What may seem like a simple answer to the question of combing natural hair isn’t exactly cut and dry. The answer is no …..and yes. The question of to comb or not to comb depends on when and why you are doing the combing.
For the group of African-American women from a certain generation (my mother is one of the women in this group) there’s the deeply ingrained belief that hair must be combed through thoroughly, no matter what to “get the knapps out”. The idea is that if you get the knapps out then your hair will look “presentable”.
This approach to styling won’t exactly work when you are trying to rock a new naturally curly or kinky hairdo.
As a matter of fact, one the last styling tools you’ll want to use is a comb. You’ll need to replace that comb as your main hairstyling tool for a different styling tool that works much better on hair that has tangles.
For all the girls sporting their natural and textured tresses your primary styling tools will be your fingers. You’ll now be using your fingers to do different sorts of things like scrunching, twisting, and rolling.
In order to accomplish a hairstyle like the one in this picture your fingers are the main styling tool needed.
I’ve witnessed and have personally experienced (courtesy of mom back in the day) the improper use of combs. Most women I observe using a comb on natural hair are not doing what I would call combing the hair. Instead it’s more accurately described as ripping, raking and tearing through the hair. It sort of reminds me more of what you’d do when clearing your yard of fallen leaves.
The reason using a comb to style natural hair wouldn’t be to your benefit is because combing disturbs the hairs natural curl pattern. So if you want to wear a hairstyle with a curly look your goal is to encourage your hair to curl up. A comb removes or lessens the curl pattern.
At first it will take some getting used to, not using a comb to style you hair. But once you get the hang of you’re new styling methods for your natural hair you’ll start to see how easy a good hair day really can be.