I don't know about you gals, but the first time I did a pincurl set and tried to brush it out I felt like my friend on the right here. Something must have gone horribly wrong. It took me back to my first perm when I ended up looking like a scared poodle and almost passed out from the smell (this was in the 70s). It took quite a bit of reassurance from my friends and a lot of patience and pomade to calm me. Now if I don't look like Albert Einstein's son over there when I first unravel my curls I feel like I did something wrong ;)
Here is how I brush out my pincurls to go from afro (right) to fabulous (left):
First I unroll each curl and then use my fingers to start separating the curls slightly. This will help to prevent tangling when you start to brush them out. If I have tight curls I might also give them a once over with a super wide toothed comb.
Next I commence to brushing through my hair once. DO NOT use a bristle brush! Your hair will turn into a mat of frizz and you will be done for. Use a paddle brush like the one on the right. This will help to keep static to a minimum and doesn't damage the curl as much.
After this first go-over is when most gals begin crying and jump in the shower. Do not despair! This is when a little bit of pomade and a lot of perserverence will prevail. My absolute favorite pomade is called Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade. It is light with a slight fragrance and it adds just a hint of glimmer. I bought a jar on a whim a few years ago and now a pack of wild wolves couldn't pry it out of my cold dead hands. Sometimes you can find it at Walgreens if they have an African American hair section. I buy mine at Target and it costs between $5-7 a jar, which lasts almost a year for me.
After the first brush through, touch a bit of pomade with your fingertips and warm it up by rubbing it in your palms. Warming it helps to spread it easier. Remember to use a little bit at a time. You can always add more but once you have too much you usually have to wash it out and lose your curls. After it is warmed up, use your fingertips to apply it to your hair, starting from the middle of your strands towards the ends. You don't have to cover all your hair because it will spread more when you do the next brush through.
After you add pomade to the curls, start the next brush through from your roots to the ends. You will begin to see the curls line-up into ridges. If it doesn't happen right away, try another brush through. Once you start to see some shape to your hair you can look for any patches of frizziness and dab a small bit of pomade on it. Once you have the general shape together that your hair will take you can then use hairspray and ratting to add rolls or reshape your bangs.