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How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls?

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Justin Essah on Unsplash

Curly, coily, and kinky hair needs lots of Tender Loving Care (TLC).

If you are committed to having the healthiest, tangle-free hair, it does take a willingness on your part.

Adopt a curly hair manifesto of do no harm.

Honor The Curly Hair Credo Of Do No Harm

If you rip, pull, or try to white knuckle the handling of textured hair, you may stretch the cuticle losing the original shape.

Or you may trigger shredding to the cuticle's outer covering.

Curly hair tangles easily because it tends to be drier, which can cause the curls to mat together.

Avoid knots in the shower by washing your hair in sections and in a downward motion with a gentle sulfate-free cleanser.

Damaged Cuticles Tangle Easier

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

A damaged cuticle makes curls more prone to tangles and knots.  It may also cause more breakage which leaves hair dry, frizzy, and fuzzy.

To detangle your hair with minimal damage adopt the following options:

1. Great Curly Hair Detangling Tips

Never ever detangle curly, coily, or kinky hair bone dry.

What does that mean? To protect delicate strands use a spritzer bottle filled with lukewarm water and a few drops

of conditioner which creates super slip.

Shake the bottle to mix up the conditioner.

2. Separate Hair Into Individual Sections

Separate curls into small manageable sections.

Clip the bulk of your hair out of the way with hair-friendly clips. Focus on just one section.

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Use a super smooth wide tooth comb without any rough edges. Spritz the water onto the individual section and slowly work through the ends up to the roots.

Coat hair with conditioner (choose a formula with plenty of slip), and working in sections, use a wide-tooth comb to gently loosen tangles.

Once you have finished detangling a section, clip it off and select another section.

Repeat these steps until the entire head of curls has been detangled.

3. Detangle In A Slow Steady Rhythm In Small Sections From The Bottom

Always start detangling your hair in small manageable sections.

Work up the curly strands from the ends up to the root.

Slow and steady is critical. Avoid ripping, pulling, or stretching as much as possible.

Detangling or combing in large sections or from top to bottom may intensify tangles.  Any time the hair is tangled it can lead to breakage.

4. Always Detangle Before Wet Washing.

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Erick Larregui on Unsplash

Whether your natural curls, coils, and kinks are prone to tangling or not, it's critical to detangle before stepping in the shower.

Always take your time, work slowly to detangle and then wet wash, condition, and rinse.

Yes, detangling curly hair can be challenging and time-consuming.

In the long term, it's worth the time investment to maintain your natural curl shape and avoid unnecessary damage.

5. Wet Wash

Never overwash your curls. Only wash curls, coils, and kinks when it needs it.

Keep the scalp clean in between wet wash sessions if you are only performing a complete wet washing every 5-7 days.

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Image by Hadis Safari by

You can clean the scalp by spritzing with a water bottle or with a dry shampoo formula applied only to the roots.

After wet cleansing, conditioning, and detangling always finish with a cool/cold water rinse.

You want to be sure that your hair is tangle-free after every wet wash.

6. Blot, Prep, And Apply Conditioners

Towel blot with a micro-fiber or similar curl-friendly clean cloth to remove excess moisture.

Apply a leave-in slip promoting hydration cocktail including, but not limited to, a moisturizing detangling heat

protection cream or spray.

If you properly prep your wet cleansed hair it sets an ongoing foundation for minimizing tangles until the

next wet wash.

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Image by

Look for leave-in conditioning detangling products which have a strong base of natural oils such as coconut, argan, grapeseed, macadamia nut, or similar.

Use loads of conditioner when washing your hair.

A dollop is not enough. Neither is a large coin-sized amount. You know your hair better than anyone.

7. Blot, Blot, Blot To Prevent Tangles

Never rub, scratch, pull or pluck at hair. Always pat, gently massage, and blot, blot, blot.

One way to set curly hair up for tangling is to handle it roughly in any way.

Aggressive treatment of your curls is a huge no-no. Love your curls and treat them with love and tenderness.

8. Make Curl Friendly Choices

Always maintain your edge ends by having appropriate regular trims or dusting.

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

When hair becomes damaged from split ends, rips, or long-term damage, this increases the risk of tangling.

Select the best cleansers, conditioners, and tools your budget can afford.

Minimize any damage from hot water or any type of hot tools.

Always use hair-friendly towels or cloths.

9. Air Dry With Care

Studies have shown that hair may be more prone to damage from air drying than the use of tools.

Experiment with your own hair to find the best procedure.

Consider allowing hair to air dry 80-90 percent before using a long finger diffuser attached to a blow dryer set to the coolest and slowest speeds.

Or experiment with plopping or less damaging air-drying methods which discourage curl stretching or cuticle shredding.

10. Keep Hair Knot Free During Sleeping

How To Keep Curly Hair Detangled Without Damaging Curls? Photo by Maeghan Smulders on Unsplash

Use your fingers to gently remove any knots at the bottom of your strands.

Hair can take a beating while sleeping. If you can sleep on your stomach or side it is better for preserving your cuticle shape.

If you sleep on your back you are applying the pressure of your head and body on your curls which can flatten them out.

Take the following protective steps:

- Always use a silk or satin pillowcase or sleep on silk or satin sheets

- Gently wrap your hair into a loose pineapple style on top of your head. Or a soft bun, twist, or loose braids.

- Consider sleeping in a silk or satin bonnet or headscarf.

- If your hair or scalp feels dry, spritz a little bit of water with leave-in conditioner onto your hands and fingers.  Then smooth over the top of your strands.

11. Live A Tangle-Free Lifestyle

Image By Terry Noah - Unsplash - All Rights Reserved

In any life situation always stop and seriously consider the impact on your curls, coils, and kinks.

Since curls, coils and kinks are more prone to damage, always evaluate the potential risks from applying any type of hair chemicals to your strands.

Bleach, chemical relaxers, or straighteners can create serious long-term damage to your cuticle shape and strength.

Always wear your hair in highly protective hairstyles when you will be exposed to the elements such as sun, wind, rain, humidity, or air toxins.

Saltwater and chlorine can cause mineral build-up which prevents curls from properly absorbing or retaining essential hydration.

Keep your fingers out of your hair even though it may be fun to play with your curls. Train yourself to avoid any unnecessary touching of your strands.

Consider the impact of clothing such as rough collars on the edges of your hair.

Once you style your hair, leave it alone.


Frizz, dryness, breakage, knots, and tangles. Ask any curly-haired person of any age what they struggle with, and those are often the first words that they speak.

Learning how to properly detangle and maintain knot-free hair goes a long way to having healthy, happy, beautiful curls, coils, and kinks.

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