How to Detangle Hair

Your memories of detangling your precious and beloved mane most likely make you reminisce about childhood when your mom would spend hours combing through your tangles after a day at the beach. As an adult, you don’t have anyone to do it for you, so learning this essential skill for the sake of healthy-looking hair is a must. That said, it is not always an easy ride, and we’re here for you.

Dealing with stubborn tangles from time to time, or more often than we would like to admit, is every woman’s nightmare. Especially when dealing with so many different scenarios, like dry hair, wet hair, natural hair, matted hair, chemically treated, what goes where, and what goes with what! It can be pretty challenging to pick from a sea of products.

One thing is for sure, whether you have long, short, curly, or straight hair, chances are good you’ve spent a significant amount of time attempting to no avail, detangling your precious strands. Detangling your hair t doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. With the right products and a couple of tricks, detangling your hair can be a breeze.

If you’re wondering how to detangle hair the right way, so every morning doesn’t feel like you are in a battle against your hair and are on the losing end, we are here to tell you it is possible to win at the hair vs. human struggle. There are ways to detangle your hair without tearing away half of your hair. All you need is a little perseverance and a list of our tips.

If you belong to the chemically treated and long or fine strands hair club, you are probably aware that you are more prone to tangling; anything from an incredibly windy day to sleeping on un-brushed hair can lead to knotted strands that seem impossible and often painful, to detangle. But matted hair doesn’t have to be a literal headache to deal with, especially if you’re armed with the right products and tools. With this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know to detangle your hair successfully.

How to Detangle Hair FAQ’s

What Causes Hair Tangling?

Annoying and painful tangles occur when the outer layer of your hair, also known as the cuticle, is damaged; when this happens, the cuticle opens up. The open cuticles block each other and giving way to knot land. In a few words, a hair knot appears when two single strands of hair wrap around each other to become intertwined.

Smooth or silky (healthy hair) is not prone to tangles; however, damaged and textured hair (wavy or curly) often gets the worst part.

Bear in mind that the following factors can contribute to hair tangling:

  • Massaging hair too hard while washing hair
  • Heat tools
  • Harsh hair care products
  • Rubbing hair against a towel
  • Wind blowing
  • Overbrushing
  • Sleeping with your loose hair
  • Split ends

How To Detangle Your Hair?

There are a few different steps you can try to get rid of tangled hair successfully.

1. Conditioning

First, understand that using a conditioner lays the grounds for good hair care and, therefore, knot-free, silky hair. You’d want to apply a conditioner at the tips and move upwards towards the roots. Spare your scalp; it does not need a conditioner. Leave on the conditioner for 5 minutes, comb your hair to detangle, and rinse.

2. Detangling Spray

You may want to consider investing in an excellent detangling hair spray. It helps reduce the tension between the hair while detangling. Also, it is a quick fix when you are about to head out and have no time. Detangling sprays can be used on both dry and damp hair.

3. Oils

It is widely known that the properties of mineral oil can effectively detangle the hair. It is a colorless and odorless distillate of petroleum. Mineral oil acts like an antistatic and removes tangles. Just make sure not to use too much.

Apply a few drops of olive oil and let the oil penetrate your scalp and strands for a good twenty minutes. Oil your hair regularly to avoid dryness. You can use a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, or sweet almond oil along with essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or rosemary.

4. Water

Moisture can make detangling a lot easier. It helps remove the tangles without the pain. Use a spray bottle filled with water to spritz some water on your hair before starting. Take sections of hair with your fingers, comb with a wide-toothed brush and clip the detangled hair with a secure hair clip or pin. Continue for all hair sections until your hair is completely detangled.

5. Wide-toothed comb

Even when you think you may not need one, wide-tooth combs can make a massive difference in helping get rid of your tangled strands. Wide-tooth combs and paddle brushes help detangle hair in a much painless way and are pretty gentle on your hair.

6. Comb your hair the right way

Don’t feel bad if you’ve made the mistake of combing the hair from the roots; we’ve all been there. The right way to do it is to start from the bottom of the hair. Comb some inches at the bottom and work your way upwards gently. This helps prevent hair breakage and pain at the scalp due to aggressive pulling.

7. Section your hair

Before you reach for your comb, separate your hair into sections using your fingers gently. This way, you can remove most of the tangles before combing your hair.

8. Hair masks/treatments

If your hair is prone to tangles, it may be a sign of dry hair. Use hair masks or treatments packed with moisture to provide your hair instant hydration.

Should I detangle my hair wet or dry?

The golden rule to successful detangling is that you should always and only detangle during shower time. Now, every rule has exceptions: If you’re dealing with some severe tangles, it may be helpful to begin detangling your mane before entering the shower. Drenching your tangled locks in water may cause your knots to become a real-life nightmare. Avoid tangling your hair even further and give yourself a head start by gently detangling your strands before you step into the shower.

If you’re not dealing with highly tangled hair, it’s always best to detangle hair when it’s wet. You may have heard that hair is most fragile when it is damp, and, depending on your hair type, that may be true. Water also creates a good amount of slip and lubrication, however, making it easier for the comb to slide through your strands.

How to detangle wet hair?

Since we’ve stated that it’s best to detangle hair from being wet, here are a few pointers to do it. Let’s say you’ve hope out of the shower and realized your hair is clean but a clean mess, then you need to:

  1. Spritz on detangler. Reach for our best hair detangler, and spritz it throughout your mane.
  2. Using a wide-tooth comb, gently begin to brush your strands from ends to roots. This will help to avoid any hair breakage!
  3. Spritz and repeat. If you find you’re still having difficulty getting out a knot, apply more hair detangler to your mane and repeat the process until you see/feel no knots.

How to detangle dry hair?

As for dry, knotty hair, you can treat it in the same way as a wet mane, as long as your detangler spray states it works on both damp and dry hair. The detangler will help moisten your locks, making them easier to detangle. So, follow the steps above and get to detangling!

How to detangle curly and chemically processed hair

The right hairbrush is critical.

When it comes to keeping your hair tame, brushing your hair is one of the most effective methods to keep it manageable. But pick the wrong brush, and brushing can make things worse and damage your strands instead. The longer ones detangle, while the shorter ones help smooth the hair cuticles, reducing frizz.
If you have fine or processed hair, you’ll want a brush with thin, flexible bristles, so you can use it on wet or just-spritzed hair as well to smooth out knots on dry strands. For those with curlier or thicker hair, choosing a brush with long and short teeth is ideal.

Start in sections.

Instead of trying to brush through a whole side of your hair, work section by section to prevent breakage. For curlier hair, going knot by knot is the easiest. Gently tug apart any coiled bits using your fingers, and separate the strands from each other.

Choose the right product for your hair type.

Using detangling sprays or serums is ideal for fine hair.
If you’re detangling curly hair in the shower, saturate the messy spots with a thick leave-in conditioner. Then, use a brush to pull it apart gently.
If you’re trying to smoothen styled hair, apply an oil-based mask or conditioner onto dry hair just to soften and emulsify the products apart from each other.

Prevent sleep-induced tangles

If you’re tossing and turning through the night, chances of increased friction between your hair and cotton pillowcases cause tangles. A silk pillowcase or a wrap is an excellent preventive measure.

Tips to avoid tangled hair

Dos:

You should brush your hair before entering the shower if you have hair that is prone to tangles.
Use less shampoo on the strands when compared to the scalp.
Apply conditioner and gently comb your hair to detangle.
Sleep with your hair braided as these hairstyles keep the hair in position and avoid tangles.
Use a scarf or a hat on windy days.
Get your hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Split ends cause tangles, making your hair look damaged and dry.

Don’ts

Don’t rub wet hair with a towel; instead, use a soft cotton t-shirt to dry your hair.
Don’t sleep with loose hair.
Avoid products that produce heat as they lead to hair damage, and damaged hair leads to tangles.
Avoid overuse of shampoo to create more lather; it does more harm than good. You can also try shampoos specially made for detangling your hair

How to Detangle Hair Using Best products

1. Brush

Wet brushes, which refers to the kinds of brushes that have plastic, rather than boar, bristles -are highly recommended by experts as the best choice to detangle hair.

how to detangle hair: BrushPin

The Wet Brush Original Pro Detangler Brush features exclusive ultra-soft intelliflex bristles that glide through tangles and knots with ease and are ideal for curly, straight, thick hair types.

Find it on Amazon.

2. Hair treatment

If you want to avoid tangles all-round, then you need to keep your mane in good shape. Buildup on the scalp, from product use or even environmental pollution, makes hair brittle and more likely to tangle. A weekly scalp detox is always a good idea, experts say.

how to detangle hair: hair treatmentPin

Act+Acre Cold Processed Scalp Detox comes highly recommended. It gently removes buildup from dead skin cells, product residue, and environmental aggressors, which can cause dry, itchy scalps and irritation to scalp psoriasis and eczema. This botanical blend acts as a conditioner to restore moisture to the scalp for a hydrated and clear appearance without flakes or dandruff. Essential nutrients fortify and stimulate hair follicles for healthy hair growth and long-term results.

Find it on Amazon.

3. Clarifying shampoo

Having the right shampoo goes a long way in the overall health of your hair, and a clarifying shampoo gives hair a deep clean, washing away the buildup that causes strands to tangle.

how to detangle hair: clarifying shampooPin

Experts recommend Acure Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo, a cruelty-free, vegan clarifying shampoo that’s also free of parabens and sulfates.

Find it on Amazon.

4. Detangling serum

If you’re already dealing with a head full of tangles, stylists suggest detangling serums that’ll help you work through the knots. Always start on the ends of your hair and work your way up.

how to detangle hair: detangling serumPin

This L’Oréal Professional Mythic Oil is a fan favorite, which is excellent for detangling and prepping hair for heat styling.

Find it on Amazon.

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