Saturday, 29 June 2013

5 Reasons Your Natural Hair isn't designed for regular combing

Many of us can attest to our hair breaking one or two or more combs as we tried to force a comb through our knotted and dry kinky hair! Many of us probably grew up in cultures where our hair has to be combed daily, before we were allowed to step aside. Let's admit it, a Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA) does look funny when it's coiled up and not combed. While one can get away with combing afro hair that's less than 3 inches daily, without much damage, any hair that's longer than this length will require that you use your comb less often.

 I often have women tell me they'll rather relax their hair because it's easier to comb, and those with natural hair choose to wear wigs and hair extentions because they don't have to deal with combing their hair often. Not only is this statement very sad to hear and doesn't make sense, it's also very appalling! Curly hair isn't designed for a comb, neither are combs designed for curly hair (at least in my opinion).

I've listed below, 5 reasons why your Afro hair shouldn't be combed often 

1.  Since our hair isn't straight, it doesn't need to be combed everyday in order to main its aesthetics. Curly and coily hair is happy being coiled up and so it has the tendency to coil back up and sometimes intertwine with each other right after combing.

Natural Hair Types
Say you have 4b hair, each time you comb your hair, you're taking it through 8 DIFFERENT HAIR TEXTURES, and then with time, it eventually goes in the reverse direction and returns to it's original 4B texture. So in total, your hair goes through 16 stages every time you comb it!

2. From the analogy given above, it's very clear that regular hair-combing will result in mechanical damage, which can be an impediment to healthy long hair. Since our hair has the tendency to coil up with each other, combing the hair will forcefully separate and break up coiled hair strands. This forceful separation will lead to hair breakage and split ends. So while you may think you're taking good care of your hair by combing it, you're actually doing the opposite by killing it.
3. Since every curly hair has the tendency to curl back up, combing it would be a waste of time. Unless you intend to wear your hair in a particular style which requires your hair to be perfectly combed out, combing it would be unnecessary.
4. Combing Afro hair can be painful, particularly if combed dry, which most people tend to do! Even if the hair is combed the proper way, which is hair wet and saturated with a slippery conditioner and oil, and then combed from the tips/ends to the roots; combing our hair can still be uncomfortable. I have a sensitive scalp, so any tugging and pulling can be very painful.
5. Combing Afro hair takes time! As you may know by now, your hair can't be combed the same way you would comb a weave or any other straight hair. Based on a previous post I wrote on my blog on Natural hair combing, I listed 5 steps that must be followed to effectively comb Afro hair. So unless your hair absolutely must be combed for a particular style, you can skip this step and move on to styling.

In conclusion, Afro hair likes to be KINKY!  Our hair is happy and relaxed, when it's coiled up. So temporarily disrupting the coil pattern in our hair will result in unhappy and tensed tresses.
Remember, our hair is unique and must be treated as such. The exotic texture of our hair requires foreign and sometimes uncommon hair practices which might not make sense! 

So, how often should you comb your hair? 
I'll recommend just once a month, and that's if you absolutely must! I've gone months without even TOUCHING a comb.

How do I comb my hair without using a comb?
You can do finger detangling, which won't be as painful and damaging as regular combing. You can read my previous post or look up YT videos to learn how to achieve this.

If you are still not convinced, I recommend you watch this YouTube video by Glamfun.
Do you still think your hair will be difficult to manage because you can't glide a comb through it? How often do you comb your hair?

The Mane Captain


  1. wow! I have been schooled.

  2. All this is so true. My hair is very soft (yay), but also very stubbornly, happily coily (not so yay), and I find it quite frustrating to manage, even though it's still relatively short (more than three inches though).

    I used to comb my hair every day, and then I switched to every other day, but I know the amount of hair I lose with each combing, so I'm on a mission to comb less. I'm still quite new to natural hair so my plan is to plait the hair in big cornrows (no extensions), keep it that way for two weeks at a time, and wear wigs or scarves to go out... It's the only way I can think of to manage it with less combing, at least for a while.

  3. I'm all wrong girl I combed my hair every week dry just to see the growth. ....hmm it grew alright then wondered where my big hair went ..... Thank u I won't be combing


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