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Thread: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

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    Member Glass Spires's Avatar
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    Question What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    When you see posts about detangling your hair, you usually see a few different points pop up repeatedly-- never detangle with a brush and only detangle with a wide-toothed comb. Trying to avoid damage, I've attempted to detangle with a wide-tooth comb a few times, and it fails miserably, because my hair is just too fine. Usually the knots or tangles are small enough to slip between the teeth of the comb, making the 'detangling' about as useful as aimlessly running a hair fork through it.Because of this, I usually use a fine-toothed comb, but I can't help but wonder--what's the problem with fine-toothed combs, that you should avoid them?
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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    I think for people with coarse or thick hair fine tooth combs may snag and or even shred the hair. But you're right – I have fine hair as well and wide tooth combs are only good in the shower to distribute conditioner. I would never use one to detangle. That being said, I don't like fine tooth combs either because they tend to get caught on tangles and snap them. I bought a good boar bristle brush (Denman) and brush my hair in small sections, from the ends up to the scalp.

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    Onward and Upward GoddesJourney's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    Not all things apply to all people. Thicker individual strands tend to require a wider tooth comb. Makes sense. If you use a fine tooth comb on that same head of hair, you may just be doing too deep a detangling at once, therefore turning tangles into tight knots or simply pulling too much on the strands. It really goes back to the same questions about how frequently you should wash or whether silicones are bad. If you hair likes/dislikes something, your hair routine should reflect that. Sometimes those things change over time and sometimes they don't, so whatever is working for you right now should be just fine. Happy growing.

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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    Hmm... I think the difference for me is that it's easier for me to be gentle with a wide toothed comb because it deals with fewer tangles at a time, while a fine toothed comb would get stuck more easily and risk to rip the hairs (my ends kind of bend in different directions and therefore tangle more than the rest of the hair). Finer teeth also often have sharper edges and could therefore possibly harm the hair more. What is often considered best is a wide toothed comb without seams or sharp edges but I think it depends on your hairtype.. If you don't have any problems with your finer comb getting stuck or causing any other problems I wouldn't worry too much. If you do, you could maybe try a tangle teezer or something similar!

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    Evil, not Bad Moderator (SB) trolleypup's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    Finger detangle first, then final detangle and smoothing with a fine toothed comb. Not so good for fixing tangles...I finger detangle the snarls the comb catches on...but coarse hair here.

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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    Coarse hair here, boar bristle brushes and fine tooth combs snag my hair like crazy. I use the Tangle Teezer now, no wide tooth comb as it also pulled my hair too much.

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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    My comb has double ends. One is wide teeth and the other is "styling" teeth.

    To detangle dry hair I use the fine teeth from the ends up towards the roots. Closer to the roots I switch over to the wide teeth (weird, but it works for me). Sometimes I switch back and forth depending on what kind of resistance I am getting. I just go by feel mostly. Once the tangles are out I use the wide teeth to comb it all back for washing.

    On wet hair I use some finger combing and then the wide teeth, just from the nape area down. Once it is fully dry I use wide teeth again to part it and style it. In the mornings I just finger comb a little bit.

    My hair is very fine and very thin. Wide tooth combs don't work for detangling on my hair. By the time I go to detangle my hair it is very stringy, and for the wide teeth to catch onto anything I would have to start at the roots, and that would just push a bunch of tangles down to the ends.

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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    I don't think it's as bad if you're in the 1s. But I would not attempt a FTC on a wavy texture. I used to detangle with it as a teenager, and it's not appropriate for wavy hair! BTW, I have F hair as well, and that doesn't seem to matter as much, a wide-tooth comb detangles just fine after washing (but my hair is detangled properly with a brush before a wash, the way it should).
    WCC method (washing) --- Rinse-out oil (MO) --- LOC/LCO method (styling)

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    Member YamaMaya's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    My hair is thick enough to eat fine toothed combs so they're a no go for me, I prefer my tangle teezer these days. I used to swear by a denman but they're too much hassle to clean and aren't good for straight up detangling.
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    Default Re: What's so bad about fine-toothed combs?

    I have very fine hair too, but curly, so a fine comb is out of the question for detangling (but I use it for styling to lay the upper hair layer smooth in an updo - I don't let it think in more than 1mm though).

    I have the same problem with the wide comb being to far apart for most tangles, but there is a really stupid trick to avoid that: Just tilt the comb so the distance between the teeth shrinks. On very tangly hair I nearly hold it vertically.

    In my opinion one reason to never - yes, some can get away better with it than others, but I include ALL hairtypes in this statement - use a fine tooth comb as detangler (on detangled hair it's a whole different matter) is that if you come across a single knot from above while detangling (if you don't it's not called detangling) is the moment you notice the resistance of a knot, the fine teeth have already spread all involved hair wide and thus pulled the knot tighter AND damaged the individual strands of hair through stretching! (For one hair is weaker than a lot)
    You don't want that to happen.

    If you don't like wide tooth combs I would (and sometimes do) use a brush, tangle teaser or finger combing.

    Of course you can still choose to use it and try minimizing the damage (just like some people are fine with bleaching and growing their hair even though
    bleaching with great care still wields some amount of damage) but I wonder: Why bother?

    disclaimer: of course this is my opinion, feel free to disagree.

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