5 Ways to Minimize Tangles
I think that the biggest complaint that I hear among other naturals has to do with tangles. But honestly, what can we do? They are essentially unavoidable. Although we may not be able to avoid tangles in its entirety, there are some things that we can do to minimize their existence. Here are 5 ways that I have found to help me to minimize tangles on my type 4 natural hair.
Let’s face it. When natural hair is dry, tangles and knots will rule. Even worse, when natural hair is dry, it becomes almost impossible to detangle. One way to prevent dry tangles is to apply a good moisturizer as much as your hair needs it. What makes a good moisturizer? A good moisturizer should give the hair shaft “slip” and relieve dullness and add body and bounce to the hair. A good moisturizer should contain natural (not synthetic) ingredients that are known to provide moisture. Synthetic ingredients are a no-go because they tend to sit on the hair to mimic true moisture and not be absorbed by the follicles or the shaft.
Good ingredients are: coffee butter, shea butter, castor oil, jojoba oil, hemp butter, honey and almond butter. Just to name a few.
When natural hair is in need of a trim, you may begin to notice that the hair is more prone to tangles. Eliminating split ends and dead hair is a great way to keep knots and tangles to a minimum.
When the ends of your hair aren’t trimmed on a regular basis (every 4-6 weeks) hair can become prone to knotting together. Seeing an experienced stylist on a regular for trims will keep hair healthy and happy.
Natural hair is typically curly and or coily. This means that hair can interlock with itself and cause those pesky knots and tangles to reign. Stretching the hair by means of a blowout, braid out, twist out, bantu knot out, or by using the pineapple method are great ways to stretch the hair with low to minimal stress. When the hair is stretch and the coils/curls are elongated, hair has a lesser chance at interlocking; causing tangles.
One thing that hair types off all textures thrive on is consistency. When you find out what your hair likes, stick to it. As a type 4 natural myself, I have learned that my hair absolutely has to be stretched and braided/twisted EVERY night. Braiding it every night not only elongates my coils but, because my hair is elongated, I barely ever experience tangles….and my hair is very tangle prone, by the way! I also dust my hair for clumps/hair that has tried to bond together and tangle. Even with our best efforts at preventing tangles/knots, no solution is full proof. All we can do is minimize the damage by learning how our hair responds to different products, styles and environments and adjusting our regimens accordingly.
Dry hair is brittle and it sheds/breaks easily. Each individual hair shaft is a series of coils with a main outer layer. Even with the best moisturizers in the world, hair needs moisture from the inside out. Like any living, breathing organism, the main source of its living is water. Dry hair is also more prone to tangles because when the hair shaft is dry and brittle, it can knot on itself (fairy knots) and the hairs that surround it.
I hope this helps my fellow natural sistas that battle tangles on the regular. Are there any methods that you have used to minimize tangles? Let us know, we’d love to share!