Is Finger Combing Bad For Hair?

While it’s true that finger combing isn’t ideal for every hair type, in general it can be gentle on your strands and reduce the amount of breakage caused when you comb or brush your hair. This is especially true for those with curly and coily hair, as tangles can easily become knots that are extremely painful to work through with a regular comb or brush. The key is knowing when and how to use this method.

It’s also important to note that if you have a hair style in mind for your tangles that require you to stretch out your hair, then finger combing alone may not be sufficient enough. It is likely that a wide-tooth comb or a Denman brush will be needed to fully detangle and/or stretch out your hair. This is because even if you detangle your hair thoroughly with your fingers there are often still some shed strands left behind that can cause severe tangling or knotting when you attempt to style and/or stretch out your hair.

Do you want to try finger combing but not sure how to get started? We’ve put together a list of the dos and don’ts to help you get started with this method of detangling.

Start with wet hair – Always start your finger combing session with your hair when it is wet. This ensures that your hair is soft and slippery and will make it easier to work through the tangles. It’s also recommended that you prep your hair with a rinse out conditioner or a detangler before starting your finger combing process.

Don’t forget to split your hair into smaller sections before beginning your finger detangling. It’s much easier to work on small areas of your hair rather than trying to tackle all of your strands at once. Don’t forget to wear gloves if you have sensitive skin or nails, as they can sometimes scratch at the strands and lead to tearing, ripping and/or broken strands.

Avoid snags – It’s recommended to be careful about how you handle your hair and avoid snagging it on clothing, jewelry or other objects. Keep in mind that hair can often be very slippery and if it’s not properly prepped or handled with care you could experience some minor snags along the way.

Don’t snag your hair with your nails – If you have long and sharp fingernails it is best to clip or file them so that they won’t be able to scratch at the strands of your hair. You should also be careful about using a rough surface to finger comb your hair such as a hard table or chair as this can lead to snags and scratches on your strands.

If you have sensitive skin, consider using a hand lotion that is non-fragranced or fragrance free when finger combing your hair. These lotions can help to prevent irritation and stinging as well as minimize the amount of friction that occurs with this technique.