Early In My Transition: My Detangling Routine

This post was originally published on 3/21/2012, nearly a month into my transition. Although my products may have changed, the ideas remain true. Enjoy!

Ahh...detangling. Whether you accept and embrace it as a part of your hair care routine or absolutely detest it, one thing is for certain -- how you execute it can make or break (literally) your hair. Some folks detangle dry (or damp), and others like to handle it soaking wet in the shower. I'm not going to recommend one method over the other, because different hair textures thrive under different conditions. I used to be a shower detangler, until I gave up the frequent wash n' go method in an attempt to retain and improve my hair thickness. Not saying that shower/soaking wet detangling will yank out all your hair on  GP, but it definitely has the propensity to do so. But whatever method you choose, you must have two things: patience, and at least an hour to dedicate to the process. Yes, a whole hour. It may take you more or less, depending on your length, thickness, and how tangled your hair is.

Here are all the tools I have for my detangling routine:
  • Wide tooth comb (right now I'm working with my Conair comb from Target, until I can get my hands on a Denman D31 brush)
  • Spray bottle with water (available at Sally's)
  • Hair clips (ok Sally's, it's time to put me on payroll)
  • My special detangling spray)
  • Castor & Coconut Oil mix in an applicator bottle... yep, you guesseed it -- Sally's. (optional step, I only use this when it's time to give my scalp some moisture)
  • Tresemme Split Remedy split end sealing serum (optional -- I'm just experimenting with their Split Remedy line right now)
My Special Detangling Spray
One of my big "things" now is making my own mixtures to cater to my hair's needs. Each ingredient in my special detangling spray meets the needs of my hair, or contains certain properties that are proported to produce certain desired outcomes. Here are my ingredients:
  • Water: The ultimate moisturizer. As indicated in a previous post (link here), your hair is about 75% water. Water molecules are small enough to penetrate your hair cuticle and provide much needed moisture and prevent brittleness.
  • Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In: I will do an independent review on this prouct later -- but let it just suffice to say that it is an awesome detangling product, and helps to protect hair from the abuse we enact against it daily.
  • Castor Oil: Yep, that thick yellow stuff. Castor oil is my new BFF. It has so many benefits for so many parts of your body, it is ridiculous. Castor oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it will help with dandruff and other scalp ailments. It is also a great moisture sealant, and promotes hair thickening and growth. Cold pressed castor oil is best, because it retains most of its nutritive properties due to minimal processing.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil, due to its low molecular weight, is one of the few oils proven to actually penetrate the hair shaft. It also helps to protect and coat the hair as well. Virgin unrefined coconut oil is best. Pick it up in the cooking oil section at Whole Foods or Sprouts.

I add equal parts water and Infusium to my reconstituted Turn Up The Heat spray bottle (don't judge me!), then pour in a little castor oil, and dump in some coconut oil. Because the coconut oil is usually in a solid state, I dunk the entire (closed) spray bottle into a hot water bath for a few minutes until it melts. Shake it up, and viola! Ready to go!

Ok, back to the detangling process. Eventually, I will start doing videos for this stuff, but for now enjoy reading :-)

Step 1: Find your starting place. Some folks like to start in the front of their head, others at the back. I like to start in the back and work my way forward.
Step 2: Water spritz. Spritz the roots in the area that you plan to start in. This will make sectioning hair easier.
Step 3: Section your first area off with either your fingers or wide tooth comb. BE GENTLE! TAKE YOUR TIME! Clip the rest of your hair up and out of the way.
Step 4: Spritz with water up and down your hair shaft.
Step 5: Spritz with special detangling spray.
Step 6: Begin working wide tooth comb S-L-O-W-L-Y through your hair, from your ends up to the roots. DO NOT COMB FROM ROOT TO END. I repeat, DO NOT COMB FROM ROOT TO END. That is theeee easiest way to lose a sizeable amount of hair for no reason.
Step 7: Twist, braid, knot, etc. Do whatever you do to your hair to get it out of the way and keep it detangled. I like to do twists.
Step 8: Repeat this process until you have detangled your entire head.
Step 9: Once you have detangled your entire head, cover your hair with a satin scarf or bonnett.

Exhausting, right? I feel you.

Happy detangling!!!


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