Finger combing is a very beneficial way of detangling natural hair that consists of using solely your fingers to remove shed hair and tangles from your natural hair as opposed to using combs and/or brushes.
Why finger detangle?
Using your fingers instead of tools to detangle has many benefits:
- It helps you get to know your hair better
- You can feel and remove tangles and knots without snagging or snapping
- It’s a gentler method that makes breakage much less likely
Many naturals incorporate finger combing into their routines: some finger detangle before using wide tooth combs and/or brushes while others rely on exclusively finger detangling for their precious tresses. Mind you, finger detangling Type 4 hair takes a significant amount of time and patience, as the process will be more time consuming than it would be for a natural with a looser curl pattern.
Finger combing is a great asset to your natural hair regimen, but in order to determine whether or not a finger combing only regimen is for you, as yourself these three questions:
1. Is it practical?
How you detangle your hair depends on many factors, including: your hair’s length, your hair’s texture, your schedule, and well, you. If you’ve never tried finger combing before, you probably won’t want to plunge cold turkey into a finger combing only regimen. Try it out on your hair first, on a day when you have the time to really give a shot. Make sure that your nails are filed down before you begin to prevent any snagging.
Keep in mind that there are two methods of finger combing: ends to roots (start from the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots) and roots to ends (start at the roots of your hair and work the tangles down to the ends). I personally prefer roots to ends, as it prevents me from having to go over sections multiple times. I recommend trying both and seeing which works best for you.
2. Is it sufficient?
Deciding whether or not finger combing only is sufficient enough for your hair depends on how you want to style it. Finger combing doesn’t usually remove ALL of the tangles from the hair, which can prove troublesome during styling, especially if you want to stretch your hair. If you’re going for super (thoroughly) detangled hair, a finger combing only regimen may not be for you. Follow up with a (seamless) wide tooth comb and/or something like a Denman brush for a more thorough result.
3. Is it beneficial?
If you try (or have tried) finger combing and discover that you just don’t have the knack, time, or patience for it, then it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have a finger combing only regimen at this point. Keep working on your technique and remember that there’s nothing wrong with using tools as long as they are the right tools and are used properly. You don’t want to do more harm than good to your hair by running your hands through your hair haphazardly just to hurry up and finish.
Check out this video from Naptural85 on how to safely finger detangle natural hair: