Monday, 8 September 2014

My 4C Hair Hates My Denman Brush

In the throws of newbie-ism, I read a post on Kurly Kichana about Denman brushes and the excitement of their announcement immediately put it on my 'Gotta Have It' radar. It took a little while but the obsessive compulsive me managed to land two Denmans. The D31 and the D13. Result.

D31 on the left. Battered D13 on the right

I was wildly happy and fast-forwarded my wash day so I could have an excuse to use my brushes right away. I had already watched countless videos of naturals detangling and shingling to their hearts' content so I was pretty confident I knew how to use it: Section hair. Wet it. Apply lots of conditioner (Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition at that time). Comb through individual sections with wide tooth comb. Brush with Denman. Easy-peasy.

Um..not so much.

The Brushing

I did all that stuff just fine until I got to the Denman bit. I started with the D31 on my ends then worked my way up, which wouldn't have been so terrible as the teeth are relatively few if they didn't feel so damn scratchy! Then I moved on to the D13 to get a proper detangle and it all went to pot. That darn brush would not go through my hair! I spent ages yanking at my hair and the hair ball I lost at the end was the size of a large rodent. It would have been less effort to just tweeze out each individual strand one by one.

To my credit, I was so shiny and new that I had no idea it wasn't normal to lose that much hair. I was also stoopid optimistic enough to believe if I just got the technique right, it would get easier. Granted, my hair felt so smooth after and my twist-outs have never been as defined but that was the only saving grace. Man I hated that brush! But I was so deep in my junkeism that I convinced myself that I loved it and carried on using it for a year or so.

The Reinvention Test

A year of torture later, I embarked on a finger detangling challenge which meant my hate-hate relationship with that brush could be put to rest. 'Just for a little while', I told myself. Ha! How quickly those brushes were flung into the deepest, darkest drawer where they lay forgotten until a few weeks ago when I decided to try them on my daughter's 3C hair. Her hair is too short and sparse for the D31 right now so I attempted the D13. Although her hair was saturated with conditioner and I had made sure to detangle thoroughly first with my fingers and a wide tooth comb, it didn't glide through her hair as easily as I hoped and we had to abandon our efforts very early on. I'm still curious what impact it has on her curls so I will try it again sometime in the future.

The Conclusion

I don't think these brushes are for everyone. The thicker and kinkier your hair, the more likely you are to experience breakage. I SHUDDER to think of all that hair I lost during my year or so of avid Denman use. If you do decide to get one, minimise how often you use it and make sure your hair is detangled first and has some product on for slip (gel, conditioner, oil). If you're looking for a styling tool to help with shingling, then this is the brush for you. Remember though, if you have no curls to define in the first place, it won't miraculously give you curls. The resulting curls when they dry are very tight so if shrinkage is not your thing you may not like the results.

Would I Buy It Again:
Not if my life depended on it.

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