The Best Way to Detangle Your Hair

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If your hair is long enough to wrap around itself you're going to have tangles and will need to spend time to detangle your hair. Detangling, if not done properly, can cause more damage than the tangles themselves.

This was something I didn't realize for years and once I did I wanted to find a way I could detangle my hair without doing a lot of, or any damage. That's when I discovered finger combing.

A method for detangling your chemically-treated or natural hair that can cause less damage. | arelaxedgal.com

What is finger combing?

Finger combing is the process of using your fingers to detangle and/or style hair.


  • Can feel the tangles and gently work through them versus damaging hair by breaking through tangles with a comb
  • Less painful for those who are tender headed
  • Since it's a gentler method it causes less breakage


  • Even though the benefits for finger combing are pretty strong, particularly if you are trying to retain length, there are still some disadvantages.
  • It takes longer than using a comb
  • Fingers don't do a complete combing job on new growth and can leave some loose strands and knots behind

Why I finger comb

When I finger comb I am taking more time to fully detangle which means I'm able to be more attentive to the tangle and thereby being more gentle. This has minimized the amount of damage I was doing to my hair when using a comb.

This doesn't mean I don't ever use a comb. I try to use a comb at least every other day the first few weeks after a touch up. During the stretch when my new growth has thickened and lengthened I use a come on wash days after I have done a thorough finger combing.

A method for detangling your chemically-treated or natural hair that can cause less damage. | arelaxedgal.com

My method for finger combing

  1. Section the hair into four to six sections
  2. Take one section and apply a natural oil, detangler, apple cider vinegar, or conditioner with slip
  3. Start detangling the section by starting at the ends and working my way up
  4. Have patience and don't rush it
  5. For knots I slowly work them out from the bottom up and apply extra conditioner if I feel more slip is needed

Which do you prefer? Finger combing or using a regular comb?

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  1. Finger detangling has been my go to recently and it does help with less breakage.

    1. It really does. I find I'm more gentle and take my time when finger detangling since I can actually feel the tangles.


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