Once again, little Blue Ivy is in the news. (I feel like every few weeks, she cycles back into the news.) There’s even a petition this time. But instead of arguing the obvious — that it’s not ok to chastise a child — I’m going to address another topic that was brought up. Time and time again, it has been reiterated that someone needs to “comb” Blue Ivy’s hair. And on a daily basis. I couldn’t help but cringe. Never mind the fact that the commentators usually had less than desirable hair — and that’s me being nice. It is yet another reminder that we STILL don’t know the basics of black hair care. With that said, here are 5 reasons you SHOULDN’T comb natural hair daily:
Natural Hair is Fragile
Contrary to common belief, people of African descent have the most fragile hair type. In fact, our hair is an elliptical shape and can even be flat. In comparison, Asian hair is circular and Caucasian hair can be circular or oval-shaped. Furthermore, our hair spirals more than any other race thus making it more difficult for natural hair sebum to reach the ends of our hair. This combination of factors makes our hair the most fragile. So as you envision young children sitting in between the legs of their mama, as they get their hair combed, it is important to remember just how fragile our hair truly is.
Combs Cause Mechanical Damage
Because our hair is so fragile, it is important that we treat our hair with tender loving care. So if you are combing your hair, you should not hair snap, crackle, and pop. Nor should it sound like a rake. If you hear this, think mechanical damage. Every time we handle our hair, we add to the wear and tear on our hair. For length retention, it is important to limit that damage.
Finger Detangling is a Good Alternative for Combs
Some people have actually thrown out their combs and decided use their fingers as their sole method for removing tangles. While others — myself included — use their fingers to remove major detangles. Whenever I handle my hair, I always start with my fingers. If I wear a style where my hair needs to be done daily, I solely use my fingers. And when I detangle on wash day, I use my fingers first. If you’ve never tried finger detangling, try it and see if it works for you.
If you MUST use a comb, remember to use a wide-tooth comb like a shower comb. An even better option is a seamless comb; since they have no seams, they don’t snag the hair. (They are as close to fingers as you can get.) Also, whenever you do use a comb in your hair, comb from end to root. Also, make sure there is enough “slip” so that the comb can glide through the hair.
What are some other reasons for women with natural hair to ditch their combs?