Natural hair doesn't "like" being handled when it's dry or in fact even when it's very wet. Before detangling your hair you should "plasticize" to soften it and make detangling easier.
What is a plasticizer?
It's anything that softens hair and makes it easier to detangle and comb.
What products can be used for plasticizing?
Water, leave-in-conditioner, a creamy moisturiser, oil and even a little rinse-out conditioner. Basically, anything that makes the hair more slippy.
My hair is quite thick and course so I find that thick, creamy moisturisers and leave-in conditioners work best for plasticizing my hair. I usually also follow with an oil to seal. For thin hair you might prefer to use just the oil or a very loose conditioner.
How much plasticizer should be added to hair?
If you're about to wash your hair, then you can add as much as you want. However, if you just want to detangle and style your hair for the day then use just a little bit.
I probably use about a tablespoon's worth given my hair thickness. If your hair's thin you might prefer to use less product so that your hair isn't weighed down.
Any other tricks?
Why yes, when I am plasticizing my hair for styling rather than before my weekly wash I cover my hair in a shower cap whilst I shower and get ready as it helps my hair soften and makes it far easier to handle.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx