How to Comb out Curly Hair

Considering all the many opinions posted online on combing your curly hair, it can be quite confusing what you should do. This article will provide all the necessary information you need to know about combing out curls properly.

Curly hair is beautiful, but it’s also tricky to manage. You must keep your curls hydrated and moisturized, but you also need to ensure they don’t become frizzy or dry. Combing out curls as easy as it might seem requires it to be done correctly to avoid disrupting the curl pattern, causing frizziness, and hair breakage so that your hair stays stylish and healthy!

The best time to comb your curls is when they are moist and knots-free, which can only happen on your wash day. Combing wet curls enhances curl definition and makes detangling easier. Anyone who has attempted to comb out curls when it’s dry understands the undefined, frizzy appearance that invariably results.

Does combing hair ruin curls? When done correctly, no. Regardless of your hair texture, ensure to detangle properly before attempting to comb. Combing requires patience, a wide tooth comb, and lots of hydration. You wouldn’t have to worry about damaging your curls if you got all these sorted.  

Kick start the combing process by washing the hair. Here’s the right way to do that:

Wash Day Routine

curly hair wash

1. Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Sulfates in shampoos assist in removing product buildup and dirt from the hair. The only drawback is that they do their work so well that they remove all the moisture and hair oils that the hair needs to keep healthy.

Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo would positively affect your hair because removing the ingredients that strip your hair of moisture makes your curls begin to feel and look hydrated and defined, making the combing-out process a breeze!

2. Use a Conditioner: Conditioners are fantastic for mending split ends and preventing hair damage as well as detangling hair, reducing friction, minimizing frizz, and generally enhancing hair health. Conditioners make detangling knots and combing curls possible!

Apply leave-in conditioner to the hair shaft. Make sure the ends of your hair are coated and distributed evenly with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. The Leave-in conditioner doesn’t require rinsing and can hydrate and maintain the health of your hair all day. This keeps your hair moisturized, making curls easier to comb and style.

3. Do not use a Towel: After stepping out of the shower, your thought might be to dry out your hair with a towel but don’t do that. Instead, squeeze out the excess water from your hair with a light T-shirt, or preferably a microfiber towel. 

Microfiber towels soak up a ton of water and are completely lint-free. Using a softer fabric reduces friction and decreases the chance of hair damage. While with a towel, the hair would be irritated, disrupting the curl pattern, and encouraging more frizz and hair breakage.

4. Using Oils: Hair oil prevents strands from drying out by locking in moisture and giving curls that elasticity, making combing much more manageable.

Oils are emollients that work to moisturize the hair by creating a layer of film that seals in moisture. Because oil molecules are small enough to pass through the outer cuticle and can replenish protective oil in the hair, oils help keep the hair moisturized and act as a barrier against hair breakage and damage. 

Consider using less fatty oil if your scalp or hair is oily or you have a low porosity hair type. Jojoba and almond are excellent options because they are absorbed quickly.

The Combing Process

Detangle Thoroughly: Use a brush, fingers, wide-tooth comb, or anything to delicately detangle conditioned hair and smooth out the knots without causing hair breakage. 

Tangled hair can also result from applying your products to damp rather than completely wet hair. Apply your leave-in product to really wet hair and scrunch it to remove the excess water. 

As soon as your hair starts to become too frizzy and dry, apply more leave-in to smooth it out and try to work out any larger knots with your fingers. Avoid violently raking or breaking up the clumps; gently work out any tangles.

Using a Wide Tooth Comb: Be selective on the comb you use. Pick the right size for your hair based on its thickness and length. The bigger the gap, the better it teases out the curls. Choose a comb that won’t shatter against your hair and has strong teeth.

Work in sections: No matter your styling end goal or where you are in your wash day process, it’s always best to work in sections, especially when combing. 

You’ll have better control and less yanking by taking small sections of your hair, combing out curls starting at the end and working your way up. This would help reduce the amount of tugging and potential hair shedding.

Consider a Detangling Spray: Detangling spray adds that extra glide, making it easier to untangle knots and smooth out curls. If you carefully detangle conditioned hair and still discover that it is tangled, it’s time to think about investing in a detangling spray. 

Detangling spray for curly hair

Detangling sessions would be a breeze, and frizz, damage, and breakage could be avoided if a detangling spray was used in combination with various other styling products.

A brush or a comb, which is better? 

it is best to use a wide-toothed comb rather than a brush. Brushing curly hair makes the curls brittle and generates massive split ends, which leads to hair breakage and frizziness.

Mistakes to avoid when combing curls

Here are some things to avoid when combing to make sure you are not harming your curls in the process:

  • Avoid frequent wash: Hair that is washed too often loses its natural oils and becomes dry and more prone to split ends.
  • Skipping conditioner: On the subject of knotted hair. Adding moisture and hydration can loosen and soften tangled hair, eliminating the risks of chunks of coils potentially shedding. Conditioners keep the curls hydrated and healthy looking!
  • Frequent heat styling: Heat damage to curly hair causes frizz, knots, and an unpredictable texture because it alters the structure of the hair proteins and dries out the cuticle making combing curls a rather difficult process.
  • Not using the right comb: A comb with smaller spaces and thicker textured hair would result in massive hair breakage.
  • Moving too fast or too slow:  While it’s not a good idea to rush through combing your hair, you also don’t want to go too slowly. After using your products, you should immediately comb through your curls.
  • Combing dry curls: Never comb out curls when dry as this could cause frizziness and disrupt the curl pattern.

You could put your curls up in a bun or braids at night and cover your hair with a silk scarf, head wrap, or pillowcase to prevent tangling. Because silk doesn’t absorb hair natural oils or styling products like cotton or other materials do, it helps your curls stay hydrated.

Leave a comment