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The Best Way to Detangle Your Hair

Tedious, painful, and time-consuming—those with long or textured hair know that detangling your locks can often be a nightmare. Thankfully, advances in the beauty industry have gifted us with tools to get the job done quicker and easier, as well as techniques to avoid (and prevent) damage. Read on for a tear-proof way to detangle your hair!

A photo of a person running their hands through their long, detangled hair
(via Pexels)

Invest in a Detangling Brush

Believe it or not, these brushes actually make a difference. Detangling brushes have bristles that are designed to sneak between snarls and snags while gently separating them. The ultra-flexible bristles are made to bend and flow with the hair, rather than pulling and potentially tearing your strands. These brushes also work well with wet hair, which is when most people do their detangling. Wet hair is much more fragile than dry and requires an extra bit of TLC. Investing in a brush that will care for wet strands is ideal.

Some of our favorite detangling brush brands include the ever-popular Tangle Teezer, Wet Brush, and Denman. With so many options out there, the Tangle Teezer site helps ease the process using a quiz to offer personalized recommendations. Wet Brush offers a variety of detanglers, including styling tools that boast the same pain-free brushing technology that made the brush so innovative at its debut. Denman is another incredible option, as their detangling brushes (and styling brushes) work particularly well for thicker hair and textured locks.

A person detangling the ends of their hair.
(via Pexels)

Use Products That Provide a Padding

You should always prep your hair with a styling or protective product before doing any brushing. The type of product you use is largely dependent upon your hair type, but it’s a safe bet to reach for a detangling spray or leave-in.

For those with colored hair, try Joico’s K-Pak Color Therapy Luster Lock Spray. This mist will not only aid in detangling but also provide heat and UV protection to help prolong the life of your color. If your strands fall on the finer side, try Not Your Mother’s All Eyes On Me 10-In-1 Hair Perfector. Medium to thick locks? Opt for Amika’s The Wizard Detangling Primer. Like Joico’s Luster Lock Spray, these two detanglers will also provide heat protection as well as other benefits. But if your mane is uber-thick and textured, a leave-in may be your best option. Tracee Ellis Ross’ beauty brand Pattern, makes an incredible leave-in conditioner. It not only detangles but seals in moisture and adds extra hydration.

Start From the Bottom and Work Up

After acquiring a detangling brush and a prep product, the number one rule of untangling hair is to start at the bottom and work your way up. Typically, the best way to do this is by bracing the mid-shaft of your lengths with your off hand and slowly detangling upwards with the other. As you clear the ends of any snags and snarls, move your hand up and keep working. Eventually, you will reach the scalp and be able to brush through pain and snag-free. Be sure to take special care around the nape of your neck and hairline. These areas can get pretty knotty and require an extra bit of TLC due to their fragile nature.

A photo of a person having their hair braided.
(via Pexels)

Stop the Knots Before They Start

Stopping tangles before they start seems like a fairly obvious answer to a common problem, but it is an often forgotten step. Wearing protective styles at night, or during the day, can make a huge difference in how often you need to detangle. A low, loose braid (or braids) is recommended as they don’t put as much strain on your scalp like a bun or ponytail would. Plus, they keep your strands tucked away as you toss and turn throughout the night.

Protective styles have long been a part of highly textured hair routines for good reason. Not only do they help with tangles, but they also keep hair healthier and more moisturized. Less heat styling and less negative environmental exposure are ultimately best for hair health. Take a tip from those with natural hair and wrap your mane up at night.

Still trying to find that perfect detangling routine? HERE are the best multi-tasking detanglers to keep your hair knot-free!

2 minutes

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