By Hadassah Agbaps - March 15, 2016

Hi people, what's been on?

I'll like to share my thoughts on the issue of combing natural hair especially one prone to breakage like my fine kinky webs.
I'm an advocate for fingerdetangling natural hair and do so almost exclusively. I find finger detangling natural hair not only easier but also gentler on natural kinky coily hair.
I retained (still retain) a lot of length when I reduced the frequency of combing.
I had less breakage and less split ends.

 The first question I'm always asked regarding my natural hair care is

 'How do you comb your hair?'

When I reply that I comb my hair once a month, the next question that follows is

'Won't it tangle and loc?'

No, it doesn't tangle and loc.

There is a method to fingerdetangling. It takes a bit of practice and once you get the hang of it, you'll notice it is easier, faster, painless and better than using a comb.
Yes I said 'faster'.

I'd have loved to share a video of my method for fingerdetangling in minutes but I don't have a YouTube channel yet. I'm thinking I'm the only one on the planet left!!! However there are useful videos on YouTube showing how to fingerdetangle.
One slight drawback to fingerdetangling exclusively is that you may not get rid of all the shed hair.

 When I learnt how to fingerdetangle properly, I made the move to burn all my  crossed my Bottom line, my hair grew!
I was on a mission to be a comb free naturalista until something happened.
One day after several months of fingerdetangling, I noticed an increased amount of shedding.
 I thought I was experiencing some form of hair loss so I had to monitor the situation. I decided to use a comb section by section to get rid of any shed hair so I could start from  ground zero (no shed hair) and see if I was really experiencing hair loss.
 I noticed that over the course of the month, my shedding was normal.
I came to the conclusion that I was probably not getting out all the shed hair by fingerdetangling exclusively and this added up to the point  where I thought I was losing hair.

So I changed my regimen from fingerdetangling exclusively to using a comb once a month to remove any shed hair I missed and so far, this has been working for me.

Currently, I use a comb on washday after fingerdetangling.

Typical amount of hair I shed in two weeks

I also use a comb during styling.
Some styles require that you seperate each strand of hair or else face a headache. Cornrows/weaving/braiding is one of them. This is one of the reasons I rarely braid/cornrow/weave my hair into intricate styles.
My fine natural hair can't stand all that combing.

Another style that requires combing, is straightening your hair. You need to comb so you can get all the kinks out. I don't mind this because there is less risk of tangling and breakage since the hair is stretched.

Over the years, I've used and thrown away so many combs but I noticed I had a set of combs I always reach out for often.

Here they are:

From L-R

1. Denman D41 9 row brush

 Word of mouth or natural hair forums/blogs is a powerful thing. After reading rave reviews about this brush, I decided to donate my hard earned cash and purchase this brush. Luckily for me, I joined the TeamLoveIt! I use this brush for curl clumping. It gives me beautiful ringlets and when I use it for curl sets, it helps with better definition. It is also handy for blow outs using a hairdryer. It is durable and can withstand heat. It is also easy for me to clean.
My brush has widely spaced pins so look out for that when buying this brush. I understand there are different types. You can get it here

2. Miss Jessies Curl Brush

I bought this brush because I felt I needed a paddle brush and since I have a love affair with Miss Jessies Jelly Soft Coils, they must have a pretty good curl brush, yes?
 ....and with a paddle brush, I could stretch more sections of hair than the narrower Denman brush.
My thoughts???
Never use this brush near coils! I call it the ripper!!! I think the problem is the balls at the end of the pins. They always snag my hair no matter how careful I am with it. It is better for straight or less curly hair and I use it for brushing out weaves and braiding hair and it is very useful.

3. Boar/nylon bristle round brush.

I use this brush for big daddy blowouts and to straighten my hair. I bought this brush about 10yrs ago in secondary school. It was pretty expensive for me and was my first major investment in hair tools. (Mehn, this hair thing no be today and it was a lesson in splurging on quality once in a while. It is still as good as new and I haven't had any damage from using it.
 I learnt that boar bristles are wonderful for the hair and helps smooth the cuticles, so look out for that when purchasing a round brush. I love how it gets really soft when wet and hard when it dries...magic!With a good round brush, you have little need for flat irons when you want to straighten your hair plus the advantage of less direct heat than you'll have with flat irons.
I've tried different round brushes that I eventually threw away because they don't do the job as well as this one.

4. The soft bristle brush.

I use this for smoothening hair for sleek updos. This one has nylon bristles and is really soft. However I'm looking to replace it with a boar bristle one but for now this works. A smoothening brush is a must have if you love sleek looks. There's only so much that a tooth brush can do. Also since this will be coming close to your edges, I advise you to go soft on the bristles. I think you can find something similar in Shoprite.

5. Wet Look shower comb.

I  use this for  wet detangling. It is very sturdy with little flexibility and I find that a disadvantage where my fine hair is concerned. The stiffness does not allow it to dance and glide through tangles. It just plunders on. (This is the best way I can describe it but I hope you get the It doesn't try to negotiate with my tangles at all and the worst part is ....has ball tips!!!
Not a seamless ball tip but like some rubber was melted, applied to the tips and rounded. I didn't like it. My sister used it and loved it though so it must be a texture thing. She has coarse hair....maybe that's why she doesn't mind plus she loved the hooklike thing at the end to hang in the bathroom....better than 'a hanging hole'...for lack of a better word.

Here's a tip for companies:-
Round tipped combs work better than ball tips. Just round the sharp tips and you're good to go. Trying to put little waxed balls on the tips just kills the detangling mood especially for fine kinky curly hair...snagging...painful snagging!
I got this during a meetup and have replaced it with something better.

6. Wide tooth comb.

I  bought this comb in the market and it is super!!!
 I use it for detangling and actually prefer this for fine hair  because it is flexible. So you see not all fancy combs are the best. It is not seamless though and you can easily get a badly made comb so when purchasing, try and feel the inner seams for smoothness and the tips for roundness so it isn't sharp. You aren't trying to plow through your scalp.
You NEED a wide tooth comb if you love the lush vegetation growing from your scalp.
You can get one here

7. Rat tail comb with wide tooth for styling.

This is the rat tail comb that's natural hair friendly. It is my best styling tool after the Denman brush and the round brush. Infact it comes before both brushes mentioned. If I don't take any other comb for styling, this one always comes with me because it is both a rat tail comb and a wide tooth comb. A must have for every naturalista in my opinion.

I recently bought another wide tooth comb, a Hercules Sagemann 5660 comb...again because of the power of media. I'm yet to read about a bad review so I decided to invest in one. So far, the claims of minimal breakage seems to hold true. I'm not so sure if my usual careful detangling isn't the reason.

 Would put it to test soon when I place it in the hands of a certain someone I know who ......let's just say rips through
It's not as stiff as the Wet Look shower detangling comb and has rounded teeth instead of ball tips. It's made out of vulcanised rubber. I'm not so sure how that is an advantage compared to a well made plastic comb but I'm pleased I didn't waste my money. I have been reaching out for it for my styling sessions partly because it is new (initial gragra) and also because it does the job.
You can get it here

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  1. You forgot the most important thing about the hercules sageman. It is a seamless comb whichIMO is the most important thing to look for in a comb. I love mine :)

  2. I need to get a shower comb and repurchase a Denman brush. I mostly use my fingers now, but I will say using the Denman smoothes my hair for my perm rod set and twist out. I do love both!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I wrote a post on this same topic some days ago, which I'm publishing this week. And I agree, having the right comb for one's hair and using it properly really helps to reduces breakage. I'm glad you talked about the Denman brush. That brush did wonders for my thick hair! It made detangling sooooo much easier because of that simultaneous curl-clumping and smoothing effect that you and @Christina Pollard mentioned. I used it exclusively for about 4 years. Now I finger detangle 99% of the time. But Denman will always be my side boo. Lol


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