View Full Version : Combing when wet or dry?

July 6th, 2014, 11:52 AM
I've read many different views on this subject from women with curly hair. Some say that you should comb your hair when dry because hair is most vulnerable when it is wet. While others say that you should comb your hair when wet which causes less breakage because you aren't combing through curls. And still others say that you shouldn't comb your hair at all unless it is finger combing. Which is truly the safest for hair? I'm trying to prevent as much breakage as possible.

Nadine <3
July 6th, 2014, 11:56 AM
When I want my waves I comb in the shower loaded with conditioner and then I finger comb only after it's dried. I believe most ladies with curls do the same, or something similar.

July 6th, 2014, 12:00 PM
I only comb when my hair is wet. I read somewhere that the cuticle is less prone to breakage when it's wet.

July 6th, 2014, 12:01 PM
Same as Nadine. I use a TT in the shower with conditioner, but don't comb or brush once I'm out, just finger-bodge into place. But I'm a wavy, not a curly so YMMV :)

July 6th, 2014, 12:03 PM
I don't have curly hair. In general, hair is at its weakest when it is wet. Therefore, more prone to breakage if you are not careful when detangling.

Perhaps you might want to try a drop or 2 of mineral oil on damp (not dripping wet) curls. You apply the drop of MO on to your palms, rub them together, then press your palms down and through your hair. Then detangle your hair SLOWLY, taking only SMALL sections of hair at a time. Don't just pull the comb through the mass of curls/hair. Detangling in sections is more gentle on your hair because it allows you to locate and isolate any snarls more easily than you would by just combing through it wily nily. Be sure to start from the bottom of the strands and work up until you reach the scalp.

July 6th, 2014, 12:50 PM
I only comb it when its damp or toweldry, never when dry, never when soaking wet.

July 6th, 2014, 12:57 PM
For me, it depends.

If I want nice 3a curls, I comb gently in the shower with lots of conditioner slip - let it air dry - and that's it.

But If I have braid waves or if it dried in a bun, my hair is then easy to comb - just like anyone with 2a or 2b hair. If I want to keep that look longer, massage my scalp and distribute sebum (ex. on a few days of hair without washing), I can then dry-comb and even use a BBB.

Dry combing 3a curls is not a wise move though.

July 6th, 2014, 01:04 PM

Scroll down to section 10.3.11

It is important to understand that curly hair and straight hair dont behave the same way when wet and dry, thus damage caused is exactly the opposite for both. This is the reason you get conflicting advice.

I find that my hair detangles automatically in the shower as the conditioner rinses out and shed hair falls off. After that minimal handling is ideal for my kind of curly hair.

July 6th, 2014, 01:15 PM
I think it is a matter of what you and your hair can and will tolerate for damage. I personally comb my hair in the shower. I have not noticed much damage from doing it this way.

July 6th, 2014, 03:25 PM
I finger comb in the shower, and then use a wide tooth comb once I get out, on damp hair with a generous amount of leave-in. If I try to comb/detangle once it's dry the curls just try to stick back together and tangle up more. It's nearly impossible, and I end up with a fluffy mess on my head. I'm certain for my hair at least, dry combing is more damaging. I do try to be gentle with the wet hair though, and always use conditioner when detangling.

July 6th, 2014, 03:36 PM
My hair gets combed and brushed out thoroughly when dry, before a wash (because my wave pattern doesn't matter at that point). Then it's washed, and when it comes out of the towel, it is combed, gently, when damp, right before styling (when the waves get oomphed back up).

I would never comb or brush curls or waves dry when your wave or curl pattern still matters (when you still want it to look good).

July 6th, 2014, 04:33 PM
The only time I have ever detangled out of the shower I regretted it so much...
I now only detangle when my hair is wet and conditioned.

July 6th, 2014, 07:56 PM
I wear my hair up all the time, and I find having my hair in a braid or bun smooths it out enough that it is easy to comb dry. I also like to comb it wet in the shower with conditioner, and that is the only time I would comb it if I wanted to leave it down and curly. Since I wear it up and only wash once a week, some mid-week combing is no big deal - so I suppose the answer is that it depends on other parts of your routine.

July 6th, 2014, 09:15 PM
I finger-comb my hair except on wash days, when I technically comb both wet and dry.

Before the shower, using a comb is fine for detangling since I'm going to be washing it anyway. However, after the shower I only comb it when it's wet/damp to oil it. Then I braid it and leave it alone for a night.

Dry combing leads to poof and frizz.

July 7th, 2014, 12:40 AM
I think most of the time my best bet is to detangle in the shower with conditioner so that I keep my curl pattern. But after a couple of days without washing my hair is no longer the same and sometimes I feel like combing it. I try not to do that too often though because I am afraid of breakage.