All You Need to Know About Brushing & Combing Curly Hair

From hair shaft, texture to structure, curly hair is quite different than straight hair. There are several benefits for brushing hair but curly hair’s texture makes it almost impossible to brush. Today we will explain everything you need to know about brushing & combing curly hair.

Identify Your Curl Type

One thing is to know you have curly hair; another is to know what type of curls you have. Although it may seem difficult at first, figuring out your curl type is actually rather straightforward thanks to Andre Walker’s Curly Hair Type Classification System. This categorization method simplifies the process by dividing curls into several types and subtypes. To begin, there are four distinct categories of curls: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. There are four main types of curls, and the ABCs describe how tightly coiled they are by number. As a result, Type 1s have straight hair, whereas Type 2s have wavy hair. Spiral curls are in the threes, whilst kinks and coils are in the fours.

Let’s take a closer look at Curly Hair (Type 3) and the subtype of its curl patterns. This will help you not only understand your curl type but also locate the right brush and comb for your hair.

Type 3 – Curly

Ringlets are formed when curly hair strands cluster together and loop around in a spiral pattern. Because the natural oil from the root tries to find its way down the spirals, this texture requires a lot of moisture.

Type 3A

Glossy 3A hair has large, loose curls about the diameter of a piece of sidewalk chalk. 3A hair is thick and healthy-looking. The curls are large & silky, and the springs are bouncy and full of life even when lightly dressed.

Type 3B

Medium-sized, corkscrew-like Type 3B springs have a distinct shape. This curl doesn’t require any additional volume since the spirals bounce off of one another to create fullness. Curls in the 3B range are prone to breakage and frizz.

Type 3C

3C curls are little corkscrews that range in size from a straw to a pencil. Because the strands are densely packed, there is a lot of natural volume. When it comes to combing, it’s crucial to use a detangling comb from tip to root instead of root to tip, as most people do. This will aid in the prevent breakage.

Identify your Ideal Comb/Hairbrush

Many individuals don’t pay much consideration to the sort of brush or comb they use because there are so many to select from. Choosing the proper hairbrush for your hair may make a significant impact in the appearance and feel of your hair.

Brush Selection for Curly Hair

  • Ideal Comb/Hairbrush for Curly Hair: In the shower, curly-haired individuals may opt to use a strong, wide-toothed comb. Combing dry curly hair can cause frizz and breakage, so this can help avoid that. Brushes with strong bristles also work well for detangling.
  • Ideal Comb/Hairbrush to Curly Hair Breakage: If your hair is breaking due to knots, you should use a detangling brush with flexible bristles that bend with the hair without causing harm or breakage. Use a soft boar bristle brush with soft bristles that are gentle on the hair for hair that is fragile or brittle.
  • Ideal Comb/Hairbrush for Long Hair: The longer your hair is, the more advantageous it is to use paddle brushes, which allow you to brush through a wider area of hair at once, relieving tension and distributing oil.
  • Ideal Comb/Hairbrush for Thick Hair: Hair that is thick and coarse should be handled with a paddle brush. It is possible to combine boars’ hair with nylon pins for an added level of stiffness. Also, boars’ hair will add luster and distribute natural oils.
  • Ideal Comb/Hairbrush for Detangling: For the best detangling results, we recommend using a wide tooth comb, which doesn’t cause pain or irritation while detangling hair. In case you have thick hair structure or have curly hair that becomes tangled and messy quickly, then the wide-tooth comb is able to do the job with little discomfort and loss.

Comb/Brush Details for Curly Hair

Detangling Brush


To remove knots from curly hair, teeth combs are beneficial, but a detangling brush works better because of the curly and coily nature of the hair. Thankfully, a number of alternatives work for different textures. Different types of bristles, density, and distinctiveness of the bristles, and how the brush moves through hair determine whether a detangling brush is useful for curly hair or not.

curly hair has many detangling brushes available. Toolsi-flexible plastic or strong nylon bristles are recommended for detangling brushes for natural hair and curls. Bristles should have some flexibility. It is possible that a strong tooth on a brush might rip straight through your curls, causing you to lose your hair. Instead, loosen tight knots by slowly brushing through them until the knot has been completely disentangled.

For equal distribution of bristles, keep the bristles separated evenly. Many conventional hairs smoothing methods use compact, tight clusters of bristles, which interferes with the hair’s natural movement. It is important to find the polar opposite while using a detangling brush. Because the bristles are spread apart, your hair strands will be able to separate as the brush passes through it.

The detangling brushes fluff up and separate your hair with each stroke as you sweep them through your hair. For those with tighter curls, this brush will break knots quickly and do the least amount of harm to the hair. Also available are brushes with little balls at the ends of each tooth. These are placed between the various follicles, breaking up overlapping clusters of hairs, helping to separate difficult knots.

Paddle brushes

Paddle brushes

Paddle brushes are large, flat hairbrushes with air-filled cushions and plastic bristles that bend and adapt to your head’s shape. The benefits include being versatile and great for taming and smoothing hair. This is ideal for long, thick, or naturally straight hair, but is especially helpful for curly hairs.

Using a paddle brush is all that is needed to smooth, polish, and detangle the hair. Using paddle brushes in the winter is a terrific idea as well. The gentle bristles of a paddle brush are absolutely essential if you want your hair to stay smooth and frizz-free all day long.

For styling long, medium, and short hair, paddle brushes are better at producing a smooth, straight look than adding volume. Thanks to its flat shape, it’s great for smoothing out frizz and flyaways, too.

Wide Tooth Comb

Wide Tooth Comb

This style of comb is the most often suggested for curly hair.

Using a wide-toothed comb makes detangling hair considerably easier since the spaces between the teeth are large. Breaking your hair will be less likely if you don’t pull on it. Because of the lessened friction, it’s a kinder treatment on your hair when compared to a brush or a fine-tooth comb.

As people wash their hair, they are more likely to experience hair loss. Combs with wide teeth exfoliate the scalp, increasing circulation and blood flow while helping to reduce hair loss.

Because broad-toothed combs create less friction, they are easier to maneuver in the hair. Several of them have little balls attached to the ends to help detangle hair.

Check the article on 11 Types of Combs and Hairbrushes and their Purpose

How to Brush Curly Hair?

Detangling curly hair might require taking up your hairbrush and going at it, but if that’s all you have time for, don’t expect miracles. It can also lead to your hair snapping and breaking. A far less painful technique to untangle your lovely curls instead is available. Continue reading to learn how to prevent your curls from becoming messy.

  1. Wet your Hair: To prevent hair from becoming entangled when detangling, take a shower first and use shampoo and conditioner as you normally would. Wet, moist, or having a layer of slip between strands is the first check before you even start thinking of using a brush or comb on curly hair. Dry hair causes frizz, therefore always brush your hair when it is wet to help get rid of the frizz and relax your curls. If you have curly hair and you’ve washed it with shampoo, your curls will probably require additional moisture. In order to maintain hydration while you brush your curls, apply a leave-in conditioner. The conditioner helps to separate your hair strands and also to glide between your fingertips and your hair. This slip protects your hair from becoming snagged and broken as you comb and untangle it.
  2. Separate your Hair: Divide your hair into two equal sections, from the forehead to the back of the neck. Divide them each in half on your left and right. Put clips on the areas you aren’t brushing to keep them in place. If your hair is thick, create more portions.
  3. Detangle Carefully: Starting at the top and working your way down will only result in more knotted and larger dreadlocks. Start from the bottom and work your way up to avoid over-elimination of hair. It will take time and patience to work on little portions. Start starting from the bottom and go slowly to avoid breaking the hair strands. Until your entire head is tangle-free and combed through, repeat this sequence.
  4. Nourish: You will want to use a nourishing hair serum on your tangled strands once you have attained tangle-free hair. You will also maintain your curls healthy and assist your strands remain tangle-free. Gently apply the serum to your hair’s lengths and ends, then work it through to ensure uniform distribution.

How is Curly Hair Different?

Straight hair and curly hair have a number of differences. To understand why things are the way they are, we must descend to the molecular level and engage in some light science.

  • Texture: Almost majority of your hair is composed of keratin. Hair texture is determined by the surface of each hair strand, referred to as the cuticle. The cuticle is the hair’s tough outer layer and is composed of scales that lie flat against one another throughout the length of the hair strand. If those scales are totally flat, your hair will seem completely healthy and feel smooth and soft to the touch. Due of the flat surface, the hair shines better. This is how straight hair appears and why it is so tempting to those with curly hair. Curly hair, on the other hand, does not appear as glossy as straight hair because the scales on its surface do not sit as flat as those in straight hair. This is why curly hair appears and feels coarser than straight hair, yet has more volume and is easier to style.
  • Hair Shafts: No matter who you are, you all have the same keratin filaments as a source of hair growth. These filaments which connect the shaft of the hair with disulfide bridges are known as the curls in hair. Curly hair differs from straight hair in that it has a different form to the shaft. Straight hair has a circle-like follicular structure thus there are no coils or ring-shaped structures because to the formation of disulfide bridges. Whereas curly originates from an oval shaped follicle, curly hair grows out of a more rounded follicle. Everything comes down to physics and gravity doing their magic from there. The thicker the hair grows out of a follicle of larger size, the thicker the follicle itself will be. Hair follicles with larger surface area allow you to grow curly hair. Essentially, cutting a straight hair in half produces a round cross section, whereas curling a straight hair results in an elliptical cross section. Since the follicle is located within the shaft of the hair, all the cells in the follicle work together to provide even hair development from the straight follicle. Straight hair is spherical. But with curly hair, the method that cells divide and make proteins varies somewhat from follicle to follicle, which means that the curly hair style needs to be altered for each person. This causes a hair fiber to curl, having an elliptical form.

Are Curly Hair Genetic?

Combing Curly Hair

Although much of what you look like is based on your parents’ DNA, you also bear the influence of your grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents. Even your hair’s structure and color fall within this category. Your body carries implanted genetic information that forms a lifelong recipe for your hair. An additional component is a diet, which has less of an influence on DNA than one’s general health and hormonal levels.

You have a greater probability of being born with curly hair if both of your parents have curly hair. The line, however, remains blurred when it comes to curly-haired parents and the likelihood of having a kid with straight or curly hair.

If you have curly hair, it’s known to be a dominant gene characteristic. The term “recessive” is used to describe straight hair. Concisely put, this implies that if you inherit two curly-haired genes from one parent and one straight-haired gene from the other parent, you will be born with curly hair.

You have two alleles provided by your parents that influence your hair type. This results in a total of four alleles: two from your biological father, and two from your biological mother.

The most common scenario is that when two distinct traits are present in the same DNA segment, a dominant gene overpowers a recessive one. The dominant gene will come to the forefront, revealing itself to those who possess it together with the other genetic traits. A recessive gene is an unrecognized kind of genetic code that may be present in the individual.

Your hair’s appearance at birth is a predictor of your genetic information, which would be passed down to your offspring if you have them.

While your hair texture might change throughout the course of your life, your DNA has not. Hormones, nutrition, and your environment all influence the texture of your hair, causing it to look curly in some situations and less curly in others.


Is it good to comb curly hair?

Combing curly hair is really beneficial if done correctly.
Sebum produced by your sebaceous glands is activated when you comb your hair (natural oil). Additionally, the scalp and curly hair are kept lubricated by sebum, which ensures that the proper pH balance is present on the scalp’s surface.
When brushing curly hair, it’s always best to do it when the curls are still moist. Brushing curly hair when dry can not only damage the pattern, but it can also cause breaking due to the strain.

Does combing curly hair make it straight?

Combing alone won’t make your curly hair straight. However, you can get a straighter look if you try straightening serum along with some heat. Hair that is naturally curly is inherently dry and prone to damage, therefore straightening your strands must be done with extreme caution. There are several heat-protection products used in this sensitive procedure.

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