Finger combing involves fluffing your hair and detangling using just your hands and fingers. It makes sense that handling hair (e.g. when you comb or style it) will lead to some hair breakage, so the less you comb the better...in theory...
I have done less and less combing over time based on this theory and until last night I hadn't combed for a month!
I went cold Turkey, no combing at all, fingers only! Bad idea. Here are the pros and cons:
PROS / ADVANTAGES OF FINGER COMBING
1. Less breakage per session, fingers can untangle stubborn knots a lot more effectively than a comb.
CONS/ DISADVANTAGES OF FINGER COMBING
1. Hair gets more tangled over time if you only use fingers. Fingers can only untangle so much and after you're done some strands will remain wrapped around each other.
2. Lots of shed hairs will stay tangled within your hair and this leads to nasty knots and even more tangling. These knots also make your hair look messy and unhealthy.
3. If you wash and go without plaiting or twisting in a zero-comb regimen, your hair will get massively tangled as it dries. A bit of combing would help to reduce this.
What is the best way to approach finger combing and detangling?
Always finger comb or detangle first.
In fact, you can get by with finger combing only for styling purposes, that said, before or during a wash routine use a wide tooth comb too for the best detangle. Comb gently and very slowly, no rough and rapid movements.
If you're adamant that you want to finger comb only, here's are a couple of tips:
How about brushing?
I hadn't used a brush on my hair since I went natural in March 2011 (20 months ago) because I was too scared of breakage; but I did so last night and it was a-okay. A simple brush like the one in the picture won't hurt you if you don't use it too often.
If you want a real break from handling hair get a completely protective, low manipulation hair style e.g. plaits, braids, a weave or a wig.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward