It was just an ordinary Saturday afternoon and I was watching one of my favorite movies, while in the act of one of my not so favorite necessities …detangling my hair. I have to state I don’t hate detangling but I’m not going to lie because I don’t love it either but I do love the results afterwards which makes detangling more than bearable! Anyway I’ll get back to my story so I was watching a movie and I received a text about a last minute business dinner later that day. Great!!! I wasn’t even half way through my detangling session so there was no way I was going to complete my session before dinner. Now I wasn’t in a frantic state because this has happened plenty of times before as I am sure with all of us, of things popping onto the agenda out of the blue, that’s just life but it does peeve me just a bit when I can’t finish my detangling sessions at once, lol but I rolled with it. Now since I had already detangled about a quarter of my hair that quarter was more stretched than the rest of my tangled sections so for the tangled sections to appear similar to the detangled section, I placed my loose twists into “ twisted bantu knots” (which means I take my loose twist then twist them into larger sections and bantu knot) to stretch the rest of my hair. Then several hours later I took the bantu knots out and put my hair up into one of my favorite updo styles and kept it moving. Now I know your saying come on let’s get to the point on “How to cut down on detangling time” and I hear you so when I came home later that night after the dinner I was too tired to stay up and start detangling my hair so I waited until the morning and oh boy did I discover a wonderful surprise!
As I begin to detangle the sections of hair I did not finish the previous day I noticed the sections were more manageable and easier to get through much more than usual and immediately thought why? Then it clicked. The day before I had placed my tangled loose twist into bantu knots to stretch them a bit. The stretch caused my curls to loosen obviously but through this loosening I was able to detangle easier and faster than norm all because of the stretching which cut my detangling session in half! This of course would make sense because the curlier and finer the hair the more difficult it is to detangle but stretch those curls a bit before you detangle and depending on the degree of your tangled strands you will result in some relief regardless.
With anything there are precautions with stretching tangled hair below are some guidelines I follow to secure minimal to no breakage and proper stretching tangled strand techniques!
- Protective Styling: I would suggest dry stretching on tangled hair for women who wear their hair in protective styling. Yes it can be done on freeform strands but hair that is worn in a protective style during the week is a much easier and safer way to attempt this method because the hair is already separated from the protective style which means you are manipulating the protective style such as braids and twist versus loose strands that are not protected by other strands from a protective style but left to fend for themselves. I’m not saying it can’t be done but it will take more time, patience and effort.
- Twisting over Braiding: When I stretch my tangled strands I feel I can get more bang for my buck which means twisting allows for a more safer method because you only have to separate the sections into 2 versus unlike the braid which is 3 and when messing around with tangled strands the less stress you can put on your hair the better. Now if you’re trying this on a protective style then either method is preferable, this pertains to someone who wants to try this on freeform hair.
- Twist before you Knot: Since my method of stretching for in between washes is bantu knots, I prefer to twist my hair before I knot. I know this might sound confusing since I only wear my hair in loose twist but since my hair is in loose twist it is somewhat freeform so I will divide my loose twist into 8 sections and take my loose twist and twist up each section until I am left with 8 big twist then proceed to bantu knot.
- Be Gentle: Remember your hair is tangled which means your strands are in a weaker state and more susceptible to breakage so when stretching your tangled hair into your stretched protective method of choice never braid or twist to the tightest of your ability this will cause more harm than good and will just result in breakage. Your method should be a “casual firm”.
- Leave your Roots be: Whenever I detangle, the roots of my hair are the most difficult to detangle without a shadow of a doubt because I wear my hair in loose twists 24/7 the rest of my hair does tangle but not as badly because the protective style acts as an self- sufficient automatic pruner and keeps my strands contained or from escaping and wrapping around other strands that are not within that twist. So when wrapping my loose twist into bigger twisted bantu knots I will be especially gentle around the root area which means I will be less firm and become more firm in twisting the further away I get from the root.
- Big Sections: Twisting or braiding on tangled stretched hair should be done in large sections. Attempting to placing your strands in small braids or twist can result in more breakage because again you are placing more stress and manipulation on your strands. The larger the sections you choose for your preferred method the less chance you set yourself up for breakage and more tangles
- Oil, Oil, Oil: Do not attempt this method without some type of slip. You don’t have to drown your strands with oil but just enough goes a long way. You never want to attempt “tangle stretching” on super dry hair meaning your hair feels dangerously dry, not strong enough to sustain any method of stretching without breaking.
- Dry over wet:Not only can wet hair cause more tangles your hair is at its weakest state when wet because of the water weight absorbed by your strands so never attempt “tangled stretching” when your hair is wet only on dry hair.
- Temporary Relief: “Tangled Stretching” should be looked at as a step to aid in an easier detangling session not a method to prolong long your style for weeks till your next detangling section. Waiting longer than a couple of days (can be more or less depends how fast your hair reverts due to lifestyle and weather) can do more harm than good because your tangled strands will not stay stretched forever and will revert which means you just lost that window of an easier detangling session.
Whoa, I am finally done and I know someone is going to mention video please because a visual is much easier to translate than me running my mouth in writing format but when I find something that works I like to share right away in hoping to help someone else who might be feeling frustrated now but Nikisha and I will get to cracking this fall and winter with tons of videos on this method, many other methods and hair tutorials so watch out because you might be saying ENOUGH!