It seems as if in today's age, a girl's biggest asset is her hair. Of course, that isn't necessarily true, but hair is one of the biggest parts of a girl that makes her feel confident.
Sometimes, after a really long bout of depression, that beautiful mane can get pretty tangled. Well, tangled is a nice way of saying matted, greasy, and basically stuck in a big cluster. Speaking from experience, sometimes your first instinct might be to just cut it all off. I'd know, I've done it twice.
I buzzed my hair the first time because I was bedridden and sick of dealing with it being knotted. The second time was because I wanted a better experience of having short hair by choice. If shaving it off or cutting it super short is what you wanna do, go for it. More power to you. But, if you're gonna try to salvage that hair first, here's how to do it as quickly, easily, and painlessly as possible.
1. Take it out of that messy bun
No time like the present than to take out that elastic that's been holding it together and just get to work. If you can, section off parts of your hair that aren't tangled or in need of being brushed thoroughly. In my experience, it seems like bigger chunks of hair get matted, rather than your entire head of hair. So, use that elastic and try to cleanly move apart the undamaged hair.
2. Rewind, turn on some tunes
Before you dive in too far, turn on some music. No, not the sad, slow-paced, heartache Spotify playlist that you've had on repeat. The other one. Try some music that is on the charts, upbeat and confidence-boosting. If you can, maybe even call a friend or your mom over to help you.
Staring your depression in the eyes by seeing what it does to you (and your hair) can be difficult, so if you don't wanna be alone, call over someone you trust can help you without judgment. That way, they can help reach the parts of your hair that you can't get to, and they can be there to support you.
3. Take it easy
Start off by running your fingers gently through the not-so-tangled parts of your hair. You'll find that small, painful baby hairs that are wrapped up in each other are usually holding the entire knot together. If you can carefully pull apart those smaller tangles, it'll make it much easier to brush through and it won't feel so much like a million needles puncturing your scalp. Ouch.
4. Deep condition
No de-tangler spray around? Conditioner is one of the best ways to soften your hair. Instead of hopping in the shower and drenching your hair, get some water and conditioner in a spray bottle and spray it on your hair. Use your hands to rub it in further. Remember, you don't want your hair to be soaked or else it'll be harder to brush. While you're letting that conditioner sit and work its magic, maybe have whoever you've called over to help come and paint your nails. Some small and short activity that will somehow boost your confidence a little. The best thing to do here is to try to take your mind off the task at hand.
5. Take it one tangle at a time
Instead of diving into your entire hair and hurting yourself, make sure you only do one tangle at a time. My recommendation is to use the right brush. You don't want to use a fine-tooth comb but you also don't wanna use a big paddle brush that covers most of your hair or round brushes that will twist and turn in the tangles. Make sure you're also avoiding thin bristle brushes on tangles, they don't have the traction to actually de-tangle. The small beads at the end of each bristle will gonna provide the traction you need.
Halfway in the middle is the perfect shaped brush, just like the one linked above.
6. Start from the bottom
Starting from the top of a tangle is only gonna pull your hair harder. Instead, start a few centimeters up from the bottom of the tangle. Instead of brushing super hard and pulling, try whisking it instead, quick but small motions to break it apart and then when you can handle it, brush a little harder. You wanna avoid breaking your hair apart and causing more pain than necessary. You'll find that working from the bottom up is much quicker and less painful.
7. Don't cut it just yet
Unless you are absolutely certain that the brush won't do the trick, don't grab the scissors. If you have thicker hair and a smaller tangle that's more towards the back of your hair, you might be able to get away with cutting it out. Of course, that isn't recommended. Save the scissors for emergencies only.
8. Take a break
Speaking from experience, the pain of brushing out a knot and not reaching your end result fast enough can get frustrating. The more frustrated you are, the more likely you are to throw the brush across the room and call it quits. So, when you feel like you need to take a break, then take one! Deep breath, grab a drink, check Twitter, then back to work.
9. Staying un-tangled is key
After your hair is brushed out, you're gonna wanna shower and make sure all of the excess oils and dandruff is gone. Usually, that's what's adding to the knots and mats of your hair. After that, remember to keep brushing your hair. When you're depressed, you're more likely to get out of the shower and throw your hair up in a bun without brushing it. I get it! It takes energy to brush it out. But, if you make sure to brush your hair out after each shower, you won't be faced with knots and tangles as often. Instead of a messy bun, try a ponytail or braids.
Remember, this too shall pass. Don't let anyone put you down for what you're going through. Depression has odd ways of having physical and cosmetic effects. When you spend time in bed and your energy is too low to brush it out, your hair is gonna take a beating. But there is no shame in what you're going through, and things like hair are fixable.