How to avoid it
- Updos are the best way to avoid tangles. If your hair is in a bun or a braid it won't have the chance to move around while you move or while wind blows on it, which will prevent it from getting tangled. Updos also keep the hair from rubbing on things (clothes, the backs of chairs, seat belts, etc.) and from getting caught on things (fans, doors, your/other people's jewelry, etc.). Buns are the best alternative for this but braids will also offer lots of protection. Make sure you use something that's hair and scalp safe for your updos (no elastics with metal holders, no claw clips with rough edges, etc.), some good alternatives are: hair sticks, hair combs, spin pins, u shaped hair pins, flexi8, ficcare, etc. (they can hurt your scalp if you're not careful with them, so be gentle and don't rush).
/Silky Pillowcase, scarf
or sleep caps are a great way to protect your hair while sleeping. This also prevent the notorious sleep/pillow hair. Cotton can deplete your hair of moisture and cause mechanical damage from rubbing as well as cause tangles while sleeping. The best way to prevent damage and tangles while sleeping is to wear a braid or a bun (on top of your head) and make sure it (your hair) only touches satin or silk (the slippery part of the fabric). From my own experience a scarf works best, although in the summer it can get too hot so I switch to a pillow case.
- Do not pile hair on top of the head or rub it together while washing. Not only is your hair at its weakest when wet, this also causes major tangles. You should apply your washing product then gently massage your scalp with the tips of your fingers, and run your fingers through your hair if you want to distribute it into your length. For an easier time I suggest detangling before getting in the shower and doing it while standing up (in stead of bent over) so you don't change the direction of the hair.
- Do not rub your hair with a towel. This will cause tangles and breakage. Instead just squeegee the water out of your hair and wrap it in a towel (microfiber towels
are the best, but an old cotton t-shirt is a good alternative).
- Condition your hair. Dry hair is prone to tangles so use a good/heavy conditioner, do deep conditioning (or oiling) treatments or use a leave-in conditioner (or oil).
- Remove build-up. Build-up can cause hair to feel dry and be prone to tangles. (Build-up: what, how you get it and how you get rid of it.)
- Always use your (clean) fingers or a seamless wide tooth comb
to detangle. This is a much gentler way to do it both on your hair and your scalp. I remember using a brush or a narrow tooth comb to detangle and it hurt, sometimes there was tears in my eyes (I was much younger). With a wide tooth comb it has been a virtual dream to detangle, so much easier. It is important to check the combs for rough edges (plastic combs usually have these because they were made with a mold, but they can be removed with a nail file or sand paper), the edges can harm hair shafts and sometimes break them, bone and wooden combs are the best alternative. If you're stuck on brushes you can try a Tangle Teezer
, it is suppose to be gentler, although I personally did not like it at all and a lot of fine haired people complain that it breaks their hair and causes split ends.
- ALWAYS start at the ends and work your way up a few inches at a time (3-5). If you start at the top you're just pushing tangles together causing an increasingly larger amount of tangles to deal with as you go down the length.
- Gently pull apart knots with your hands. If you try to push through them with a comb or a brush you're just breaking the hairs involved in the knot causing split ends and pain. In extreme cases knots can be cut off with a hair scissor that you only use to cut hair, but it is better to avoid this at all costs (uneven hair may result from it). If you have a particularly vicious knot you can try to take it apart with a needle, but I wouldn't personally do that unless the only other alternative is cutting it off.
- NEVER detangle hair while it is wet, that is when your hair is at its weakest. Finger combing while the hair is wet can be alright if you are not being rough, or wearing any rings/bracelets/watches.
Boar Bristle Brushing
- not recommended for curly or wavy hair, because it will probably cause a lot of frizz
- This brush should only be used on already detangled hair, it does not detangle hair.
- This brush moves oils from the scalp to the length (or to distribute oil that you put on your hair as a leave-in conditioner), conditioning it as it goes and it also massages the scalp.
- If you ever heard "brush your hair with 100 strokes a day to keep it healthy" this is the brush they were talking about.
- Use a brush with a wooden handle to avoid static.
If you want to learn more about how to use one of these here are some good articles:
All About The Boar Bristle Brush
Boar bristle brushing