Wet strands expand as much as 20-30%. Pulling or tugging can snap it like a rubber band. And remember, work out tangles starting from your ends upward.
We’ve all seen it before. Or maybe we may even do it ourselves. After shampooing, we tug and pull at a head of wet hair. It can be a force of habit from childhood but oh, the long-term damage you could be doing! If you suffer from split or frayed ends, hair loss or frizz, the way you treat wet hair could be the cause.
How to Comb Wet Hair Correctly and Safely
The optimal comb for wet hair is well constructed with wide teeth. Good combs are commonly made from vulcanite (a kind of hard rubber) or natural material (such as bamboo), both easy to clean with anti-static properties.
Do not use metal combs or cheap plastic combs whose teeth can actually lacerate strands. (If you see a seam on each individual tooth, put it back on the shelf.)
How to Choose a Brush
Let’s break a very common misconception: natural bristles are not better for your hair, especially vulnerable wet hair. Natural bristles are unpredictably uneven, with bristles being sharp, barbed or ragged.
While there are some brushes specially designed to detangle wet hair, it is best to use a wide-tooth comb to get the job done right.
Other Tips to Detangle Wet and Dry Hair Correctly
Take five. Hair is very vulnerable right after shampooing. It’s best to wait at least five minutes so warm and weakened bonds reestablish themselves. Pat your hair gently in the meantime (don’t scrub with the towel).
Finger detangle first. One sure way not to damage your hair? Use your fingers as the first detangler, starting from the roots downward.
Use a wide-tooth comb. While there are some brushes specially designed to detangle wet hair, it’s best to use a wide-tooth comb. Start at the ends and gently (read that again: gently) work any knots or tangles until smooth.
Use a brush on dry hair. Whatever your brush of choice, wait until your hair is dry to use it. This not only detangles hair but distributes natural oils. And never, ever tug on a knot. Work on it gently until it releases.