How To Detangle Hair: 5 Easy Steps & Best Products To Use!

Do you know how to detangle hair that is matted, dry and frizzy? Learn how to detangle hair in these 5 easy steps and find out which products are the best help for detangling hair!

detangle hair

This post is all about how to detangle hair.

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How Do You Detangle Hair?

  1. Try to work in sections if possible. Its already overwhelming if your hair is matted and tangled, but to try to tackle it all at once without a plan will leave you feeling anxious and discouraged. Try sectioning the hair into subsections to stay organized and keep the motivation going when you can finally section off an area that is completed. It will give you hope to keep going.
  2. Spritz the hair with warm water to give it enough flexibility.
  3.  Apple a good amount of your favorite conditioner or oil for extra slip to all areas of the hair, even the sections you won’t be working on yet to give the conditioner/oil time to penetrate the tangle.
  4. Using your fingers, try to see if the knot is workable just by using your fingers. You will be surprised at how much detangling you can do without ripping through the hair first.
  5. Use a detangling comb to pick away at the knot, being careful not to tear the hair. You can reapply as much conditioner and oil as necessary and may even want to  work under running water for best results.

Is It Better To Detangle Matted Hair Wet Or Dry?

It is better to detangle matted hair wet. This is because if the hair is detangled dry, you run the risk of it snapping and breaking off. Hair that is dry is not as elastic as it is when it is wet, so when trying to manipulate it there should be moisture involved to allow for flexibility.

When trying to detangle matted hair, always to spritz with water first to keep the hair pliable. If you have matting in a particular section of your hair, it may be even better to have the hair under running water while you detangle.

Be sure to slather on a good detangling product such as conditioner, while you try to work the tangle out. You might even want to try finger detangling first while detangling under warm running water, to avoid ripping through the hair.

A good tool to use is a quality detangling comb that works best with wet or dry hair, such as the Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Detangling Comb.


Should You Detangle Before Or After Shampooing?

You should definitely consider detangling your hair before you shampoo. This will help to reduce new tangles from forming during the shampoo phase.

When you use a shampoo, the cuticles on the hair strand become gently raised and as a result, can lead to more friction. If you are struggling to detangle your hair, you will want the cuticles on the hair to lay flat for easier manageability. This will help the hair slip out of the tangle a lot better because the hair strand is smooth.

In order to keep the hair strand smooth, you will want to reach for your favorite conditioner or oil and slather it on the areas you are working on. Once you have your hair detangled, the shampoo process should be a breeze and you can feel free to use a detangling brush when rinsing your hair to make sure all tangles are out.


Do You Detangle With Conditioner Or Leave In Conditioner?

While a leave in conditioner does typically provide slip, it is better to use a rinse out conditioner instead. A leave in conditioner is a more concentrated formula with vitamins, minerals, oils and botanical extracts that bind to the hair to help keep it moisturized. It often comes at a higher price point for this reason and using it for the sole purpose of detangling your hair, could become costly.

Also, a leave in conditioner is not meant to be rinsed out and if you are trying to detangle matted hair, you will want to have your hair under running water while you do so. By using a rinse out conditioner instead, you are able to use more of it and also rinse the product out after because that is how a rinse out conditioner works.

Conditioners (rinse out) are usually priced at lower price points when compared to other styling and treatment products in the line.


What Causes Tangled Hair?

Tangled hair can come from the result of a few things. For one, our hair is constantly shedding. When two strands wrap around each other and become intertwined, especially when one strand is from shedding and the other is your hair that is not shedding, it can form a knot.

Friction is another culprit of tangled hair. If you are someone that generally always has frizzy hair, you will most likely have a greater chance at experiencing tangles overtime. By constantly using materials like cotton, towel drying your hair or even just air drying your hair all season long, you are creating friction on hair strand which can lead to tangles.

Hair that is damaged chemically or by heated styling tools may also be more prone to tangles as well due to the integrity of the strands becoming weaker and more fragile. With gaps in the hair strands (microscopically) due to damage, once the hair wraps around one another it can tangle and the worst part is, it has a higher chance of snapping and breaking if not handled with extreme care.

Another culprit to tangled hair is using hair products that contain drying alcohols and sulfates. While your hair might feel great to the touch initially when using products that contain these ingredients, overtime you might notice it becoming harder and taking more time to detangle your hair on wash day.


Severely Matted Hair Nothing Is Working?

At this point it may be beneficial to go and see a hair professional if your hair is severely matted and nothing is working. The last thing you want to do is have to rip your hair to get the tangles out, but with enough force that is exactly what can happen.

Book an appointment with a hair professional and before you book, call or message the person to see if they can handle the job and how much it’ll cost. You will want someone who has the experience, the patients and the right products to help untangle your hair with as little breakage as possible.

Keep in mind that sometimes, the hair will need to be cut the knots are just too much and a lot of the hair is already broken. But by going to a hair professional, you can have some peace of mind that they are doing the best job they can do and the results whether they have to cut or trim will be better than when you first walked in.



Best Detangler For Matted Hair:

Now let’s get into the list of the best detanglers for matted hair!


1. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner- Helps with keeping the hair follicle smooth, increasing manageability when detangling hair. This is a great option to help fight the frizz as well.

detangle hair



2. Urban Hydration Honey Health & Repair Detangler- Helps to reduce breakage, repair damage, while smoothing the hair making detangling a breeze.

detangle hair



3.  Pacifica Coconut Milk Detangle Elixir– This hydrating spray will help to ease those knots away while you comb through the hair and it protects against breakage with its strengthening ingredients.
detangle hair


4.  African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre Shampoo– A great option to use if you are interested in pre shampooing! This product gives you great slip and comes in at a reasonable price point to use as much as you like for detangling hair before you shampoo.

detangle hair


5. Mane ‘N Tail Detangler– A long time favorite of many, this detangler packs a punch with its slip factor, helping those knots seemingly just melt away.

detangle hair


6. Cantu Coil Calm Detangler– Formulated with Shea Butter to help even the hardest of tangles slip out with ease and it also helps to reduce breakage on the hair as well.

detangle hair


7. Pattern Beauty Detangling Nectar– Especially great for matted hair, this product contains Sea Moss and Aloe Vera for the craziest amount of slip you’ll ever need!

detangle hair

Final Thoughts On How To Detangle Hair

Trying to detangle hair simply requires not only the right hair products and hair tools, but a LOT of patience. Remember, if the thought of detangling your hair is just too overwhelming, consider going to a professional and let them give it a little more TLC for you instead.


This post was all about how to detangle hair.


More In Detangling:

How Often Should I Use Conditioner?

How To Deep Condition Hair: Step By Step Guide

21 Best Deep Conditioners For Low Porosity Hair!

What Is Co Wash: How to Use & Top 5 Co Washes To Try!

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