Tangled hair can be very difficult to deal with, especially if your hair texture is curly or dry and tends to get tangled easily. As hairdressers, we’ve undone a lot of knots and we know how to make the process as easy and pain-free as possible. In this post, we’ve included our 5 top tips for dealing with tangled hair, as well as some extra tips for preventative care. With just a little bit of patience and strategy, you will have those knots out in no time. Just remember, whichever method you use, the key is to always be very gentle – never pulling or breaking the hair.
- Divide your hair into small-to-medium sections.
Use hair clips to section your hair out into manageable pieces. Isolating one piece of hair at a time makes it a lot easier to identify knots and work through them carefully. After each section is tangle-free, smooth a bit of hair oil onto the ends with your fingers to moisturise and protect against future knots.
- Work from the bottom up.
Detangling from the ends to the roots is the most manageable method. Think about it – if you try to start from the roots you will have to work through an entire tangle to get to the ends, whereas if you start from the ends and work your way up you can clear out one small piece of the tangle at a time.
- Hold your hair right above the tangle while combing.
Once you have a tangled piece of hair sectioned out, hold that section firmly with your fingers above the tangle that you are working on. If you have a strong grip above the tangle, you will stop the ‘pull’ of your comb from pulling on your scalp. This way, you protect yourself from feeling any pain and from accidentally pulling out any hair. This technique will also allow you to have a much more controlled handle over the tangle.
- Use detangling products and tools. Using products meant specifically to unravel tangles will make combing your hair so much more manageable. For clients with afro hair, a great detangling product that we always recommend is MIZANI D’Tangle Moisturising Leave-in Milk, which provides slip, moisturisation, and enhanced elasticity to minimise breakage and reduce friction while detangling. We also love MIZANI True Textures Curl Recharge which is a leave-in spray that helps reshape curls prior to styling, moisturise, and prevent breakage. For clients with a European hair texture our top recommendations are L’Oreal Professional Serie Expert 10 in 1 Spray (especially good for colour-treated hair) or L’Oreal Professional Serie Expert Hydra Repair, which is a leave-in moisturising and styling treatment. Along with products, it is important to invest in the best tools for your hair type. A wide tooth comb is a great choice as it helps separate the hair without getting caught too easily. We also love using the Tangle Teezer – a special brush made for detangling that works excellently on wet or dry hair. Tangle Teezers are also great for kid’s hair as they really minimise yanking and pulling while also being one of the most effective detangling tools.
- Detangle while in the shower.
If you have highly textured or very damaged hair, you may want to do your detangling process in the shower. After shampooing, saturate your hair thoroughly with conditioner and use your fingers to loosen up any major knots. Once your hair is mostly tangle-free, dry your hair by squeezing the ends with a towel and moving your hair as little as possible (meaning: don’t rub with the towel or pile your hair on top of your head).
Note: For very curly hair with a high propensity to tangle, step out of the shower after saturating hair with conditioner and place your hair inside a plastic shower cap. Let the conditioner soak into your hair for 10-30 minutes, then finger-detangle and rinse.
- If you have very damaged hair and you are experiencing difficult knots, try finger-detangling dry hair with a detangling product.
Hair is less fragile when dry, so if you are really worried about damage then try to detangle hair before washing while using a detangling product (alternatively, melted coconut oil is an inexpensive option that works well) to help give the hair some slip. Use your fingers to coat the knot in oil and then pull apart the hair slowly until the knot is loose enough to be completely undone with a wide-tooth comb.
Note: If you have a really bad tangle or a tangle that is located in a difficult location like the back of your head, come into the salon and have it removed professionally. In some cases, it is better to have an expert hairdresser help you because matted hair can very easily become damaged if dealt with incorrectly.
How to prevent tangles in the future:
- Keep your hair regularly trimmed.
Split or dry ends contribute massively to tangles. Make sure to keep your ends healthy by having regular trims every 2-3 months. Many people avoid getting trims this often because they are concerned about retaining their length, but regular trims are necessary to grow and maintain long hair!
- Sleep on top of a silk pillowcase or with your hair in a silk bonnet.
Friction causes tangles, so you want your hair to lie on a silky, slippery surface to reduce abrasion while you sleep.
- While washing your hair, focus only on your scalp.
A lot of tangles come about as a result of the shampooing process because you are rubbing your hair all around. When shampooing, concentrate all of your effort on the scalp only so that you minimise the amount of movement on the ends of the hair.
We hope these tips help those of you with tangles and feel free to ask us for personalised advice and product recommendations at your next appointment. For more tips, blog updates, salon news and beauty trends Like our Facebook Page, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!
XO, Gaudi Hair