How to Prevent Hair from Tangling and Get Rid of Knots
We've all been there at some point. Maintaining long beautiful hair takes effort and one of the most frustrating things about it (besides it taking forever to dry) is having to constantly deal with knots and tangles. It's time consuming and can be painful and damaging.
If you're trying to find easy, gentle ways to detangle those stubborns knots, prevent them, and know why it happens, this blog is for you.
Why does my hair tangle anyway?
There are many reasons why your hair could be constantly tangling. Hair texture, frequency of brushing, exposure to wind, amount of hair, and how healthy your hair is, can all contribute to knotting.
Put shortly, your hair is more likely to tangle if:
- It's thick and curly
- It's long and fine
- It's dry and damaged
- You don't brush your hair daily
- You don't brush after getting your hair wet (washing, swimming, etc.)
- You sleep with your hair down and toss & turn
How to Minimize Tangling
If you fall into one of the above categories, your hair is likely to tangle and tangle often. But, luckily there's ways to minimize and manage it. While there isn't a magic formula for everyone to get rid of tangles forever, here are some ways you minimize tangling, and reduce damage and pain.
1. Condition your hair
Never skip conditioner! Conditioning your hair will not only restore moisture allowing your hair to be smoother and less likely to tangle, but also make your hair more elastic and manageable for detangling.
Tip: apply your conditioner after shampooing. Leave it in while using a wide tooth comb to brush out any detangles and prep the hair for drying.
2. Use a hair mask once to twice a week
It's no surprise that doing hair masks can be time consuming especially since most hair masks require 5-15minutes of leaving it in, BUT doing it once a week will actually save you time and pain from detangling your hair! Using a hair mask will help prevent your hair from tangling by adding moisture, leaving it smooth, healthy, and silky. Without a mask or conditioning your hair often, hairs get dry, unruly, less elastic, and is more prone to static and friction which all will makes knots happen more often and worse!
One of our all time favorite hair treatments/masks is Living Proof's Weightless Mask. Leave in for 5-15 minutes 1-2x a week, focusing on the midsection and ends of your hair.
3. Use a Detangling Spray/Leave In Conditioner
On occasion, it's good to switch up the routine of using a hair mask and conditioner. Experiment with using a detangling spray/leave in conditioner to see if one benefits you better. Like hair masks, detangling sprays/leave in conditioners moisturize your hair and make it smoother and easier to detangle. In addition some can come with additional benefits like Pureology's Multi-Tasking Leave- in Spray which helps remove frizz, protects your against heat damage, and helps preserve colored hair vibrancy.
4. Use a Wide Tooth Comb or Detangling Brush
These are your best friend. Not only does it help detangle but it also preserve's your hairs health by not ripping out and breaking hair strands. Using an improper brush can destroy texture, cause thinning, and create a lot of damage, so it's important to use widely separated combs and brushes for a more gentle approach. Start at the bottom of the knot and patiently work your way up until it's smooth throughout.
Our favorite is the Olivia Garden Bamboo Paddle Brush. It's gentle on the scalp because of it's cushioned padding, lightweight yet firm in the hand as it's made of durable bamboo, and has widely separated flexible ball point bristles for gentle detangling.
5. Protect Your Hair While You Sleep
If you move a lot while sleeping, the friction from tossing and turning can cause some serious knots and matted hair hours later when it's time to get ready, and no one wants to deal with a tangled mess early in the morning. To prevent this, loosely braid your hair and tie with a scrunchie before sleeping, or tie in a loose bun.
Process for Detangling
1. Always separate your hair into manageable sections and start detangling from the ends, slowly moving up.
2. Apply some leave in conditioner or detangling spray
3. Start finger combing to evenly distribute the leave in conditioner. This is also the most gentle method to start reducing the size of knots
3. Follow up with a wide tooth comb or detangling brush from the bottom up.
4. Style as usual!
Other Helpful Tips
1. Don't shower with tangles. Not only can it be painful, but it can make tangles worse and increase the risk of breakage since your hair is most fragile when it's wet.
2. Tie hair in a braid or a ponytail on windy days or when being active.