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3 Possible Disadvantages Of Finger Detangling You May Not Know Of

Finger detangling is preferred by many naturals because of the benefits it offers. One such benefit is it prevents breakage when done carefully. Since you are using your fingers to detangle, you are feeling your way through your strands and carefully identifying the tangles that need to be smoothed out. Less breakage means length retention. The gentler manipulation also means that your hair becomes thicker.

However, finger detangling may also have hidden pitfalls especially if you are not careful. Finger detangling is not for everyone despite its benefits. This article on the Black Girl Long Hair blog lists three possible pitfalls of detangling hair using your fingers. Read through it to determine if finger detangling is for you and to know if you have been doing it right.

From: 3 Possible Pitfalls of Finger Detangling

1. It takes ages!

Yes, if you intend to finger detangle your hair properly then you need a comfortable chair, music or movies (plural!) and buckets full of patience. Finger detangling can take anywhere from 3 hours to a full day (with breaks) to be completed properly. Naturally, the more tangled your hair is, the longer it will take. If your hair is loosely curled or if you are just coming out of a protective style, you may reduce the time but in general, it will take ages!

2. If not done thoroughly, your hair could matt

Some naturals are not successful with finger detangling because they end up finding small matted sections or they find that when they are ready to bring out a wide tooth comb as a follow-up step, there is no real difference between the finger detangled hair and the tangled hair. Both of these scenarios tend to happen when your skill at finger detangling level is at a beginning stage or if you are impatient. Like all good things, you need to practice finger detangling until you master it. At that level you will automatically know how many sections you need to put your hair in, which product you will use on your hair for slip and estimate how well you have detangled each section or whether you need to go back over it.

3. It COULD damage your hair more than combing

If you are finger combing properly, you will be separating your curls/coils like a wishbone. Every single strand will have to defend itself from damage due to tension during detangling. This is as opposed to conditioner combing for example where strands can organize themselves into ringlets or coils where several strands of hair form a protective pack. If you are trying to work fast, are inexperienced with the right level of moisture or if you tug on the individual separated strands just a little too hard, you really CAN snap your hair and often full length or close to full length strands.

What is your main method of detangling your hair? How has finger detangling worked for you so far?

Author: Pamela

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.
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2 Responses to 3 Possible Disadvantages Of Finger Detangling You May Not Know Of

  1. sandy says:

    I discovered that I had these short hangnails. My finger cuticles were tearing my hair. You can do a test to see if this is happening to you. rub your cuticles gently on the back of your opposite hand. If it is even a little bit scratchy or you feel tiny points then it’s possible you could be damaging your hair. Even the tiniest skin around your nail bed or cuticles can tear hair. Each night I apply chap lip balm to my cuticles to keep them soft. I have noticed less breakage. Who knew I was tearing my hair? So, if you do finger detangling or shampooing make sure to use the upper part of your fingers just to be on the safe side.

    • Dianne says:

      Great advice Sandy. My cuticles are ridiculously dry and my hair has gotten caught in them at times. Love the chap stick advice!
      -Dianne

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