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Miss Catrina
April 10th, 2011, 07:45 PM
So I know it's common knowledge around here that you should never comb/detangle your hair when it's wet because hair is stretchier and easier to snap then. But I've been doing it for a while now, and I'm really questioning whether or not it's actually doing any harm. I use a comb with wide spacing, I'm very careful, and I really don't think I'm "stretching" or putting any strain on my hair - most strokes of the comb, the tines just slide right through the length of my hair and never even catch on anything.

So my question is, does anyone else consistently detangle post-shower? And has anyone done this for a while with no ill effects?

Dragon
April 10th, 2011, 07:48 PM
I also do it wet with a wide tooth come. I find it's easier to detangle why wet all it will be more knottier when dry.

MissEarlGrey
April 10th, 2011, 07:50 PM
I've always detangled my hair after washing it, I'm very gentle. I really wouldn't feel comfortable not doing so, because I usually go out with wet hair; I don't necessarily have time to sit around the house waiting for it to dry.

spidermom
April 10th, 2011, 07:52 PM
I didn't think there was any problem with combing wet hair until it got to about hip length. Then, even in the shower with conditioner, I was aware of my hair stretching when I tried to comb it. So now I avoid combing wet hair except for when I need to blow-dry it (not often).

MiamiPineapple
April 10th, 2011, 07:53 PM
I now SWEAR my my wide tooth comb. Before my hair was chemically damaged, it did not seem to matter what I used to comb my wet hair. However, I will only be using my wide tooth comb or my fingers from now on. My hair needs all the TLC it can get and I do notice much less breakage.

ravenreed
April 10th, 2011, 08:18 PM
I use a tangle teezer. I brush my hair before showering and after. I dry my hair in a towel for a bit, and then use the tangle teezer while the hair is still quite wet. Any tangles I let dry in my hair would be there forever.

WaterMusic
April 10th, 2011, 08:59 PM
I finger comb through it first, and try to get out the worst of it. Then I use a wide toothed comb.

GRU
April 10th, 2011, 09:00 PM
I comb conditioner through my hair to detangle as part of the CO-washing experience, then after rinsing that out (and doing an ACV rinse) I comb conditioner in my hair to leave in.

It's not the wetness that is the problem (although that seems to be the most widely spread rumor) so much as the technique. If you get to a snarl and just RIP through it, you're going to damage your hair whether it's wet or dry. If you start from the bottom and gently detangle, you're not going to damage your hair whether it's wet or dry.

Fingolphin
April 10th, 2011, 09:01 PM
I always use my Body Shop detangling comb right out of the shower. I am always very careful with it and don't just rip it through. It's been fine for me.

Bill D.
April 10th, 2011, 09:17 PM
When my hair was thicker and longer (waist-length but terminal), I used to comb it in the shower while water was running through it, which separates the strands. That seemed to work well if my hair was already detangled before it got wet. Then I could comb it again wet after leaving the shower and there would not be any significant tangles.

Bill D.

LornaDoone
April 10th, 2011, 09:26 PM
I always comb out while my hair is still wet, if I didn't I would never get it detangled.

Yes, hair is more fragile when wet, but that just means you have to take a little more care. Honestly, I do more damage when I comb it out dry, because I tend to get a little impatient and am not as careful as I should be.

I use a wide tooth comb in the shower to comb while I rinse and I use a seamless wide tooth comb once I get out of the shower.

Fadedbluedreams
April 10th, 2011, 09:29 PM
I almost always detangle after showering with a wide toothed comb. I haven't noticed any problems with it, and as someone above said, it's technique that matters :)

Lianna
April 10th, 2011, 09:31 PM
My comb slides easily when the hair is wet, I can't say the same about dry hair most of the time (if I'm not very careful this time I'd hear snaps).

spidermom
April 10th, 2011, 09:40 PM
I'm very careful and start from the bottom, but I'd still have to say that I can tell combing while wet isn't a terribly good idea for my length. I thoroughly comb/brush it before washing and then do my best to avoid messing it around when I wash it. Then I wait until it's dry. I really do need to do this, and I don't think there's a better technique that I could use.

ericthegreat
April 10th, 2011, 10:01 PM
It's not the wetness that is the problem (although that seems to be the most widely spread rumor) so much as the technique. If you get to a snarl and just RIP through it, you're going to damage your hair whether it's wet or dry. If you start from the bottom and gently detangle, you're not going to damage your hair whether it's wet or dry.

I agree completely. Its all about the right technique. There is an art to combing out wet hair. The most important rule about detangling that I can't stress enough about is PATIENCE. You can't just rush thro it and tear a comb thro your all those knots and tangles, that is a surefire way to break off a lot of your hair strands. You have to take your time. Also, you have to remember to always start combing from the very ends and then slowly work your way up. And one more tip that I would like to add is that its actually much more easier if you divide your hair into sections and only work on one section at a time. What I do after my CO wash is I divide my hair into 4 sections, and working on a quarter section of my hair at a time, I use the teeth of my wide tooth comb to first pick out any knots that I can see. Taking out all the big knots first is 80% of the battle for me, once I've done that I can run the comb thro the entire section of hair like butter.

jaine
April 10th, 2011, 10:01 PM
I comb my hair with a fine-tooth comb when it's wet and I haven't gotten any damage yet after doing that for about a year. But my hair is relatively short so who knows. I don't want to stop combing it because it's part of how I'm able to straighten it without heat - gel, comb, updo, then take it down when the front is dry. Since this comb allows me to avoid using heat on it I think it's definitely the less damaging option. I like straightening it because otherwise my hair would be so tangly and I wouldn't be able to get 3rd- or 4th day hair like I do now.

picklepie
April 10th, 2011, 10:15 PM
I think hair texture must come into this question quite a bit-- dry combing/brushing is terrible for my curly hair, and I try never to do it. Wetting my hair before detangling, even if I don't add conditioner, helps weigh the curls down, so that I don't get the wild curling and frizz that I do when I try it dry. Combing it dry just makes it tangle MORE.

AMW
April 10th, 2011, 10:22 PM
I do it too and I'm really carefull ... if I don't comb my hair wet it gets out of control and breaking out the hair dryer is not an option!!

ElvenArchess
April 10th, 2011, 10:22 PM
Until I can move into an apartment with an adjustable shower head (in terms of pressure), I'm reduced to combing after the shower. (I have weird apprehensiveness to comb when I feel my water pressure is attacking my hair) I just use a detangler and go through as gently and slowly as possible after a brief towel-dabbing.

In2wishin
April 10th, 2011, 10:33 PM
I usually comb through my wet hair with a wide toothed comb or tangle teezer once, then let it dry without any other combing

shikara
April 10th, 2011, 11:50 PM
Wow, I thought I'd hear about half and half in support of/not - but obviously that is not the case (yet). I too am so much better off combing when wet/damp. In fact, although I've put my brush aside for now (need a new one), when I used that on quite damp hair, the brush would just glide through. With the comb I need a little more patience, but I will not wait until it is dry - it's much harder to work through. For my finer hair, I use a comb with finer teeth - not necessariy the fine tooth comb, but in between.

Slinks
April 11th, 2011, 12:23 AM
yeah I'm a comber when wet BUT my hair is thin and only mid back length .. I know thicker and longer hair would take a bit more pulling as Spidermom pointed out .. I'm glad to comb my hair when wet I couldn't possibly leave it till it's dry it goes all frizzy !! lol

ETA: I do what ericthegreat says, start from the bottom and work up .. it's so much easier :-)

Yozhik
April 11th, 2011, 01:12 AM
I use a tangle teezer. I brush my hair before showering and after. I dry my hair in a towel for a bit, and then use the tangle teezer while the hair is still quite wet. Any tangles I let dry in my hair would be there forever.

^^ I do this, too. Except I don't always remember to brush before. :o

IMO, wet combing, like so many parts of our routines, depends on your texture, length, coarseness, and individual preferences.

I find, for myself, that it gives me much straighter hair than I'd have otherwise.

Madora
April 11th, 2011, 07:16 AM
I've been detangling my wet hair (for decades )with a wide tooth comb. No ill effects as far as I can tell.

I do use caution when actually shampooing and conditioning. I part my hair from forehead to the nape and keep one section of hair draped over my right shoulder and the other section draped over my left. The hair stays in those positions throughout my washing/conditioning/rinsing routine. Tangles are my bete noir and I developed this "separation" method to cut down on the possiblity of tangles.

During conditioning I also use my widetooth comb to gently detangle - starting slowly and working from the ends of the strands up to the scalp.

After my hair has been thoroughly rinsed, I detangle again--slowly. Yes, hair is at its weakest when wet...but if you work SLOWLY, a little bit of hair at a time, you can safely detangle your hair when it is wet!

Firefox7275
April 11th, 2011, 07:17 AM
For me the most damaging is to brush when part way through drying, leave-in conditioner makes it sticky and I am not gentle enough. I've always brushed through upside down before washing my hair (also upside down), but this is no longer possible since I have been encouraging the curl. The only time brushing/ combing catches on wet hair is when it's desperate for a trim, but my hair is shorter than most LHCers so it may be my habits will have to change over time.

Venefica
April 11th, 2011, 07:23 AM
I detangle a little when the hair is full of conditioner and I often comb it out when it is semi dry afterwards. It have worked well for me.

Red_Rose
April 11th, 2011, 08:42 AM
So I know it's common knowledge around here that you should never comb/detangle your hair when it's wet because hair is stretchier and easier to snap then. But I've been doing it for a while now, and I'm really questioning whether or not it's actually doing any harm. I use a comb with wide spacing, I'm very careful, and I really don't think I'm "stretching" or putting any strain on my hair - most strokes of the comb, the tines just slide right through the length of my hair and never even catch on anything.

So my question is, does anyone else consistently detangle post-shower? And has anyone done this for a while with no ill effects?

It might not be recommended for people with straight hair but for curlies, when the hair is wet, it's the only time it's combed/detangled because running a brush or comb, even a wide toothed comb, through curly hair that's dry is a recipe for disaster. It breaks up the curls and makes everything look like a frizzy puffball.

For the past few weeks now, the only time I comb my hair, whether it be with a wide tooth comb or just my fingers, is when I wash my hair. I run my fingers all through my hair when I shampoo and again after everything is washed out. Believe it or not, I have not had any problems with knotted up hair since doing it this way.

firicia
April 11th, 2011, 10:18 AM
If I don't comb it with my wide tooth comb while it's wet it will be a tangled mess when it dries(winter only, somehow summer is magical to my hair, lol). Honestly combing it while it's wet helps me part my hair and style it. When I comb it dried I hear way more snapping than if I do it wet, and when I do it wet I go very gentle (not that i don't try to when it is dry).

HintOfMint
April 11th, 2011, 10:20 AM
I always detangle wet, right after the shower. I usually hit the fewest snags that way because I've just conditioned my hair so there aren't many (if any) tangles to deal with. If I let it dry without touching it and then try to detangle, more tangles end up forming and they're almost impossible to break without damage.
I usually comb wet and then gather it into a damp bun and let it finish drying.

Hile
April 11th, 2011, 10:56 AM
For me detangling my hair in the shower is a breeze compared to detangling when it's dry. I suppose it's because dry hair moves around and re-tangles before I've finished combing.

WaitingSoLong
April 11th, 2011, 11:12 AM
I also detangle when hair is full of conditioner with a comb I keep in the shower. Slowly. Bottom to scalp as others have said. This one practice has allowed me to grow my hair past waist when I never thought I could before and would always cut. I just could not detangle after washing otherwise.

After I towel dry my hair, I use a pik or wide tooth comb and it just glides right through, no tangles but separates the strands so it can dry.

At your length, I think it is fine but if it seems "sticky" to comb though, try detangling during the conditioning and see if it helps.

FluffSpider
April 11th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Woops! I think I'm a bit of an oddity ion this thread. As I CO with a very good detangling shampoo, and I'm not elastic enough to reach for the ends of my hair when tilted backwards, I do the folowing
1)massage detangling conditioner until I feel I'm tangle free
2)lightly rinse it, leave the water on, then put my hair under the nozzle, and start from the top. I rarely get ANY snares. It just glides nicely.
Why I do this? to better rinse my hair of CO. I've never had a real issue detangling. Perhaps if I slept with my hair loose after using a harsh shampoo and no conditioner and blowfrying it randomly...that could MAYBE make me get some tangles. I stress MAYBE.

Emerald88
April 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
I used to use a wide tooth comb but now I use my Tangle Teezer. I have much better results with it. I bought my daughter one & she loves it also.

pinkbunny
April 11th, 2011, 12:48 PM
These (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=4209&pictureid=53944) are my combs, and yes I use them on wet hair. I can't remember a time that I didn't detangle as soon as I got out of the shower. I try to go in the shower with minimal tangles, but if my hair was down for the day I run the pink comb through because washing huge knots just makes them worse. I keep my hair in a sort of "ponytail" hold to wash it, and work the shampoo and conditioner in carefully so the hair doesn't bunch up. After, I just squeeze my hand down the length to get out the excess water. Then I start with the shower comb (blue one on the left). I comb my hair straight back & down (sticking with the ponytail technique), and when I find a tangle I slow down and pick it apart from the bottom. Then DH uses the pink wide tooth comb followed by the wider-tooth side of the regular comb. When he's done, I take the comb he just used and run the fine teeth from scalp to ends. This method not only detangles, but it helps get rid of excess water so my hair dries faster. (p.s. the last comb -"rat tail"- is used for styling only)

WaitingSoLong
April 11th, 2011, 12:48 PM
I cannot seem to use my Tangle Teezer on wet hair. I have tried several times and my hair no likey.

Juneii
April 11th, 2011, 01:58 PM
I detangle my hair in the shower with my fingers while I am putting in conditioner if that counts

summerjade
April 11th, 2011, 02:11 PM
I always detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb after washing. I would feel uncomfortable not detangling after washing. My hair would be one gigantic tangle once dry if I didn't detangle while wet.

Karmi
April 11th, 2011, 08:31 PM
I gently comb with a wide-tooth after washing when wet. I must do this before it dries because I have very thick strands that obey any styling very well, and if the hairs dry when tangled, the hairs will kink and fold in those tangled ways. :)

RocketDog
April 11th, 2011, 09:26 PM
Lately I've been detangling while I rinse the conditioner out of my hair in the shower, so the force of the water actually helps with the process. Since I wear my hair up all the time I don't usually have too many tangles, but the inevitable few that crop up slide right out with the comb and water working together.

Trying to comb/brush when my hair is freshly washed and dried leads to crazy static and MORE tangles.

x0h_bother
April 12th, 2011, 07:17 AM
Depends on what you're doing. Walking out to start the day with wet hair, yes I do wet comb. Showering at night, I finger comb my hair up into a bun. I don't notice a difference in shedding when I wet comb or not, so I'm not afraid anymore to do it.

baaaad_kitty
April 12th, 2011, 09:29 AM
I comb after a shower, or my hair dries looking funny. I use an ion infused paddle, very gently of course and starting from the tips. If I don't, it will hold some weird wave when it dries, especially the temples because I have temple waves

Nessie_
April 12th, 2011, 02:00 PM
I always comb my hair when it's still wet, because most mornings I don't have the time to wait until it's dry. I haven't noticed that it's damaging to my hair :) (yet).

schmunselhase
April 12th, 2011, 02:11 PM
I use my Tangle Teezer in damp hair. When it's dry i find it hard to detangle after washing.

misslicorice
April 13th, 2011, 07:47 AM
If I comb or brush my hair when it's dry, it tends to destroy the curl/wave and leave me with nothing but fuzz. I've always combed it out when it was wet!
It is damaged, but I attribute that to the foul, harsh chemicals I used on it back in November, in an attempt to strip out the black hair dye. x_x Considering what was in the stuff I used (peroxide and sulfates!) I'm lucky I have any hair left at all. It should show a lot more damage than it does. Hooray for pre-shampoo argan oil treatments!

Topaz
April 13th, 2011, 08:31 AM
I detangle with a wide-toothed comb in the shower while my hair is still slathered with conditioner. After I get out, I oil the ends, apply a leave-in conditioner, and then apply FOTE aloe vera gel. Only then do I run the wide-toothed comb through it again, because at that point it's nice and slippery with all the good stuff. I never have any problem with tangles or pulling, and no damage to the hair at all. You just have to be super careful. As someone else here said, it's not whether the hair is wet or dry, but rather the technique you use.

elbow chic
April 13th, 2011, 08:37 AM
I'm trying to knock it off, in the name of doing everything right, but I'm having a hard time breaking the habit. The sensation of it drying uncombed makes me so itchy.

So, for now, I brush mine with a Conair metal-bristle brush, as gently as I can. (bottom to top, in small sections, of course.)

I do try to wait for it to get a little air-dried first, so it's more "damp" than "sopping wet." But man, my hair seriously takes four or five hours to get completely dry. I just can't seem to resist the brush that long.

I really do not see any damage from it, but my hair isn't that long and I know there are a multitude of things you can do to APLish hair that won't show up as damage till much later.

PorkChop
April 13th, 2011, 08:51 AM
I always comb my hair after my shower with a wide toothed comb

blackcatw81
April 13th, 2011, 09:47 AM
I started using a medium-narrow toothed comb after washing my hair because of the tangles; I use it with the most care... but I'll keep in mind your precious advices!

Ps: sorry for my bad english! ;)

CaityBear
April 13th, 2011, 10:13 AM
I detangle my hair when wet with a wide tooth comb almost all the time. It's hard because at this length is does tangle a bit when combing...but if I don't detangle when wet then it's HELL to comb out when dry because of all the tangles.

It's not really bad when you comb wet as long as you're extra careful and you stop if you hear snapping hairs all the time. Otherwise, depending on hair (such as mine) it's better to detangle wet.

Siiri
April 13th, 2011, 10:30 AM
Well, my hair is short, but I have always combed with a wide tooth comb after I have towel dried it and applied a leave-in. But I don't get any tangles in washing. I think finding a good leave-in and rinsing with cold water helps. I haven't yet tried what my wave pattern looks like without combing, it could be wavier than I think.

livz
April 13th, 2011, 10:44 AM
It might not be recommended for people with straight hair but for curlies, when the hair is wet, it's the only time it's combed/detangled because running a brush or comb, even a wide toothed comb, through curly hair that's dry is a recipe for disaster. It breaks up the curls and makes everything look like a frizzy puffball.

Exactly! With my curly hair, I can't comb/brush it dry, but the nature of my hair also has it fairly tangled by the time I take a shower every other day or so, making brushing necessary.

I always have to do my hair upside down in the shower (so bent over forwards) in order to work with it. I shampoo first. It loosens up the tangles a bit if it is a slippery shampoo, so I can start to brush it from the bottom up until all the tangles are out. If not, I'll do it when the conditioner is in which really makes the brush glide through nicely. I also do it when I put conditioner in, because I find it distributes the conditioner and even makes it froth up a bit, so it gets the hair nicely coated. I wash and cond my hair first before my body, so the conditioner sits on for most of the shower.

I brush AGAIN when I rinse out and then either brush/wide comb when I'm out of the shower when my hair is still very wet in order to "set" my hair. If I let it dry on it's own without brushing through it would go crazy.

But I brush a lot in the shower when my hair is wet and you just have to be careful if you hit a snag to go carefully. I find that is the only time my hair pulls and snaps, if I'm too rough on the tiny knots and try to pull through them too quickly.

Anyway, I find conventional wisdom is often useless. You have to just find what works for you. Whenever I try some expert advice on how to treat my curly hair, I always end up hating it (like CO makes my hair too greasy and weighed down, shampooing makes it shiny and actually less frizzy).

Trust yourself and experiment to find what works best for you. If you think your hair is doing fine with it, it probably is.

Justy
April 13th, 2011, 05:01 PM
My hair is pretty straight but will take what ever shape it dries in. if I let it dry without combing it, I end up with my hair 'set' in very odd directions and full of tangles. If I put it into a towel for a bit to get to the 'damp' stage then gently comb with a wide tooth comb I can be sure that my part is where I want it and that my hair is all going in the right directions. Then I can put it up in a Turbie Twist to dry a bit faster or just let it air dry. The initial combing really helps me keep control of my hair.

Ok that sounds a bit odd since I have straight hair, it should always be 'in control' but if any single clump of my hair is acting up, you can really tell because of the other hairs are going in a different direction.

nobeltonya
April 13th, 2011, 05:21 PM
I always wet comb it, right after washing [if I just wet it and don't wash it, it's sticky and pulls] to remove the remainder of the loose hairs I shed from washing it [some I get out when I'm rinsing and finger-combing in the shower]. Also, it looks better when it dries if I comb it and pull it back into a pony tail [a low one lately, as it's not as heavy wet and doesn't pull my scalp].