7 Easy Steps To Detangling Natural Black Hair Safely

Woman with 4a afro hairHow to make wash day stress free and easy

Detangling natural black hair can be really stressful to some people. Very tight curly, coily or kinky hair has a tendency to tangle easily and as this type of hair tends to be dry, combing through the tangles would cause breakage. Detangling should not be taken lightly as tangled hair can sometimes get so badly knotted that only a pair of scissors can get rid of the knots! When your aim is to grow your natural hair long then scissors should never be part of your wash day routine!

1. The first step to detangling is to section the hair into smaller manageable sections. 4-6 sections through the head should be enough depending on the thickness and length of the hair. The next step is to lubricate the hair. Apply a small amount of a natural oil on each section and gently pull apart the hair that has clumped together with your fingers (if the hair was in a braided or twisted style). Good oils to use are coconut oil, carrot oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil etc. Rake your fingers through each section to gently begin the de tangling process, you will not get fully detangle the hair at this stage and never attempt to brush or comb natural hair when it is dry.

2. If the hair is especially long or thick then to avoid further tangles, braid or twist the sections loosely then shampoo the hair thoroughly with a sulphate free shampoo. The shampoo will get rid of the oil that you added in the previous step and leave the hair completely clean without drying it out.

3. Apply a deep conditioning treatment of your choice and sit under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes to allow the deep conditioner to penetrate the hair. It is advisable to use a conditioner with either silicones or natural oils as they have the greatest ‘slip’ and make detangling a dream!

4. While the hair is still wet with conditioner, use a wide tooth comb to detangle each section beginning from the tips and working your way to the roots of the hair. Make sure that each section is completely free of tangles before, re-braiding again loosely and moving on to the next section.

5. Once hair has been completely detangled, rinse the conditioner out of the hair thoroughly with warm water. At this stage, you may want to undo all the braids as all your hair is now free of tangles.

6. You may also want to use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to get rid of any residue that the conditioner left behind. Just mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 4 parts water and stream this through your hair. Work in with your fingers gently and rinse out thoroughly. Don’t worry; your hair won’t smell of vinegar once it’s dry!

7. Finish off with a cold water rinse to help the hair cuticles close and proceed to style as usual. See the article on how to deep condition hair.



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About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  1. 1

    Very awesome post. It has been very difficult for me to find anything good on this topic. thanks.

  2. 2

    Very fantastic post. It has been very difficult for me to find anything good on this topic. thanks.

  3. 3

    I am gonna use this idea for my daughter she has thick and long hair and sometimes flaky so im using this regimen..Thanks..

  4. 4
    Tangled Hair Techs says:

    Great post Alma, black natural hair can be frustrating when it has to be detangled, but no matter if you use a detangler brush or not, conditioners are not designed to detangle very matted tangled kinky hair or matted knotty hair with ease and without hair loss.

    Its better to use the Take Down Remover/Detangler cream. The product safely and easily detangles any type of tangled hair texture…every time.

  5. 7
    CarolineKCruz says:

    This is really a good tips that you are able to place in the blog content. All of the guidelines for detangling our hair was definitely perfect for those woman who loves to experience the good condition of their hair.

  6. 8
    Discouraged mom says:

    I need soooo much help. I have a friend of my daughters that has the worst case of matted, tangled hair I have ever seen. You can not even get your fingers threw any part of it. How do I get these tangled out, we have put lots of conditioner, olive oil all under a warm dryer. We barely got the bang section combed out after 2 hours of massaging, combing with a large comb, pull with our fingers. Help what can we do.

    • 9

      Oh dear! Sorry to hear that. This exact same thing happened to my sister after leaving a weave in her hair too long. She opted to cut her hair off rather than suffer through the detangling.

      Ok first off no amount of oil or water will detangle that hair without you working hard to do it. Forget about combs too because it won’t go through. Bottom line is that she will lose a great deal of hair to breakage but at this stage unfortunately it can’t be helped.

      You will have to part her hair into teeny tiny sections with your fingers and pull the tangles apart out of that section as gently as you can. Once a you have detangled a large enough section of hair, braid it up immediately to prevent re-tangling.

      It will take days to complete (similar to taking out dreadlocs) but it can be done if you are patient. I shared an article recently on this very subject. You may want to take a look here >> http://lushstrands.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/hair-woes-detangling-matted-hair.html

  7. 10
    EdithCSessions says:

    All of the natural techniques that you have posted here was very perfect use in detangling our hair. This process may takes time for us to do and it really needs an expert that will assist in this king of hair procedure to avoid any hair damage.

  8. 11

    Ohhh great tips!! Thanks Chan Chan

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