with caution.

There you have it!  These quick tips should make your next detangling session a little easier!  Do you have any additional suggestions for detangling?

Author: Latoya

Latoya is an academic advisor by day, natural hair enthusiast//writer by night, and wife and mom 24/7. Her last relaxer was in April 2010 and she big chopped in October 2010. Join her as she shares tips and techniques for your natural hair.

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  1. Hi where do you find bentonite clay? Also is there a certain way it needs to be mixed before applying it?

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    • You can get bentonite clay at Vitamin Shoppe or at any local health food store. A simple mix is with water or apple cider vinegar. I like to mix with apple cider vinegar and aloe vera juice. Make sure you mix until it reaches a yogurt consistency.

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