View Full Version : Friend claims you should never brush curly hair..

March 13th, 2008, 09:52 AM
My friend has really curly hair.. However its super tangled and I asked her how often she combs or brushes her hair and she said: never. Meaning she hasnt brushed her hair in several years.. No comb.. No brush.. Not even finger combing.. I told her its necessary to comb through hair even if its curly or straight and she said its impossible to comb/brush curly hair and that its not something to recomend and therefor she dosnt do it. Its really tangled up, like a messy birds nest, I can imagine it would hurt... She has big curls..

Is it true or not? Comb or not? What advice should I give her? I dont have curly hair so I dont know if this is true or not but her hair is one big mess. Even worse is when she takes a shower and rubs the shampoo in the hair back and forth up and down.

March 13th, 2008, 09:56 AM
I don't dry brush. I have a pic in my album of why I don't. :lol: If I go by the curly consensus over at nc.com, lots of curlies don't dry brush, but a good sized minority do.

But, one has to detangle somehow. I detangle in the shower using a combination of finger combing and a wide tooth comb with a detangling conditioner.

Maybe she'd be willing to come here and join the curly group or else over to nc.com?

March 13th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Without detangling of SOME form, I can't imagine the knots/mats it must have. I would imagine that kind of thing would lead to loads of damage. I'm not saying brush or even comb, but pick out or finger comb/weave out knots and mats.

March 13th, 2008, 10:04 AM
I have curly hair and I never ever ever brush, comb or touch it after it is styled and drying. The reason is that touching it breaks up the curl pattern and causes frizz and pouffiness.

That being said, I do brush at other times. After it's dry, I finger-comb it to make sure it's not tangled. Sometimes I put a bit of coconut oil on my fingers when I do this to weigh it down and discourage frizz. I also frequently brush and comb it before a shower to spread the oils and dislodge product and scalp gunk. I also use a big comb while in the shower to detangle with conditioner (if she has fine hair, combing while wet may be too much. Fingers might be better.)

If you would like to suggest these ideas to your friend, feel free! HTH.

March 13th, 2008, 10:05 AM
If I tried, I could get away entirely with fingercombing with conditioner in the shower. It's not so bad.

March 13th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I don't generally dry brush, with the exception of sometimes using a baby brush around my scalp just to neaten things. Dry brushing usually means big...really, really big hair. I also do not comb my hair when it's dry because that will also lead to big hair, just not quite as fast.

But detangling is absolutely necessary. I use a seamless comb and carefully dantangle under the shower spray when I wash. I do this regularly. My hair is very tangly. If I don't get those tangles out, it's a true nightmare of matted knots that cause damage when I try to get them out.

Detangling is essential.

March 13th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Sounds like she's on her way to natural dreadlocks. That or a "Polish plait" (that was the term, right?).

March 13th, 2008, 10:26 AM
This is my experience: I'm only a bit curly but am in the withdrawal stages of giving up use of the brush. I really don't think it's a good idea, especially as my hair gets longer and the ends get older and more fragile. I also don't comb or finger-comb in the shower anymore because I could feel that I was stretching and pulling at my hair. I massage the conditioner in with my fingers and then squeeze out the excess water and conditioner without rinsing. When it's dry, I very carefully detangle and comb.

Does your friend want to be "saved"? Sometimes people don't. If she does, I think the best way to start would be to work a lot of conditioner through her hair, squeeze out the excess like I do, then let it dry. The conditioner should make the comb out a little easier than it would be otherwise. I suppose it could be done wet, as well. I really didn't notice a problem with that until I reached about hip length. Teach her about washing her scalp without messing her hair all around.

Oh, and there are detangling sprays that could be used, also. Perhaps as a friend you could detangle/comb it out for her.

March 13th, 2008, 10:50 AM
I wonder if she heard that curlies should not brush or comb their hair while dry and took it a little too far or misunderstood? I can't imagine what my hair would look like if I NEVER detangled. I do a lot of finger detangling and using a shower comb in the shower with a lot of conditioner in my hair. Coconut oil helps me to detangle when it is dry. I remember not knowing how to take care of my hair when I was in junior high school and my sister took me to a salon. They almost never got all of the tangles out of my hair. I would brush the top of it and leave the underneath and it was very snarly. Poor girl. I would try to help her if you can at all.

heidi w.
March 13th, 2008, 10:53 AM
One of the reasons to find some way to 'detangle' hair is to remove hairs that have shed naturally. We all have had the experience of finding a loose strand here and there rather sitting in our bonnet without being culled out through some kind of process.

If she has mats and terrible tangles, she could indeed be on her way to what's known as a bird's nest problem. In such dramatic cases, the hair often needs to be cut off to remove the matt. (Not unlike a matt that a dog might get.)

She is correct that brushing or even combing, at least while dry, will cause poofiness and break up the coiled locks of curls.

The recommendation I would have for her is use a very wide tooth comb in the shower, pad the hair with a lot of conditioner, and dip the comb in the conditioner, also coating the comb this way...and use the shower water to get a little order and distribute the conditioner. She can scrunch the hair when she gets out of the shower, and apply her 'oils' or leave in products.

BUT, here's the hitch. This is you writing in--not her. She believes what she believes, and she believes this is working for her. You can not dissuade her nor inform her: she will only be put off by any further remarks you might make or any advice you might suggest.

Therefore, the only other POSSIBLE comment I might make is something about have you ever heard of a long hair site? And see how receptive she is to that before sharing any URL.

And then leave it to her.

It's her hair and her life and her decision.

We've all had the experience of seeing hair we know exactly what to do for, but we have to keep our opinion to ourself because it's their life and their decision.

We educate here for ourselves, for our own interests -- not necessarily to be any version of an evangelist. Most do not take kindly to us involving ourselves in such matters.

Let it go. It's her life.
heidi w.

March 13th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Thanks for all the great tips, especially the last one. I give her these tips the next time I speak to her. You've been very helpful. I just wanna help her too. Thanks.

March 13th, 2008, 01:02 PM
My friend has really curly hair.. However its super tangled and I asked her how often she combs or brushes her hair and she said: never. Meaning she hasnt brushed her hair in several years.. No comb.. No brush.. Not even finger combing.. I told her its necessary to comb through hair even if its curly or straight and she said its impossible to comb/brush curly hair and that its not something to recomend and therefor she dosnt do it. Its really tangled up, like a messy birds nest, I can imagine it would hurt... She has big curls..

Is it true or not? Comb or not? What advice should I give her? I dont have curly hair so I dont know if this is true or not but her hair is one big mess. Even worse is when she takes a shower and rubs the shampoo in the hair back and forth up and down.
I have 3c/4a type hair and I rarely brush my tresses but I do detangle my hair in the shower using a wide toothed comb and LOTS of conditioner. I fingercomb my hair on a daily basis and the only other time I use an actual comb is when I want to create neat and even parts for more elaborate braid styles.

My hair tends to get tangled very easily so fingercombing is a must with me.

March 13th, 2008, 10:34 PM
Thanks for all the great tips, especially the last one. I give her these tips the next time I speak to her. You've been very helpful. I just wanna help her too. Thanks.

You have been given great advice & I have nothing to add, except to say I hope your friend appreciates your care & concern for her. Personally< I can't imagine never detangling.:confused:

March 14th, 2008, 02:23 AM
Ewww she must have a ton of loose hairs up in that bird's nest. :(

My hair is naturally wavy/curly and it tangles easily. If I didn't detangle it everyday it would probably be a bird's nest too.

I condition it in the shower and then apply a spray in detangler AND a leave-in conditioner afterwards. I then use a detangling comb.

I think curlies should detangle with a comb if not everyday then every other day because if anything it gets rid of the loose hairs.

Pixel Gypsy
March 14th, 2008, 06:58 AM
I'm not a curly, but my friend who has the most beautiful waist length(ish) spirals never lets a brush touch her hair. She combs with a wide toothed comb while wet and very gently finger combs throughout the day once it's dry. Her hair never looks frizzy or poofy, but doesn't look tangly or matted either.

March 14th, 2008, 07:59 AM
I never use a brush or comb, it ruins my curls and breaks my hair dry. But I finger-comb my hair in the shower when it's full of conditioner. That's the only way I can detangle it.

I don't know how your friend hasn't ended up with one big mat. I wash my hair every 2-4 days usually, and a LOT of shed hair that has been wrapped up in my curls comes out.. I can't imagine how much hair would be in there if I never combed through it!!

April 28th, 2008, 03:14 PM

every. one. should de-tangle. their hair.
Brush, comb, fingers, I don't care. You must do it!

April 28th, 2008, 09:01 PM
I have wavy/curly hair and the only time I comb it is after I've wet/washed it. And then, it's with a very wide tooth comb, gently and with alot of leave in conditioner. I never comb/brush it when it's dry as it wrecks the curl pattern and can turn it into a frizzy mess : )

April 28th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I never brush my hair!! I only comb it in the shower when my head is full of conditinor. I use a Shower Comb.

I tried not combing at all. only finger combing. ( I guess that is some form of combing after all.lol.lol.) but only finger combing for 5 long months. destroyed my hair!!! destroyed it!!!!!

I must comb my hair on a regular basis in order to keep it from becomming a tangled horriffic mess.

April 28th, 2008, 09:33 PM
I always finger comb in the shower and with some leave-in treatment out of the shower. I don't run anything through my hair once styled and set into place. But NEVER detangling??? That seems like it would ruin my hair. It would be matted and nasty. I could just imagine my hair full of tangles and really looking like a bird's nest.

April 28th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Never detangling is basically the way to get natural dreadlocks. I went 3 months when I had my backcombed locks without any sort of care other than occasional washing and even the straight roots of mine that were growing out were extremely matted, especially when I tried to comb it all out.

A friend of mine that graduated last year had the prettiest nearly hip when stretched 3b/f/iii hair that she said she never brushed, but simply combed conditioner through in the shower and left it up to dry.

August 21st, 2008, 10:53 PM
*looks down* Um... I actually used to do that: the whole not combing, brushing thing. I just didn't know how to handle my very tangly naturally curly hair. I got sick and tired of it. But, after surfing the internet alot, and making my goal of growing healthy long hair I realized that by not combing/brushing/detangling I was really hurting my hair lol. I would lose alot of hair and it just became all tangled up that it was all together in the back of my head like I had it tied up in a ponytail when it wasn't... Annnnnyways the day I finally combed my hair was the WORST... yeah I don't want a day like that to come ever again. I just couldn't handle the tangliness of my curly hair. Meh, detangled curly hair looks soo much better... it actually bounces and the curls are separate. >.>; Anyways that's what a newbie like me thinks.

Oh and btw what I do right now is wide tooth combing my hair while in the shower. I really can't detangle it when dry... But I read that combing hair while wet loosens up the hydrogen bonds in the hair and makes it weaker, is that true? I guess tonight I'm going to try to wide tooth comb it while dry then shower.

Hey does anyone know if boar bristle brushes are good on curly hair? I want to distribute the sebum to my dry ends.

August 22nd, 2008, 12:31 AM
My current sig shows what happens when you brush curly hair, but yeah, you should at least COMB it, even if it's just with your fingers. Jeez louise. Sounds like your friend took to heart a little too much something that she heard. I comb mine twice daily and it's better for it. (Not everyone needs to comb that often.)

Your friend should come here to get the real scoop on curls. The curly girls will learn her right! :cool:

August 22nd, 2008, 12:54 AM
If my hair were much curlier, I would not ever brush it, but COMB it. As it is, I only brush my hair on "dirty days" to hide scalp cleavage for updos, and sometimes before washing. The rest of the time, I just comb - and I'm barely wavy!

My BF's hair is 2c (at least) and I spend a LOT of time detangling it for him. He sits down and I start with the wide-toothed comb, carefully detangling from the bottom, while he works on the worst tangles (usually the back left side of his head) with his fingers. A lot of swearing usually ensues.

Because he doesn't comb enough (he *can* brush, but it poofs his hair out in a weird way) he tends to get mats and knots throughout his hair. However, I've also noticed that he dries his hair by rubbing it with the towel. Not so great for his fine hair.

I am slowly teaching him that he NEEDS to use conditioner. He's a guy, he wants to be low-maintenance, but he also wants nice hair. Two days ago I just cut off about 5 inches of damaged, split, dry ends, and gave him an SMT.

Your friend would do well to try some of the ideas in this thread!

August 22nd, 2008, 04:45 AM
I mainly detangle with a wide-toothed seamfree comb in the shower with my hair slathered in conditioner. However I do sometime use my tangle Teezer brush on dry hair if I'm going to bed or in the morning if I'm putting my hair up from dry.

Kerry xx

August 22nd, 2008, 11:21 AM
I also always use a comb in the shower, and even a little bit when its still very wet. If I even think about touching my hair after that my curls freak out.

I'll brush my hair when I try to braid it, or put it in a ponytail. If I brush it before bed when I wake up I have 3-4 giant springy curls underneath and then frizz on top. :(

August 22nd, 2008, 12:46 PM
Hmm. I detangle in the shower with lots of condish, and comb through once or twice as soon as I get out of the shower. After that, it's just gentle and light finger-combing until I wash (CO) again. I seem to shed a lot more than most I know, but I suspect that that's because I wash only every second or third day, so that's when I'm losing shed hairs.

I do use a BBB about once a week the night before I wash, and that's just to spread oils out over the length. I'll occasionally use a BBB to smooth the crown of an updo, but that's it.

I will say, though, that in high school I really did a lot of damage to my hair: ripped a brush through it a few times a day, shampooed almost every day, never wore it up, etc. I was told that the brushing was particularly bad for my hair, but I did it anyway because I wouldn't be told differently. It wasn't until I chopped it all off and came to this site to try to grow it back that I started to care for my hair. Generally, I've found that someone has to get tired of doing something that doesn't work before changing that.

August 22nd, 2008, 12:53 PM
um why would she let her hair tangle and mat up? Why would you even want your hair like that? I imagine that nobody apparently has taken the time to teach her how to take care of her hair? I is just confused on why anyone would let there hair get horrible like that:confused: My dd has curly hair and I make sure it is de-tangled and well moisturized. I would never NOT comb my dd's hair.

August 22nd, 2008, 01:04 PM
The boar bristles didn't work well on my hair.

August 22nd, 2008, 09:02 PM
When I had short hair even to apl I didn't need to comb or brush it ever. The action of applying conditioner and rinsing it out would detangle my hair for me. Although now, I do finger comb my hair while in the shower. I don't think I would be able to let my hair become one massive tangle.

curly girl fla
August 22nd, 2008, 09:12 PM
I use a Denman brush everyday to detangle and distribute product in wet hair. It works much better for me than my wide tooth comb, has not damaged my hair, and is the only way I get some decent clumps and spirals. I've finger combed, raked, whatever you want to call it, and I still will do that once in awhile, but the Denman is the only constant in my hair routine...

August 22nd, 2008, 11:40 PM
I permed my long (bsl to waist) hair for 20 years....and haven't used a brush on my hair from prior to that. There is no way I could have brushed my hair when it was curly and I see no reason to now.

What I found way back then were a couple of wide spaced metal picks. It was the only thing that worked on my hair.
Lots of conditioner which I had to use to detangle it, then run a pick through it... that worked great. In fact, I was beside myself when I lost one once because you can't find them anymore.

I would also occassionally use the pick on dry hair but for detangling it was always in the shower with conditioner... I could never have had long hair without conditioner.


August 23rd, 2008, 06:07 AM
I do brush my hair, though not usually on day one or two from washing/conditioning it. Once the detritus of the day manages to disturb the curl and it goes to uncomfortable and frizzy looking, I do use the brush. I'm way too tenderheaded with combs and picks and though it might snap my hair (but then so do using my fingers, using a comb, using a pick), it just feels so good and it just doesn't hurt my head (unless a particularly gnarly snarly). I love brushes!

August 29th, 2014, 12:37 AM
As a 1c/2a, I'm trying to embrace the "don't brush" advice to encourage my natural waves, but it is a hard habit to kick! Only two days in, I started having dreams about brushing my hair -- really detailed dreams where I'm using an ivory boar bristle brush with gold metal bristles throughout (???). I don't own any such brush, just a standard paddle brush with spaced-out plastic bristles, but I guess my psyche imagined the worst-possible brush for wavies and there I was in my dream, relishing every stroke with this brush. Anyone else have crazy dreams during hair brush withdrawal? ;-)