As you enter another year prepared for your annual length check with wide tooth comb and ruler in hand, ask yourself one question: why are you still stuck in the awkward natural hair phase? Your hair has outgrown the TWA, but it isn’t quite long enough for those cute hairstyles on YouTube and Instagram that you are desperate to try. When you pull down a section of hair to measure how much it has grown, you’re frustrated to discover that it still has not reacted bra strap length. Maybe it’s time you accept the fact that one of your most cherished tools is keeping you from reaching your goal of maximum length retention: the comb.
Reign in the New Year with Spirit Fingers
2015 is upon us, and it’s about time you left old habits behind in the old year. Take your New Year’s Resolution of length retention a step further and ditch the comb.
Type 4 hair is one of the most fragile hair textures. Detangling is a process that should be done gently. Combing can be forceful, especially if you’re tired or running short on time. It is impossible to find and save every knot using a comb. The comb will snag and once you hear your hair snap, it’s already too late. Before you know it, those annoying, broken off balls of hair will start to appear on your clothes, around the sink, and on the floor.
Finger detangling is the new way to go, and yes, it is possible on 4C hair. UK based, type 4 natural hair vloggers, Kara of NaturalCurliesTV and Jennifer of Bootyfurl have already found success in detangling using only their fingers. Their length alone will inspire you.
Finger detangling allows you to catch knots easily, massage them out and pull them apart without tugging and breaking the weaker ends. Prepare your hair for finger detangling the same way you approach detangling with a wide tooth comb. Here are some step-by-step instructions for how to finger detangle.
1)Dampen you hair with water first.
2) Section your hair into small to medium sections. You’ll be able to finger detangle more efficiently when doing it in smaller sections.
3) To loosen your hair up, coat your fingers in oil and smooth and separate your hair using your thumb.
4) Use a generous amount of your favorite, slippery conditioner to detangle. Start at the ends and slowly move up to the roots, stopping occasionally to gently remove any knots or tangles.
Finger detangling does take longer, and you sacrifice the finished, sleek look of styles like heatless curls, but it results in a fuller, more textured look, which I’m sure women with thin hair would love.
It is often difficult to see a defined curl pattern in our hair texture. However, as with most curly hair textures, our hair isn’t only 4C, but also a mixture of other curl patterns. Most of the time, we can’t accurately identify those hidden curl patterns. It could be that the hair at the back of your head has a looser texture while at the crown, it is very thick and course. Maybe your hair is naturally frizzy, but every once in a while, you can find a defined corkscrew curl in the midst. Unfortunately, every curl becomes frizz when you’re combing it daily. Combing the hair disrupts how the kinks and coils naturally lay. On the other hand, finger combing allows them to naturally clump together. Compare how your curls clump when you finger comb a product through versus when you comb a product through using a wide tooth comb. After a couple of weeks without combing, you may notice enhanced curl definition in your twist-outs, braid-outs, and even your wash-n-go’s.
Ditching the comb is 100 percent possible on type 4 hair. As with natural hair in general, it just takes patience. You can’t write it off immediately because you think it’s improbable for your hair texture. With the right attitude, you can finger detangle even your most tangled wash-n-go. It may take two hours, but hey, at least you will be able to say that you did it.
So what is your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? How will you reach your ideal hair length? Will you go the whole year comb free? I know I will!