Step one: Put down the brush.

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Got curls? There's something—okay, a few things—you should know. Most importantly, though, if you'd never dream of hitting the pillow before brushing through your locks, it's time to put that vintage beauty practice to bed. We don't mean to disagree with Mama, but we've come to find that curly hair should never be detangled when it's dry. When you run a brush through your dry curls, you’re basically breaking down your spirals with each pass through. In fact, once you turn the shower off, your chance for detangling your curly hair with minimal damage has already passed.

Sounds pretty dramatic, but it’s true. Figuring out how to detangle hair is a tricky process for curly-haired women, much like that of trying to figure out the best products for your specific curl type. When curls fall flat, get too fluffy, or frizz, chances are you’re using the wrong products or techniques. Of course, curls are also temperamental when it comes to changing forecasts—some like a bit of humidity while others frizz as the slightest chance of precipitation. But, there is one thing that you can control when it comes to giving your curls the most potential, and that is detangling the proper way.

All of your detangling needs to be done in the shower while your hair is coated in conditioner or conditioner wash, and without a brush. Even in the shower, a brush that isn’t designed for curly hair can damage your texture and break curls. Instead, opt for a tool that is specifically created for curly hair.

Finding the best detangler for curly hair can be a matter of preference, though we’re particularly excited about a new option that just hit the market. Revlon recently released a detangler for curly hair, the Revlon Perfect Style Thick & Curly Comb, that is designed to delicately detangle and prevent damage. The large comb features long curved teeth that will gently glide through your spirals. Keep it in the shower so you’re never tempted to detangle once you’re out. And, whatever you do, don’t even think about picking up that paddle brush.

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