How to Get Rid of Tangled Hair?
Who doesn’t love beautiful hair? Women of all age groups dream of having lustrous locks. Besides all the gorgeous hairdos you can experiment with long and beautiful hair, one thing that you have to deal with, no matter what, is tangles. Whether you have straight, curly, or wavy hair, tangled hair is not an unheard story. Removing tangles from hair can be a real battle. Every time you try removing knots from hair, you end up with a good chunk of hair on the brush. We all can relate to this struggle and how painful it is to see your beautiful hair on the brush instead of your head.
Besides the fact that removing tangles from your hair can be painful, it also eats up your time that could have been productive in better work. Sometimes, the tangles or the knots can be so stubborn that you might actually end up cutting them off, which in most cases end up being a disaster. However, with the help of a tangler comb or other hair care products, you can tackle your tangled hair to an extent. But then why does hair have tangles in the first place?
In this article, we will learn about the reason behind tangled hair and how you can detangle your hair and get manageable, silky, and shiny hair. Read on to discover!
Why does hair get tangled?
Hair texture, exposure to the environment, frequency of brushing, and unhealthy rituals of your hair have a lot to do with the tangled hair. For example, hair that is curly or wavy is more prone to tangling than straight hair.
Tangles on hair occur when two or more strands of hair wrap around each other and form knots due to intertwining. It happens when the outer layer of your hair is damaged and opens up. The open cuticles wrap each other, ending up forming knots or tangles.
On average, you lose around 100 strands of hair every day as a part of your regular hair life cycle.
If you have straight and smooth hair, these strands fall off your scalp without tangling with each other.
But textured or curly hair is naturally not smooth. This is because the cuticles of the outer layer of curly or wavy hair don’t lie flat. So instead of shedding off the scalp like smooth hair, these curly strands easily wrap around each other on the head, causing knots to form.
The outer layer of your hair contributes to the smoothness of your locks. In addition, your hair’s cuticles have a scaly structure that opens up if your hair is damaged, resulting in the hair becoming rough or tangled.
Besides the texture of your hair, there are other reasons behind tangled hair which we have listed below:
Vigorously combing or brushing of hair – combing your hair vigorously and frequently with metal, plastic combs and hair brushes.
Heat-damaged or chemically treated hair – Overexposure of the hair to the sun and using chemicals to either color or bleach hair leaves drying effects on the hair. As a result, this type of hair loses its natural smoothness, leaving you with tangled hair.
Lack of hydration – Your hair has a normal pH balance and natural moisture or oils. Using curling rods or straighteners, curlers and hair dryers can strip your hair of its natural moisture, leaving you with dehydrated and dry hair. In the worst scenario, you may also end up having matted hair.
Over-washing - Every day, washing your hair with chemically laden shampoos and conditioners strips off your hair of its natural oils, making the hair dry with a flaky scalp. Dry and frizzy hair is prone to breakage and shedding, thus forming more knots or tangled hair.
Sleeping with hair down - Keeping your hair loose while sleeping is not a great idea to practice. Sleeping with your hair down leads to friction in the hair when you toss and turn during sleep. When you do this, it leads to more wear and tear of the hair, leading to falling off the hair and forming knots.
How to detangle hair without breakage?
While detangling your hair shouldn’t contribute to the damage of your hair, we share some of the healthy practice to try to detangle hair without breakage-
Conditioning your hair with a vegan or herbal hair conditioner is a healthy hair habit. Tangled hair after shampooing is tough to manage or comb. After washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo:
- Take a generous dollop of shampoo and apply it to the ends of your hair. You can work your hand to the hair, avoiding the scalp.
- Leave the conditioner for 2-3 minutes or as instructed on the label.
- Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear.
Combing your hair with a wide-toothed comb while rinsing your hair is also beneficial. It will help you get rid of tangled hair to an extent.
You must use a shampoo made for your hair type and free of chemicals such as sulfate. Avoid applying shampoo to your scalp or hair directly. Instead, dilute the shampoo with water and then gently apply it on your scalp and hair, massaging gently. Follow with a suitable conditioner.
To get rid of tangled hair, avoid using a hairdryer to dry your hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel to dry your traces. After washing your hair, squeeze out the excess water by using your hands and pat dry your hair with your towel. You can also use a muslin cloth to do so. Then, let your hair dry naturally.
While combing your hair to remove wet is never recommended as it will lead to breaking out of the hair. However, you can detangle your hair with a tangler comb while your hair is still a little wet. First, separate your hair into two sections, more if you have curly or very thick hair. Next, glide your fingers gently through the hair and then comb gently with the comb.
As discussed already, putting down your hair while sleeping contributes to tangled hair. To avoid this, you can braid your hair using a scrunchie. You can also do a loose up do to keep your hair off your face and pillow while sleeping.
Obviously, you might want to skip this, especially during winter, but washing your hair with hot water will contribute to frizzy hair. Instead, always wash your hair with cold water as hot or warm water is believed to wash away the natural oils out of your hair, weakening the cuticles even more.
You love that length of hair, but regular trimming of your hair will only enhance its quality. Getting your hair trimmed after every 8-10 weeks can help keep split ends under control. When you remove the damaged hair, it will make it easy for your shedding hair to glide more easily without having to get wrapped around and form knots. It will help in keeping tangled hair under control.
While combing vigorously with a plastic comb is discarded, combing with a wide-toothed wooden comb is highly recommended. Work your way from your ends up and comb your mane gently to remove any knots off your tangled hair.
Best detangling products & brushes
Just like your skincare needs are unique, so is your hair care needs are different. Trying and figuring out the right kind of hair care product is crucial to get rid of tangled hair and have soft, manageable hair.
Natural hair is those that have not been altered by chemicals such as chemicals used for straightening, smoothening, texturizers, or relaxers. If you have natural hair, you can use a combing cream formulated to help detangle your hair, adding shine and volume. It is recommended that curly and wavy is best combed when damp.
Dry and damaged hair
Avoid using alcohol-based hair care products if you have heat-damaged, dry, and frizzy hair. Alcohol will dry your hair furthermore. Instead, use serums, hair oils, and leave-in conditioners when you style your hair.
Straight and fine hair
Fine and straight are easy to manage as compared to curly or thick hair. If you have straight and fine hair, avoid using volumizing hair products or sprays as these products contain a high concentration of silicon that is damaging to the hair. Silicones also make the hair greasy, which contributes to tangled hair.
Detangling hair brushes
There are so many detangling hair combs and brushes that it is overwhelming to choose the best. Here are some picks for you to choose from-
Hair detangler brush
Thin and flexible bristles, a detangling hairbrush fits every hair type and length and is best for dry and wet hair.
Boar bristle brush
Get a seat with natural hair styling products, and a boar bristle brush needs to be on your list. These brushes are perfect for people with thin or fine hair. It also helps to detangle tangled hair and spread the natural oil evenly on the hair.
This variety of brush is best for people with long and straight hair. The wide base of the brush makes it easy to glide through the hair and remove knots from tangled hair.
As much as you need to keep your scalp clean, make sure to keep your hairbrush clean as well. It is how to clean hair brush-
In a bowl of warm water, swirl the brush by the handle. Then pour some shampoo on a toothbrush and use it to clean the bristles of the brush. Your detangling brush is all clean, ladies!
Tips to prevent knots
While tangling of your hair is a natural process that you cannot completely discard, you can use these quick tips to prevent knots or manage tangled hair –
- Don’t give in to unruly hairstyles as they will damage your hair
- Never wash your hair without combing or removing knots from your tangled hair
- Limit exposure to sun or wind directly to manage tangled hair
- Use a hair mask once every week to keep away from tangled hair and keep your hair manageable.
- Oil your hair once a week or before you wash your hair
Tangled hair is a common problem for most women or men with long hair faces. While you try these shared tips and tricks, you also need to have patience.
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Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.