View Full Version : What is your emergency detangling solution?

July 14th, 2008, 06:28 AM
I have been growing my hair out for 4 years now, but I have never bothered to do it right. I am blessed with thick wavy hair, that people stop on the street for, but the fact is, underneath there is a big fat mess.

I develop dreads very easily and right now my nape is one big mat. I have been combing it out slowly for a couple of hours now, but I despair that I am going to break half of it off, or have to cut a lot.

If you have a great tip for either preventing those awful nape dreads or how to best get this one out, I would love to hear from you!

July 14th, 2008, 06:53 AM
Have you tried using any oil to help a bit? That's the first thing I thought of.

July 14th, 2008, 07:00 AM
I have enver heard of this before but alot of people says tons of conditioner and gentle combing to get dreads out. After that try claifying that area of your hair and see if buildup of cones from poos and condishes is the issue. If not I suggest talking to a stylist

July 14th, 2008, 07:05 AM
If mine is bad enough that I can't detangle with my wide toothed comb when it is still dry, I just jump in the shower, get it all wet, slather on a handfull (or more) of a conditioner that provides a lot of slip, let that sit for a little while and gently, very very gently start to detangle the mess.
First I try to separate the mild and moderate tangles from the severe ones and deal with them first. Then ultimately I have the core of the tangles remaining. If I can't separate any more pieces of hair from that mess, I start using my wide toothed comb and try to loosen the knots.

Obviously I do lose some hair in the process, but not a lot and it is better than having to cut it off.

You say you haven't really been paying attention to your long hair the past years. I suggest looking at Ursula's newbie advice in the article section, and try to get your hair in a better condition so the tangling will not happen so fast as it does now.


July 14th, 2008, 07:10 AM
I have some mixed heritage in my background, that is why it dreads I think. Its a delicate balance in keeping clean and not stripping it to death. I think I just waited to long to shampoo that section really well. I get my crown and fringe really clean three-four times a week, but I think my nape has been feeling left out and just wants my attention today!

July 14th, 2008, 07:30 AM
I know when I got tangles as a kid, or snarles, my mom would use peanut butter--something about the oils in it help hair slip. However, if you have hair that dreads easily, I would go to a salon---they can see the area better and help comb it out. Some salons even specialize in ethnic hair--my old hair dresser did.

July 14th, 2008, 09:11 AM
My daughter gets the same thing, thick mats underneath that are "dreadlock like". Moisture, oils and conditioners never work, the only thing that does is Johnson and Johnson detangling spray. Litterally soak it down to near dripping, work it in gently with fingers to "pull apart the mats" again very gently, then work a wide tooth comb through once they are "broken up".

The spray has lots of cones, but to get knots out, its exactly what it does, and better and easier than anything else. We've come to terms with the cones, its a much better option than damaging her hair.

July 14th, 2008, 09:38 AM
I'm hearing plenty of good advice on how to deal with the tangles you have. What we do with my daughter to prevent tangles is to keep it contained. After her bath at night, I comb it out thoroughly, then braid it for bed. She sleeps with it in two braids, but some people on the boards do well with one braid or a bun on the top of the head. It's really about what's comfortable for you. Then in the morning, I'll take it out of the braids, comb it out well, and put it up. She rarely wears it down, usually for special occasions.

July 14th, 2008, 09:42 AM
LOTS of conditioner with alot of slip. I find that if I just slather it on generously and let water rinse through it a couple of times, some of the knots come out on their own.

Make sure you have time and slowly work on the big tangles one by one. I tend to cover it in conditioner and then peel away at the hairs that aren't part of the knot first. That lets me know who the real trouble-makers are!

Good luck!

July 14th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Thanks everyone you've been great, I just finished picking it out and posted a picture. I think I got them all and while I did lose a little, it worked out ok.

July 14th, 2008, 12:26 PM
I switched to a finer tooth comb and my hair is huge, I can't get it in the picture, it belongs in the "boom" thread. I found a picture of my really short hair that I put over in the newbie section. It was cute, but I am proud of my patience.

July 14th, 2008, 12:41 PM
To prevent them coconut oil and a LOT of it and updos and braids help me the most. Also I have started using a coney conditioner. My hair is much less tangly because of all these things. To get bad tangles out, I use a lot of coconut oil on dry hair now. I find I break more hair trying to do it wet even with lots of conditioner. BUT if I had severe tangles I would probably do that.

July 14th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Circle of Friends Detangling Spray (and lots of it!)

July 14th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Well for years my solution to bad tangles was the scissors, but now i simply wet it, put some oil and condish in it, work it well and deep leave the treatment on for about 15 mins. and rinse, then comb very slowly and carefully or have someone comb the tangles out then i braid or knot and voila! no tangles for a while. of course i have fine, 1 B hair that tangles more easily but detangles also easier. have you tried using a thicker condish and combing wet? also a good leave in added before combing wet might help with the tangles and keep them away longer, also braiding and keeping hair in a knot can help. HTH.

July 14th, 2008, 05:42 PM
I'm glad you got it out!

July 14th, 2008, 05:59 PM
I swear by my Denman brush for detangling (and stimulating my scalp). I can use it on wet or dry hair. So it is my weapon against tangles.

I notice that your hair is curly. IIRC, curlies seem to do well detangling while their hair is wet (in the shower) and then not touching it again until it dries. I'm not positive. I hope some curlies join in and offer some help.

July 14th, 2008, 06:39 PM
I have to detangle very often to keep this from happening to me. Detangling is serious business for this curly girl. My hair likes to knot and mat up in a second and I have come close to breaking down and crying because of it. So, regular detangling is a must. If things get bad, I get in the shower and use a TON of slippery conditioner. I finger comb, not forcing my fingers down through knots, but stopping and separating the hair gently.

I'm glad you worked through it. Avoiding it in the future is my best advice.

Riot Crrl
July 14th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I swear by my Denman brush for detangling (and stimulating my scalp). I can use it on wet or dry hair. So it is my weapon against tangles.

I notice that your hair is curly. IIRC, curlies seem to do well detangling while their hair is wet (in the shower) and then not touching it again until it dries. I'm not positive. I hope some curlies join in and offer some help.

OK here's my two cents.

The above is correct in my case. I never detangle it dry ever. I was wincing and paranoid to do it for the Curlies Brush Your Hair thread, and I even took special precautions that day, lol.

I used to all the time. I also had a brush that was packed completely solid with broken hair within a week.

Now, I only: rinse in shower, to get it the most vertical and parallel it will ever be. Apply conditioner, wait. Detangle with big old wide tooth plastic shower comb, starting from the ends and working up. Then never comb it again until the next time it's wet and conditioned like that.

Once in a blue moon, after detangling with the comb in the shower with conditioner, I will brush my Denman through. I do this because my scalp seems to like it so much. My hair would be happy to never be brushed again, this is a scalp care thing. I am extremely careful when I do it.

The other exception is if I'm putting it up right after the shower, sometimes I do apply oil and comb that through. I use my same plastic shower comb. This doesn't seem to hurt anything as it's still detangled from just a minute earlier.

July 15th, 2008, 09:59 PM
<bump> Just in case OP didn't see replies. The boards move so fast . . . :zoom: