The Comb

The Comb

This sometimes small and other times large item is one of the Natural Girls best friends. It could also be her greatest enemy. A comb as we all know is used for separating our hair strands to give them an improved, neater appearance. Because Natural Hair is so coily and coarse, combing is often time a source of pain and frustration, particularly when it leads to heavy breakage. Most of us can remember the struggle between our hair and our comb wielding mothers when we were young. Kai…

We all comb our hair for different reasons, and some don’t even comb theirs at anymore, and I’m not talking about the loc’d sisters! Whatever you do, it is important to know just how to use this all important Natural Hair Styling Tool.

How Often Should Hair be Combed?

There are many schools of thought on this issue, ranging from once a day to once every few months. The truth is that it depends on your hair, and your styling routine. I started out combing my hair lots of times a day when I was transitioning, but now, I comb my har once a week. This is because my hair is really soft, so it doesn’t like vigorous combing, I can Finger Detangle most days anyway. So I basically do something like a twist out or wash and go that can be styled in many different ways during the week without requiring a comb.Black African American teenage girl combing her afro hair

Should Hair be Combed Wet or Dry?

Another common topic of discussion. It goes 2 ways, when hair is dry, it is tough and inelastic, and therefore prone to breakage. On the other hand, when it is dry it is weak. I have learned to comb my hair while it is damp so I get the best of both words. My hair is more pliable, and less prone to breakage while it is damp.

Is There any Technique?

The answer is YES! There is a method to combing Hair which will give you great results and place minimal stress on your hair;

  • Sectioning; Your hair should be parted into 3 or more Sections before combing, as this will make it more manageable and help you pay more attention to the different areas, particularly for those with different hair types.


  • Start from the ends; Imagine taking down a braid, and you try loosening it from the roots; imagine the tangling and pain. Combing is exactly the same. A lot of us tend to start from the roots and move up, which makes the comb get snagged, and as the strong, black women that we are, we just keep tugging at it till it submits to our will. I have a headache just thinking about it! It is much easier to start from the ends, and move up. This way, the tangles and snags are being combed out gradually and the process is much gentler.


  • Use a wide tooth comb first; this will place very little stress on the hair compared to combs with smaller teeth. A seamless comb as shown below will also help to avoid snags.


You should know when your hair has had enough. Trust me, you don’t need to comb it till your scalp is on fire. you should also try Finger Detangling, your fingers are your best tool. Applying a leave-in Conditioner to your hair before combing also makes a world of difference, as it makes the Hair softer and much more manageable. Happy combing!

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