View Full Version : if i cant get these tangles out, i may have to cut my hair.

April 13th, 2010, 12:55 PM
So long story short me and my 13 month old son became homeless for the past week. I was staying with my mom for a couple months to save money on rent but I found that she and I just CAN NOT get along. She and I got into a fight and she kicked me and my son out last tuesday night ( it was also snowing that night) and I only had enough time to grab things for my son and work cloths for myself. I was not concerned at the time that I did not have any of my own hair things. I went and stayed with one of my best guy friends who gave up his bed for my son and I slept on the couch but needless to say he had practically nothing for my waist length curly extremely thick hair. If you even look at my hair the wrong way it tangles.
My hair in some places in the back on the canopy and underneath is literaly tangled to the root! Its almost dreadlocked in some places. I just globed a ton of conditioner on and I am about to take a shower. This is the longest my hair has ever been and I have a very sensitive scalp. Any suggestions on how to get these crazy tangles out?

And on a side note I signed a lease and am moving into a two bed room two bath apartment May 1st. I am so excited to have that much space for my son and I. Until then I made nice with my mom long enough to get packed up and moved into my new place so I am NOT homeless anymore! :D

April 13th, 2010, 01:05 PM
Wow... you've been through quite a lot!

Well I had some really bad tangles not too long ago... my hair was matted to the extreme. I suggest having someone, maybe you can kiss butt to your mom, help you. It is hard to untangle your own hair since you can't see it. So just take a wide tooth comb and take your time. Maybe detangle in the shower with the conditioner still in.


April 13th, 2010, 01:05 PM
Congratulations on your new apartment! As for the tangles the thing that works for me is to hand seperate them glob on coney conditioner or no tangles spray and work from the bottom up. Maybe someone else will have a better method. Good luck.

Lady Mary
April 13th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Do you use cones? If you don't usually use them, you could use a coney conditioner spray targeted on the tangled spots to work though them. My conditioner is cone free but I have done the same in the past on some very nasty tangles just to get them separated. You could also use an oil, like coconut oil instead. Let it soak, then work though them slowly.

Lacus Autumni
April 13th, 2010, 01:12 PM
Congratulations on your apartment!

I can't really add to much seeing as how others have the same idea as me, except to say my hair tangles like mad in that exact area, too. When it happens I very carefully pull the tangles out with my fingers, because a comb actually hurts when detangling. The underneath is quite sensitive...I get shivers thinking about it. >.<

Good luck with your hair, and everything! :)

April 13th, 2010, 01:12 PM
Like everyone else said, use a large amount of cone conditioner. Take a comb and gently work through the tangles from the bottom up. I find that it helps to hold onto the hair at the roots to avoid pulling on my scalp.

I hope you're able to get them out and good luck on your new apartment.

April 13th, 2010, 01:13 PM
I'm thinking lots of conditioner with cones ( for some slip) and starting at the bottom.

Congrats on the new place! hope your hair works out!

April 13th, 2010, 01:28 PM
I 2nd the advice to get someone else to help you, preferably someone patient, and soak it in conditioner and start at the bottom. I'm glad your living arrangement will improve soon! :flower:

Upside Down
April 13th, 2010, 01:34 PM
Congratulations on the new appartment :)

As for the tangles. My BF does not comb his hair, so every month a dreadlock forms here and there. He also has curly hair, but shorter, about apl (now even shorter, he cut it himself... ah well). So, about once every month he goes into shower, puts a lot of conditioner on his head, swears a lot and detangles the dreads forming and all the tangles... Yes, he has breackage, but he is very rough with his hair, I believe that if you do it patiently, maybe not all at once, separate it into two days if you lose your patience, that you will get the tangles out :)

Don't cut, at least not until you have really tried a couple of times to get it all detangled.

Good luck :)

April 13th, 2010, 01:56 PM
I don't have any hair advice, just wanted to say i'm glad you're not homeless anymore, congrats on getting an apartment

April 13th, 2010, 02:19 PM
Still a newbie so I don't know what a cone conditioner is, but I echo what everyone else has said - condition really well, pull the worst tangles out with your fingers and then use a wide comb or an afro comb starting with the bottom few inches, then working through from a bit further up and so on. Getting someone else to do it helps enormously but it's still possible to do it yourself.. you just have to feel for the knots and while you're combing, stop and tease them apart as you find them.

I find even with my daughter's hair (3 years old, APL, but she manages to get some real corkers in there!) gently teasing the knots apart with my fingers is a lot easier on the hair and her scalp than combing straight off.

Hope you get the tangles out without too much trouble, and good luck in your new home!

April 13th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Either a coney conditioner or put lots of oil in your hair than gently comb (or use fingers) it out from bottom up. It will take a lot of time without the help of someone else but your should be able to do it. Remember you do not need to cut your hair to fix the problem. Just take your time and take breaks if your arms get tired.

April 13th, 2010, 02:32 PM
I would NOT get someone else to help because you yourself feel immediately when the comb gets stuck in a tange and pulls the root - the other person does not feel it.

Inch by inch starting from the bottom, and strand by strand is probably the only way.

April 13th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Congrats on your new spacious apartment. :) You had me so worried by visions of you and your son wandering homeless and alone through the cruel snow laden city streets.

April 13th, 2010, 08:47 PM
I'm so happy to hear about your new apartment! Coney serum works wonders with tangles. My favorite is CHI Silk Infusion.

April 13th, 2010, 09:29 PM
Congrats on the apartment and upcoming peace of mind!

For the knots, I'd just section it (in about 6 sections) ...wet and slather a slippy conditioner on the section you're detangling. Patience, a few good films, spritz bottle to re-wet if it gets dry while you work.

I've taken down two sets of actual dreadlocks (latch hooked not palm rolled) in my type 4 hair, so anything is possible!

I agree with doing it yourself. The 2nd time I had my mom help for a bit and my hair was chewed where she worked on it. Better to take the time on your own, imo.

April 14th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Wow thats quite the story! I hope you're ok and Im glad you found a place!

Try soaking your hair in a bathtub with tons of conditioner in it (the hair)... Good luck!

April 14th, 2010, 02:45 AM
Congrats for the apartment, and hope things work out for you from there on.

To get out the tangles, I agree with putting oil and/or conditioner in there, and doing it yourself bit by bit.
Just wanted to add this: Instead of a comb or your fingers, you could also use a chopstick, preferably a slightly pointed one. It can be easier to insert into the knots since it's thinner than your fingers, and is less likely to tighten/push together neighboring or lower tangles than a comb, since it it only pulls at one point rather than many.

April 14th, 2010, 05:32 AM
Congrats on your new apartment!

I whole-heartedly agree with the coney condish or oil soaking. Also finger detangleing yourself. Good luck

April 14th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Wow! Congrats. Transitions can be a real pain, but usually lead to something better, right? Best of luck in your new place.

As far as tangles go -- I had to detangle my girls' type 4 hair very often when they were young and didn't sleep well with head covers, or swam all day at the beach, etc.

We had serious lock-like tangles. The best thing for us was Johnson and Johnson's No More Tangles detangling spray. I did cone conditioners but detangling when the hair was wet with conditioner seem to make hair snap more easily. I sprayed very liberally, and just worked through a tiny section at a time. You can have someone else do it if they understand that their goal is to not break one single hair and to treat it like a surgery, LOL. It sounds funny, but makes a difference. For me, it helped to see the actual knots. It was kind of like de-knotting a thin necklace.

Put your baby to bed, put on a movie, and take as much time as you need.

I think the stuff is a little drying, but not un-recoverable. I only use it for accidental "locking emergencies." Just condition well after.
I wish I was there to do it for you. I have to say I am very very good at it.
Keep us posted!

April 14th, 2010, 07:13 AM
Poor you :(( Good luck with the tangles, and good luck in your new apartment as well.

April 16th, 2010, 01:48 PM
What I do when my hair is hugely tangled is put a ton of oil on it for a day or two, put conditioner on it dry an hour or so before washing, then CO wash, do a vinegar rinse (I like to put conditioner in my hair, then vinegar rinse, catching the runoff in the cup and pouring it over my head again so it's a conditioner-and-vinegar rinse), tons of conditioner and don't wash it all out, then oil again once it dries. My hair winds up kind of lank and oily, but it's easier to detangle afterwards. I've combed it out wet and full of conditioner but I think it breaks more than combing it dry. I also recommend a coney detangling spray.

Also, remember that you can do it in sections rather than all at once. Braid the parts you've finished with and go do something else for a while, so your arms don't get so tired and you don't get totally fed up. You'll look sort of goofy, but that's what scarves and hats are for ;).

I'm so glad to hear that things are looking up for you and your son. I wish you the best of luck.

April 16th, 2010, 03:47 PM
Congrats on the new apartment! :cheese:
Did you get the tangles out?

I actually took down someone else's 3 year old locs using Pantene conditioner(I think it was either the Smooth one or the Moisture Renewal one?).

I mixed it about 1/2 and 1/2 with water in a squirt, not spray, bottle and would saturate each loc with it making sure to squish it through really well.

Then I would start detangling from the bottom, working my way up. If the hair began to dry I would add more water or more of the conditioner & water mix.

Good luck to you with everything. :)

April 18th, 2010, 04:52 AM
So its about time i give you guys an update! The day that I first posted I cwc'ed and spent as much time in the shower trying to detangle as I could and made very little headway. I am limited on time in the shower because my little one tends freak out about it, so I try to take showers while he is napping. I spent more time than normal and used about 3 times as much conditioner as I really need and had to give up because the water was getting cold. I rinsed as best I could and then squeezed out some of the excess water and reapplied my extra thick conditioner and just left it on. I had to go to a meeting at work and since I have been paranoid about people seeing my mats and dreads I put my hair up in a tight bun and hoped that no one could see what a rats nest my hair was with the tangles and also hoped that it didn't look extremely greasy with the conditioner. No one mentioned anything to me at least ha ha. After my meeting I met up with some friends and I casually mentioned my hair problem more to vent about it than anything else because it was really bothering me. I don't really know how to tell you how convinced I was that I was going to have to cut my hair to about chin length. Well my friend offered to help and I figured at that point what did I have to loose? She patiently sat for almost an hour and got the two biggest "dreads" out while another friend kept my son entertained. I couldn't believe how gentle she was. I hardly felt a thing and I am the biggest wuss when it comes to having my hair brushed/pulled. My friend did remind me that she had hair much longer than mine before i knew her and she never had anyone to help her with it. This was a huge start but there were still quite a few smaller tangles in my hair and it took me till yesterday to slowly work thought them one by one and Im sure in the meantime i got more tangles in other spots. But yesterday i can say I finally got to 100% tangle free (for now). I have damage on the ends from old color plus I have not had a cut or real trim in almost two years just a very rare s&d. I think this pushed the damage to the point that I need to get at least an inch cut off now or my hair is 1. gonna look like crap on the ends and 2. tangle up badly again. Oh well an inch or two is a lot better than chin length! Just need to find someone I can trust to trim it for me. Now thats scary.
Thanks everyone for your good wishes and advise. You guys helped me a lot.

April 18th, 2010, 10:27 AM
I'm glad it worked, and i'm glad you've found an appartment :)
I was about to tell you that the better way was to find someone patient to help you !:flower:

April 18th, 2010, 10:35 AM
Great news!

Doesn't this sound like a symbol for your new start? May the tangles on your life soon be sorted out like those in your hair, with some gentle help from friends when needed.

April 18th, 2010, 11:11 AM
Thank God for good friends, eh?

I remember when I was a little girl with waist length hair, I decided I wanted to curl it so I rolled a comb up into my hair, turning it over and over up to the scalp. Then, of course, it wouldn't come out. My mother was so frustrated with me, she was going to cut all my hair off (she had 4 children, so she had her hands full). Then my aunt came over for a visit and she sat with me for hours, gently untangling my hair from the comb. It was a true act of kindness -- one I still remember.

April 18th, 2010, 11:18 AM
Congrats on the new apartment and the tangles being gone!

What I do when I tease my hair(backcomb basically, but with a lot more hairspray and a lot less brushing down), is I take a bottle of conditioner, and expect to use most of it. I put it all over my hair and use more as needed, as I section it out, first in wide sections, then smaller sections, starting with a wide toothed comb and finishing with a regular comb. I do like to get my hair wet first, but I don't need to have the water on the whole time. I do have shorter hair than you, but this worked when my hair was APL, which isn't long, but it's not as short as it is currently.

April 18th, 2010, 11:51 AM
Would your kind friend be willing to help you trim? She being a former long hair herself may have a better understanding of what you need to accomplish with a trim and not trim more than necessary.

April 18th, 2010, 12:03 PM
hmmruka, I'm glad that things worked out well! Congratulations with the new apartment and tangle free hair! You have nice and kind friends :)

I would sugest soaking hair in condish and, once untangled, keep it up to prevent new knots.