Is It Better to Comb Hair When Wet or Dry?

Linda White

While the hair must meet the comb, is it better to do it when it’s wet or dry? Depending on who you are, the answer will be “wet.” Ask someone else, and they will say “dry.” The main purpose of combing the hair wet is to smooth out tangles before drying.

It’s easier to get the tangles out of wet hair than dry hair. For this reason, use a detangling spray before combing out. Adding a conditioner or detangler, the hair can cope with more damage. Besides, an effective conditioner softens the tresses and helps to correct the dry effects like thinning.

Do you brush your locks from the roots and then move toward the ends?  Some people say this is not proper and it will tangle the hair even more.  Others experience smoothing from the ends to the scalp. Doing it any other way will just cause damage to the hair.

One of the disadvantages of wet combing is shrinkage. Natural hair and shrinkage are two common elements when it comes to water and combing the hair while wet. Hair is at its weakest point when wet, so it doesn’t take much handling which can lead to breakage or split ends.

How to Control Breakage When Combing Wet Hair

Once the hair is tangle free, there’s nothing like combing through soft strands of hair, especially when it’s wet. Most women and men, too, love the way the comb glides through the scalp when the conditioner is still in the hair.  However, care is needed still to prevent breakage.

Did you get any hair in the comb? If so, how many hairs did you find? Most of the hair combing from the comb should be bulb-less hair [shedding].  For long hair, always part the hair and put into manageable sections while combing or styling.  This will protect the hair and help prevent it from volume, shrinkage, and breaking.

Anyone trying a natural look for the first time should consider the above method to combing the hair especially if the hair is short.  Short hair shouldn’t take long to detangle. However, long hair should consider the method at all times.

How to Detangle the Hair when It’s Dry

When the hair is dry, it’s hard to get the tangles out especially if the hair has been in braids for a long time or if the hair has started to lock. Most people, in fact, about 70%, detangle the hair when it’s dry and this can do harm to your growing, natural locks.

Before combing, dampen the hair. Spray it with a leave-in conditioner or purified water mixed with essential oils like tea tree oil or argan oil.  Find a fragrance or conditioner to add to the mixture and comb through, but do not over-comb.

What’s the benefit of combing while dry? Because natural hair shrinks while it’s wet, dry combing helps to prevent shrinkage. Surprisingly, the problems associated with shrinkage are also minimized. On a negative note, dry combing makes the hair more susceptible to breakage.

Natural locks break into small pieces or segments [an inch of hair or less].  If the hair is not growing, this could be the reason behind it. Again, combing the hair is better when it’s damp, not wet or dry. Remember to add oils or water to give the hair elasticity.

Reduce friction by adding olive oil, coconut oil or any oils which will help give natural hair life. Also, finger combing helps to save strands, and it works on short hair as well as long locks.

What Happens when a Towel is Used to Dry Hair?

People dry the hair incorrectly as they rub instead of blot dry. Rubbing can bruise the hair and also tangle it. Always use an absorbent towel or a microfiber towel. Squeeze the hair from the bottom, working up toward the roots of the hair to prevent further tangling.

After the shampooing, condition the hair and wrap the hair in a towel to keep in the heat. This is to enable the strands to benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. Don’t pull the hair or put stress on it.  Wrap loosely but not so loose that it falls off.

Always Use a Wide Tooth Comb to Prevent Hair Damage

How to Comb Wet Hair without BreakageUse a wide tooth comb when trying to get the kinks out. Remember to start at the ends, holding the hair, and working up to the scalp. The wide tooth comb will not give you as many problems as fine tooth comb. Some breakage is expected, but there shouldn’t be a lot of it. About 10 strands of hair come out on a normal basis.

For curly hair, try a larger tooth comb. There are tons of styles and colors available. The thicker the hair, the larger the comb that is needed. When the knots come out, go down to the next size comb but continue to comb starting from the ends.

Ask a stylist or hair care professional about purchasing a large tooth comb and which brands are the best ones. It could save the family heartache and tears, detangling sessions. Brushing the hair is good too, there’s no rule preventing anyone from brushing the hair.

Combing natural hair when wet means pulling the hair past its length and it will weaken the hair. If not weaken, snap it or break it. So, most people will avoid combing wet hair. But for those who prefer to comb wet, here are a couple of instructions to help the wearer comb wet hair.

How to Comb Wet Hair Correctly

What’s delicate and should be handled with extreme care? Wet hair! We think we’re doing the hair a favor by combing and brushing it, and combing and brushing it over again, when fresh out of the shower, however, this is so not true.

The hair is more fragile when wet, and maybe no one told you this, but this is one fine way to stop hair growth, to further break down the hair at the cuticle and ends.

In other words, for many, wet combing is not a positive note. In this case, there are steps to take to help eliminate frizz, bed head, breakage and shedding while combing hair when wet or dry. For these steps, you’re going to need a comb, a good straightening comb and hair clips.

Step-by-Step Guide to Combing Wet Hair

  1. Start by parting hair into four, six or eight sections, securing each one with a rubber band or hair clip. Clean one part at a time. Unlock the first section and clip the rest together. The benefits of adding the detangling shampoo while still in the shower is that you can cover more areas.
  2. One good rinse is all anyone needs, but be sure there are no signs of shampoo. It may be to your welfare to follow-up with a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray just for added protection after rinsing the shampoo away.
  3. While in the shower, and if you wanted to comb the hair from the roots, this is the time to do it. However, be careful when hitting a kink. Stop and begin combing from the ends and smooth out.
  4. Once out of the shower, pat or blot the excess water from the hair. Remembering not to rub the hair, squeeze using a fluffy towel. Rubbing the hair when wet can do more harm than good, it could put more tangles in the hair instead of removing them.
  5. Twist the locks but be gentle. Also, wrapping the hair, with the towel, around the head will help to dry and make it easier to comb out.  Start with the widest tooth comb first and work down to the next widest tooth comb, but stay away from the brush at this point.
  6. Remove the towel and start to comb out from the ends. Finger combing will also help determine where the knots are. Don’t forget to comb in sections!  Begin at the back and work up to the front of the hair.

Is it better to come your hair when it's wet

Always Buy the Best Detangling Comb

Don’t skimp when it comes to buying a detangling comb. Maybe the thought never came up before, but what about now? It doesn’t matter the hair type – long, short, curly, natural, permed – a quality detangling comb in a major asset to remove the kinks.

The comb is larger than what anyone may expect at first, but once used, there’s no turning back. They don’t snag the hair as a fine tooth comb would. After the kinks are gone, use the Afro comb to straighten hair intertwined. What’s next? Use the fingers to find any remaining snags. There may not be any. If not, spray on leave-in conditioner, style and go.

The Afro Comb is not a myth. The design – the original design goes back to ancient times in Egypt. Looking at the way the teeth are made, it matches an oversized fork. With this in mind, was it designed to comb through natural African-American hair or hair resembling wool?

Furthermore, along with other artifacts at the Fitzwilliam Museum is a comb dating back over five thousand years ago.  It is said to have come from Southern Egypt. The Afro comb didn’t receive its patent until 1976 in the US.

To comb wet or to comb dry is a personal decision. It varies from person to person. Some individuals feel it’s better to comb when dry and others have better experiences when the hair is wet. However, studies prove the hair should be damp. But, it’s not recommended that you sleep with wet hair as it’ll likely cause damage or lead to scalp conditions.

Always use the fingers to help loosen tangles and a wide tooth comb. Start at the bottom and work up toward the roots to prevent damage or breakage.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.