I often come across women who tell me they can’t keep their hair in its natural texture because it’s so difficult to comb their natural hair. “Oh, my hair breaks combs” they tell me. Then they ask me “How do you comb your hair?” My response is simple, “I don’t comb my hair” (not unless I absolutely have to, which isn’t often).
I mean are you kidding me? You expect me to wake up every day and try to fight a comb through this hair? No way! Not unless I want to go bald!
So you don’t comb your hair at all?
I remember I never combed my hair dry when it was in a TWA (teeny weeny afro), I co-washed few times a week and then applied a leave-in conditioner prior to combing. On days that I don’t wash my hair, I would simply spritz it with water, apply a leave-in (e.g. Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner) and then comb. To me, this was the only reasonable way to glide a comb through my strands in a pain-free manner.
Also consider reading this post “Five Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Should Not be Combed Often”
How to really comb your natural hair without pain
Many black women are used to applying just any type of grease on their dry hair prior to combing because they believe it makes their hair softer and easy to comb. I use to try this method and the only result I got was an oily and dry head of hair!
Tools Needed: Spray Bottle, Wide Tooth Comb
Products Needed: Rinse out conditioner
So, if you are tired of fighting a comb through your hair and want to decrease breakage and eliminate pain, make sure to practice these 5 steps.
1) Wet Hair in the shower and then apply a moisturizing conditioner (e.g. As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner)
2) Allow some minutes for the conditioner to work it’s way through each strand, then comb (using a large tooth comb) conditioner through the hair in small sections, starting from the ends to the roots.
3) Rinse out conditioner, wring out water in hair and let it dry to about 50-60%, make sure water isn’t dripping from your hair
4) Apply a leave-in conditioner and then seal this in with a hair butter or oil
5) Now you can comb your hair using a large tooth comb. Make sure to take your time and comb in smaller sections starting from the ends to the roots. Style as you wish
Bonus Tip: I find that combing stretched hair is easier than combing shrunken hair. So you can choose to twist or plait your hair after step 4, then take down style when hair is almost dry and comb with a large tooth comb.
Why do I have to comb my hair twice?
The first step is to work the conditioner into your hair and to detangle your hair while the second step is to give you a polished and smooth look while also stretching the hair. Water shrinks the hair and gathers our hair strands into small clumped sections. So a second combing will separate these strands and lift the coils up a bit more to create a fuller afro.
Tip: Reduce combing if you can
As I mentioned earlier, frequent combing can be damaging to the hair and will reduce length retention, and so I would strongly advice putting the comb down few times a week. Instead, you can opt for comb-free and curl/coil friendly hairstyles such as comb twists, twist outs, braids, kinky twists, crotchet, cornrows or weave.