Natural Hair Misconceptions: “I’m Too Tender Headed to go Natural”

You thought about it, but your fear of the comb continues to overshadow your urge to forsake the relaxer. But should it?

By: Amanda Anderson

As I quickly approach my one year anniversary as a natural, I can’t even count the number of women that have approached me with a genuine desire to forsake the relaxers and rock their natural tresses. Although it’s easier now to find natural hair products and plenty of support and tutorials at the hands of fabulous bloggers, there are plenty of sisters who aren’t giving in because of fear. And it’s not fear of social rejection or the fear of maintaining self confidence; it is the fear of the comb. But when it comes to being natural, a comb is just a small part of the equation.

Here’s what you need to know about being natural and combing those relaxer free tresses:

1. You won’t comb your hair as often as you did with a relaxer.

When you’re rocking your natural hair, there won’t be a need to comb your hair everyday. I found out early in my journey that once a week was suffice for me, and I only detangled my hair after washing. I am sure this is true for most naturals considering that our hair is kinky/curly, so combing often pretty much defeats the purpose.

2. Combing isn’t painful, if you’re detangling properly.

One of the biggest rules in combing natural hair is to only do it when you have conditioner on your hair. This is to help prevent breakage and to make detangling an easier and painless process.

3. Comb from the bottom up.

I’m one of the most tender headed women you’ll ever meet, but believe me when I say there is a way to comb natural hair, and that’s from ends to roots.

Begin at the end of your tresses, and comb upwards until you reach the roots. This eliminates breakage, pain, and any discomfort in combing through thicker, and curlier tresses.

4. Get the right comb.

Wide tooth combs were made for thicker and curlier hair. These are ideal for decreasing breakage and keeping curls uniformed. The thicker the comb, the better.

By applying all of these tips, most naturals begin to realize that going natural wasn’t as difficult as they originally expected. As natural hair continues to become a more realistic option for black women, we are discovering more ways to make natural hair more manageable, one method and one product at a time.


  1. I thought that I was to tender headed to go natural (the thought of someone touching my hair at all, even with a relaxer made me teary eyed) until I finally just went and did it. I cut off my long relaxed hair and went cold turkey on the white stuff. No transition – just cut it, donated it, and went with the fro. I got good advice from friends, I only detangle every few weeks, and I am now finally in love with my hair.

  2. Hello November 25,2012 made a year for me being natural but I am having a huge problem trying to figure out my hair type my hair has loose waves, thick, frizzy, and soaks up moisture!!!! I thought maybe it was 2b or 2c but its not silky so can you please help me the best you can?? Please!!!

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      I’m a about a year into my natural hair, I find that applying a good hair butter, for mixed hair types, while it’s wet really help to keep the moisture in. I have type 3C on top and sides, in the middle I probably have 4B which is the damaged hair that’s still transiting back to my natural type. I didn’t cut my hair short when I decided to go natural so I just keep it in a pony tail, I would wash my hair and moisturized before putting in the pony tail that I would wear for a week. I would come it out at the end of the week and wash again but during the week I applied moisturizer without taking my hair out thinking it would soke through, I was wrong so I have mixed hair as a results but at least it’s all natural. During the winter I would set it and sit under the dryer, and I must say it drys in half the time now which is great. I set it with hair butter and a small amount of pressing oil for shine. Summer is coming and I can’t wait to wash and wear, after I get another hair cut of course. It’s really grown since my initial cut from mid-back to shoulder lenght.
      Good luck

  3. Hey. Thanks for the info been natural for about 3 years now. I havent Tried the combing every once in a while. I’ll try it but my thick kinky hair is just soo much to handle and i quite frankly dont have the time.

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