Fine Tooth Comb: Different strokes for different folks

My mum requested me to style her hair and I came ready and armed with my usual hair arsenal (wide tooth comb, water spray bottle and conditioner). However, she said that she normally uses a fine tooth comb on dry but oiled hair which led me to give a 'don't you ever do that again' speech.

She disagreed and said she would demonstrate. I was hugely cynical and slightly horrified as the comb came out but to my great shock, her method actually worked on her hair. The comb actually glided through with no snapping or tangling whatsoever. My mother's hair is very similar to mine except it is finer and less kinky (still 4abczyz).

I would never use that comb on my hair because it would snap my hair off. I also would not choose to comb my hair without just a little bit of water to help with elasticity but interestingly my mother can dry comb her hair.

Lesson learned: Sometimes things that really should not work, do work for some people. A fine tooth comb does not always result in hair breakage.


  1. I used a fine toothed comb to detangle my sections before twisting and I was SO surprised it worked! My twists even lasted longer (1 week, 1 day. Yes, I'm counting because I want these OUT) without getting as fuzzy as they normally do.


  2. Another reason I love your blog: You admit when you learn something new! (Some folks won't do that.) I find it interesting that your mom could comb her hair this way and I think the fact that it's finer is the key thing about it. I'd love to see a vid, actually but I know that's wishful thinking. :)

  3. Well your mom proved a point. One thing I am learning through this natural hair explosion is that things that should supposedly do not work, do work for some people. I noticed that with my hair and watching what some people do with their hair. For instance, hair grease. I don't have a problem with hair grease. I can still maintain moisture in my hair using hair grease. Hair grease helps to protects the ends of my old hair strands too. My hair has grew past my shoulders with the help of protective hair styles. What I do works for me ,and not for the other person. I seen some women on YouTube brush their hair with that denam brush and detangle brush with no problems with their hair. I can't do that. I will have hair breakage problems.(SW)

  4. This is interesting. I'd love to see her technique.

  5. Awwwww, thank you so much! Some bloggers I follow have these rigid rules but some things work for some people and other things dont. I love to see that you are open and honest!

  6. The way i see it is that people want to escape doing what is good for them,it is just human nature!

    We all know chocolate,fizzy drinks etc.... are not good for us but we still do it.I love my fizzy drink and chocolates even though i know it isn't healthy and because i have YET to find an alternative to replace it i will go back to it :(

    .My point is that change is hard to come by and we will always put up a fight to try new things.It's like the hair grease debate people are reluctant to let go! LOL
    Personally i wouldn't use a fine toothcomb for the same reasons that my hair would probaly snap off and i wouldn't want to put it to the test. Know i am natural and i know more i can't do what i used to even if it worked then.

  7. Was her hair already stretched out from previous styling? I can comb my hair when it is stretched out due to previous styling with a fine tooth comb but God forbid I used it on dry or oiled,unstretched hair directly after a wash :/. Epic fail. My hair is very spiral (4a) and it would not be good for my hair.

  8. Hi JC,
    So I have a huge problem with my 4B/4C hair. I did the BC, fine. But I keep reading everywhere that combing everyday your hair can really be harmful. But the fact is, my TWA isn't that long, 4 months of grow, big volume. But I feel like I have no other options besides combing it everyday. It's too little to put in braids/twists and I don't want to add extensions. But combing everyday is really getting pain in my neck lol. I never comb it dry, I use an afro comb, do prepoo and use all natural ingredients. So I want to know I reallly have no other possibiliteis for me.
    Thank you.

  9. Thanks for the comments!

    To answer some of your questions

    1. My mum can comb her hair with a fine tooth comb in any state (wet with conditioner, dry with no product except oil). She can do this on stretched and unstretched hair.

    2. My mum keeps her hair short (approximately 8 inches)

    3. I would never ever use a fine tooth comb on my hair it does not work.

  10. Combs and brushes really work for my hair too! Fine-toothed or wide-toothed. But if I leave my hair without detangling I get a LOT of breakage.

    I've been meaning to ask you JC, is there any reason why water could cause breakage? Ever since I became a natural I noticed most naturals like to spray their hair with water and they might add oils or moisturizer to the water. When I try doing that I get crazy dry hair and breakage!!

  11. I use a two sided comb most of the time. I use the big side to detangle and then the fine side to smooth before twisting or braiding. Why I think my twist/braids look marvelous with almost any type of product. Why my twist out last so long. Generally 5-7 days.

  12. Thanks for the post.... Other naturals tell me I wrong or stupid for doing this.... This method works best for me even with a thick head of fine individual strands of 4c hair..... same thing with mineral oil....


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