“I recently big chopped like a month or so ago so I’m relatively new to this whole thing. My problem is that my hair is super thick but my scalp is super tender. Combing my hair is an absolute nightmare for me! Do you have any advice for how to soften up my hair so it is easier to comb?” – G
I used to be very tender-headed as a child. Now, not so much though I do have my moments. My sister on the other hand is so tender headed that she hardly lets anyone touch her hair including me. And I try to avoid it anyway. Styling her hair is straight out of The Color Purple. You simply look at her head hard and she starts to wince. To get around her tender ways however, she follows a few strict hair softening rules to keep her scalp and herself calm.
WASH YOUR HAIR GENTLY IN SECTIONS WITH A SULFATE FREE, MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO
Washing your hair with harsh sulfates may also mean that you tug at your hair a little rougher than normal because the hair becomes harder to manipulate versus when it’s washed with a shampoo that does not strip. Be sure to wash clean your scalp use the pads of your fingers and don’t scratch as you could break the skin causing your scalp to become raw which usually won’t even be apparent to you until a day or two later. So avoid using your nails on your scalp. Find your personal best shampoo in our The Best Shampoo For Your Curls Guide.
USE A MOISTURIZING CONDITIONER AND LEAVE-IN
Slip. Slip. Slip. The more slippery the better as it will make handling your hair much easier. We highly recommend Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose or White Cameilla as wash out conditioners and or conditioners that you can use as a leave-in (play around to see what your hair likes). This will leave your hair slippery and moisturized and easier to handle when you get out of the shower. As for a slippery, moisturizing conditioner, take your pick from Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner, Dessert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner, Philip B Oud Royal Forever Shine Conditioner and Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree All Natural Conditioner. a few of our other top leave in picks include, Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner, Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner and Kinky Curly Knot Today.
Another trick is to use products on your roots with oils, glycerin or honey as the first few ingredients. Because glycerin acts as a humectant – drawing moisture to your hair, it can help to keep your roots soft and manageable. I used glycerin on my roots often when i was transitioning because my scalp was sensitive during my transition. Sprays that will keep your roots soft that we like are Pantene Moisture Mist Light Conditioning Detangler, Rene Furterer Okara UV Radiance Enhancing Spray, Ouidad Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing & Refreshing Spray and As I Am CocoShea Moisturizer Hair Spray.
MANIPULATE YOUR HAIR WHEN WET AND NEVER COMB OR BRUSH DRY
This is not a hard rule for all naturals but when you are tender headed this is something you want to heed. Doing so will lead to less headaches, less hair loss and less frustration on your end. also you may find that your hair is easier to manage and style when damp or wet. Meaning after you wash and condition, put in whatever style you are aiming for and make sure its not done too tight. Need to refresh your hair for the week? Mist your hair with a refresher, finger detangle and re-style.
TRY TO AVOID PADDLE BRUSHES AND OPT FOR A SHOWER COMB AND FINGER DETANGLING
The teeth on the very popular Denman Brush may be too close together and could cause you to rip your hair out of your scalp while you are brushing. Instead, try a shower comb like the Conair Brush Shower Comb or simply use your fingers. In the end it could mean much less hair loss when you’re detangling.
To keep your tender-headed issues at bay, just be sure to keep in mind that maintaining soft hair will help to ease the pain of being tender-headed.