detangling-4c-hair the smart way

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If you can master detangling, you are well on your way to healthy growing hair!

Detangling can me a nightmare. It doesn’t have to be though…  With the correct supplies and attitude , detangling can be a breeze.

Yep, I said attitude. Attitude is everything. Believe that you can do it and think of it as spending quality time with your hair.

You need plenty time. If you are pressed for time, don’t bother touching your hair because you will live to regret it. Rather leave it for another day.

Patience is key. Isneke siyadingakala.




Determine your focus points. Your focus point is your Knot, your kink, build-up. If you do not identify  focus points ,you are bound to experience more breakage. If you had braids for example, your focus points will be the build-up for every braid you remove. You will have many focus points. If you do not have  focus points you can create them by dividing your hair into small senctions- between 6 and 12. You can then make the centre of each section your focus point.

Box braids



You do not want your hair to be soaking wet. in fact, I say, skip the water at this stage all together.

I am sure detangling on wet hair makes complete sense for some hair types but water makes 4C hair particular weak when pulled, so dry works best for me.

detangling Wet hair natral


  • A good conditioner is needed, something creamy ,buttery and moisturizing. You could use a detangling conditioner designed specifically for this purpose and this will save you pain and unnecessary breakage.
  •  Oil such as Coconut oil or Castor. Coconut oil conditions and softens the hair so this is good if your hair is feeling extremely dry. Castor oil is a popular oil as it thickens the hair thus making it feel much stronger. You want your strands to be as strong as possible during the detangling process.



For the sake of a simple explanation I will use an example of someone who is right handed. If you are left handed you can use the opposite hand to the instructions. If you are ambidextrous, good for you!

Now depending on how your hair became tangled in the first place, the method you use could possibly vary. I will explain how you would detangle if you have just removed a protective style such as box braids. You need to focus on the build-up or the knot, not the hair. Make peace with the fact that you will lose some hair – particularly closer towards the centre of the knot. With the left hand, hold the focus point. With the right hand, begin to gently separate a few strands at a time from the focus point.

As you pull , you will notice that the strands that you remove will be clean and the build up will remain in you left hand with the normal amount of shedding that you experienced during your protective style. Continue this process until you have removed every knot along with the shed hair . This will take much longer than you are most likely used to however it will save you hours if not days of continuous detangling as you keep on discovering hidden knots. Also, your hair will be left much cleaner which means you could save wash day for another time. Detangling is an exhausting process and you may just not have the time to  give your hair the right kind of patience and loving  needed during a thorough wash.


Once all visible knot are removed, finger comb your hair. Either by separating the strands or by gently pulling your hair outwards in a quick motion.

Finger combed hair in a high bun


Please use a brush with few  bristles. Add more conditioner and coconut oil as and when necessary.


If you are feeling over zealous and you still have the energy to continue, you may move straight into the brush stage.

lay a section of your hair against the palm of your left hand. With your right hand, brush your left palm. Move your palm with the brush in a downward motion.  The focus should be on the palm and not on your hair. You will notice that you will experience much less tension when using this technique. Do not brush hair that has  extreme shrinkage. If your hair has been in a protective style then it should already be fairly stretched. If your hair is not stretched either because you were not wearing a protective style or you washed it before you read this, rather do three strand twists (amagoda)overnight and then start the detangling process the day after. SO step one of detangling should actually be – Stretch your hair.



Do not comb dry tangled hair from the root, ever. You will lose much more hair than you should.

Do not fight your hair. If you are feeling frustrated simply take a break or ask a friend to help you.

Do not skip oils. If you don’t have a conditioner you can still detangle with just your coconut oil.


I hope this has been helpful.
Stay awesome. Let me know if you try out my suggestions.


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