My Favorite Detangling Method: Time Reduced From a Whole Day to A Couple of Hours

My Favorite Detangling Method: Time Reduced From a Whole Day to A Couple of Hours

Article by: Dr. Aziza Glass
I have a lot of hair. It’s thick. It’s long. It takes forever to detangle, wash, condition, and style. I used to plan a whole weekend around wash day. Fortunately, I received a tip from a fellow grad student at Cornell about how she detangled her hair. On the first try, it worked beautifully.

 Here’s what you’ll need:

 Step 1: Generously apply coconut oil from the tips to the roots of your hair. If your hair is thick, you should try making jumbo twists to section off your hair. It makes it easier to manipulate. I usually have 5-6.

Step 2: Tuck all hair inside the deep conditioning cap and sit under a hair dryer for 15-20 minutes on the high setting.

Step 3: Immediately apply the conditioner to the hair from tip to root. **Do not wash out the coconut oil**

Step 4: Repeat step 2.

Step 5: Wash out conditioner. Snip off split ends or knots with the hair shears.

Step 6: Now that your hair is detangled, proceed to shampoo, co-wash, or deep condition as desired.

With this method, I have cut my detangling time from a whole day to a couple of hours. Have you tried this method? How has it worked for you? Did you make any changes?

— Dr. G

13 thoughts on “My Favorite Detangling Method: Time Reduced From a Whole Day to A Couple of Hours

  1. Lol isn’t this how everyone washes their hair? Is there like another method????? *serious question* ?? Lol I’m honestly asking. Thank God I did my research with sites like these and more before transitioning and eventually cutting off. Lifesavers, you guys are lifesavers. ????????

    1. Ebube I think something must be missing from the steps because there is no mention of how to physically detangle the hair. The tangles don’t just fall out, so I’m confused as well.

      Ariane hopefully you can clarify.


      1. The combination of the coconut oil, conditoner, and heat detailed the hair. I usually use my fingers to work through the few to remaining tangles. My daughter, who has been natural for 3 years and who’s hair is thicker uses a comb.

    2. Yes! This is how I co-wash too. But somehow I lucked up on a pretty quick detangling method on a lazy day (when I started washing too late!) I use Rhassoul Clay to cleanse .. and most times I can literally run my fingers right through my curls without them tangling around each other and forming smaller knots! After I rinse, I’ll apply a deep conditioner that’s really thick and the curls actually will clump together!

      I’ll coat my strands with the deep conditioner from root to ends and this allows me to detangle more and after I rinse that out- my hair is detangled. parting between sections is easy, Sometime’s I’ll do a test with a comb just to be sure there are no tangles and it will go straight through!! I hope thats helpful to you! 🙂

  2. It is not made clear at exactly what point is the hair detangled? I am assuming it it between steps 5 and 6. Or perhaps it is done in stages after each session of heat? How exactly to you detangle? Do you use a wide tooth comb, or do you finger detangle? Perhaps it doesn’t matter once the hair is moisturized?

    As I mentioned, the article is about detangling, but when and how the detangling happens is never explained.

  3. So this might sound silly but to clarify you hair stays in the twisted sections while washing? Then when you’re done co washing/shampooing w/e you take the twists out?

    1. I untwist the section and finger comb the hair from root to tip, then twist it back and move on the to next section. I then co-wash one section at a time using the same technique. If I want to deep condition on top of that, I apply to the bottom half of my hair and retwist each section and sit under the dryer with a plastic cap for 15-20 minutes. Finally, I rinse out the conditioner one twist at a time and retwist again after I’m done with each section to make it easier on me when I’m styling my hair.

      Hope this helps!

      — Dr. G

  4. Separating my hair into 4 sections I spritz my hair lightly with water then pre-poo with a homemade concoction of coconut oil and amla powder, finger detangling lightly. In each quadrant I usually end up with 4 or 5 smaller twists. I let this sit on my hair overnight but you could apply a heat wrap or a hooded dryer for 10 – 20 minutes to get the same results. I wash my hair the next morning, taking out the twists but keeping the 4 sections, washing one section at a time, clipping the others out of the way with a claw or butterfly clip, and deep condition. I apply my rinse out conditioner after my deep conditioner and that’s when I may use a comb if I feel like it. After rinsing that out, I Take each of the 4 sections and split them in two, and make two chunky flat twists. I end up with eight chunky flat twists over my whole head. I let that air dry for a few hours for stretch and then style.
    As I type all of this I realize it sounds like a lot of work but its not as bad as it sounds. Working in sections makes everything easier and the process goes a lot quicker.

  5. Hello everyone! I’m happy there’s been discussion about the different techniques with detangling our natural hair. For those that are a little uncertain about my technique, I’ll answer your questions. The actual detangling part comes after I have conditioned my hair twice under the hair dryer (the first time with the coconut oil and the second with the conditioner). As I rinse out my hair (in sections), I gently finger comb my hair from the tip to the root. As I do this, shed hairs are finger combed out and rinsed away with the water. If I come across a genuine knot that I can’t untangle, I snip them off with a pair of hair shears. I rarely have to do this. If I come across any split ends or one strand knots, I snip them off with the hair shears as well.

    Overall, I do not use a comb to detangle my hair anymore. When I did, I would constantly see hair fragments in the tub and my hair didn’t seem to grow very well. It was thick and healthy but I did not have good length retention (I was stuck at armpit length). Now for the past year, I only finger comb my hair using the detangling method detailed above. Since then, my hair is still healthy and thick, I have less knots when I’m washing my hair, and now I’m approaching mid-back length. I hope this helps!

    — Dr. G

  6. Ok. I get the process. You didn’t mention this but do you spritz your hair with water before, during, or after the coconut oil application or conditioner application? Also, how do you style your hair afterwards and what do you use as your styling product(s)? Thanks

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