What Does a Detangler Do For Your Hair?

We all deal with tangled hair from time to time, and the most common remedy recommended by hair experts it is a detangler. If you’ve heard about detanglers but aren’t completely clear on what they do, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll fill you in on what detanglers are, the common ingredients found in them, and the effect they have on your hair. 

What is a Detangler? 

If you’ve ever dealt with a head full of knots and tangles, you know how inconvenient and stressful it can be. You’ll be happy to know that a detangler is just what you need to banish your tangles and knots. A detangler is a hair care product designed to make the detangling process less strenuous. It makes your strands soft and slippery so that they can better glide against each other as you brush or comb your hair. 

Common Ingredients in Detanglers and What They Do

You’ll find countless detanglers on the market that feature many different ingredients, from shea butter and honey to silicones and panthenol. Below, we’ll dig deeper into these ingredients and what they do to your hair:

  • Shea butter - You’ll often find shea butter in detanglers marketed toward curly hair. Shea butter is a fat derived from shea tree nuts. It softens your hair and makes it more malleable, which aids in detangling. 

  • Honey - Honey is a fantastic ingredient that’s used in some detanglers. It makes your strands slick, which discourages tangles and helps your comb or brush glide effortlessly through your strands. 

  • Silicones - When used in detanglers, silicones coat the hair shaft and fill in any indentations in the hair cuticle. The result is smoother hair that tangles less and detangles without a ton of effort. 

  • Panthenol - Panthenol is a naturally occurring substance derived from vitamin B5. It softens the hair and increases its pliability.

This is not a complete list of ingredients you’ll find in detanglers - this list goes on and on. 

The Best Detanglers May Not Be Detanglers

We’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that some products you already have in your home can be used as detanglers. Often, rinse-out conditioners have slippery ingredients in them that loosen up tangles and make your hair feel as smooth as butter. In addition, leave-in conditioners are often formulated with slick ingredients, butters, oils, and moisturizers that take your hair from stiff and matted to smooth and tangle-free. Lastly, some styling creams leave your hair so supple and silky that they can also double as your detangler. If you want to find out whether you already have a product that you can use as a detangler, the only way to find out is to try detangling your hair with it. 

As you can see, detanglers are formulated with many ingredients that do many of the same things. The key function of detanglers is to smooth the hair, temporarily fill in any damaged areas, and create a slippery surface on top of the hair shaft. We hope that this article is helpful to you in your research about detanglers. 

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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