FAQ: When is it best to comb natural hair?
When is it best to comb natural hair, when it is dry or wet?
Hair is made up of keratin strands that are bound together. Some of these bonds are temporarily broken by water that’s why when your hair is wet your curl pattern is looser but upon drying all these bonds are re-instated, hence when dry the hair is at its strongest compared to when wet. However dry hair is inflexible because all the bonds are in place and continuous abrasion with the comb causes it to break in short segments i.e. have you noticed the coily kinky ends on your shoulders and floor whenever you dry comb kinky hair. And because of this inflexibility the hair tends to form single strand knots.
The argument for wet combing hair is based on the fact that wet hair is flexible thus it’s easier for a comb to pass through. This is coupled with the fact that conditioners which are added to wet hair tend to lay the cuticles down so as to make detangling even easier. If hair has been regularly strengthened with protein conditioners then the likelihood of weak hair snapping is not likelihood.
To wrap up the argument kinky, coily hair (4a/4b/4c) will benefit more from wet combing since it tends to be drier than every other hair type thus increasing the chances of breakages if dry combed. You can start out with finger detangling on dry hair; apply some oil to the hair for slip. Then proceed to wet comb with the aid of conditioner/detangler.Comb hair in sections.
Dry combing is not for all hair types and is limited to looser curl patterns. Even for these loose curl patterns it would be best for hair to be lightly misted with some moisture and a little oil or leave-in applied for slip ,this also reduces frizziness and chipping from the comb. Hair that is mostly worn stretched or straightened will not have any issues with dry combing but it should be done gently.