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How To Brush Curly Hair The Right Way

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

How To Brush Curly Hair The Right Way:

If you have naturally curly hair, then you know that brushing your hair can be quite a challenge. Snagging, snapping, trying to pull through a world of tangles and frizz. 

Not the most pleasant experience, take it from me. 

What if I told you there is actually a right and wrong way to detangle curly hair, it’s all about knowing how and having the right tools

You may be asking yourself, should I detangle hair when it’s wet or dry? Should I use a brush or comb? What styling products should I use when brushing my curls? 

Don’t panic; I’ve got you. 

To make life easier, I have devised a step-by-step guide to brushing curly hair the right way, no more ripping strands or disrupting your curl pattern, and certainly no more breakage. 

Here’s how! 

How To Detangle Curly Hair:

What if I told you there is a much easier way to detangle hair that doesn’t involve picking up your hairbrush and tugging out all the knots? 

Not only does this method cause breakage, but it also can disrupt your curl pattern, here’s a much easier method that doesn’t cause breakage and detangles curls easily and gently.

Step One: Wash or wet down your hair:

You should only detangle your curls while your hair is wet; sopping wet is preferred. Have you ever lost a brush within your curly jungle of hair when brushing it while dry? 

It’s painful, causes breakage, and also causes a storm of frizz. Before you start to detangle, use shampoo or a co-wash and conditioner like you usually would.

You should use a detangler before combing through those curls before washing, this should help create slip and help to ease stubborn knots. 

Remember: our hair is at its weakest while wet, make sure that you are patient during the detangling process, and be extra careful and gentle. 

Step Two: Apply leave-in conditioner: 

Washed and conditioned your hair? Brilliant! You’ll then want to apply your trusty Curly Girl Approved leave-in conditioner or detangling spray to the ends of your hair. 

I always use a leave-in conditioner as my knots are particularly stubborn, and this prevents tugging and snagging my curls while combing through; it allows the comb to glide through nicely. 

I only apply this to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair to prevent a greasy residue on my scalp. I would reccomend using a wide-tooth comb for this process.

Step Three: Start at the bottom up:

As a general rule of thumb for detangling any hair type, you should always start at the bottom and work your way up to the root. This is where the knots collect, and if you start at the top, you will tug the knots rather than gently detangle them. 

Either using a wide-tooth comb or a curly detangling brush, you should gently glide it through, starting at the bottom.

I would reccomend working in small sections and being patient, it may take some time, but the results are worth it. Once you reach the top, repeat combing until each section is tangle-free. 

Step Four: Apply styling products:

I reccomend to all curly girls to apply your styling gel or cream to sopping wet hair, so once you’ve tackled the tangles, I would reccomend sectioning your hair and spraying down each section with a water spray, and applying your gel or cream. 

The floor you apply your styling gel or cream shouldn’t be dry by the time you’re finished; that’s how wet it should be. I would reccomend doing this step in the shower.

But why apply these products to sopping wet hair? Well, it will leave curls looking more defined and will prevent all cases of frizz. 

After applying these products, I will scrunch the ends of my hair to ensure the product reaches the cuticle as I have quite low porosity hair and then either plop or diffuse my hair.

curly hair picture

How To Brush Curly Hair: 

Looking to brush curly hair while styling to leave them looking define and luscious? We don’t just want to know how to detangle your hair but also style your curls with a brush.

Combs is amazing for detangling curly hair, but using a regular brush can cause breakage and disrupt your natural curl pattern.

Instead, you’ll want to use a brush that is specific for curly hair. For styling, I am a personal fan of the Denman Brush. I split my hair into sections and apply water spray before.

If you haven’t applied your styling gel or cream, this is the time to do it; the brush will evenly distribute the product for each section.

For each section, I ensure that it is sopping wet before running the brush through. I will run the brush through and gently twirl the brush as it goes down the hair.

Once I reach the end, I will twist the brush, twisting the hair section until it forms a twist up to the top. I will then catch the curl and scrunch, squishing the hair.

I do this scrunching process a couple of times until I have the ringlet I am looking for. I will repeat this for each section and then diffuse once I’m happy with the curls.

curly hair x21

Tips For Brushing Curly Hair:

Here are some top tips for brushing and detangling curly hair, whether you’re styling curls or just trying to ease out stubborn knots. 

Keep Your Hair Hydrated:

The best way to detangle curly hair is to hydrate and nourish the ends of the hair before going in with the comb. Since curly hair is the most fragile hair type is also the driest. 

Curly hair struggles to receive natural oils from the scalp due to the constant turns and twirls in the texture, meaning it is most prone to knotting. 

This is why you should only brush curly hair while wet and with a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray on the ends. Don’t use products that will dry out your hair, and use protein treatments if necessary. 

Detangle in the shower:

It is recommended that you only brush your hair while sopping wet and not damp, so brushing your hair while in the shower is probably your best option. 

You can work in sections and apply water to each section using the showerhead or a water spray; this should help ease knots without damaging the curl pattern. 

Use a hair detangling spray:

Hair detangling spray will be your best friend for curly hair; make sure it is free from all the nasty ingredients like silicones and safe to use on your curls first, though. 

You should use this or a leave-in conditioner on the mid-lengths and ends of your har, and the comb should glide through.

You can also use a detangling hairbrush, but be sure to be gentle when brushing through your wet hair as it is most fragile while wet. 

How Often Should You Brush Curly Hair?

A straight-haired girl will never know the struggle of brushing curly hair and preventing frizz. But how often should you brush curly hair?

To prevent frizz, I would reccomend brushing your hair every time you wash and style it.

You should only brush your hair while wet, damp or if the hairbrush has a little slick to it. Some curly girls dampen down their hair to brush it (when not washing it) to refresh curls.

How often you choose to brush your curls is completely up to you, but I would reccomend brushing while your hair is wet or stimulating the scalp before washing.

Brushing your hair while dry can tug on curls and actually damage the natural curl shape.


So there is an easier way to brush and detangle curly hair; who knew? My best advice is to only brush your hair while sopping wet, invest in a wet brush, and be patient. 

Patience is key, my friends. 

I found it easier to apply my conditioner, comb through with a wide-tooth comb to help ease pesky tangles, and then repeat after rinsing and applying a leave-in conditioner. 

A water spray and sectioning comb will be your best friend for styling and detangling curls. Only apply your gels and creams to sopping wet hair as this will transform the definition of your curls– trust me. 

You’ll love the difference this will make. 

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