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diamond_storm
October 1st, 2015, 09:56 AM
Morning, guys!

I used to have a moderate amount of split ends, probably nothing unusual. I've been solely finger combing for about a year now, and after getting a trim a while back, I pretty much have no split ends. If I searched through my entire head, I might find five as opposed to the 30-40ish I would have found before starting the finger combing.

I feel like my hair is in great shape. It's never been this shiny and manageable in my life, and I'm really very happy with it. It used to tangle very badly prior to starting the finger combing (I also keep it braided quite a lot, which I didn't do before, and I think that also helps cut down on the tangles). However, I do sometimes miss the 'fluffiness' my hair had when I used to brush/comb it. Also, I feel that my hair is always very 'sleek' looking now and kind of clumps together, which isn't necessarily bad--just different. It just doesn't ever have that freshly brushed 'flowy' look to it anymore. I also reallllllllly miss the feeling of a comb or brush on my scalp... Just heavenly :heartbeat:cool:

So I've ordered a horn comb, but I'm not entirely sure I want to go back to combing if it means more split ends.

In fact, one of the reasons that I stopped combing was because my hair always seemed to tangle even if I combed it 10 seconds ago. It was like it would be completely untangled and the second I tried to run the comb through it from a slightly different angle, it would be tangled up again in a strange zipper looking shape. I really feel like the more I touch my hair, the worse off it is. I really can't even do buns or updos because I can feel my hair stretching and about to snap when I try to arrange it. I do use a wide toothed plastic comb after washing and putting in leave-in conditioner, which, oddly enough, is the only time my hair is easy to comb through and I don't have any resistance. Sometimes I feel like my hair is hard to comb because it's too dry.

So what do you guys think? Should I ditch the comb and stick to finger combing only? Do any of you do finger comb only? And if so, is there anything I can achieve that 'just brushed' look without actually using a brush or comb!?

diamond_storm
October 1st, 2015, 09:59 AM
Also, I should mention that my hair isn't really dry. It just feels that way sometimes. It's actually very moisturized.... I make my own leave-in conditioner, and I put a little bit on my hair each night before I braid it.

Nique1202
October 1st, 2015, 11:14 AM
If your comb is wide-toothed then it shouldn't cause significant amounts of damage, as long as you don't rip through tangles (tease the tough ones apart the way I'm guessing you have been already, with your fingers). If your hair is clumping, then that would indicate to me that it's not as clean as it should be. Clean hair shouldn't clump, even if it hasn't been brushed, unless you're talking about proto-curl clumps. Also, if your hair feels like it's stretching and breaking when you do updos, that sounds like you may have lots of buildup or lots of accumulated damage that you need to deal with. There should be no reason you can't bun or braid or otherwise put your hair up safely.

But really, your course of action depends on what you want from your hair. Do you want to have that fresh-brushed feeling even if it means adding split ends to your hair? Then brush it. Would you rather have less-damaged hair and try to grow it even longer and have it still look healthy? Then you'll have to limit the damage being done. Or maybe you want to compromise and find a halfway, like brushing once a week or something. Either way, it's all up to you. We can make suggestions but we can't tell you what to do, and since you already know your options, you have to weigh them for yourself since you're the one that has to live with them.

diamond_storm
October 1st, 2015, 11:48 AM
If your comb is wide-toothed then it shouldn't cause significant amounts of damage, as long as you don't rip through tangles (tease the tough ones apart the way I'm guessing you have been already, with your fingers). If your hair is clumping, then that would indicate to me that it's not as clean as it should be. Clean hair shouldn't clump, even if it hasn't been brushed, unless you're talking about proto-curl clumps. Also, if your hair feels like it's stretching and breaking when you do updos, that sounds like you may have lots of buildup or lots of accumulated damage that you need to deal with. There should be no reason you can't bun or braid or otherwise put your hair up safely.

But really, your course of action depends on what you want from your hair. Do you want to have that fresh-brushed feeling even if it means adding split ends to your hair? Then brush it. Would you rather have less-damaged hair and try to grow it even longer and have it still look healthy? Then you'll have to limit the damage being done. Or maybe you want to compromise and find a halfway, like brushing once a week or something. Either way, it's all up to you. We can make suggestions but we can't tell you what to do, and since you already know your options, you have to weigh them for yourself since you're the one that has to live with them.


It's interesting that you mention it being dirty. My hair attracts a LOT of little fuzzies and lint. I have no idea why. But I've noticed that when I comb it and it gets stuck, I will often find a little fuzz tied around a few hairs. I wash it at least once a week, so I don't understand how it could be dirty. My hair loves coney conditioner, so I use it often. I guess it could be a build-up problem. Is there a good way to tell if you have a lot of build up? Who knows, maybe I'm just very neurotic about my hair when I'm putting it up.

I have super straight and very slippery hair, so it definitely isn't curls. I also don't really have any damage to speak of.... Never heat style, not a lot of mechanical damage, etc.

rowie
October 1st, 2015, 12:01 PM
If your comb is wide-toothed then it shouldn't cause significant amounts of damage, as long as you don't rip through tangles (tease the tough ones apart the way I'm guessing you have been already, with your fingers). If your hair is clumping, then that would indicate to me that it's not as clean as it should be. Clean hair shouldn't clump, even if it hasn't been brushed, unless you're talking about proto-curl clumps. Also, if your hair feels like it's stretching and breaking when you do updos, that sounds like you may have lots of buildup or lots of accumulated damage that you need to deal with. There should be no reason you can't bun or braid or otherwise put your hair up safely.

But really, your course of action depends on what you want from your hair. Do you want to have that fresh-brushed feeling even if it means adding split ends to your hair? Then brush it. Would you rather have less-damaged hair and try to grow it even longer and have it still look healthy? Then you'll have to limit the damage being done. Or maybe you want to compromise and find a halfway, like brushing once a week or something. Either way, it's all up to you. We can make suggestions but we can't tell you what to do, and since you already know your options, you have to weigh them for yourself since you're the one that has to live with them.

Totally close to Nique1202 frame of thoughts. Combing or grooming in general is a highly personal and individualized act since everyone will have a different texture to your own. It definitely needs to be tailored based on your hair's needs. However, if you ask the pros and cons of finger combing mine would be:

Pros:

- Most gentle way of detangling hair only if you know how to control tension and use your own tailored techniques for your hair. I know throughout the years of "finger combing" I realized that controlling the tension of how you grip or move your fingers can also incur damage if you are not careful. I know if i'm in a rush to get somewhere I tend to pull a little stronger on my strands which can encourage tangles thus adding damage. However, when i'm in a relaxed state, I tend to move my fingers much gently and i'll actually take the time to untangle any knots or tangles I may encounter. Tension or control of your fingers I find is very challenging to keep a happy balance between life, and if i'm ever in a rush I've learned to modify my techniques, and finger comb just to untangle enough so that my comb can easily be used if necessary on those specific types of days. I know it's easier said than done, and this will vary for everyone with learning tension, and is also a good practice to get to know your own hair's behavior.

-You have the most control, especially with adding oils or even giving your scalp a really good massage that a comb or brush cannot do. Your fingers can make circular motions to stimulate blood flow to your scalp, and a whole variety of motions you can do for your scalp that a comb or brush cannot produce.

-your fingers are the best form of manipulating hair because you can style it with braids, twists, ad infinitum that a comb or brush cannot do.

- fingers can alleviate and untangle knots and tangles more gentle than a comb or brush if done correctly to your own needs.

Cons:

- Tension with how you work your fingers can incur damage if you are not careful. As mentioned above, life can add to this factor such as getting rushed to go to work, etc...

- The fingers cannot collect all shed hairs sufficiently that a comb or brush can do. I know when I've tried finger combing exclusively, my shed hairs will accumulate to the point that by the time I wash my hair i'd get the illusion that I've shed massively and thus make me panic unnecessarily. Yes, I've been down that path of thinking something is wrong with my health when really it was just a simple matter of not collecting as much sheds during when I detangle my hair.

- Combs and especially some brushes like the bbb will be better at distributing oils to the entire length of hair that your fingers cannot cover. Although this is subjective and not all hair textures can utilize the abilities of a bbb brush to distribute hair, there are other alternatives that work for textures such as curly hair. Usually wavy hair I find has the best ability to live both worlds of using a wooden wide tooth comb or even a bbb brush when it comes to distributing oils used or even at moving sebum down the length. Again there is a technique that will be individualized to make these tools work appropriately to one's own texture.

meteor
October 1st, 2015, 12:04 PM
I think you've been definitely doing the right thing with minimal manipulation, keeping hair braided to prevent tangles and finger-combing only when needed. The reduction in split ends proves you are on the right path. :agree:

About re-introducing brushing and combing, I guess it depends on how fine and/or fragile your hair is. You can start slowly and watch if you see any new split ends, white dots or any other signs of damage.

If all you want is more volume, I would first try to just finger-comb hair upside-down, in bent at the waist position. Ditto for drying/styling hair, if you can. This should add some lift at the roots. You might also want to try dry shampoos or root-clipping techniques (using small/medium claw-clips at the roots while drying hair) or even changing parts or pinning up face-framing hair in a poof for volume.


It's interesting that you mention it being dirty. My hair attracts a LOT of little fuzzies and lint. I have no idea why. But I've noticed that when I comb it and it gets stuck, I will often find a little fuzz tied around a few hairs. I wash it at least once a week, so I don't understand how it could be dirty. My hair loves coney conditioner, so I use it often. I guess it could be a build-up problem. Is there a good way to tell if you have a lot of build up? Who knows, maybe I'm just very neurotic about my hair when I'm putting it up.
Oh, it's quite normal for hair to trap lint/dust, especially if you use oils, serums and wear it down.
My suggestions:
- put hair up or otherwise contain it and cover it with a silky scarf (sleep bonnet, shower cap), you are doing any cleaning;
- check your hats, scarves, bedding for sources of fluff, and avoid flannel/wooly materials around your hair - if you need something warm, line it with silk underneath;
- limit use of oils/butters or other "sticky" ingredients as leave-ins, if necessary;
- clarify from time to time if you notice unusual tangling issues.

spidermom
October 1st, 2015, 12:09 PM
I only finger comb when I'm working conditioner through my hair or can't find my comb. Otherwise I use my comb, and since I'm careful with it and don't rip through tangles or anything like that, I don't believe the comb does damage. Maybe I'm wrong, though. I can always find split ends.

diamond_storm
October 1st, 2015, 12:40 PM
rowie, thanks so much for the detailed pros and cons!

I definitely know what you mean about the appearance of a massive shed due to finger combing only! There's enough hair to make a wig every time I wash my hair:rolleyes: haha, I'd be lying if I said I never had a mini freak-out over it and thought I was losing my hair.

I also agree that massages with fingertips beat combs and brushes. I do a scalp massage almost every night to increase blood circulation. I do enjoy a good session of scraping my scalp with a paddle brush, though, simply because it feels amazing. I do have to say I miss that! I think I value the quality of my hair more, though.




If all you want is more volume, I would first try to just finger-comb hair upside-down, in bent at the waist position. Ditto for drying/styling hair, if you can. This should add some lift at the roots. You might also want to try dry shampoos or root-clipping techniques (using small/medium claw-clips at the roots while drying hair) or even changing parts or pinning up face-framing hair in a poof for volume.

Very interesting! I've never thought of detangling upside down. I've also never heard of root clipping. I will look into that and see about giving it a try!



Oh, it's quite normal for hair to trap lint/dust, especially if you use oils, serums and wear it down.
My suggestions:
- put hair up or otherwise contain it and cover it with a silky scarf (sleep bonnet, shower cap), you are doing any cleaning;
- check your hats, scarves, bedding for sources of fluff, and avoid flannel/wooly materials around your hair - if you need something warm, line it with silk underneath;
- limit use of oils/butters or other "sticky" ingredients as leave-ins, if necessary;
- clarify from time to time if you notice unusual tangling issues.

Well, I do share my bed with a very fluffy little dog:crush: I constantly find her hairs stuck in mine when I'm detangling. That's not likely to change, though, because she kind of runs the house and I doubt she would let me kick her out of bed, hahah:rolleyes:

I do believe I may have a case of product build up. You've mentioned leave-in conditioner, and I'm a habitual user of leave-ins. Seems like what I need is a good clarifying and maybe a silk scarf when I sleep at night!

Nique1202
October 1st, 2015, 12:41 PM
It's interesting that you mention it being dirty. My hair attracts a LOT of little fuzzies and lint. I have no idea why. But I've noticed that when I comb it and it gets stuck, I will often find a little fuzz tied around a few hairs. I wash it at least once a week, so I don't understand how it could be dirty. My hair loves coney conditioner, so I use it often. I guess it could be a build-up problem. Is there a good way to tell if you have a lot of build up? Who knows, maybe I'm just very neurotic about my hair when I'm putting it up.

I have super straight and very slippery hair, so it definitely isn't curls. I also don't really have any damage to speak of.... Never heat style, not a lot of mechanical damage, etc.

Well, if you didn't have much damage then you wouldn't have had many splits before. What hasn't been trimmed out is still there. Just because it's not visible doesn't mean it's not there or can't be felt, you know? Especially if you use 'cones a lot, it may be patched up between washes but it's still there waiting for that little bit more damage to start splitting again like your old trimmed-out ends.

As for how to tell if you have buildup, it's different for everyone but hair acting like it's greasy is definitely a sign, as would be differences in the texture of the hair (the way you say it's "sleek" instead of "flowy"). The best way to check is to do a clarifying wash or two instead of your regular shampoo, then the rest of your regular routine, and see if your hair reacts differently. If that changes how your hair acts and feels, then you may just want to add clarifying to your routine every month or two, or whenever your hair starts to clump again, or you may want to alternate your usual 'coney conditioner with another that's moisturizing and thick but 'cone-free.

cat11
October 1st, 2015, 12:45 PM
I second everything meteor said pretty much, but I also want to say that if you start combing and comb with a really wide tooth comb going slowly from the end to the root and stopping if you get resistance to get the knot with your finger, combing really shouldn't damage your hair unless you do it excessively. I also find it helps keep it clean. I just comb my hair this way once a day or 2 days and it stays detangled and clean. I use a little bit of oil which I put on the comb, usually 1 spray for each side of the head if its a spray or a couple drops per side if its in a bottle. I usually bun it or wear a braid during the day unless its drying.

diamond_storm
October 1st, 2015, 12:50 PM
Well, if you didn't have much damage then you wouldn't have had many splits before. What hasn't been trimmed out is still there. Just because it's not visible doesn't mean it's not there or can't be felt, you know? Especially if you use 'cones a lot, it may be patched up between washes but it's still there waiting for that little bit more damage to start splitting again like your old trimmed-out ends.

As for how to tell if you have buildup, it's different for everyone but hair acting like it's greasy is definitely a sign, as would be differences in the texture of the hair (the way you say it's "sleek" instead of "flowy"). The best way to check is to do a clarifying wash or two instead of your regular shampoo, then the rest of your regular routine, and see if your hair reacts differently. If that changes how your hair acts and feels, then you may just want to add clarifying to your routine every month or two, or whenever your hair starts to clump again, or you may want to alternate your usual 'coney conditioner with another that's moisturizing and thick but 'cone-free.

Oh, I had a huge cut last year, from waist to shoulder, and most of my damage was at the ends since I never heat styled. I've also had a trim since then so I think pretty much all of the damaged 'old' hair is gone by now. There are no visible splits or white-dotted hairs, anyway. I guess it's possible that there could be some non-visible damage, but definitely extremely minimal. Could be true about the cones patching it up, though. I guess clarifying should tell me.

I'm gonna be making a trip to the store today to check out some clarifying shampoos, because I really do think it might be build up! To be honest, I've never clarified before! Any suggestions about a good one?

mary*rose
October 1st, 2015, 01:13 PM
I just started finger combing as a sort of last resort as I left all of my hair tools in Delaware with my SO's father x( His sister picked it up for me, but there's no way for me to retrieve them until I see her again D:

So...finger combing! I'm finding that as I use NW/SO to clean my hair anyway, it's a pretty natural transition to stop using my comb. I mean, I'm using my fingers to scritch and preen anyway; why not just use them to comb through my hair anyway? That way more hair oil moves down the length of my hair. Sometimes when I get lazy or when I'm in a rush I'll just pretend finger combing is good enough and skip the preening haha.

I do find that it's a lot harder than the wide-toothed comb I was used to using for detangling. It's something I'm still getting accustomed to. And I agree that shedding is much more obvious as it doesn't collect on your fingers. My shed hairs usually just end up hanging maybe an inch from the bottom of my still-attached hair, and I feel like I'm pulling out sooooo much hair when I'm done combing even though I know they're not attached, anyway!

As for pros, though, I think I'm shedding less as a result of finger combing. I haven't trimmed in too long, so I can't tell if it's affecting my splits, as I already have a lot of them. I also think it's really relaxing to gently and slowly comb through your hair with your fingers. It's so calming.

luxurioushair
October 1st, 2015, 03:23 PM
No point using a comb often because I always have to put the comb down to detangle without breaking my hair. So I might as well just use my fingers the whole time.

dansyl
October 1st, 2015, 04:59 PM
my split ends have cut down significantly since I stopped brushing, combing

EdG
October 1st, 2015, 08:34 PM
Finger-combing is gentle but not thorough. I finger-comb the obvious tangles, and use a wide-tooth wooden comb for the remaining ones.
Ed

sarahthegemini
October 2nd, 2015, 05:09 AM
Oh, I had a huge cut last year, from waist to shoulder, and most of my damage was at the ends since I never heat styled. I've also had a trim since then so I think pretty much all of the damaged 'old' hair is gone by now. There are no visible splits or white-dotted hairs, anyway. I guess it's possible that there could be some non-visible damage, but definitely extremely minimal. Could be true about the cones patching it up, though. I guess clarifying should tell me.

I'm gonna be making a trip to the store today to check out some clarifying shampoos, because I really do think it might be build up! To be honest, I've never clarified before! Any suggestions about a good one?

You've never clarified before? Have you never used a sulfatey shampoo? That's all that's needed. If you have a lot of build up, you might need to repeat it a few times but a basic shampoo is sufficient.

Alma Petra
October 2nd, 2015, 05:27 AM
When I first transitioned from using a narrow toothed comb to a wider tooth comb a couple of years ago, I was worried that my hair wasn't being thoroughly detangled. But I persisted because the wide-tooth comb was much gentler on my hair. As the months passed and the less than thorough combing didn't do any harm for my hair, I seriously asked myself: what is the point of thorough combing/detangling?

Recently, maybe one month ago, I transitioned to finger detangling because I did something to damage my hair and it became very fragile so combing resulted in breakage. This time I'm less worried about thorough combing. Some areas between the clumps never really get thoroughly detangled but I'm a curly girl and I love the clumps anyway. So me and my hair are happy :)

Alma Petra
October 2nd, 2015, 05:30 AM
I must say that these clumps appear clumpy (of course) but not tangled. I think that if an area is tangled it will not look smooth but rather irregular and then you will be tempted to pay more attention to it while finger detangling.

Nique1202
October 2nd, 2015, 08:48 AM
You've never clarified before? Have you never used a sulfatey shampoo? That's all that's needed. If you have a lot of build up, you might need to repeat it a few times but a basic shampoo is sufficient.

Not necessarily that simple. Plenty of sulfatey shampoos have lots of plant extracts, silicones, and oils in them which wouldn't necessarily give a clarifying effect in the end. My usual shampoo is highly sulfatey (water, sls, sles, and cb are the first 4 ingredients) but it still has enough protein that I need to clarify every so often.

diamond_storm
October 2nd, 2015, 01:40 PM
You've never clarified before? Have you never used a sulfatey shampoo? That's all that's needed. If you have a lot of build up, you might need to repeat it a few times but a basic shampoo is sufficient.

I do use a sulfate shampoo, but never one specifically formulated for clarifying. Also, I tend to only use the shampoo once every 2 washes or so (sometimes more, depending on how dirty my hair feels) because I do CO wash sometimes.

I have to say though, I went out and bought a cheap Suave clarifying shampoo yesterday and a deep conditioning treatment by Neutrogena (I think it was Triple Moisture?) and washed last night and my hair feels AMAZING today. It feels so weightless and it's very shiny.

I think buildup must have been my issue. Also, I don't still don't see any split ends after clarifying, so that makes me happy!

diamond_storm
October 2nd, 2015, 01:43 PM
I should also mention that I hardly ever wash my actual 'hair', as in, I don't usually wash the length. I typically only wash my scalp, if that makes any sense. So I'm sure that contributes to it not being as clean as it needs to be.

I think I'll work in a good clarifying once every month or so from now on just to stay on top of things. My hair really seems to love cones, so I don't think I'd be able to cut cones out. I've tried to before, but cone free conditioners just don't seem to get the job done for me.

sarahthegemini
October 2nd, 2015, 04:03 PM
Not necessarily that simple. Plenty of sulfatey shampoos have lots of plant extracts, silicones, and oils in them which wouldn't necessarily give a clarifying effect in the end. My usual shampoo is highly sulfatey (water, sls, sles, and cb are the first 4 ingredients) but it still has enough protein that I need to clarify every so often.

Hence why I said a basic shampoo :)

OP - glad you're feeling happier with your hair!

Anshul585
January 4th, 2017, 04:55 AM
Morning, guys!

I used to have a moderate amount of split ends, probably nothing unusual. I've been solely finger combing for about a year now, and after getting a trim a while back, I pretty much have no split ends. If I searched through my entire head, I might find five as opposed to the 30-40ish I would have found before starting the finger combing.

I feel like my hair is in great shape. It's never been this shiny and manageable in my life, and I'm really very happy with it. It used to tangle very badly prior to starting the finger combing (I also keep it braided quite a lot, which I didn't do before, and I think that also helps cut down on the tangles). However, I do sometimes miss the 'fluffiness' my hair had when I used to brush/comb it. Also, I feel that my hair is always very 'sleek' looking now and kind of clumps together, which isn't necessarily bad--just different. It just doesn't ever have that freshly brushed 'flowy' look to it anymore. I also reallllllllly miss the feeling of a comb or brush on my scalp... Just heavenly :heartbeat:cool:

So I've ordered a horn comb, but I'm not entirely sure I want to go back to combing if it means more split ends.

In fact, one of the reasons that I stopped combing was because my hair always seemed to tangle even if I combed it 10 seconds ago. It was like it would be completely untangled and the second I tried to run the comb through it from a slightly different angle, it would be tangled up again in a strange zipper looking shape. I really feel like the more I touch my hair, the worse off it is. I really can't even do buns or updos because I can feel my hair stretching and about to snap when I try to arrange it. I do use a wide toothed plastic comb after washing and putting in leave-in conditioner, which, oddly enough, is the only time my hair is easy to comb through and I don't have any resistance. Sometimes I feel like my hair is hard to comb because it's too dry.

So what do you guys think? Should I ditch the comb and stick to finger combing only? Do any of you do finger comb only? And if so, is there anything I can achieve that 'just brushed' look without actually using a brush or comb!?

As far as I know, finger combing does have very less cons.
Finger combing can be very beneficial for wavy-curly haired girls. Finger combing helps to stimulate scalp and distribute the sebum down the hair shaft. Therefore it can clump your hair in beautiful curls and waves.

Finger combing doesn't make your hair static.

If you want to comb/brush your hair try a wooden comb/brush or a BBB. it won't hurt your hair and help distributing the sebum throughout your hair shaft.