Photo by Xavier Messina
For those blessed with the stunning beauty of 4C hair, you also bear the responsibility of detangling. Managing the tight coils and kinks characteristic of 4C hair requires a lot of patience, a very soft hand, and the right techniques. In this guide, we'll explore the art of detangling 4C hair, ensuring a breakage and pain free experience that nurtures your gorgeous locks!
Step 1. Start with water
Before reaching for the comb, reach for your water bottle instead. You can mix some conditioner to soften your hair a bit more or use plain water. Make sure to spray a generous amount of water mixed with conditioner (and if you’re fancy, you can just use a detangling spray) to begin the process.
Step 2. Sectioning is key
Divide your hair into manageable sections, preferably four, but you can do more. This not only makes the process more organised but also prevents unnecessary tugging, which causes breakage. You can use hair clips, bands or scrunchies to secure each section.
Step 3. Finger detangling
This step is super NB. You need to start the detangling process with your fingers before using a comb. Gently work through each section, feeling for knots and tangles. When you find a knot, loosen it with your fingers. Finger detangling allows you to have better control and minimises stress on your hair caused by combing.
Step 4. Choose the right comb
Now that you’re done finger detangling, it’s time to move on to combing. But before you do that, you need to make sure you have the right comb. Always go for a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush with flexible bristles. Start from the tips of your hair and work your way upward, gradually tackling the knots.
Step 5. Work your way through the sections from ends to roots
Work on small sections at a time, ensuring that each section is fully detangled before moving on to the next. Always detangle from the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots, not the other way around. This method helps prevent breakage because, when you start from the roots, it increases tension on the hair shaft. By starting with the ends, you clear the path for your comb.
Remember, technique will get you in the game, but patience will take you all the way to the finals. Moving from steps 1 - 5 shouldn’t take you anything under 20 minutes. Rushing through the process can lead to breakage and damage, so take your time, be gentle, and detangle away.
Getting detangling right will not only make unplaiting less painful, but it will also spare you a lot of hair loss and damage.