Is your hair breaking all your combs? Careful, you may be risking hair breakage too

Visitor poses during Sao Paulo Fashion Week N47 SPFW Summer 2020 at ARCA on April 23, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Mauricio Santana/ Getty Images
Visitor poses during Sao Paulo Fashion Week N47 SPFW Summer 2020 at ARCA on April 23, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Mauricio Santana/ Getty Images
  • If you have a thick and curly head of hair and you are not a professional hairstylist, there’s a good chance you might have experienced an unexpected snapping sound while you’re attempting to graciously detangle your locks. 
  • Of course, no one wants to have half their hair detangled and the other half in a bind.
  • However, using a comb on your afro while the hair is dry not only risks extreme pain, but breakage - for your hair and your precious comb too.

I prefer to detangle my hair while it's damp with my fingers first and then a wide-toothed comb. It works for the most part but, if I’m going through a thick enough section of hair, there’s always a likelihood that the comb will snap in half.

So, what do you do when you’ve followed all the YouTube videos about how to remove knots and successfully detangle your hair, yet you’re going through more detangling tools than you’d like because they snap into pieces.

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We spoke to natural hair care entrepreneur Kelly Thela from K Hair, and she shares the following tips with us:

First off, the detangling tools you use matter, you don’t want tools that will tug and strain your hair. Kelly recommends you use a good quality detangling brush as “it's kinder to ethnic hair because it helps with preventing breakage”. 

It makes sense why U.S. natural hair bloggers stress the use of the “Denman brush”. Kelly says it is best to find good quality detangling hair tools because a badly made comb is bound to fall apart.

Secondly, moisture before detangling is as important to prevent both kinds of breakage. The key steps when attempting to detangle your natural hair is ensuring it's hydrated and moisturised with hair oils that compliment your hair type.

She recommends adequate application of these oils. "Make sure you don’t starve your ends — your hair starts breaking from the ends,” she says.

She also recommends using a spray of water to get your hair damp enough to comb through if it is dry or it wasn't just washed.

“For detangling, and for maintenance's sake, I do recommend shea butter, coconut oil and castor oil but mostly, this (water) is what I use generally," she says. 

READ MORE: How to protect your natural hair after swimming in the pool or sea

A good detangling technique which will save you time, money and ensure that you keep your full head of hair is to comb the hair in sections rather than all in one go.

“Once you’ve sectioned your hair brush it from the tips going down,” Kelly says.

In addition to this, you should always wrap your hair with a silk scarf before going to bed because not doing so can lead to hair breakage and knotting. 

"I live by it, I make sure my hair is covered every night, regardless of what hairstyle I have,” Kelly says.

READ MORE: Relaxer sales have dropped almost 20% in SA as women choose natural hair

Lastly, Kelly says it’s best to avoid hairstyles that strain your hair and leave you with knots. "Trust me, it creates a cycle of breakage," Kelly concludes.

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