Black Girl with Flower Crown

4C Finger Detangling Method For Length Retention

Finger Detangling offers great benefits; the main being you can feel the tangles in a way tools cannot.  It can be a great tool and I almost exclusively use it for my own hair, but you need to understand before you begin; if you are fighting, you’re doing it wrong or this method just may not be for you. I never fight with my stands to the point where I hear popping and breakage. The most important skill is learning what works for your hair. Here are some of the main skills and concepts you need to know about your hair in order to finger detangle properly. 

The pull-down method

Like I said before, we do not fight our hair. We coax it into doing what we want by honoring the process. If I am pulling my hair apart, and I feel a snag, I don’t continue pulling harder. This is a big no no. The answer is to pull somewhere else!  At your ends! Gently pull on the ends of your hair to release the tangles that will not come out when you are trying to separate knotted strands. You should instantly see a difference. Other naturals can comb through with one of those lil brushes and get results. That does NOT work for me!!!!!!! Take your fingers, feel the knots, and if you cannot pull them apart, simply pull down on your ends. Work with smaller and smaller sections until you have removed all tangles and shed hairs. WALA magic.

Two Ways to Do It:

1. In the Shower

2. On Damp Hair

4C Hair is not like any other, so it should not be treated like any other texture. I see so many naturals starting with wet hair and I make a mental note that this part of the tutorial is not for me. I don’t work with my hair when it is wet unless I am already in the shower. This is because 4C hair shrinks so tightly that wet hair will coil up and dance with itself in real time, undoing all of the work you’ve gently and carefully completed. When you are in the shower, the weight of the water constantly running down your strands keeps the hair from shrinking which keeps the hair from tangling. So starting with dry hair and applying a water based product is my go to method when I am not in the shower.

Fro tips

Step By Step Instructions

On Dry Hair

Instead, start on dry hair and coat with a water based high slip product AND an oil: I personally finger detangle while pre-pooing. I use Melanin Hair Care’s Multi Use Softening Leave In Conditioner with coconut oil. If coconut oil doesn’t agree with you then try another light oil with slip like: Hot six oil or almond oil. I apply the conditioner to my section and top with coconut oil that I have rubbed in my palms to help melt. And really that is all it takes for my hair and even other 4C friends I have tried it on. The slip from these two products is immaculate. Part your hair into sections. 5-6 is the magic number for me. I start by pulling down on the entire section to get all of my strands moving in one direction. Move from the ROOTS to the ENDS constantly pulling down on the entire section. Do not part the hair just yet. I use this time to gently tease out any coils or tangles at my ends. Once this part is complete, each section is to be split in half and worked on. Clip the other section out of the way and begin pulling down on the other half between your thumb and index fingers. Add more conditioner when you feel more slip is needed. When you feel knots, hold the hair above the knot in one hand and gently tease out the shed hairs causing the knot with your other hand. Then pull down on the ends of your hair to remove shed hairs. Once that section is detangled and done, twist it up and wrap it into a bantu knot to keep it stretched. This is time consuming and takes a lot of patience, but you will get better and better to the point where it is second nature. You’ll also avoid tons of breakage with this method; it’s really worth giving it a try. 

In The Shower

So in the shower, you’ll start with sections. I use six sections since my hair is mid back length and very thick at the crown. Then you start by combing your fingers through the section. When you hit a snag, attempt to pull it apart with your hands, if you cannot, gently pull down on the ends of that section, be sure your hair is fully saturated in the product. Allow the downward motion of the water to assist you in pulling your strands down. You don’t need to constantly be under the water, only when you are pulling a section downward.  You should feel the shed hairs slide out as you pull down. Once the shed hairs are out, again attempt to pull apart the section. Then begin again combing your fingers until you again feel another snag. When that section is free of tangles, twist and wrap it into a bantu knot to keep it stretched and move on to the next. 

And there you have it. Step by step. Follow these instructions and you’re bound to learn something new about your hair. Did you make any changes to this method? How well did it work for you? Comment down below!

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