Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Real Secret Behind Detangling Curly Hair: The Coily Hair Edition

Hey Beautifuls,

I have a secret to share with you. In a moment, you will say goodbye to frightening wash days with regrettable detangling stories. In previous blog posts, I've outlined our detangling process--which remains the same to this day. Let me quickly bullet point them for you.

  • Pre-poo (oil/conditioner on dampened hair prior to detangling)
  • Goody (or any ball tip paddle brush) tool
  • Start detangling at the very extreme tip of the hair ends. 
  • Detangle under running water with your favorite conditioner
  • Work your way up the hair shaft INCH BY INCH under the running water
  • The thicker your hair, the more sections you will want to work in. I like to make approximately 4 sections  

These tips have helped us to detangle without any tears. Knots, tangles, rips and tears are at the top of the list why most people decide to put chemicals in their hair

What if I told you that I have a secret to drastically reducing the drama from coily hair tangles? If you have already implemented the above tips into your detangling routine, then you are half-way there.


Have you ever heard of the Chinese finger trap? Here's a picture of it just to jog your memory. We've all played with it at one point in our lives. They're mostly given out at birthday parties. I remember my anxiety one time when I couldn't remove my pointer fingers from this coily toy. I was scared, so I started pulling harder. When I pulled harder, it actually tightened the hold on my fingers. It wasn't until I relaxed my fingers and stopped pulling that I could release my fingers from this trap.

The funny thing is that the Chinese finger trap is similar in design to coily hair. It is considered a helically wound braid. Designed with the helix structure, the Chinese finger trap could be likened to coily hair, which is described to "grow in a tiny spring-like, helix shape".

The helix structure (long story short) is made to tighten when pulled. The circumference of the coil will narrow. When speaking about the mysteries of coily hair, when the coil narrows, it will make detangling difficult. Why? Because the coil becomes resistant, and will not "give". When you pull with a detangling tool--using strength and force, the coil narrows and tightens. In effect, causing the need for additional force. 

The Chinese finger trap has been known to break when a user engages too much force. Ideally though, the user will just relax, and the trap will release. The same goes for detangling coily hair. While using the above referenced detangling tips, try doing the following:
  • DO NOT engage your arm muscle force
  • Simply use your wrist, while patiently and gently moving the brush along the length of the hair (starting at the extreme hair end/tips).
At first, this may seem useless, but in seconds, you will see that the brush will glide through the coils.

---------------------------------------------------------------------Always for you,


  1. This is a great post. You need to write more often!

    1. Thanks Sweets. I am trying to make time once again.

    2. I reposted this over at Radiant Brown Beauty :-)

  2. Tia! You uploaded something new! Yes! :)
    I like this post. Every natural especially new naturals need it.

    (p.s My hair is a whole lot longer and easier to detangle now. I never believed the people who said that my hair will get easier to detangle the longer it gets, but now, I'm one of those people saying that because it's a whole lot easier to detangle. I don't even need tools anymore! (I still use them at times, though) Once my hair gets wet, the tangles start to vanish (and the wetter it gets, the less tangles). All I have to do now is make sure the ends are tangle-free than run my fingers down my hair pressing inwards with my thumb not just to ensure that there are no tangles, but to take out shed hair too. :)

    1. Hey Sam! What's up sweetie? Good to hear from you. Hope school and everything else is going great. I totally agree that the longer the hair gets, the easier it is to detangle. I thing the length and weight of the shaft helps the brush to glide through. Sounds like you have a system designed for length retention. Have you been posting? I'm going to check :o)

    2. School's great but SO STRESSFUL! GOSH!
      I have been blogging, not as often though, as I don't blog while school is in session anymore (gotta concentrate on getting the grades) :)

  3. This is a great post Tia, I have never heard of the Chinese finger trap but this is a very good comparison. And is very true. Very educational post, I like reading blogs where you learn things you can implement. This is exactly how I use to detangle my my hair it works! I just got tired of detangling period. lol

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  5. Hay! your hair looking so beautiful, good & great post

    Thanks :- CURLS

  6. 'Thank you for this blog. That's all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something thats eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, youve covered so many bases. Great stuff from this part of the internet. Again, thank you for this blog."
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  7. Its been years since you've posted. Miss you guys on YouTube