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How to Detangle Hair Without Damaging It

How to deal with knots, tangles, and tackle the root of the problem with hair treatments.

How to Detangle HairIs dealing with a knotted mess a struggle in your daily hair routine? Not to worry, there are more painless ways of dealing with tangled hair that won’t make you literally tear your hair out. Work smarter with these ways of detangling hair without worrying about damaging your precious locks or scalp. It’s all about using different hair products or gentler techniques to getting your hair back in its usual shape. 

How to detangle hair

  1. Try a wide tooth comb

Because wide tooth combs have more space between their teeth, they’re most ideal for people with more hair. If you have thick, curly, or tangled hair, consider trying one! Start from the top of your scalp and gently work your way down through knotted hair.

  1. Brush hair before washing

It’s true that wet hair can sometimes be easier to comb through, but taking a shower can actually make matters worse. It’s worth trying to tease out some knots before you hop in for a rinse. Try gentling teasing out hair from the bottom of the knot, rather than just tugging away from the top. It’s worth the patience!

Use a Hair Oil

  1. Add a hair oil or serum

Still struggling with brushing your hair? If you’re starting with dry hair (which can especially be prone to tangles), getting some extra slip can be helpful! Wet your hair with a hair oil or serum, so that your comb can run more smoothly through the strands. The right plant-based, non-toxic formula can even protect your hair cuticle against damage while you’re combing your hair.

  1. Use a detangler spray

Prefer to not get the oiliness or stickiness of a hair serum onto your hands? Try a more hands-off treatment like a detangling spray. Botanical-based detangling sprays work effectively like leave-in conditioners with their nourishing ingredients. Yet they’re still lightweight, and help fight frizz and static. Try this Smoothing Detangling Spray from Babo Botanicals that doubles as a hair perfume with its rosy scent. Looking to protect your hair from heat styling damage too? This chia-based detangler is safe for color-treated hair too.

  1. Apply a leave-in conditioner

Dealing with dry, damaged hair that’s prone to tangles? You might need a more heavy duty solution like a leave-in conditioner. Apply it evenly throughout your hair to encourage recovery. Or comb the conditioner through your strands. This option works especially well for fine hair, and if you’re struggling to pick up those limp strands with your comb. We love this spray-on conditioner from Carina Organics that comes with a nutrient-rich toxin-free formula to fully pamper weakened hair. 

Hair Mask

  1. Use a hair mask

For severely damaged hair, you’re best off with the most nourishing and conditioning hair treatment yet: a hair mask. The difference between conditioners and hair masks is that the latter has a more thicker, creamier consistency that needs to sit longer on your hair for maximum absorption. It’s usually made for deep conditioning, and packed with vitamin-rich nutrients. Take matters into your own hands with a DIY hair mask that you can customize with ingredients at home. Alternatively, you can use a Coconut Oil Hair Mask to deeply pamper both your scalp and hair.

  1. Sleep on a silk pillowcase

So once you’ve gotten that mess tackled (for now), of course you’ll need to also up the ante on preventative options. Luckily, there’s so much more that you can do other than just regularly brushing your hair or slathering on hair masks. A silk pillowcase provides more slip so that your hair is able to move around smoothly without tangling with itself. Sleep with an updo or silk nightcap for the ultimate prevention tactic.

  1. Wear an up-do or braids

Tie your hair up! There will be less room for tangling if your hair is in a pony or pun. Have curly or frizzy hair? Try braiding your hair to really prevent your hair strands from clashing with each other. No room for tangling here!

  1. Trim your hair

We know that this is more of a last resort option. But regular trims can also ensure you get rid of split ends that can tangle with each other, and cause even more breakage. You can’t just smooth away split ends with some extra conditioner. Make sure to get those trims in!


There’s no single step cure-all from tangled hair, or hair that’s prone to tangling. Patience and prevention and key, so it’s always worth those extra pampering steps to take care of your hair health. Otherwise, you’ll be packing extra minutes into detangling it later!

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