I routinely wear a sew-in as a protective hairstyle. I usually leave my sew-in in for 2-3 months. What I usually find when I take my hair down is a matted mess of old braids and bountiful new growth. Happy Detangling! After clearing my schedule, saying a prayer, and taking a deep breath, I walk out on to the battlefield (bathroom) and attack. Don’t think I come alone though, I have a small army with some heavy hitters.
See what’s in my arsenal below:
- rattail comb (the long, sharp, pointed end)
- wide tooth comb
- shea butter mixture (mixture of mostly Shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin e)
- olive oil
- Aloe Vera juice (maintains PH balance of hair)
- spray bottle
- conditioner of your choice
- duck bill clips (you can use any clips you have; bobbi pins work ok as well)
I apply Shea butter and olive oil to my braids and spray aloe in to moisturize hair and loosen baked- in caked-in dirt. Then, I massage it into the mess lol, along with a small amount of conditioner. I take each braid and carefully undo with my fingers. Once I get down to the matting, I use the rattail comb end to pick out what’s matted. This takes time and patience. Throughout this process I re spray as needed and alternate between the wide tooth comb and rattail comb braid by braid. After each braid is completely detangled I twist the section and clip it out of the way.
It is normal for hair to shed. When leaving a protective style in for such a long time, you are bound to see some shedding. Detangling matted hair prior to washing is very important. Taking your time through this process will save your hair from extreme breakage and allow you to retain the length you gained.
After detangling, follow up with a good wash and conditioning routine to properly clean and restore strength and moisture.