Why you shouldn’t brush or comb curly hair after it is dry

“What do you mean you don’t brush or comb curly hair? What about all the knots and tangles?”. This is one question I get asked very often.

There was a time when I used to brush the life out of my hair. It was also a joy to buy all the fancy brushes in different shapes, sizes and colors *girls*. Having read somewhere that brushing over and over again results in silky straight hair, it was a ‘joy’ I indulged in. And did it help me? Of course not. My hair still looked like hay. Once I learnt the dynamics of curly hair, I realized that this ruined my curls and that one shouldn’t brush or comb curly hair.

The beauty of curly hair lies in those perfectly defined groups of spirals. What helps curly hair stick to each other are 3 things:

  1. A bonding medium – It can be your natural hair sebum, external emollients, silicones; something that clumps hair together. As you brush your hair, you are breaking that bond.
  2. Smooth hair cuticles – Your cuticle can get damaged due to repeated brushing thereby causing frizz.
  3. Lack of static – When you comb your hair, both your comb and hair acquire opposite charges. On materials that don’t conduct electricity (like dry damaged hair) the charges just sit there without getting lost. This like-charge causes hair strands to repel one another just like the like poles of a magnet (too many likes :P).
How my hair looks without brushing or combing

As you can see, combs and brushes disrupt all the 3 things that maintain the shape of curls. And this is why you shouldn’t brush or comb curly hair once it has dried.

So what about the knots and tangles? In fact, it is more important to detangle curly hair because it’s more prone to knots and tangles than straight hair. There is a way to get out of this vicious cycle – 2 ways to detangle curly hair – dry and wet detangling

Here is a post with my full curly hair care routine – My curly hair routine .

 

 

32 comments

  1. Hey !! First of congratulations on your blog !! Sheer pleasure to read about how to take care of yourself.

    Anjana I have dry hair n I think I am loosing all the lustre and texture of my hair. I tried different shampoos and still not working. Could you suggest something.

  2. thanks for the article… 🙂 detangling hair in shower is great idea. but my doubt is , once we dry the hair after shower, it gets tangled again.

  3. thanks for the great article… 🙂 detangling hair in shower is great idea. but my doubt is , once we dry the hair after shower, it gets tangled again… 🙁 or how to dry curly hair without getting knots..

  4. Hey Anjana,

    Great to see the website up 🙂 Congrats gal!!
    One doubt. Do you wash your hair daily with conditioner to get rid of the tangles? As of now I don’t. But the day I wash my hair the tangles are so much that it hurts when de-tangling.
    Please suggest.

    1. Hey Harsha 🙂
      I wash my hair once in 2-3 days only. You should soak your hair in conditioner. A palmful is what I use. Also you can oil your hair and detangle it with the oil before shampooing (that also makes it super easy).

  5. Hey Anjana … Congrats for your amazing blog … which is mostly dedicated to the curly hair beauties…. I love the technique will def use and share my experience 🙂

      1. And I request you to write a budget products for curly hair.. The products which you use is highly expensive (I think for me) 🙁 🙁 Please and We would like to see your OOTD … 🙂 🙂

        1. Sheetal, I have tried almost all the drugstore products available in the Indian market and they just give me average results. They don’t define curls like I want them to, they don’t hydrate enough. But if you do want to try them out I can suggest a few – Pantene Smooth & Silky conditioner, Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner. They are really just average. Dove Nourishing Oil Care Mask was a wonderful drugstore product but they stopped its production I guess – I don’t see it nowadays.

          And yes, do look out for a new category called PhotoDiary soon! Not exactly OOTD but something similar 🙂

          1. Yup ! I know actually budget product provides only average result. Thanks for the advice 🙂 And Looking forward to the new photo diary category 🙂 🙂

  6. Hey Anjana, Thank you so very much for all this info on curly hair. I don’t hate my hair anymore!! 🙂

    I wish I could go and tell every girl who is confused with her curly hair to read this blog!! Helped me a lot!

    Thanks again 🙂

    Sushmitha

    1. Sushmita 🙂
      It’s a joy to hear that someone has fallen in love with their curly hair 🙂
      You can spread the word to all the girls you know who are struggling with their curly hair!

  7. Hi. Your blogs are really helpful and I was really happy to know I was doing some of those techniques by simply defying mom’s instructions😜
    But these past 2 months my hairfall has started real bad. I didn’t face this problem before but now its so much that my hair is quarter of what I used to have. No my eating habits or hair wash pattern or water has not changed. I’m not alergic to anything and am not in stress so I really have no clue what’s causing it.
    If u can help in any way with tricks to reduce hairfall or grow it back pleaseeeee tell me:)

  8. Hello,
    Firstly I think your hair is absolutely GORGEOUS! Such amazing texture. Beautiful curls👍
    I’m a curly haired girl myself and for the longest longest longest time I’ve been desperately craving for longer hair. I’m unapologetically over-ambitious in this aspect because I dream of attaining tailbone length someday. I’m a little below the nape right now, as in almost close to shoulder length. 😒 I know right….
    So anyway, I’ve been reading a lot of articles online on length retention. It’s not about the hair your scalp sprouts but it’s about retaining the length one has achieved. This theory makes perfect sense to me because I had had my locks completely bleached back in early 2015. And I successfully managed to grow out all the bleached length by early 2017 I suppose. Yet my hair length remained stagnant😫. With this I deduced that while my hair has no problem emerging from the roots, it’s failing at retaining length, the reason being steady breakage at the ends, which I’m sure most curly haired girls will relate to. I was yet to find the culprit behind this awful breakage. I assumed my hair wasn’t conditioned well from root to tip and maybe doing things like consuming biotin and vitamin b complex capsules, pre-pooing with oils, hennaing my hair, deep conditioning on a regular basis, eating almonds ever morning, etc would eventually stop or significantly decrease breakage. These things will surely pay off. But despite being blind to the obvious cause for so long, I occurred to me in a flash that I see bits of my hair ends on my t-shirts every time I detangle my hair with my comb. And i don’t even use a seamless, wide toothed one! These tiny bits of hair I lose every single time I comb-detangle have stopped me from having long hair my whole life!!!!😖 Then came to me this wonderful saviour of a concept called finger detangling. As long as you’re gentle enough, there can be zero to almost no breakage. Discovered this just yesterday and have started doing this since this morning. ZERO BREAKAGE!!!! I mean ZERO….NADA!!! I’m super super excited that this practice can FINALLY help me achieve my hair goals. I’ll make sure to be as gentle as possible from my end while detangling.

  9. Hi Anjana,

    You have beautiful hair! 🙂 🙂
    Mine is also 2c/3a hair type. My crown is flat and straight but gets curly frizzy and dry at the ends.
    In your blog you said we shouldn’t comb dried hair. So does that mean I should never use comb? how to manage hair daily without combing at all?
    And is it required to follow all the steps in your routine video? I mean the many products you used like gel styling products… isn’t it too many products for the hair during every wash?
    As I mentioned my crown is flat and straight wont co washing make it more flat?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *