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View Full Version : tips for brushing/combing very long hair?



donnalouise
February 21st, 2016, 03:58 AM
OK, so i never had an issue looking after my hair before but recently it has hit 38+ inches and at this length it seems i cannot brush my hair in the same way that i used to, i'm getting all kinds of issues with tangling that never cropped up before. My hair is also very thick, and slighly wavy which i think doesn't help. Even when i go carefully starting at the bottom, by the time i get higher up in my hair i can't pull the brush/comb through the entire length easily and end up with balls of knots :(.

HOW do you brush/comb your hair when it starts to get super-long? Probably a very dumb question but if anyone with hair this length and longer can describe how you manage your hair and get knots out that'd be so helpful.

FuzzyBlackWaves
February 21st, 2016, 05:53 AM
What are you using at the moment? I've found that brushes, even boar bristle ones, aren't very good for wavy or thick hair in terms of de-tangling. Seamless wide tooth combs are how I manage with knots although my hair isn't as thick as yours.

Nique1202
February 21st, 2016, 07:01 AM
I haven't reached this point yet myself but I know some folks swear by the Tangle Teezer. Torrin Paige uses hers from the middle down and then the top down in most of her videos. Her hair isn't too far off yours, type-wise, so it might be worth looking into unless you've had bad experiences with them in the past.

parkmikii
February 21st, 2016, 07:09 AM
I'd advise to split your hair in 3 sections, as in:
------ -first section at the top of your head
------ -middle section
------ - lower section
Put each of them up with a claw clip, leaving the lower section loose. After this you can split the lower section in more strands and slowly comb each of them from the ends, slowly working your way up. After you finished all the lower section, unclip the mid section and detangle it the same as you did with the lower one until you finish combing everything. I like to use a wide toothed comb. Also make sure you have plenty of time and patience while detangling, so that you don't start ripping through the hair.
Listening to music or watching a movie while doing this also helps :)

lapushka
February 21st, 2016, 09:38 AM
OK, so i never had an issue looking after my hair before but recently it has hit 38+ inches and at this length it seems i cannot brush my hair in the same way that i used to, i'm getting all kinds of issues with tangling that never cropped up before. My hair is also very thick, and slighly wavy which i think doesn't help. Even when i go carefully starting at the bottom, by the time i get higher up in my hair i can't pull the brush/comb through the entire length easily and end up with balls of knots :(.

HOW do you brush/comb your hair when it starts to get super-long? Probably a very dumb question but if anyone with hair this length and longer can describe how you manage your hair and get knots out that'd be so helpful.

I use a wide tooth comb and a Tangle Teezer. What are you using? My hair gets split down the middle, and I have two sides that get combed out, then the TT goes through smoothly as a knife through butter. No tangles. And this is after a week of no detangling, right before a wash!

meteor
February 21st, 2016, 12:24 PM
I'll be watching this thread with great interest, because at ~50'' detangling is certainly getting only harder and harder for me, too...

A few ideas:

1) Find the optimal detangling tool(s) for you. Experiment with a few different ones: fingers only or combined with very wide-tooth combs, picks (they have super-long and thin tines, which might help), detangling brushes like the Tangle Teezer, the Wet Brush, etc... (Personally, I use only fingers and a wide-tooth, seamless wooden (it's static-proof) comb, and brushes poof out my hair and get stuck in it. I also like to have something pointy on hand - e.g. a needle, a rattail comb, a pin - to undo really tight knots.)

2) Find the right products (conditioner, coney serum, detangler, oil...) and figure out the optimal degree of wetness, when your hair is easiest to detangle. It's pretty individual and depends on texture a lot. But keep in mind that wet hair is at its most fragile state, so be ultra-gentle. Try detangling in the shower, soaked in conditioner, or slightly wet, or completely dry... - and see what gives you best results. (I prefer to detangle hair only when it's completely dry but well-moisturized and sometimes with a bit of coney serum and/or oils.)

3) Go into sections once your hair is a bit detangled. It's easier to isolate knots and work on them one at a time by dividing and conquering. (I like to section into 3 parts or 6 parts (1 or 2 sections per shoulder and down the back).)

4) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Do everything you can to prevent tangles from happening in the first place:
- wear updos/braids that immobilize hair and keep hair sectioned to limit tangling,
- avoid really complex, high-manipulation styles or heatless curling methods that can cause tangling,
- sleep with hair contained and on silky scarves/bonnets/pillowcases,
- cover hair with a hat/scarf if it's windy outside,
- line wool/flannel and other rough materials with silk/satin, if you wear warm hats, scarves, hoods,
- avoid tangle-inducing dust/lint sticking to hair by going easy on oiling and by wearing a silky scarf/bonnet if you are going to clean the house,
- wash hair without moving the length too much (and try braided washes, if hair tangles a lot during washing), etc...

5) If you are in a hurry or don't have energy to detangle fully, just put it in a protective style for the time being (e.g. braided bun) and come back to it later, when you have more time/patience. Don't just pull through knots.

HTH! :flower:

spidermom
February 21st, 2016, 01:09 PM
I have a paddle brush and a wide tooth comb. I can detangle easily with either one if I'm using the right products. Right now I'm using a pricey leave-in detangler called Redken One Union (25 Benefits). It's like magic.

Also, I untangle from the bottom up, then from the surface to deeper.

SteelRose
February 21st, 2016, 01:20 PM
I haven't used any sort of brush in years. I comb only (and only when dry) and have my hair up most of the time. Preventing the tangles is really key.

enting
February 21st, 2016, 01:31 PM
I'm not at your length yet, but I find it difficult to get through the bottom few inches even if I just detangled them on my way up the hair. I've started oiling those bottom inches to make it easier to comb through, preferably with a coating oil rather than a penetrating oil. That way it adds more slip and lets me comb all the way through.

yogagirl
February 21st, 2016, 01:37 PM
Have you clarified and chelated lately? I noticed my hair gets really grippy when it's been a while.

sumidha
February 21st, 2016, 04:49 PM
Ugh, I'm definitely struggling with this myself, but the two biggest thing I've found that help me so far are sectioning once it's somewhat detangled, like meteor said (if I try to section without detangling part way up first it just creates knots) and making sure that sheds are completely removed from my hair as they come out. I have a tendency at the end of a stroke to lift the brush up for another, and if there's a shed hair part way on the brush but still in my hair, it grabs the hair around it and pulls it up towards my crown, making more tangles.

donnalouise
February 22nd, 2016, 08:38 AM
Thanks for all the tips :). I use a paddle brush now but it probably isn't the best, and i'm most likely just not being patient enough... eughh. Up until now, having longer hair has actually been easier to maintain than shorter, but all of a sudden... knotty mess every day. I'm going to try clarifying, it could be conditioner build up, also going to switch to a comb and try to remember to be patient.

missmagoo
February 22nd, 2016, 09:29 AM
Kinky curly knot today is a total miracle on my daughter's hair. Mine is wurly so I only de tangle in the shower