5 Ways to Detangle Natural Hair and Limit Breakage

Perhaps one of the more tedious parts of wearing our hair in its natural state, is detangling. We can all relate to those times when trying to detangle – you get tired and start rushing through, unfortunately causing some breakage along the way. But what if there was a way to reduce the amount of time it takes to detangle your hair and reduce the breakage. Here are 5 ways to detangle natural hair and limit breakage:

ways to detangle natural hair
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How to detangle natural hair and limit breakage: Wash your hair in chunky twists

One way to keep your hair strands from intertwining with each other and creating more tangles is to wash your hair in chunky twists or braids. By doing so will prevent your hair from getting flipped over in all directions and getting locked with other strands when washing your hair in the sink / shower. Additionally, the chunky style twists still gives room for you to reach your scalp to get a thorough cleansing. After rinsing, your hair is already parted and makes it easier to do a seamless detangling after taking down the twists.

…Or wash your hair in sections

Another way to detangle natural hair and limit the breakage during the process is to wash your hair in sections. Part your hair how you usually would when detangling and put the other sections in mini bantu knots or tuck them away. While it may take some time, it definitely pays off during the detangling process. Each section will have already been parted, making it less time-consuming to finish combing through.

Use a detangling tool

Detangling tools help to speed up the process, and are a great addition to any natural hair product stash. There have been an array of detangling tools introduced for hair types of all textures. Detangling tools like the denman brush, feature soft pin-shaped bristles that help to detangle and smooth the hair in the process, enhancing definition. 

how to detangle natural hair

Finger detangle + finish with a wide tooth comb

Although finger detangling takes longer, it does provide multiple benefits. For one, finger detangling your hair helps to reduce unnecessary breakage drastically. However, if this process just takes too long, try to first feel out any big knots and use your fingers to remove those. Then, finish off with a wide tooth comb. This method can still help to limit breakage but speeds up the process a bit. As you move on to each section, just do a quick feel-out of any knots and gently remove them with your fingers. The wide-tooth comb will glide through.

Apply conditioner beforehand

Before detangling, make sure you apply enough leave-in conditioner to thoroughly coat the strands. By doing so can help to loosen the tangles and allow your comb to glide through more easily throughout your hair. There are also products made especially for detangling, including sprays and other leave-ins. Throw in an oil for even more slip!

ways to detangle natural hair

Other tips to detangle natural hair:

  • Be gentle – While it may be frustrating and tempting at times to speed through when detangling, try to remain gentle with your hair. Even though our natural hair may look thick and tough, the strands are actually quite fragile. Repeatedly causing unnecessary breakage with your hair strands can cause stunted length retention.
  • Keep your hair stretched when possible – Try to keep your hair in stretched styles when possible to lessen tangles. This will help to keep your strands elongated and prevent them from intertwining with each other as much. Stretched styles can be twists, cornrows, etc.
  • Avoid detangling on dry hair – Since our natural hair is already more prone to dryness, this makes it more prone to breaking off if left untreated. When dry, our hair is typically in a more shrunken state where some of the strands may be interlocked with each other. Combing through without any type of moisture will cause these strands that are already in a fairly weakened state, to snap.
  • Start at the ends of your hair – Start your detangling / combing at the ends of your hair and work your way up. A simple yet important tip, this will prevent a lot of unnecessary breakage in the long run. Combing beginning at the roots of the hair will tear through not only new growth, but all of the other tangles throughout the rest of the hair.


With tips for detangling natural hair in mind, click here to check out more tips for natural hair care:

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