A little while, like 8 months ago, so not that little, I was planning on starting a series on detangling. I was particularly exasperated at the time with all 3 kids hair. If it wasn’t for the crying and childhood trauma it would likely cause, I’d do to theirs what I did to mine. In a heartbeat. Shave it all off! But maybe I’ve found something that works?
Way back, way back when, I found this technique to soften, detangle and remove a protective style. Thanks Skatsz. Whenever I take braids down now or any sort of protective style on my own hair, I use this combo – Apple Cider Vinegar and water. I started using conditioner too which I think gives it an added extra oomph and pow – super detangler. But with the kids, I’m a bit more lax, usually opting to detangle solely with loads of conditioner.
But on my quest to find the perfect detangler for them, especially my big haired daughter, I’ve been Googling an YouTubing on the subject again. I came across Discovering Natural. I haven’t read her blog for a while but I occasionally come across videos which I find extremely helpful. Specifically, this one on detangling her daughter’s hair.
I tried it as she described, with the Aloe Vera Juice instead of water and no conditioner. Although the hair felt softer, it wasn’t quite doing the trick. Not for the amount of tangle that I was trying to battle. I feel like when you watch these tutorials or read blog posts and they’re talking about really tangled hair, are they talking about real life matted, tangled, twisted, messiness? I think not.
You can see here that my daughter’s hair is a hot mess! I’d sort of lulled myself into a false sense of security and figured she could live with her hair out for a week or so. Thing is, even though it looked pretty good everyday, I knew that as the days went by, a problem was brewing within her large afro.
So after softening her hair with the Aloe Vera mix, I decided to add a cheap conditioner mixed with Olive Oil to increase the slip (giving the conditioner a consistency that will help the tangles just slide apart rather than snap). There was a mix of finger detangling, followed by brushing with the Denman and trimming out some of the more challenging tangles. I was also giving some of their rough ends a trim too. Should make future detangling slightly easier too.
Obviously if your hair is in a protective style, you don’t need to worry about knots. However, my sons are very resistant to braids in their hair. I probably win that war, once or twice a year (or force my middle child when he is going swimming with school). I don’t know if it’s because their hair is shorter or looser but the tangle problem isn’t half as bad with them. Thank goodness.
Below are some pictures of the process and post detangling texture. You can really see the varying textures the kids have. It’s crazy.
All the hair pictured above has been detangled using the method described above (finger detangling and Denman brushed). Then for the styling portion, I used Mixed Chicks Replenishing Oil which is a massive departure from my tried and trusted Olive Oil. I tend to only use this on wash day, it costs a bit more than the oil in the kitchen cupboard but I like it (I got this as part of a closing down haul for £5.00). Their hair has been feeling a lot more moisturised for a couple more days than normal. I was put off a little bit by the pink colour but don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I’ll do a more detailed review of it soon.
After the oil, I’ve been using Cantu Coconut Curling Cream again. And I’m learning to use that a little different too. So I am applying all products to wet hair on wash day. And I always used to get scared abut the product not being absorbed into the hair while I was working on it. Rubbing it, massaging it until there was no trace of it left. But I’ve relaxed a little. I realise now that you just need to work it in evenly and then as it dries, the product dries and disappears. If it leaves any sort of visible residue, it’s not the right product for us.
And I’ve finally started to incorporate gels on a regular basis. Curly Q’s Gel-Les’C is the first proper gel I’ve tried, even though I’ve used Aloe Vera Gel a few times and Smart Price Styling Gel (erm…no!). This is the first purpose made, gel for curlies I’ve used. I find the name so ridiculous but the results pretty darn good. I am definitely seeing more defined curls that last longer. This product is applied when the hair is still wet from washing. I guess when the curls look their “best” and most defined. I am going to be exploring how this product works a little but more of over the next few months.
I realised that the only real new addition to the detangling mix here was Aloe Vera Juice. I’ve used combinations of all the other parts in the regular detangling routine before.
But I am definitely getting a bit more success, with these particular products and a mixture of finger detangling followed up by a brush or wide toothed comb. There has been less screaming from the girl one. But the littlest boy seems to be picking up where she left off. I also think constant protective styling is a must in my daughter’s case and a mini midweek detangling for the boys fros isn’t a bad idea either.
I’d also like to note that I have been sending all three children to bed with satin lined sleeping caps, with satin lined pillowcase if the caps fall off in the night.
I am still hopeful we are on the right track and I might just crack this detangling thing!
Let’s keep growing together!
xx Lee xx