How To Detangle Matted Hair Without Cutting!

Sometimes life can get the best of us and we find ourselves neglecting the things we used to make priority when it came to self care. Need help with figuring out how to detangle matted hair? Don’t fret, help is on the way! Continue reading this guide to get you through your detangling session from the comfort of your home and without needing to use scissors!



how to detangle matted hair

This post is all about how to detangle matted hair.


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What Is Matted Hair?

Matted hair is considered to be the super knot of all knots. It is the combination of shed and loose hair that become intertwined, twisted and tangled with the other hair strands, forming a woven lock that will take more than just a simple comb to get out. It typically occurs after 3 or more weeks of neglecting to detangle and is often tightly bound with the other hair strands due to a lack of moisture and split ends.

Matted hair can occur from a host of things, such as not detangling for weeks at a time, leaving protective hairstyles in for more time than recommended and by not using moisturizing ingredients on a daily basis. You will notice the knots look more like clumps and without proper care, can be extremely difficult and stressful to remove.

Other factors that can contribute to super knotted hair are not getting routine trims, coloring your hair with bleaching products that dry the hair out too often and not tying your hair up at night with a satin scarf or bonnet.


Is It Possible To Detangle Matted Hair?

Yes, it is definitely possible to detangle matted hair, but it will take a little preparation and your schedule being fully cleared. Trying to detangle matted hair is a process that should not be rushed, as this can cause more breakage, a tighter knot to form and even more frustration. You’ll want to go in with a clear head, all the proper detangling hair tools and enough time where you wont be interrupted during the process.

It may seem like you will have to go running to the nearest hair salon, but you can detangle your hair right from the comfort and privacy of your own home and no, you wont need a scissor to cut off chunks of hair either!


What Ingredient Help Detangle Hair?

The key ingredients to look for when it comes to detangling matted hair, are ones that will provide you with excess SLIP! Slip refers to how well a product makes it easy to detangle, by coating the hair and eliminating friction. Look for these key ingredients listed below to ensure that the products you choose will guarantee to help ease the detangling process.

  1. Behentrimonium Methosulfate– A common plant derived ingredient in natural hair products also referred to as BTMS. This emulsifier helps the oil and water in a product mix together and does wonders for detangling.
  2. Cetearyl and Cetyl Alcohol– Often used alongside BTMS, these fatty alcohols do not strip the hair and help the comb to glide effortlessly through the hair strands.
  3. Slippery Elm– Helps to encourage softer curls by keeping the hair moisturized. It’s slimy consistency will help to release tangled hair that is woven together.
  4. Marshmallow Root- rich in mucilage, this product is an excellent detangler as it will keep the hair feeling conditioned throughout the detangling process.
  5. Oils– great fat content and will help reduce the friction between the strands while detangling. ex: olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil.


What Is A Good Hair Detangler?

There are so many hair products on the market that cater to detangling, but you will want to steer clear of using products that are too expensive for this process. You will be using an excess amount of product (more than usual) and so you don’t want to be using up all of your good stuff. Try to use products that provide slip and offer way more ounces for the price point.

If your struggling to find the best detanglers for matted hair, below are the top 4 to choose from:

moisturizing conditioner
Giovanni 2Chic Ultra-Moist Conditioner

Giovanni 2Chic Ultra-Moist Conditioner

  • Loaded with Avocado and Olive Oil, which will help to provide amazing slip. This bottle is 24 ounces for the price point! This is what you’ll need to get through a long detangling session for sure without running out of product too soon.


Instant moisturizing conditioner
Design Essentials Almond Butter Moisturizing Conditioner

Design Essentials Almond Butter Moisturizing Conditioner

  • Coming in at a whopping 32 ounces, this conditioner gets rave reviews for its ability to provide major slip while infusing moisture into dry hair.


shea moisture strengthen and restore leave-in conditioner
Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

shea moisture strengthen and restore conditioner

  • This is a leave-in conditioner but still a conditioner nonetheless! It is jam packed with essential slip ingredients such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil and apple cider vinegar to help keep the cuticles on the hair from lifting (which would cause frizz and more tangles if not smoothed down). For 16 ounces, this conditioner is really a great bang for your buck!


Should You Detangle Matted Hair Wet Or Dry?

It is best to detangle matted hair while wet as opposed to it being dry. You will want to get in as much moisture on the hair as you possibly can without your hair snapping off in the process.

Dry hair has a tendency to break of easier and if your hair is matted into a clump, you should have a water source nearby by to coat the hair before you start working on it. This will help to reduce the friction amongst the strands and help the hair glide out from the knot easier.

So Let’s Get To It: How To Detangle Matted Hair Without Cutting!

Products Needed For Detangling

  1. Wide tooth comb
  2. Detangling brush
  3. Detangler/oil of choice
  4. Spray bottle with water or water stream from sink or showerhead
  5. Hair Clips
  6. Hair Steamer (optional but a GAME CHANGER)

Start The Detangling Process

  1. First things first, if you can work in sections try to. Start with a smaller section at a time if this is possible. You’ll want to section off any hair that is not tangled in the knot you are working on.
  2. Saturate your hair with water and apply a generous amount of your detangling product of choice to the knot.
  3. Finger detangle it as much as you can. Some of the hair will glide out just by use of your fingers, so try this method before following the next step.
  4. Loosen the knot by using your wide tooth comb, working from ends on up to roots. Be sure to use a gentle hand and don’t rip through the hair.
  5. Apply more detangling product as needed while you continue to work through the tangled hair.
  6. You may need to re-spritz your hair with water or run it under a steady flow of water while you are working as well. See which method works best for you.
  7. Once the section is detangled, apply more detangling product or oil and use your detangling brush to glide through the hair and smooth the cuticles on the hair shaft.
  8. Twist the completed section of hair and clip it out the way.
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 on other sections.
  10. When entire head is completed, rinse hair with cool water to keep the cuticles closed and prevent friction amongst the strands of hair.

Pro Tip (optional) : If you have a hand held steamer (yes, the one you use for clothes), prop it up on a steady table and focus the steam in the direction of the section that you are detangling and watch the tangle practically melt away! The steam will help to hydrate the hair and reduce the snags while you’re gently combing through it with a wide tooth comb!


How To Prevent Matted Hair

Okay you did it! You’re finally out of the woods and can let out a huge sigh of relief! Now let’s take a look at the ways in which we can prevent matted hair from reoccurring again!

Detangle Weekly

It is a good idea to start incorporating a hair schedule into your regimen, this way you don’t lose track when wash day should be. The general rule of thumb is to wash hair once per week in order to reduce tangles, cleanse hair and promote a healthy scalp. By attacking those knots early on, you’ll have the advantage of them never having the opportunity to matte up on you over extended periods of time again.


Wear A Satin Bonnet At Night

You will want to invest in a good satin bonnet and get into the habit of tying your hair down at night. By having your hair flow freely while you sleep, you are allowing your hair to twist and wrap around itself causing tangles and dry hair. If you are someone that hates wearing a bonnet or scarves to bed, opt for using a quality satin pillow case instead.


Moisturize Daily

No matter what hair style you have in, always try to make a conscious effort to moisturize your hair daily. You can do so by just spritzing your hair with water, using your favorite refreshing spray of choice or applying a moisturizing hair milk.

Here are some fan favorites:

Moisturizing Hair Milk
Mielle Organics Avocado Hair Milk

Mielle organics avocado moisturizing hair milk

  • Works well on any hair type but especially great for 4c hair, this hair milk leaves the strands feeling soft and hydrated throughout the week. The avocado adds nourishment to the hair that also promotes great shine.


detangle matted hair
Curls Blue Berry Bliss Refresher Spray

detangle matted hair

  • Hydrates your curls so effortlessly with one or two quick sprays and you’re out the door! This refresher spray is loaded with botanical herbs that will have your hair smelling good and feeling soft.


Trim Your Ends Bi-Annually

It is important to remember that the longer you go without a trim, the more split ends you’ll have. Split ends are the epitome of tangles and breakage, so aim for a good trim twice per year and follow that up with some light dusting in between if you are someone that does a lot of styling and manipulation though out the month.


Wear Protective Styles For A Limited Time Only

We all know a protective style has it’s pros, but when used incorrectly, they can actually be detrimental to your hair. Try not to go more than 4 weeks with a protective style in. Also, remember to continue to moisturize your hair daily even if you have hair extensions installed.


Avoid Treatments That Dry The Hair

Coloring and bleaching too often will dry the hair, so keep a log of the frequency in which you do it. Dry hair will tangle, split and break off, so steer clear of any hair treatments that can possibly set your hair goals backward and aid in your hair matting.

In conclusion, detangling matted hair isn’t the end of the world. Yes it will be tedious and yes you will need patience, but with time and effort you will see that your hair will eventually unravel and you will not need to break out those scissors to cut the knots out after all!


Comment Below What Products You Use To Detangle Your Own Natural Hair!

This post was all about how to detangle matted hair.

More Posts In Detangling Natural Hair That You May Like:

21 Best Deep Conditioners For Low Porosity Hair!


10 Best Deep Conditioners For 4c Hair!

How Conditioner Is Used For Healthy Hair!



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