There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Detangling….it is an ugly word to a curly, coily, kinky haired woman. It’s a necessary evil to some and a breeze to others. Products, techniques and tools all aid in the process and all are necessary to make this a painless and successful experience.
Before I knew what the heck I was doing with this Natural hair on my head, detangling wasn’t a real thought. You can imagine how many chucks of hair I was yanking out of my head. I wasn’t aware of such products as KC Knot Today and how important Slip was. Hell….I hadn’t even heard of slip before I started doing some real research on my hair.
I look back to when I first moved to Denver and stopped damaging my hair with relaxers and started damaging my hair with ignorance. Going Natural doesn’t mean you will become an expert and it most certainly doesn’t mean you will do all the right things. I’m STILL learning and anyone on this journey and willing to be honest will say the same. It’s a day to day, week to week, month to month process on doing the right thing by your hair.
Now back to the present or to the near present. I’ll say around a year ago I thought I actually knew a thing or two about this journey I was on. I had been using wonderful products for a while, I was no longer wanting to flat iron my hair and I was even reading CurlyNikki and Nappturality.com on the regular! But somewhere, somehow, for some unknown reason….I decided to comb the living hell out of my hair.
I was detangling every time I co-washed. I co-wash on average 4 to 5 times a week. Yes…yes….I was detangling just that much with a wide-tooth comb. I think I came across an article (can’t even remember the blog) discussing how tender you should detangle your hair and how the main objective of the blogger was to allow her hair to grow and keeping as many hairs on your head was important to maintain and achieve length. Others commented on the article and discussed how often they detangled and I realized I detangled more than any of them!!! It was an eye-opener.
It was then it dawned on me that I was combing too roughly as well as too often! I was using wonderful products that allowed me to finger comb with ease yet I was still using the wide-tooth comb. I also realized I was rushing to comb through my hair as if I was on a timer. This revelation made me ashamed as well as mad at myself. I’ve stopped all that maddening combing and now finger comb very gingerly each time I co-wash. I detangle with a wide-tooth comb about once a week or when I wash with shampoo. I can honestly say I see a huge difference on how LITTLE hair is being pulled out as opposed to before.
Bad habits creep up on us without us even being aware especially when we’re so busy concentrating on the day to day grind unaware of half the things we are doing. I remember some after my son’s birth I picked up the extremely bad habit of eating snacks late at night. I mean LATE!! Don’t even know how it started but it’s now a challenge to stop.
I digress…Bad habits somehow become a norm, a ritual, a habit. (sorry, but nothing would have fit better) You may even create a fabricated memory of someone, or something telling you the bad habit was ACTUALLY a good habit. Maybe it’s the brain’s way of making us feel better about shoveling an entire bag of potato chips in our faces at 11:00pm after a hard boiled egg for breakfast, a Healthy Choice frozen meal for lunch and a grilled chicken breast with steamed spinach for dinner. Come on…I KNOW I ain’t the only one!
I started this post to discuss detangling too much but it’s pretty much become a post on bad habits and how they can take over a very good idea and turn it into a nightmare. I no longer feel bad about all the hairs I lost since I’ve noticed all the wonderfully strong hairs I’ve saved. I also see the growth I secretly wondered why I wasn’t achieving. I now know my over detangling was one of the culprits. Hey…as long as you learn the lesson it was so worth the journey.
Be kind to your hair. Treat it like it were your very fragile and beautiful great-grandmother who needs tenderness and love. With that in your mind you will keep as many hairs as possible on your head like I’m trying to do now. Don’t rush, don’t put off, don’t skimp on what is necessary to achieve your Natural hair goals. It will all be worth it.