How to Prevent Wash Day Tangling

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Use the following techniques to reduce wash day tangling and make styling a breeze.

Divide and Rake Down

Piling your hair on top of your head and scrubbing in circles or leaning over a sink while cleansing creates tangles that you will then need to remove.

Instead, divide your hair into sections and use clips to hold the sections in place. Stand under the shower head and rake your fingers through your hair in a downward direction under the running water. Add your shampoo or other cleansing product, focusing on the roots.

Hold Taut and Scrub (Gently)

Hold the ends of a section of hair taut and use the other hand to gently massage your scalp in that section. This will prevent your hair from becoming more tangled as you cleanse your scalp. Again, rinse the shampoo in a downward direction.

Part and Focus on the Scalp

If your hair is very thick like mine is, you may need to part each section into smaller sections and direct the shower head to your scalp in order to make sure that all of the dirt, oil and product is removed. Use the pads of your fingers to massage your scalp in each of the smaller sections. Keep raking through gently with your fingers as you go.

Work Through Knots

If you come across a knot, remove as much as you can gently with your fingers. If it doesn’t come out easily, come back to it after the conditioner step.

Add Conditioner and Detangle

As you finish cleansing each section, add your conditioner, then secure that section with a clip and move onto the next one. When you have finished cleansing and conditioning all of the sections, go back to the first one.

If there were any knots you couldn’t work out in the previous step, try to get them out again now that the hair is softened by the conditioner. Remove hairs from the knot strand by strand. Hopefully, you will get to the point where the knot is only hanging onto one or two strands of hair. At that point, if it won’t slide out, use hair cutting shears to cut it off.

Rake through with your fingers, and finally, comb downward with a wide-toothed comb under the running shower head.

Twist and Clip

Put the section in a two strand twist, roll it into a Bantu knot, and put your clip back in place until you have completed all of the sections and are ready to style your hair. This will greatly reduce shrinkage and make styling easier.


If you follow these steps on wash day, it will greatly reduce the amount of additional tangling and shrinkage that can make styling a challenge. Your hair will be easier to comb through and part, which will not only be more comfortable and reduce breakage but styling will be faster as well.

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