Finger Detangling – How To Go Comb Free For Natural Or Relaxed Hair

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI am the ultimate minimalist. If I could find one product that washed, conditioned and styled my hair all in one I would be a happy girl.

While you may never be able to have just one product in your bathroom cabinet for your entire regimen you could at least work on eliminating a few tools such as the comb and brush.

Finger detangling has been all the craze in recent years because of its proven track record of helping women retain more length and reduce breakage caused by using combs and brushes on fragile strands.

The point of detangling is obviously to remove knots and release shed hair so that you can avoid breaking and snapping caused by your hair strands mixing and mingling each other.

There are two options, dry detangling or wet detangling. Both are equally effective and even though Alma has done an experiment on her own hair to show that wet detangling works better for her, you will have to decide which is best for you.

If you have natural or relaxed hair and you want to transition to finger detangling, here is how:

Dry Detangling Natural Hair

Dry detangling natural hair is time consuming, lets just put that out there from the start, so if you have little time this might not be the best choice. Really the only way to get it done thoroughly and with as little breakage as possible would be to work in very small sections.

The next step is to literally go through the section with your fingers patiently and separate strands removing tangles and releasing the shed hair very slowly.

If you find yourself battling a huge knot or a tangle don’t hesitate to add some oil or conditioner to the section to help provide some slip. Once you have finished the section twist or braid it so that it remains detangled and move on to the next.

I find that doing this with a hot cup of cocoa while watching a good movie instead of in front of a mirror is best.


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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

  • Sacara Thomas

    I’m going to try this because me and combs don’t get along at all, they always break in my hair even the metal ones…

  • Kish Pascall Jerome

    I tried.

  • Darling Dayanna Crisanto Funez

    This is me

  • Shawnetta Jones

    No, I use a paddle brush and twist out usually. The thought of uncombed strands bugs me.

  • Loyal Johnson

    I always comb …it makes It more manageable

  • Natasha Hector Richardson

    I have to comb my hair

  • Germainne Neosha Powell

    This is so me

  • LaShaye-Shante Lynniece

    I finger detangle and use a fine comb at the ends

  • Erica Kelly

    I have to comb. I just don’t trust finger detangling for my hair.

  • Rutendo D. Magwenzi

    My hair breaks a lot cz I overdo it. My curls just get so tight! This is why i’ve decided to keep braiding it.

  • Chavon Walton

    A wide tooth comb has always been my go to.

  • Shauna Stanley

    Yes I use my fingers and occasionally a Denman. Combs are for parting :)

  • Retta Williams-allen

    Lol! Sista girl I know the feeling!!!

  • Rohanna Seville

    Definitely. It’s probably the best way to detangling my thick natural hair. Separates my curls easier with less yanking. But I also use a big tooth comb also after sometimes

  • Vanessa Anthony

    type 4 hair and then some detanglers,denemen,brushes,wide tooth,fine tooth,picks,detangeling comb dont work no matter what i still have knots breakage ,comb out in shower,with shampoo,with conditioner,rinse out,leave in cheap products,expensive products help me please

    • Chavon Walton

      Never ever try to detangle wet hair. That makes it worse. If you have tons of breakage you have dead hair you need to say goodbye to. My hair doesn’t get very tangled but when I take braids out I use a mixture of one part acv and the parts water. Spray liberally and detangle in sections. I also just switched my shampoo to Elucence Moisture Benefits and it’s the holy grail for me. I also don’t use brushes, only a wide tooth comb. For reference a pic of my hair

    • Vanessa Anthony

      thanks your hair looks great. i think i’ll get a good professional trim

  • Jerae Farries

    I start by using my fingers to detangle. Once I apply the Wen Anti Breakage Serum I’m able to use a wide tooth comb. My fingers work best for my transitioning hair.

  • Deionna Luvin’Lyfe Young

    LoL. Finger combing will do nothing for me…I have to untangle with a wide tooth comb

  • Deionna Luvin’Lyfe Young


  • Shari Powell

    I recently started finger detangling my relaxed hair in the shower and at first I was skeptical. I tried it and I think I will leave the combs for parting and styling. I love it. The article is right, the water stream works wonders. I lose so much less hair when I wash now. Mechanical damage from combs is real.

  • Raisa Kumaga

    I have alot of breakage but cant i solve it without saying goodbye to my hair like u Said Chavon

  • Ashley Shorter

    I have been finger detangling for the past 4 weeks…haven’t used a comb, brush, nothing. I have noticed a HUGE difference in the health of my hair…especially less shedding and more length retention…it takes a while to get used to but give it a try. I have 4a hair with tiny spiral curls all over my head which would cause the combs/brushes to to rip out my hair.

  • Ashley Shorter

    And i finger detangle in sections while my hair is wet to provide slip

  • K LovelyLady Mills

    There is nothing wrong with her hair ….

  • Antonia Williams

    Love this hurr!

  • Adrienne Bridges

    How you detangle your your hair Optional .i always
    start for the nape of the head with small parts combing hair down .This way work well on all hair texture. Finger or comb

  • Chiffontae Ross

    Did anyone else scream at the sight of her brushing out these amazing curls???! Gorgeous.

  • Tessah Thompson

    I don’t use combs or brushes, just my fingers and my hair has grown faster than in the past. My hair doesn’t tangle too bad and I have very curly hair. Don’t know if I can avoid combs/brushes when my hair grows longer though,.

  • Mia Eubanks

    Yes, but I still use a wide tooth comb. Since I’ve been detangling, I don’t lose any hair, just shedded hair..

  • Crystal Francis

    omg that’s how I feel after washing my hair Tiersa NonReplaceable that’s how I broke the comb

  • Sharla Alton

    i always fingercomb the girls hair. I hate tears.

  • Laurie Crawford

    I would use a detangler and conditioner with a wide tooth comb. Start at end, not at scalp.

  • Laurie Crawford

    Be gentle most of all. It really hurts alot if you are rough.

  • Leandra Mauricio

    i always comb my 4c hair with no problem my hair #manageable

  • Tamika Murrell

    4abc here. I’ve recently started what I call an “intensive” finger detangling process. I used to do a light finger detangling followed up with a tangle teaser but over time I was starting to see more breakage than I cared for. The new process is going well so far.

  • Toni Edwards Lee

    I finger detangle my hair and my daughter’s hair. I’m still in the TWA stage but my daughter’s hair is down her back. I’ll most likely continue. It really helps my curls pop also.

  • Chelsea Crouch

    i must comb my hair. finger combing doesnt do it for me

  • Evette Howard

    Finger combing, wide toothed comb, then regular comb

  • Sirene Ra

    Use your fingers, along with black Jamaican castor oil and it will detangle and moisturize successfully.

  • Deneen Whitaker

    Finger comb..not an option, detangler juice & wide tooth comb.

  • Mieshel Jett

    I use my fingers…no combs!

  • Alyssa Ali Philip-Rose

    I finger detangle first before washing. Then after my deep conditioning with my hair still saturated in conditioner, I comb thru with a wide tooth shower comb and follow up with the Denman. (Hair sectioned of course)

  • Ronnie Harris

    You take your time combing her that’s how

  • Semendablessed Howard

    I use luster pink hair lotion! Take time comb hair in section my result is fluffy soft hair

  • Nikki TheBeautiful

    Finger Comb:) When I finger comb it’s easier to detangle(beautiful textures detangling leave in) there’s more growth & there’s shedding but it’s minimal.I use a comb(wide tooth) hair is everywhere and it sets me waayyy baaaack.Diff strokes for diff folks:)

  • Vénus Venus

    Put. Foot of natural hair more frizzy. Lol because mine more like carpet!!

  • Donette Belizaire

    I have 4c hair and have not used a comb in a year. It takes a little patience, but rly works.

  • Хенли Янукович

    comb your hair wet :)

  • Zishan Evans

    Getting it Right…..

  • Jovanne Lovesomeme Harper

    The only time I use a comb (wide only) is in the shower when my hair is conditioning and wet. Then after the first day of wash and go I finger comb a little each day to separate the curls.

  • Carmella McCoy

    NO combs for me. My hair HATES them. Even when i start from the ends. (4b)

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