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View Full Version : So I tried NOT detangling wet hair...



swords & roses
March 17th, 2014, 02:36 PM
It's been suggested on more than one occassion on LHC to refrain from detangling wet hair. "It damages the hair." "It disguises your true texture when determining your hair type." Etc, etc.

And I'd read those comments & think, oh how nice for them, who can skip detangling wet hair. Not me! Never! I've ALWAYS had to detangle my hair as soon as I get out of the shower, even when I was a very little kid. It just gets SO tangly! And it's infinitely worse when it's wet. It takes me 15-20 minutes to detangle it, so long that it's almost dry by the time I'm done. And then I have to detangle it again once it's dry, because it manages to become a bit of a mess again that quickly. I mean, sure I'd just love to save all that time and skip combing through wet hair, but.........

Well, I tried it. Twice. *gasp*

And I-- I think my hair LIKES this newer, lazier routine!

Now I'm not retiring my comb completely. I still need it to clean up my center part & smooth the frizzies across my crown as soon as I get out of the shower. But there will be no more major detangle sessions with it!

When I skipped the big post-wash combing, I definitely saved time in my morning routine, and ended up with A LOT LESS breakage. Before, I'd usually have enough broken hairs on my comb &, later, my brush to sculpt a moderate-sized rodent each time. When I skipped the wet comb-through, and only detangled it with a brush once dry, there was a significant decrease in the amount of breakage caught in the brush compared to my previous comb-then-brush routine. That's always a plus! Sure, my brushing came across a few more tangles than with my old habits, but it's way easier to fix those on dry hair with a brush than on wet hair with a comb. I think my hair feels a little fuller and bouncier without the combing, too. I see no difference in my texture/type, but I like what I've got, so that's fine by me.

So aside from a touch of crown-preening, this former non-believer isn't detangling wet hair again! Just wanted to share my story, for anyone else out there who was like me, and scared to skip the comb. Give it a try! You may just be as surprised as I was! :blossom:

woodswanderer
March 17th, 2014, 03:09 PM
Hmmm. I may have to try it. I have been trying to minimize combing/brushing while wet and just finger combing instead.

ooglipoo
March 17th, 2014, 03:09 PM
Cool! I do it kind of the other way, brush before I wash, then don't have to detangle afterwards. It works great for me, and I do get fluffier hair for it! Good discovery... I hope you continue to get great results this way. :D

Kherome
March 17th, 2014, 03:14 PM
Same here, I never comb while wet. It's much easier to get through when dry. However I recommend you do NOT brush it when it dries, but use your fingers or a wide tooth comb once dry.

Loribelle
March 17th, 2014, 03:20 PM
THANKS for sharing. I am just like you were! I am afraid of skipping the wet detangling because my hair is SOOOO tangled after I wash. I will give it a go, though, and see how it works :-)

spidermom
March 17th, 2014, 03:21 PM
I comb or brush before washing, too. Then I try to mess my hair around as little as possible while washing and conditioning by stroking over my scalp with fingers going in one direction only (the way the hair is lying).

Feline
March 17th, 2014, 03:39 PM
I comb and brush my hair before washing, shampoo gently, then comb conditioner thru it with a wide tooth comb. I also use the wide tooth comb immediately after my final vinegar water rinse, then no combing until it is damp dry. Again, always with a wide tooth comb. No combing when it is very wet, and absolutely NO brushing until it s completely dry.

lapushka
March 17th, 2014, 03:46 PM
Even though I'm wavy, it doesn't hurt my texture at all, to have it combed right after it comes out of the towel after washing (so combing with a wide-tooth comb, on damp hair). My styling products come after, so that buzzes the texture right back up. :shrug:

swords & roses
March 17th, 2014, 03:54 PM
I did, and still do, brush before showering, rinse out my conditioner by running my fingers along the hair shaft, leave the conditioner rinse-out for very last, and only pat-dry the excess water with a towel (vs scrunching or tousle-ing; can't skip the pat dry because I can't stand cold water dripping down my back) to minimize the amount of tangling. Still would be tangled like crazy, fresh out of the shower. Finger combing has never really worked for me, wet or dry. Seems to make more of a mess than I start with!

But my new routine of brush, wash, tame the crown, air dry, & brush again seems to be working great! And my arms are WAY less tired, lol! Maybe this new method will lessen that multitude of breaks all up & down my length. :)

stachelbeere
March 17th, 2014, 04:01 PM
yeah, I have also not been detangling while wet for a few years now :) I detangle before washing and after it's dried.

I have a suggestion/ question though - I like to head-bang around with my wet hair, or just whirl it around a little which loosens the hair a lot - but how damaging could this be?

jupiterinleo
March 17th, 2014, 05:36 PM
yeah, I have also not been detangling while wet for a few years now :) I detangle before washing and after it's dried.

I have a suggestion/ question though - I like to head-bang around with my wet hair, or just whirl it around a little which loosens the hair a lot - but how damaging could this be?

This is probably not that damaging. Maybe as damaging as combing, if not less. I wouldn't be able to do it, as my head turns into one huge tangle as soon as I'm upside down. Sounds fun, though. :P

hippie girl
March 17th, 2014, 06:01 PM
I only comb when dry. And, I always detangle before getting my hair wet. Always.

Any shed hairs that have fallen out and caught in my hair seem to be what causes (or encourages) tangles and breakage in the rest of my hair. Especially once it is wet. Getting the stray hair out first totally makes a difference. Not removing the strays before washing causes a mess of tangles afterwards.

Once wet, my hair is so fine I can't see the tangles. The comb will only cause breakage. If I try and comb when wet is way too hard to see individual little tangles. Detangling dry first seems to be the way to go.

Once it is dry, any tangles I see can be pulled apart with fingers and then combed. So much easier. That, and I can still damp bun after washing (without combing) and you totally can't tell it was not combed. Well, maybe a little, but who is looking that close? :)

Plus point with the detangle before washing method: any stray hairs are gone and less likely to end up clogging the drain! :)

I have been doing this for so many years I'm afraid to try any other way. I still have breakage, (or taper, as I never trim anymore) but I think that is just the nature of having such fine hair.
Actually, when I look at my stray hair after combing, most normally seem to have a bulb root, so maybe my breakage is less than I think and just natural taper. Who knows?!

I remember how hard it was to comb when wet and don't want to change the system at this point!

swearnsue
March 17th, 2014, 06:19 PM
I've been struggling with NOT combing my hair while wet. It is such a habit! I do the head bang thing two or three times, wrap with a towel and then try not to touch it until it is almost dry and then try to only finger comb the clumps apart.

But more often than not I get out the tangle teezer and use it on very damp hair.

duchess67
March 17th, 2014, 06:29 PM
I do exactly like the way you do :D Detangling before washing and after I remove the towel from my hair I head-bang a couple of times, then leave it to dry. I'm no expert but I don't think this should be damaging in any way. I don't like to comb wet hair.




yeah, I have also not been detangling while wet for a few years now :) I detangle before washing and after it's dried.

I have a suggestion/ question though - I like to head-bang around with my wet hair, or just whirl it around a little which loosens the hair a lot - but how damaging could this be?

Hairitic
March 17th, 2014, 06:40 PM
I have given it a try as well. I, too was surprised that my hair wasn't a totally snarled rats nest once dry without the initial wet detangling. I'm not sure how much difference it made in the amount of hair loss I had. Since I've been using WEN Cleansing Conditioners, the herbal tea/ACV rinse and a Tangle Teezer, I get little to no breakage. So, that didn't change. My problem with sticking with the "no wet detangling" routine is a matter of aesthetics. I just look and feel "funky" with tangled hair for 5 - 6 hours. :o My stupid head battles with that concept. :p. I'll make the effort again since I "believe" that there should be less damage if I don't comb wet hair! Thanks for the reminder. :blossom:

Monkshood
March 17th, 2014, 06:42 PM
Maybe it's because I wash my hair upside down, but I can't not detangle while wet, even if I thoroughly detangle it prior to washing (and I always do). I tried it a while ago and my hair dried into a rat's nest that I then had to spend an hour carefully detangling.

Sarahlabyrinth
March 17th, 2014, 08:03 PM
Are you all talking about not detangling WET hair - as in dripping wet, or damp hair, which has been wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes?

Because I detangle mine whilst damp, but not wet and it doesn't seem to do any damage.

lapushka
March 17th, 2014, 08:08 PM
Are you all talking about not detangling WET hair - as in dripping wet, or damp hair, which has been wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes?

Because I detangle mine whilst damp, but not wet and it doesn't seem to do any damage.

Exactly. I think that that's key. We always detangle before a wash, but post wash as well, when the hair's been in a towel for 15 to 20 minutes. And even when wet, it's not a big deal. Most curlies detangle wet, with lots of conditioner.

swords & roses
March 17th, 2014, 09:32 PM
See, my hair dries so fast that I would start out detangling while it was dripping wet, and it would be damp to nearly dry by the time I was done. (Perk of being fine-haired: it can go from sopping wet to bone dry in 30-45 minutes!) I always found my hair to be much more agreeable to a wet detangle session when it was dripping wet, vs just damp.

Now, towel wrapping is something I haven't tried yet. My hair likes to stay in whatever position it dries in and will not be reasoned with at that point, which is why I have to tame the center part & the crown frizzies while they're still wet, even if I'm not actually detangling the wet hair. I've always worried that my hair would have funky waves, a messy center part, & frizzies galore if I towel wrapped. And I'd think it'd dry faster left down & loose. Thoughts there from those who towel wrap?

RoseofCimarron
March 17th, 2014, 10:33 PM
I've been doing this for a few years, since my hair reached about waist and turned into a big ball of craziness when brushed (was still using a brush back then). Now, I usually comb my hair before washing, leave my hair alone afterward (I just let it drip, I don't dry it), and then comb it out when I wake up in the morning. The only problem with this is that I am not a morning person, and I have to go to school early in the morning so I don't like having to spend 5-10 minutes carefully combing out my hair, so now I have tried detangling while wet a few times. I really do like the morning detangling better because it keeps my curls (which mostly disappear no matter how I comb my hair) softer. Detangling while wet usually gives me frizzy ends.

Congrats on finding something new that works for you! :)

Stray_mind
March 18th, 2014, 05:40 AM
I comb my hair when it's slightly damp. If my hair gets dried completely then it turns into a wavy tangly ball of mess and it's extremely hard to comb it out without the "snap" sounds..

browneyedsusan
March 18th, 2014, 06:29 AM
I detangle before I wash, fingercomb with condish in the shower, rinse carefully, and it comes out okay? It looks all kinds of crazy while it's drying, but it usually dries without any snarls in it? This has been fairly easy to manage since I never got tangles with the teensy pixie anyway! :D

lapushka
March 18th, 2014, 08:54 AM
Thoughts there from those who towel wrap?

Well, it doesn't mess with my wave pattern any. Hair is squeegeed out, then wrapped in a turbie twist. After that, it kind of "sticks" in its original squeegee form, so it's shaken loose with the help of fingers at the scalp (in kind of a bowl-form). Then it's combed out gently with a wide-tooth comb. It doesn't mess with my wave pattern any, I find. And the styling comes next (LOC method: leave-in, oil/serum, styling cream/gel)

swearnsue
March 18th, 2014, 11:22 AM
I detangle before I wash, fingercomb with condish in the shower, rinse carefully, and it comes out okay? It looks all kinds of crazy while it's drying, but it usually dries without any snarls in it? This has been fairly easy to manage since I never got tangles with the teensy pixie anyway! :D

Hi! My hair does about the same thing, once it is dry it isn't really tangled. But as our hair gets longer....we may get more tangles. Don't you think the henna helps with the untangled/slippy condition? I know it has helped my hair!

YamaMaya
March 18th, 2014, 01:32 PM
I run a TT through my hair once it's 50% dry, but only for a few strokes to smooth it out, and only once I've oiled my hair to help the tangles slip out easier.

insilentharmony
March 18th, 2014, 02:01 PM
So I tried this today. I can't say I noticed a decrease in shed hairs, but it was really nice to only detangle once (when my hair was dry) as opposed to detangling twice (when my hair was damp then later dry). I think the key point to remember if only detangling hair when dry is to thoroughly detangle prior to washing. That has made the biggest difference for me in my haircare routine.

browneyedsusan
March 19th, 2014, 06:54 AM
Hi! My hair does about the same thing, once it is dry it isn't really tangled. But as our hair gets longer....we may get more tangles. Don't you think the henna helps with the untangled/slippy condition? I know it has helped my hair!

I wonder if it will get more tangley as it grows, too! It probably will, just because there will be more of it to get into mischief.
I can't address the henna. I didn't notice the condition of my hair when it was pixied, except to color and cut it every month or 6 weeks. Before I cut the pixie, it was permed, and strawlike, but so was everyone else's--'80's - 90's. My hair hasn't been "natural" since I was little, and I don't remember much except it was very straight. It's super-slippy now, though! Probably because of the henna. I have difficulty putting it up on wash day, and sometimes the day after. Everything just slips out!
Your hair is gorgeous! I love the color! :flowers:

KittyBird
March 19th, 2014, 07:42 AM
I only detangle when my hair is completely dry. If I do it while it's wet or damp, I get breakage, and it's also really difficult to undo the tangles. My hair likes to clump together in long stringy waves, and it would take ages for me to divide all those, only to have the hairs cling together in clumps again right away. It's so much easier to do it when my hair is dry, because the strands aren't as clingy then.
I brush my hair with my TT before the shower, so my hair isn't actually that bad when I'm done washing it. I think most of my post-wash tangles come from me wearing it down for hours afterwards. Totally worth it though, because I prefer airdrying and it's quite nice to wear my hair down and wavy sometimes. :o

VJG
March 19th, 2014, 08:40 AM
Does detangling in-shower w/ the conditioner in cause problems? That's how I usually handle it.

MaryO
March 19th, 2014, 09:27 AM
I was interested to read the opinions on this thread as this is the (almost) only issue I have with my hair. Except- it doesn't really tangle but mat near my crown on the right hand side. It always happens at the same spot and it doesn't matter what I try do or don't do. Sometimes I'll detangle when damp and sometimes I'll just put it up as is then I'll deal with the little nest later! ;-)

UP Lisa
March 19th, 2014, 10:11 AM
I usually do some finger combing while my hair is drying, but my hair tangles no matter what I do. It is always amazing to me that even though it's always braided or up except when drying, it still manages to tangle.

Lilli
March 20th, 2014, 06:39 AM
I have the same hair type as you, OP. Maybe I will try it. I don't mind combing it if I have used a coney conditioner, but if I have used a protein conditioner, it is terrible to comb it. Maybe I will just be gentle in the shower and then wait until it is dry to brush it with my Mason Pearson.

swords & roses
March 20th, 2014, 07:29 AM
Give it a shot, Lilli! Let us know how it goes! :)

itsnikki
March 20th, 2014, 07:45 AM
I always just gently squeeze any excess water out and then leave it alone until dry or maybe 98%, then I finger detangle. But my daughter? (She's the one who really has long hair) I've tried that. She's a curly, and even though they are pretty and loose ringlets, if I don't detangle while wet, it's.. I just can't even. It gets so tangled.. We wind up losing more hair even detangling right when it's dry. So I always do it while wet or spritz it with water beforehand.. :)

HoneyDayTripper
March 20th, 2014, 08:31 AM
Hmm you might have something here. I feel like there's this point when it's 80% dry when you think ew! my hair feels awful like straw. Then when it's 100% dry I realize it's silky and soft and detangling is much easier. Once it's totally dry it transforms into its normal texture. Maybe by detangling when it's wettish I'm just encouraging breakage. This will be a really hard habit to break, especially since I think some basic detangling on damp hair speeds up the drying process for me.

lapushka
March 20th, 2014, 10:13 AM
I always just gently squeeze any excess water out and then leave it alone until dry or maybe 98%, then I finger detangle. But my daughter? (She's the one who really has long hair) I've tried that. She's a curly, and even though they are pretty and loose ringlets, if I don't detangle while wet, it's.. I just can't even. It gets so tangled.. We wind up losing more hair even detangling right when it's dry. So I always do it while wet or spritz it with water beforehand.. :)

For a curly, it's a different ballgame. Detangling when wet is the way to go!

itsnikki
March 20th, 2014, 11:13 AM
For a curly, it's a different ballgame. Detangling when wet is the way to go!
Good! I mean, her hair has been the same now since she was 3ish, but still good to hear I'm doing it right! She has a nice mixture of my fairly straight hair with silky texture and her days tight curls. Loose, fine curly hair!

Amahaitz
March 20th, 2014, 11:28 AM
I comb or gently brush before I wash my hair, but lately I have been letting it dry or sometimes even blowing it dry before trying to comb it again. It is much easier to get the tangles out, and they actually stay out (at least for a while). I have weird hair I think.

lapushka
March 20th, 2014, 12:15 PM
I honestly think it doesn't really matter when you detangle, just *how* you detangle and whether or not you do it gently (wide-tooth comb or Tangle Teezer and some patience).