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How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage

Heeeey! You gorgeous kinky girl(you know what I mean…) Wanna know how to detangle 4C hair without breakage?

Well, you are about to get ALL THE BEST TRICKS and PRODUCTS to get easier detangling, less matted 4C hair, less shedding and easier wash days with your kinky and/or think 4C lusciousness!

I promise you that, sis!

Today, we are highlighting some JEWELS dropped by the gorgeous Jenn Jackson. We had to bring the NHP spotlight to this info so that you get the low on how to best detangle your 4C hair so that you keep your dang sanity.

Jenn has really thick and full 4C hair and she has mastered this detangling method that works AMAZINGLY and typically gives you minimal breakage when done correctly.

You’ll never wonder about how to detangle 4C hair without breakage again after detangling your hair this way!

You’ll be able to do it quickly without feeling like you have to sit and comb through your hair for hours, even if you’re tender-headed.

It takes Jenn, who has ALOT of amazing 4C hair, about 2.5 hours to do her entire wash day routine, including detangling and moisturizing.

Sound good? Let’s get to it!

How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage [Step-by-step] 

As you know, detangling natural hair doesn’t work the same as detangling permed or relaxed hair. It’s A WHOLE NOTHA’ ORDEAL honey…..

Because of that you NEVER want to start detangling with a comb and you should not try to finish the entire detangling process in one step.

So, how do you detangle 4C hair without breakage? Here’s the process…

Step #1 - Always Pre-Poo To Slide Shed Hair Out

No matter how matted and tangled your 4C hair is, a good pre-poo session is on order. The benefits of this is to systematically remove shed hair BEFORE SHAMPOOING and work through it while removing knots and tangles.

If you fool around and shampoo your 4C hair with shedded hair mixed all through it you’re gonna be in for a world of hurt, girrrrl….

… because the shedded hair is just going to further entangle and cause more matting than necessary.

  • Use those fingers real good, don’t even LOOK at a detangling comb yet.
  • Use a high-quality oil while prepping to slide dead and shed hair.

Remember, your fingers are your best weapon to BEGIN detangling!

That way you can get a good feel for where the tangles and matting are without getting too rough with your luscious!

Step #2 - While Pre-Pooing Section Your Hair - Don’t Wait!

Now it’s time to make them hands do what they do! Start sectioning off your tresses in parts while pre-pooing, you can make small bantu knots or something similar.

Not only is it a smart way to multi-task but it's a necessary step because detangling in sections IS A MUST!

I know… I knooow sis…..

You usually hear about 4C naturals sectioning their hair AFTER shampooing and deep conditioning. Well, that’s not what we're gonna do here.

TRY IT! You may find sectioning during the pre-poo phase to be easier and more manageable, especially when dealing with super thick 4C hair.

Step #3 - Shampoo The Sections While Holding Ends & Finger Detangling

Now, because your hair is already sectioned off neatly you’ll find that washing it comes alot easier.

You need to strategically continue finger detangling your 4C loveliness.

PRO TIP: Hold your ends in place away from your roots as you scrub your scalp, this keeps the loose ends from re-entering the fray and getting even more tangled.

This is a great way to prevent getting more matted 4C hair.

how to detangle 4C hair without breakage ends to rootHold those ends!
  • Be sure to continuously keep your sections apart while gently detangling with your fingers as you shampoo.

Also, be sure NOT to just “mix bowl”your hair while shampooing. You know…

Using both hands to just rub the hair around in a circular motion…. That's is a BIG NO-NO!

how to detangle 4C hair without breakage ends to rootThis is WRONG technique...

That’s a quick way to get on the road to matted 4C hair and excess breakage from tangling.

Step #4 - Rinse Out Shampoo & Check For Detangling Progress

As you rinse out your favorite shampoo you should be almost halfway detangled, maybe a little less, 40% or so.

Just finger through your hair and be sure there are no obvious matted areas or tangles that can be removed at the moment. If you run into some tougher matting or tangles that need more time just leave them, you’ll get them soon!

Step #5 - Apply Deep Conditioner [Skip Normal Conditioner]

So, this is a trick to cut out an unnecessary step (at least for Jenn) and get straight to the deep conditioning part if you’d like. 

Doing it this way helps you avoid an extra opportunity to entangle your 4C hair with the process of applying and rinsing regular conditioner. 

I know that some of you will feel like this is a deadly sin, in that case, no problem. Just grab your premium moisture repair conditioner or hydrating condish and have at it. 

But, as far as Jenn J is concerned she doesn’t need the regular conditioner because her premium deep conditioner masque will be more than enough. It’s your choice.

While you are applying your deep conditioner you still want to be detangling, detangling through each step is the key for how to detangle 4C hair without breakage.

Step #6 - After 30+ Mins Finger Detangle & Finish Detangling With Wide Tooth Comb

So, after 30 minutes time or much more (I know how we are, lol…), it’s time to accomplish 100% detangled 4C hurrrr, OK?

You’ll ofcourse be finger detangling each section 1st and then entering with your hair tool of choice. The tried-and-true detangler tool of 4C naturals is the wide tooth comb, it simply does the job.

While your premium deep conditioner (with good slip) is still in your hair, you can start working the wide tooth comb in to take out tough tangles and knots.

If you want to stick with finger detangling only you can do that, but a wide tooth comb is very helpful.

how to detangle 4C hair without breakage comb

PRO TIP: Make sure to NEVER use a small tooth comb for detangling. That’s not how to detangle 4C hair without breakage, that’s a one-way ticket to SHED-VILLE and hair SNAP CITY!

BONUS TIPS: How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage

In learning how to detangle 4C hair without breakage, you need to remember these quick tips that can save your 4C from disaster...

  1. Never dry detangle...EVER!
  2. Start detangling from the end tips FIRST.
  3. Always finger detangle BEFORE using a detangling tool.
  4. Stick to the old faithful wide tooth comb as your go-to tool
  5. Work in sections from the pre-poo onward.
  6. Regularly detangle (every 1 or 2 weeks) for easier maintenance.
  7. Detangle bit-by-bit through entire wash day process.
  8. ONLY detangle on wash days.
  9. Keep hair moisturized to avoid matting you 4C hair.

That's how you detangle 4C hair without breakage.

Would you like to see a video showing this detangling process?

Keep scrolling and take a gander!

[VIDEO] How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage

Check this dope video from Jenn J. about how to detangle 4C hair without breakage...

Products For Detangling 4C Hair Without Breakage

Here are a few good products you can use for detangling thick and kinky 4C hair without much breakage...

Best Slip DEEP Conditioner for Curly Hair Detangling:

Popular Detangling Tools:

Best Conditioner w/ Slip for 4C Hair Detangling:

Conclusion: How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage

These tips for how to detangle 4C hair without breakage work even for very matted 4C hair, when detangling after braids and on short 4C hair as well.

If you see a wee bit of shedding after washing and detangling, don't freak out!

Keep in mind that shedding is 100% normal, not just for kinky or thick hair, but for all hair types. We shed on average 50-100 strands a day.

Still though, these 4C hair detangling tips will be gentle on your hair and help your retain growth and even boost further hair growth, even if you're trying to grow your 4C hair to waist-length.

RELATED ARTICLE: Best deep moisturizing conditioner for relaxed hair without protein...

Follow Author of How To Detangle 4C Hair Without Breakage Tutorial...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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