A lot of people resort to cutting their hair when it gets severely matted and detangled. Hopefully, you’ll never have the misfortune to get your hair in that bad of a condition but if you do, here are several tips on how to detangle matted hair without cutting it.
The best way to detangle matted hair is more or less a combination of multiple simpler ways and is therefore quite long and time-consuming. Below, we’ll list a series of steps and tips for how to detangle super knotted hair but depending on how bad your particular situation is you might decide to skip or repeat some of them.
Pick a suitable conditioner
There are lots of choices on the market. If you weren’t using a conditioner up until now you may want to start with an ordinary one. If you were using a conditioner and it isn’t helping, try a deep conditioner. There are also specialized detangling conditioners that are designed to give your hair extra slip. You can try a detangling spray as well but going for a conditioner will usually be the better bet.
If you don’t want to use a commercial conditioner and you want to make your own deep conditioning mask we’d recommend using products such as coconut oil, Moroccan argan oil or olive oil. Some people recommend mayonnaise but that usually leads to a pretty unpleasant smell.
Dampen your hair
No need to take a shower, you can simply wet your hair slightly at the sink or with a water bottle. If you want to get a shower, towel-dry your hair afterward. A lot of people wonder how to detangle wet matted hair or how to detangle dry hair – in both cases, the answer is to get it neither dry nor wet but damp.
Apply the treatment of your choice
Rub the mask or conditioner you’ve decided on thoroughly, starting from the middle of your hair, going to the ends, and then going back to the roots.
Wait for as long as the product has specified
Ordinary conditioners should be kept on the hair for only several minutes, homemade coconut or olive oil masks – for 20 to 30 minutes, and deep conditioners for about an hour, two at most. Use a shower cap if you need to wait longer.
Wash the product off and start detangling your hair
After you’re done in the shower and you’ve towel-dried your hair again, it’s time to start detangling. Use your fingers first by running them down your hair gently and separating it wherever possible.
After that, get a wide-tooth comb and start combing the ends of your hair, one strand at a time. Don’t start combing the middle sections of your hair as you’ll only make the detangled hairs worse.
After you’ve detangled the ends of your hair, slowly move upwards to the middle sections of your hair. If combing hurts, a tip for how to detangle matted hair painlessly is to hold your hair firm and high with one hand to prevent any pulling of the scalp.
Another tip for how to detangle severely matted hair is to apply a drop of oil or conditioner here or there while combing. This can give your hair extra slip while combing.
You can also thin out the most stubborn mats with a pair of scissors without cutting your hair shorter. Just run the bottom blade of the scissors along the underside of the problematic hair strand and then gently tug at your hair to remove the entangled strands. This will cut off some of the hairs in the strand but won’t cut off the entire strand – it will only remove the knot and thin out the strand a bit.
At the end of the detangling process, use a more fine-tooth comb or brush to straighten everything out.
Rinse and enjoy!
A quick hop back in the shower to wash off any loose hairs and you should be done. From here on now you can focus on prevention:
- Comb your hair only when it’s damp, not dry or soaked.
- Consider using a leave-in conditioner after each shower.
- Braid your hair loosely before going to bed.
- Separate and clip your hair into sections before a shower if you have afro-textured hair that gets tangled easily.