Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Lukewarm: Final word on the Tangle Teezer

Ok I was super impatient and decided to redo my hair this week and not next week as planned. In truth after my first use I was planning to march down to Boots (the pharmacy where I purchased it from) and complain that the brush is not fit for purpose. However, I thought perhaps I should try to modify how I use it first. Here is my final review

I don't like it but I don't hate it. 


Why I don't like it

1. It breaks my hair. The unusual large amount of hair was breakage confirmed because a second brushing yielded just as much hair and a comparison brushing with a denman (which I hate!) gave less than a quarter of the hair loss! The tiny wisps of hair were breakage from the tips of my hair too which I do not like to see.
2. The teeth on the brush are not smooth. I think they should be.
3. No hair pulling - my foot! This brush does get stuck in my hair. I resorted to doing 1 inch sections and it still can pull single strands which hurts!


Why I don't hate it

1. The flexible teeth are fantastic. I have learned to use just the tips to help detangle hair (not pressing the brush into the hair which causes breakage for me)
2. Hair stays detangled which is good.
3. Hair looks like a blow out when dry detangled - my favourite!
4. The brush is excellent for removing lint and identifying the tiniest of matts.


In essence, I am going back to finger combing. If it ain't broke don't fix it! I will keep the brush and use it every so often. It is the best comb/brush I have used but in my view it is still mediocre. Someone needs to design another brush or comb for hair like mine.

51 comments:

  1. Now this sounds like an honest review! I am starting to notice a "follow the leader" trend with reviews. It's almost like ppl are afraid to say something bad about a product that the majority favors.

    Great review!

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  2. This is the first not completely loving the Tangle Teezer review I've seen. I will probably get one to try eventually, but I'm on a "no hair purchases until March." I like my wide tooth comb for detangling, but I'll see how it works out.

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  3. Good review!

    You are more brave than me though. I couldn't get past the seamed bristles of that brush/comb!

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  4. Great review JC! I was in the process of washing and detangling last night and thought I should run out and get the TT, especially since everyone's been giving it the two-thumbs up treatment. After reading your review, I've decided to just stick with what has been working for me....my big fat shower comb and slippy conditioner. :-)

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  5. thanks! you just saved me the time and money. i have been finger coming for a few months now with positive results. if it ain't broke indeed!

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  6. Wow, thanks for the update, Jc! And thank you for sacrificing your hair in the name of research. I might have mustered the courage to do it once, but not twice!

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  7. Thanks for the honest update, Jc! Yes, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." I'm wondering if other reviewers are monitoring their breakage too. Hmm.

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  8. I am sorry to go off topic but i didn't find anywhere to email you. I have a question about shampoos and bubble baths cremes or body wash with the same ingredients and whether they can be used for the hair . :)

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  9. Uh, finally I have been on the hunt for a not so positive review of the tangle teezer but had not until now come across one. I was thinking of trying it or rather convincing my mum to buy it when we next go 'hair shopping' lol. As far as detangling with brushes goes- it has never been my fave, I prefer a wide-toothed comb or fingers for my ultra delicate, fine Type 4 hair. The first time I tried a paddle brush it was one my Mum bought from her hair salon for the sake of her wrapping her relaxed hair. It was a Mizani Paddle Brush and even then (I hadn't had my hair exposed in over a year, and I was willing to try any tools/products) I was scared to use it: even when my hair was texturised my mum never used brushes. In the end I got mixed results like yours and didn't use it again. Brushes really have never been my forte, I don't think I'll be experimenting with the Tangle Teezer anytime soon.

    -Sorry for the considerably long response (I'm a talker, lol)
    Jasmine.

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  10. The first time I used it on my daughter I was like, eh. I didn't notice a decrease in hair in the comb. The 2nd time was MUCH MUCH better and here's why: I was not properly removing the shed hair with my previous detangling method. So the first time, I removed ALL of the shed hair. This resulted in much, much smoother hair. She wore box braids for two weeks, and when I took those down, I used it for the 2nd time. I finger detangled first, and then followed up with the tangle teezer and literally lost about 1/4 of the hair that a typical detangling session would result in. If you've ONLY been finger combing for a significant amount of time BEFORE trying it, it's not surprising to me that this would be your result when using anything other than fingers. Just my 2 cents...

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  11. Nice revie!

    JC, Can you do a finger combing post/pictorial. I love fingercombing and I'd like to read about your method.

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  12. Hi Jc, sorry the tangle teezer didn't measure up for you! ahh, i hate it when i have high hopes of something and it falls short. For me however, it's the best thing ever, i love it and have 2 of them now! maybe something else will come along which works just as well for your hair (minimal breakage, etc). Take care x

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  13. Thanks for all the comments.

    Anon - comment on finger combing alone being the cause of hair loss - I think you must have missed the previous comments where I thought this might be the case. I used the tangle teezer last week, twisted up the hair and then used it again a week later. The massive amount of hair in the same section was present.

    I chose to comb and detangle with a denman in a different similar sized section, this resulted in less than a quarter of the hair loss compared to the tangle teezer. A little more than finger detangling but certainly nothing like the tangle teezer.

    In short, no finger detangling is not the reason why I saw so much hair. It was the brush and it was breakage.

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  14. Thanks for the review. I am going to GB next week and was wondering if I should buy one.
    I do love to use my brush, but only right after conditioning. It's a body shop brush with metal pins in a flexible rubber bed. The pins move, as the rubber bed is so soft, and they are metal so they are smooth, and they have no "foot"? "socket"? (?! I don't know how to call it, that tiny part on the foot of each pin that can snap your hair).
    Long story short - I am happy with my old brush, so I'll too go by "don't fix it" ;)

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  15. I am glad you did a review on this brush. I wish I would have seen this review before I ran out and bought it. I have seen so many good reviews for it, but I tried it on 2 of my daughter's and I don't really like it. I finger detangled and then used the brush and it gets caught in their hair. I will probably give it a try on my other daughter because her hair type is different, but I don't think it was worth the money.

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  16. i think that the looser the hair texture, the better the comb works. All the positive reviews i have seen comes from type 3 hair with just a LITTLE 4a.

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  17. Thanks for all the comments again.

    This is to let you know that I have deleted two anonymous comments because on consideration they were not polite enough for my liking.

    I do have to comment on one of the deleted comments because its author had a valid point. Just because I didn't really like this brush does not mean that the other reviews by other people are of any less value. From previous comments it is obvious to see that others with just as curly hair have been successful with the tangle teezer.

    In short we can agree to disagree - we just have to be polite!

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  18. Interesting...your experience with the TT sounds like my experience with the Denman. And I have fine, dense, tightly coiled 4b/4a hair.

    I could only use the Denman as a last step after finger-detangling, using a wide-toothed comb, AND using a slightly less-wide-toothed comb. Otherwise it would rip my hair out. I used it because it was the one tool that would get all the way down to my roots. Compared to all of that, the TT has literally been a one-step wonder.

    As you know, not everything's going to work for everybody and people certainly shouldn't believe everything they read online. I was VERY skeptical of the TT until I read a few reviews from people with my hair type. Even then I knew I was taking a risk but thankfully the risk has paid off. Isn't it true that almost everything we try based off recommendations is hit or miss? Chalk it up to experience. :)

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  19. Wow! It's surprising to hear that this has provoked so much emotion. I've personally had a good experience with the tangle teezer as well as using it on my two daughters. I do finger detangle first, and take small sections, but I typically detangle this way anyway. I particularly like the "smoothing" affect that i got. My daughters and I are a combination of 4a/b/c. In the end, it's no different then the "hype" surrounding the denman brush, or products that are "popular" among naturals - it's going to work for some and it's not going to work for others. Such is life. Sorry you had a so-so experience.

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  20. Sorry It didn't work for you. I am still trying it out, only used it once. I didn't hear the "cracking" sound from it like I did the denman.. and didn't see any small hair after brushing so that is a good sign for me.
    Keep finger detangle! thanks for the review!

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  21. Thanks for all the comments again.

    LBell - I was complaining to my husband about this brush and saying I wanted my money back and he told me if I hadn't bought it, I would still be talking about wanting it.....lol. You are right, every recommendation is a risk, it may or may not work but you never know until you try.

    Exhale1913 - I think the problem is rather that some of us do not feel the need to be nice online. I especially dislike it when someone is rude to another commenter, there is no need for it. Disagreements are fine if done courteously.

    Ayomide - Glad the TT is going well so far for you :)

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  22. Thanks for this HONEST review. I still plan on buying it this weekend (can't help but try it myself) but it's good to hear something other then...it's the best thing on earth.

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  23. Thanks for the review, JC. Sorry it didn't work for you. It works really well on my 4a/b hair, even in largish (parted in 8) sections. My hair is definitely on the thin/fine side, so i dunno if that makes a difference. I love it!

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  24. Hi all. Just wanted to give a hair dresser's POV here. I've never heard of a Tangle teezer before but I know and swear by a Denman. Some may or maynot agree with me there. As a hair dresser, I see the damage and breakage that many naturals do to their hair from improper combing and brushing. JC your advice is some of the best I've heard on these types of blogs.
    Fingers work best at detangling... NEVER brush wet hair!!!! Its just asking for trouble.

    Comb wet hair (with a wide tooth comb) and brush dry hair.

    IMO always use some type of leave-in/ detangler when combing for added slip and insurance of less breakage.

    Detangle from the ends to the roots and do so gently. Never yank, tug and pull a comb through (OUCH).

    Expect to see some shed. Hair sheds every day because it grows everyday. Each head of hair is different so some may shed much less than others. Get to know your hair and monitor the shedding.

    Thanks for allowing me to contribute.

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  25. Just chipping in again to say thanks for all the comments :)

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  26. I love tangle teezer, my review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDv_tSJVlGg

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  27. I picked up one of these yesterday and tried it out immediately. I liked that it detangled my hair without any pulling or tugging at all. In that sense it was very gentle. I learned, as you have, to just use the tips for detangling, rather than trying to run the bristles (or whatever you'd call them) through the hair, and to take my time, just as I do with finger-detangling. I also liked that it retained all the shed hair, so that I could get a good idea of how much hair I'd lost, and so I didn't have little balls of hair all over the carpet like I used to with my other combs and brushes.

    But! Although it was gentle on my scalp (and makes a great scalp massager, I can really see why parents would love it for tender-headed kids), I'm not convinced that it was all that gentle on my hair. Like you, I'm a bit concerned that it caused an unexpected amount of breakage at my ends/tips. I'm going to try it a few more times and see how it goes, but it isn't in the must-have miracle product category for me.

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  28. I've used it and I have dry ends in certain places..

    Cons: I am very gentle with my hair.. I usually finger comb THEN use a wide toothed comb.. then slowly use a narrower toothed comb.. and hear no snapping.. I used the teezer last in the same order and heard snapping.. It was breaking my hair.. especially in the drier areas..

    Pros: My hair was smoother than it had ever been.. and I felt like it also removed shed hairs that I would not have been able to get to...

    Conclusion: I now use the tangle teezer after I do my monthly protein/moisturizing treatment.. for the purpose of removing extra shed hairs.. I may even start doing it once a season..

    I find it valuable (it is the best at removing shed hairs) if used with discretion and care (it can break hair especially fragile or weak hair..)..

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  29. My thoughts EXACTLY! I posted a similar review (I think on curly nikki) and nobody agreed with me! I was starting to wonder if others really thought about breakage, and whether they were being honest. I also had questions about the ten page directions that came with the product, but nobody picked up on that either.

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  30. Dolores - lots of people have had success with this brush but it did not work for me! The instructions though are hilarious especially the bend forward and brush - erm what?! I actually kept them to have a little chuckle.

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  31. I agree with you. It's not a great tool for my daughters hair. Seems as though I saw more shedding w/it than ususal. As for my hair, it went right through it. But the pro massager works better ($2) for her hair. It has wider teeth and easier to use.

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  32. Ack! After our nearly identical experiences on the first go with the TT, I was hoping for a glowing report of your second try. I've been in the same set of twists since I first tried it two weeks ago, and now I'm loathe to try it again, since it seems I may lose just as much hair the second time as I did the first. I do agree with your husband though-- if I hadn't finally bit the bullet and just bought the thing, I'd still be wondering about it constantly. Maybe I'll still give it a second try, since I do agree it is still better than the Denman or anything else I've tried. Anything except my fingers, that is. Thanks for the review/warning, Jc!

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  33. Never heard of the pro massager Mssanta - I'll look it up!

    Give it a second try Nefertiti! You never know! I am still keeping mine since it is not the worst tool ever but I am also gaining new appreciation for my fingers too :)

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  34. I haven't tried it on my 4a/b hair because I currently have a weave, but I have tried it on my 2 year old who has a loóser texture than I do and it is definitely a keeper. Thanks for the review. I guess it is one of those things that one has to try for ones self - but at least if one does try it and doesn't like it, you'll know its not necessarily because you are doing something wrong.
    Marin.

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  35. Hi Jc! It's bummer that it didn't work for you, but I agree that fingers are a great detangling tool - and they are free!

    I did want to mention that the issue of the bristle smoothness reminded me of the Kakakiki comb mystery. A significant amount of the people reviewing that brush, or talking about it in forums, mentioned roughness on the bristles, but others didn't experience that at all. Yours is the second review I've seen that mentions TT bristles that aren't smooth. I've tried to find some rough spots on the bristles of my TT but can't. It makes me wonder if there are production differences affecting the quality. Its just a thought anyway.

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  36. That is interesting. My mother (who has never seen a review) loves it so much that she plans to get a second one - just in case. I think the bottom line is that, like other hair products, not everything works for everyone.

    It's great that finger detangling works for you though. It's such a waste of time for me. My hair just knots right back up... if it detangles at all.

    Your review was very good and very thorough though! Good job! Other people who may have your hair type will get good clues from this.

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  37. I haven't purchased one and I don't plan on buying one but I am really trying to understand the difference between the TT and just holding a oval paddle brush (or a similar brush) at the top (around the base holding the bristles) instead of the handle. *shrug* I have a 4a/4b hair and I detangle once a week when I change my style. I finger detangle, then comb, then pass my oval paddle brush through the section to get rid of remaining shed hairs. Before I even new of the TT I was holding the brush at the top because it felt like I had more control as it passed down my hair. I was able to quickly notice a snag or knots because I could feel them. I feel like you could probably get TT results from brushes you already own if you just changed the way you held the brush. *shrug* Any thoughts?

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  38. I tried that actually around the same time I tried a $2 scalp massager with larger teeth (total success there!). For me, the difference came with the length of the bristles. I had more control with the scalp massager (this one isn't the TT, mind you) b/c the bristles were shorter and wider width. That helped a lot.

    I haven't tried the TT yet b/c I can't find it (all the Sallys around me are sold out) and I don't want to bother with shipping. If I try that scalp massager again and it works the second go 'round, I won't bother spending the $10.

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  39. I have 3c/4a hair. I had little to no split ends--a head full of healthy hair. I tried the TT twice and I am done with it. After the first time I used it, I thought, ok, I just have a lot of shedding because I used to finger detangle. I used it a second time and even more came out. I have so many split ends, I actually cried. It ripped out some of my 3c hair and just split my 4a hair. So sad. I tried it because of all of the rave reviews :-(

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  40. I don't think folks were necessarily "following the leader". I think many of us were excited because it SEEMED like it was too good to be true. It either worked for you, or it didn't. No need to be dishonest about it.

    It does detangle my hair very well. I can't say I lost more hair with it, either. My concern is the damage it could be doing to my ends. I never had a problem with split ends, and I don't want problems now.

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  41. No worries Katie - I won't throttle you lol

    Diedre - lovely to see you back on the blog scene!

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  42. Okay, I have mixed feelings about it. I've used it 3 times. I LOve how well it detangles my hair and stretches it out, gives me the perfect blow out for twists and braids. However, I noticed that some of the hairs in the brush were short? Almost like it was breaking off peices of my hair, even though it does not tug on my hair? It's weird. I want this brush to be 100 perfect but after my third usage I can't deny that I see small peices of hair which usually means breakage? and, I am very gentle with my hair, I'm sort of bummed about that? Does short peices always mean breakage? lol I know really dumb question, but I love this brush so much I'm trying to keep hope alive! But all in all, if its damaging, I will give it to one of my family members to use on their dog, because healthy hair is key to me.

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  43. I have a question that I couldn't really seem to get answered anywhere:

    I found it odd that the tangle teezer instructions say not to use it wih wet hair and lots of conditioner. isn't that how people usually detangle? could that be why i'm having some trouble with detangling? i would never try to detangle without conditioner on my hair or with my hair dry.

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  44. Alaina - In my opinion, the TT instructions are designed for bleached straight hair. Hair is weaker when wet and when hair is bleached or relaxed, it is even weaker.

    The choice to detangle hair dry is probably because the hair is less likely to break.

    Most curlies especially with tight curls choose to detangle with conditioner because it is easier to do compared to dry hair. Dry hair detangling is possible too but the reason why wet is preferable for many is because the hair is more flexible and there is less pain.

    I personally think that some product for slip is useful for dry hair detangling - like a leave in or oil or both. I also think that something around the 80-90% dry mark is a good place to start because the hair is flexible but also strong.

    In short, I think that true dry detangling (i.e 100% dry no product) is possible with straight or very loose curls but becomes more difficult to do with increasing curl and kinks.

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  45. womp womp. I guess I won't be getting the tangle teezer:/. The big toothed comb had never failed me yet. I just go under the shower water stream and use it to detangle my hair. It makes detangling a breeze. You guys should try it!

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  46. JC thanks for this review. I think I'm going to leave this one alone and stick with what works.

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  47. I haven't tried the Tangle Teezer yet. I was hesitant to try it because it has become soooo popular and the handle looked like it would be awkward to hold. There's nothing wrong with popularity but I'm not one to jump on bandwagons unless it's a miracle product. My staple hair products are from Japan and most people I talk to think I'm weird; and that's ok because it's about finding what works for you. Thanks for being honest about this product.

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  48. I noticed on some of the hair boards that people were raving about the tt saying it melted through their hair like butter and they saw virtually no hair in the comb. I ran out and bought one because I am transitioning and I have tangles galore! Well, I saw more hair in the tt than I ever had from detangling with fingers and a shower comb. I posted my results and was immediately besieged with comments that I must not have read the directions, I definitely did something wrong and that I was just being negative. I would never discourage someone from using the comb; however, I will post honestly about my experience. I am amazed that people would get downright angry about a not so great review of the tt. It is as if these people were being paid by tt and/or they had stock in the company. Very confusing.

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  49. I have only used it in my daughters super curly hair because she was getting single knot strands though I detangled weekly with a some what wide tooth comb from kinky curly. It worked great I was done in nearly 5 minutes and her knots were gone hair smooth but I noticed way more hair then when I used a fine tooth comb to detangle on those super knotty weeks. :-) I will only use it once a month and use her regular wide tooth comb. Also I use the very tip of it not the whole thing now. Haven't used it on my hair yet because I'm scurried lol, I might try to rake through and wind up flinging it to England. Me and detangling are mortal enemies I will try this once but those little teeth don't know who there going up against lol.

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  50. lol Jaded, you always make me laugh :)

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  51. The Tangle Teezer didn't work for me either. I have dense, kinky, and tightly coiled hair with fine/medium strands. My hair is very fragile, and the TT broke my hair off as well. I've tried several different detangling tools, and the best I've found to date is my fingers.

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