Detangling Tips for Natural Hair

Tips on how to make your Wash Day Easier

detangle natural hairMy Hair After Neglecting It For Over A WEEK!!!!

I love my hair! I love my curls, coils, waves and kinks but I have those days where I get so fed up. Those days are usually my wash days and all that extra effort I now have to put in. It’s a little crazy that just last week I felt like I had my washday perfectly on point by planning ahead. But unfortunately I fell a little off track and totally rejected my routine and ended up with a big tangled mess on my head. Now don’t even act like you don’t know what I’m taking about—those times where your hair looked so perfect so you put off your wash day for a few days or WEEKS! Yes YOU! I’m totally calling you out today because I know I’m not alone in this. Or maybe you’re in this mess because you tried out a new product and thought it was totally and instead it turned your hair into a nightmare—yeah, I’ve been there too.

Well, today I’m going to share my tips to ensure that you don’t run into this mess that I got myself into. & don’t worry next week I promise to do a post on how I got out of my detangle disaster. Trying one or more of these tips should really cut down on your tangles and always remember to take your time so you are not tugging at your hair.

So here are a few things you can do to avoid a detangling disaster:

#1. NEVER PUT OFF WASHDAY (Super Important)

Should I repeat my first tip? I think I should just in case you failed to take in exactly what I said…Please, I’m begging you not to put off your wash day (that’s what got me into this mess in the first place). I’m telling you to wash your hair because our hair sheds on a daily basis & unfortunately the hairs don’t just shed onto the floor (wishful thinking right?)…instead shed hairs get intertwined in our hair which inevitably causes even more tangles or even worst matting.

Obviously I’m not telling you to detangle your hair everyday, but just bare in mind that the longer you put off your wash day is the more you allow for the shed hairs to become tangled into the unshed hair.

#2. Always Pre-poo & Section

For my ladies who aren’t quite sure what I mean by ‘pre-poo’ it’s when you apply an oil treatment to your hair before shampooing. My oil of choice is coconut oil but feel free to use which ever oil works best with your hair (olive, jojoba).  What I do is completely saturate my hair with the oil, cover it with a plastic cap and let it sit on my hair for roughly 30-45 minutes (the longer you let it sit, the easier your washday). The oils help to soften the hair and dissolve minor tangles which should help make your detangling easier.

Back when I had a TWA (teeny weeny afro) there was no need to section my hair, and washing for me was a breeze, but as my hair grew longer I found it necessary to section my hair before and during washing because it allows me to concentrate more on smaller portions. So, I usually apply my oil of choice in sections which allows me to get a little bit of detangling done too. I’m not so much into dry detangling, however when my fingers and coils are lubricated with oil, it provides a smooth barrier that helps to lesson the friction. Finger combing is an intricate and delicate process, so I try to incorporate this as a first step to my detangling routine, prior to combing when in the shower to help reduce breakage.

#3. Conditioner is your Best Friend so use Lots of it 

On your washday you should never, ever be stingy with conditioner because it helps to remove tangles without tearing out chunks of your hair. Back when I had a TWA I would finger detangle in the shower, but now with longer, thicker hair I don’t have that patience to finger detangle so I use a wide tooth comb and gently detangle section by section.

Another tip is to warm your conditioner. I’ve tried conditioner at room temperature and also warm and it always works better when warm. I personally warm my conditioner by saturating my hair with conditioner and let the warm shower steam work on my hair before detangling, but you can also warm your conditioner in the microwave or sit under a dryer or steamer after saturating your hair with conditioner. For me personally, warm conditioner helps to soften my hair more and feels like the super difficult tangles are loosening.

BTW humectants like glycerine and aloe vera are also your friend. I sometimes add glycerine to my conditioner to help increase the flexibility of my hair which allows my hair to stretch without snapping easily. So on those knotty hair days try adding some glycerine to your conditioner to increase the strength of your hair.

#4. Co-wash in between wash days

This is basically washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. I just use my daily conditioner to do this, however you may also opt for co-wash formulated products (such as As I Am Cleansing Co-Wash,Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Conditioning Co-Wash  and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser). By co-washing I am able to detangle my hair just enough to keep me going until my big wash days.

detangling tipsIf you have any more tips on how to make your washday easier please leave a comment below. Let me know if you have tried any of these methods before.

Fave Products & Products Mentioned

As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner, 16 Ounce
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser 8oz
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Conditioning Co-Wash, 10 Ounce

TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, Aloe Vera and Avocado, 25 Ounce
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner 33.8 Fluid Ounce
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner 13 oz

Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, 32-Ounce
Now Foods: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 16 oz
Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil, 4 Ounce

NOW Solutions Glycerine Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces
Aubrey Organics – 100% Pure Aloe Vera , 4 fl oz
Aloe Vera Juice Organic Whole Leaf No Preservatives Lily Of The Desert 32 oz Liq


  1. Lennia
    January 23, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    I have to tell u that u are the hair god’s gift to us naturalistas. I tried the pre-pooing and girl let me tell u it literally took me 5 mins to detangle.. I’m still in aweeee..I legit just got out the shower and I had to msg u..I swear it got me this excited (sorry if his is creepy) dwl. Anyway, my hair is about ur length and it normally took a long time to detangle. However, I pre-pooed from last (my pillow case was a mess when I got up) somehow it seeped through my bonnet…but anyhow..thanks for the tip. Keep up the good job and I’m looking forward to all your great advices to come.

    • January 25, 2015 / 7:33 am

      Yes YES Yes! this is what I love to hear and see. I’m so happy it helped love and thank you so much. and in no way is this creepy, more like motivating. 😉

  2. Lonnie A. (onenaturalblackstar)
    February 2, 2015 / 12:06 pm

    Hi Natasha. Great post!! I can definitely relate to the crazy hair days. Having tight coils is all fun and games at the end of the process but the process takes a lot of work and patience, lol.

    One thing that I love to include on my wash day is food. That’s right, food. Certain food items are really great for hair. A couple of my favorites are: avocados, eggs, and honey. I like to blend them together and add (or not) my regular moisturizing deep conditioner for an extra boost to my deep treatments before washing. The avocado always leaves my hair feeling soft and silky with all of the nutrients it provides, the eggs help to strengthen my strands, and the honey is a great humectant. What I love most about this is that they are all natural!! If you ever end up using any of these in your hair (or if you already have), let me know how it goes.

    Love your style, btw. Keep up the good work!!

    • February 2, 2015 / 4:20 pm

      thank you. and yes the struggle of having tight coils. lovehate relationship lol

    • February 3, 2015 / 1:58 am

      oh and I always use items from my kitchen for DIY deep conditioning treatments. Plan to do a future post on it too. I use honey and avocado. back when i was relaxed I added the egg, maybe ill give the egg a try again based on your recommendation. thanks a lot love.

  3. Icandy
    February 10, 2015 / 11:40 am

    Going to try the pre pooo

    My head STAYS tangled. You can’t really tell until I try to finger comb it and my fingers crack lollll

    • February 10, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      lol haha i can totally relate. I will wash and detangle my hair and by day 2 i try to finger detangle a bit only to realise its like a birds nest up there lol….let me know if pre-pooing helps