If you’ve been following my natural hair journey on Instagram or YouTube, you know that I’m a big fan of finger detangling. I find finger combing and finger detangling to be a gentle alternative for removing sheds and knots from my natural 4c hair. That being said, every so often I like to use an actual comb to remove shed hairs that I may have missed. Combing with a traditional comb also thoroughly detangles my hair leaving it soft and fluffy. Once a year, I go through the process of detangling my 4c hair using three combs.
Only Once a Year?!
Often when I tell people that I use a comb only one to four times a year, I get a look of shock and disbelief followed by quick (and not so quick) glances at my hair. My hair doesn’t look matted or broken. It looks healthy and the length keeps increasing. Everything in their brain tells them that what they’re seeing should contradict what they’re hearing. My hair is healthy, it’s not matted, and it keeps getting longer! Finger detangling has helped me to retain considerable length over the years. However, I like to be sure that I don’t have an excessive build up of shed hair.
Detangling 4c Hair with a Comb
Instead of using one comb, I find using three combs of differing widths helps me to remove any shed hair that I’ve missed during the finger detangling process. It’s also a great way to remove built up shed hair. In the end my coils are smooth and my hair is soft. I prefer to detangle my hair using seamless combs. I find them to be gentler on my strands.
When detangling my hair with a comb, I always coat my hair with a generous amount of my DIY detangling mix. A conditioner with good slip also works well for this process. I reduce the chances of being overly rough on my hair by applying a conditioning mix to my hair first.
Three Comb Detangling Process on 4c Hair
When I start the process, I start with a wide-tooth detangling comb. I find that this comb acts much like finger detangling and does a great job of removing superficial shed hairs.
Once I’m able to thoroughly move the detangling comb through my hair, I switch to a medium-tooth comb. This comb starts the process of detangling my hair and removing shed hairs imbedded in my hair.
Finally, I finish up with a “fine-tooth”comb. This comb has the same tooth spacing as a traditional comb and is not as fine as a rat-tail comb. The purpose of this comb is to catch any shed hairs that truly did not want to be removed. Using this comb isn’t detrimental to my hair because the teeth aren’t extremely close together and the detangling mix helps the comb to glide through my strands.
Helpful Tips for Detangling with a Comb
If one of the smaller combs isn’t able to easily pass through my hair, I move back up to one of the larger combs and continue the detangling process. Once the larger comb can easily glide through my hair, I move back down to the smaller comb.
If I come across a section where using a comb can cause damage to my hair, I switch to finger detangling. Removing knots using my fingers is much gentler for my hair. Once the knot has been unravelled, I switch back to using a comb. If I come across a knot that cannot be unraveled, I use my hair scissors to cut it out.
How often do you detangle your hair with a comb?