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The very same thing that makes black women’s hair so gorgeously thick and curly is what makes it so prone to breaking. Everybody’s hair has an outer layer called the cuticle, which is made up of tiny scales. Black hair has large scales, making it dry out quickly. Black hair care is all about moisture. Combing black hair without causing breaks or split ends takes a little extra TLC, but you deserve that anyway!
Start with wet hair or fill a clean spray bottle with warm water and spritz it all over the hair you’re about to comb. Apply a de-tangler or leave-in conditioner to make combing through easier.
Use your fingers to gently work out any visible tangles. This is a good time for a gentle scalp massage if you’re combing out hair for a new mom or a favorite grandmother. Scalp massage stimulates circulation and encourages the natural oils that keep hair shiny. The tight curls in black hair make it hard for the natural oils to reach the ends -- another reason it tends to be dry.
Separate out one section of hair about as thick as your thumb. Use a wide-toothed comb to work out any snarls, starting from the bottom and working your way up to the roots. Be gentle.
Clip the combed section out of the way and separate out another one. Repeat until there are no tangles left, using more spray de-tangler as you go, as needed.
Remove any clips and pour a dime-sized bit of light hair oil or almond oil onto your palm. Warm it between your hands and smooth it into the combed-out hair, paying special attention to the ends. Don’t overload the hair -- you just want to soothe it and add a little protective moisture.
Some women find that combing through hair when it's dry works better for their hair. If you prefer this method, apply a little olive or coconut oil to your tresses first to assist your comb in slipping through your strands snag-free.
Never tug or yank on tangles because this can cause breakage. In fact, don't comb through them at all. Remove tangles with your fingers instead.