A Guide to Detangling and Caring for Damaged Hair

You may run into many roadblocks in pursuit of an effective routine for damaged hair. Even if your hair was completely healthy, detangling and caring for your hair could be difficult-add to that the fragility and stubbornness of damaged hair. There’s no need to worry, though; this article is an ultimate guide to help you detangle and care for your damaged hair with ease.

Why Does Hair Get Matted?

Hair gets tangled when they twist and intertwine with surrounding hairs. Mats are different from regular knots in that they are more severe. Most people may be used to combing through the occasional knot, but matting is a clump of knots that can be extremely difficult to remove with a simple brush and comb.

How Do You Detangle Matted Hair Painlessly?

Detangling matted hair can be painful if you’re not doing it right. The following tips will help you to achieve a painless detangling session on even the most matted hair.

For Wet Detangling

  1. Make sure that your hair is dripping wet before you start.
  2. Apply your detangling product, liberally. Less is not more when it comes to applying detangler.
  3. Massage the detangling product into the most tangled parts of your hair.
  4. Use a wide-toothed comb to begin gently detangling. Make sure that you start from the ends of your hair and move gradually towards the root. As you begin to comb through a section of your hair, grasp the roots of the section to reduce tension.
  5. Re-wet sections that become dry and add more detangler as needed.

For Dry Detangling

While it isn’t often recommended to detangle your hair while it is dry, there may be times when you want to go the dry route.

If you are detangling your hair while it is dry, take the following steps to make the process painless:

  1. Section your hair into four or more sections to make the process easy.
  2. Apply a spray-on detangler or apply an oil of your choice.
  3. Gently comb or brush your hair (with either a wide-toothed comb or a paddle brush) starting from the ends of your hair.
  4. Add more detangler as needed.

If you follow these steps, your detangling session will be pain-free.

How Do You Get A Really Bad Knot Out of Your Hair?

When trying to untangle badly tangled hair, you’ll need to take an extra step in addition to the detangling steps listed above.

Don’t start combing through your hair immediately after applying water and detangler to it. Allow your detangler to sit on your hair for 5 minutes or more. This will make your hair more pliable, helping you to get through the toughest of mats.

How Can I Detangle My Hair Fast?

Rushing through the detangling process is not a good idea because it can lead to snagging and breakage, especially if your hair is already damaged.

Moreover, the steps outlined in the previous sections are not time-consuming, and each step should be done to preserve the integrity of your hair.

But if you are in a pinch, you can skip the sectioning of your hair.

What Is the Best Detangler For Matted Hair?

The best detanglers for matted, damaged hair have the following characteristics:

  • A slippery feel
  • Moisturizing properties
  • Healing Oil


The most important measure of a good detangler is the amount of slipperiness the product has. To get through the knots that make up matted hair, you’ll need to lubricate those knotted hairs so that they can freely glide across each other as you comb through them. The more slippery your detangler is, the easier you’ll be able to loosen up those knots and comb them out.

The following ingredients make for a high slip detangler:

  • Oils and Butters
  • Cetearyl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol
  • Silicones
  • Herbs that detangle, like slippery elm, flaxseed, and marshmallow root

Moisturizing Properties

The best detanglers not only detangle your hair, but they also moisturize your hair. Damaged hair is in greater need of moisture than undamaged hair, so once you find a detangler that moisturizes your hair as it detangles it, you’ve found a winner!

A moisturizing detangler has ingredients like:

  • Water
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  • Glycerin

Healing Oils

A detangler that boasts healing oils is helpful to damaged hair. Using a detangler that gives your hair a healing treatment is among the best that you can get. When dealing with matted hair that needs a lot of combing, it would be advantageous to treat your hair while manipulating it with the comb or brush.

Some oils that work to heal and repair the surface of damaged hair strands include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Olive oil

Look for these ingredients and characteristics when choosing your detangler.

Should I Detangle My Hair Wet or Dry?

It is recommended by professionals not to detangle your hair while it is dry, as detangling dry hair can result in breakage. Your hair is much more pliable when wet, and when you apply a detangler to your wet hair, you can remove tangles without breakage.

What Is the Best Natural Hair Detangler?

The best natural hair detangler is a detangler that is slippery and nourishing to the hair.

If your hair is naturally curly or textured in any way, you’ll need to make sure that your detangler is slippery, above all else. Once the detangler is applied to your hair, it should help your detangling tool glide effortlessly through your strands.

If your detangler does not increase your hair’s manageability, that’s not the detangler for you.

What Is the Best Detangling Conditioner?

Detangling conditioners are popular because they serve two purposes: both detangling and conditioning.

The best detangling conditioners have many of the same characteristics as traditional detanglers or spray detanglers. They create slipperiness in the hair, they moisturize the hair, and they repair the surface of the hair.

You should be able to apply it to your hair and comb through your strands without resistance. Also, your hair should feel smooth and moisturized after rinsing the product out.

Does Leave-in Conditioner Detangle Hair?

Theoretically, leave-in conditioner can detangle your hair, but it depends on the specific leave-in you’re using.

If your leave-in conditioner has ingredients in it that make it slippery, it can be used as a leave-in conditioner. On the contrary, if your leave-in conditioner is not slippery, it will not be a good detangler.

Daily Dose Leave-In conditioner is formulated with several ingredients that aid in detangling, such as:

  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Amodimethicone

This leave-in not only detangles the most difficult hair, but it also imparts lasting moisture to the hair. Win!







Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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