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How to Deal With Tangled Hair

Blonde woman trying to detangle tangled hair with a small, round brush
Tangled Hair – “Oh what a tangled web we weave!”

Tangled hair is a common problem, especially as long hairstyles are trending. At times it may seem unmanageable, but the good news is, it is controllable if you take the proper steps. These six professional tips will help you detangle any knots that you have as well as helping you to prevent tangles in the future.

Six Tips to Help You Detangle Your Hair

  1. Detangle your hair when it is wet whenever possible. Apply a conditioner or a detangler, like Paul Mitchell’s The Detangler or Paul Mitchell’s Kid’s Taming Spray to wet hair and try separating the tangles slowly with your fingers first.  Be careful especially when detangling dry hair, it can lead to unnecessary breakage.
  2. Use a wide tooth comb.  A wide tooth comb is sturdy, and being that its teeth are thick and wide apart, makes it the perfect choice to detangle hair.  A brush is not a good choice when trying to get through matted, tangled hair. Brushing is more likely to break off the hair and possibly make it more tangled.
  3. Work in small sections. Dividing your hair into smaller sections makes detangling matted hair more manageable. It allows you to focus on one section at a time and it helps take away the feeling of being overwhelmed.   You’ll also have a sense of accomplishment every time you detangle a section.
  4. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Always start by combing the ends of your hair first then work your way up toward your scalp. By working in this pattern, you can remove tangles individually as opposed to trying to detangle several tangles at one time.
  5. Use a leave-in conditioner. A leave-in conditioner, like above, will not only help you detangle your hair, but it will also help prevent you from getting your hair tangled in the first place. Although it may be tempting to use more, make sure that you read the directions, and apply the recommended amount. More than the recommended amount can weigh down your hair and create a greasy appearance.
  6. Detangle in the shower.   First shampoo your hair. Next apply a rich conditioner. When the conditioner is still in your hair, use a wide tooth comb or fingers to gently remove tangles.

Woman combing wet, long, dark blonde hair with a wide tooth comb

How to Prevent Tangles in the Future

  • Use a quality shampoo and conditioner. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically tailored to work for your hair type.
  • Avoid using  harsh hair products that will strip your hair of its natural oils. Always use  products that help retain moisture in the hair. Alcohol based hair products tend to be drying, so instead, opt for ones that are described  as “hydrating” and “moisturizing.”
  • Comb your hair daily. You can prevent tangled hair by combing your hair with a wide tooth comb on a regular basis. A smaller snarl is always easier to detangle than a larger one!
  • Avoid over-teasing or backcombing hair too rigorously. Teasing or backcombing is notorious for tangling hair. If fullness is what you want, you can achieve a hairstyle full of body without over teasing your hair. Try blow drying your hair with a large round brush and a root booster like; TIGI’s Catwalk Your Highness Root Boost Spray..  You will create a hairstyle with lots of volume sans the tangled knots. Another option (for under $5.00) check out Bumpits, for lift at the crown of your head without backcombing.

When the process of detangling becomes overwhelming . . . first, take a deep breath and try to relax.  Patience is your best ally!  Patience coupled with these tips, will get you out of any tangled web you weave!

Barb Quinn on Google+  

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Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!





2 Comments »

  1. Thank you for your comment and beauty tip. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our article!

    Comment by Michelle Skye — February 22, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  2. Great tips! Another tip: Wash your hair with luke warm water and rinse with cool water to help close the cuticle layer of the hair.

    Yours in beauty ~ Cheryl

    Comment by Cheryl Basilisco — February 22, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

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