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13 Tips to Detangle Your Natural Hair (Without Ripping It Out!)

Wondering how to detangle your natural hair? Want to know the secret to detangling afro hair in minutes? Let’s be honest, most of us are not excited about the prospect of detangling our curls or coils, which is why we’ve pulled together some practical tips to help you detangle your natural hair quickly like a true pro! Enjoy!

Finger Detangle First

We always recommend finger detangling your hair first. Why? Because when you use tools such as combs and brushes it’s easy to get carried away. When you use your fingers you can feel where the knots are and easily work them out.

Get Rid Of Rings And Chipped Nails

It's the little things that count and in the case of natural hair, so on the note of finger detangling, an easy way to combat damage and tangles is by making sure to handle your hair without rings or chipped nails that can snag and tear it. You could ever make wash day a ritual by giving yourself a mini mani!

Try Detangling Before Washing

Detangle your hair before washing to prevent breakage and to help distribute product evenly throughout your hair. It’ll make detangling less of a chore!

Afrocenchix how to detangle your natural hair: close up of a black woman detangling her hair with a brush

Detangle In Sections

We know when you’re short on time, it seems easier to just wash or detangle all of your hair at once, but sectioning your hair will help cut down on detangling time. Split your hair into four sections (more if your hair is thicker) and create large twists. 

When washing, gently cleanse each section and re-twist, before applying your conditioner and finger detangling. If you just detangling your hair, make sure you have enough slip, we love Sheen, our hydrating hair spray for this! Trust us, it’ll help you whiz through those sections!

Make Sure You Have Slip

With our conditioner, Swirl, you can be sure to have amazing slip (plus, there are 17 ingredients and not a single silicone in sight!) We believe you (and the planet) deserve better than micro-plastics and we worked hard to create the slip you need with naturally derived ingredients and only naturally derived ingredients. Great for the environment and great for detangle – nice!

Or for “dry detangling” use a hair spray like Sheen. It’s infused with Aloe Vera and Grapeseed Oil, and is a lightweight moisturiser that doesn't weigh the hair down or leave buildup – making it perfect for detangling! 


As many of us know firsthand, dryness can be a huge issue with afro hair. It also makes your hair more susceptible to breakage and single strand knots, which can add time to detangling. An easy way to make moisture your friend is by layering your hair products using the LOC method/LCO method (liquid, oil and cream). 

Editor's Tip: Our Moisture Surge Set contains products for all three layers: Sheen natural moisturising spray (liquid), Seal (hair oil) and Smooth (moisturising cream).

Cover Your Hair At Night

As we mentioned, dryness is the enemy as it makes things more difficult when it comes to detangling. But simple way to protect your protective hairstyles and reduce manipulation or friction is to wear a satin-lined bonnet to sleep. The satin will help your hair retain moisture and protect your hair from friction while you’re sleeping.  

Use Protective Styles 

Keep hair manipulation down and the vulnerable ends of your hair tucked away by carrying hairstyles like braids, twists or buns. They make for practical protective hairstyles that can be worn all week which means your hair has less chance of getting tangled or breaking. 

Try Stretching Your Hair

Following on from our other advice about protective styles, stretching your hair can help elongate your curls and coils and in turn help with reducing single strand knots/Fairy knots. Although, seemingly harmless, they can encourage knotting and tangles. 

Looking for a way to stretch your hair? Check out our tutorial for a beautiful Bantu Knot Out.

Afrocenchix how to detangle your natural hair: father and child sitting together detangling and combing curly afro hair

Start With Your Ends

Rather than starting at the root, we recommend softly detangling your hair from the ends and working your way up. This staggered approach will help you be gentle and minimise damage.

Dust/Trim Your Hair

This will make your hair instantly look and feel healthier and get rid of any annoying single strand knots that can cause more tangles. So make sure you trim or dust your hair to get rid of any damaged ends.  

Ditch The Poor Accessories

It’s time to ditch that fine tooth comb and broken bobby pins! We want to avoid damaging our hair at all costs and these combs and poor accessories can easily cause breakage. Get rid of hairbands and ties with metal and plastic fastenings. And don’t use hair pins without the coated tips as these can snag and also cause damage. Trust us, your hair will thank you.

P.S. Afrocenchix has launched an Essential Accessories Pack, so you can rest at ease because they are friendly for afro/curly hair – and in fact for all hair types!

Be Patient

It’s easy to want to rush detangling your natural hair, but be kind to your hair and be patient. Slowing things down will help you minimise damage and breakage. As our co-founder Joycelyn says: “treat your hair as if it was silk”.

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