How to Detangle Severely Matted Hair?

Matted Hair

If your hair doesn’t get matted, then you are truly a lucky one.

However, it is a common problem for many to either wake up with many knots on their head. Or come home from beautiful breezy weather and have so many knots as if it were a storm outside. 

To detangle your hair, the key thing to remember is that you need to keep it wet and slippery.

After working some conditioner into the matted parts with your fingers, you will eventually be able to get rid of them. This is a long process but certainly worth the effort if you don’t want to cut off the knotted parts. 

Read on for a full step by step guide to detangle matted hair and for tricks and tips to prevent the hair from getting knotty. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Detangle the Hair 

No matter whether your hair is curly or straight if it has a tendency to get matted, there is not much to do about it except for learning efficient techniques to detangle it. 

Here is a step by step guide to detangle matted hair without causing damage and breakage. All you need is a few supplies and lots of patience. 

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is dividing your hair into sections. It is easier to work through small sections rather than trying to detangle your entire hair all at once. 

If you have lots of hair, divide it into 6 sections. If your hair is thin, you can separate it into two sections and start from there. 

Step 2

Hair gets much more slippery when it is wet. You will need either a spray water bottle or a special spray for hair detangling. 

As you need to get your hair soaked in water, you might as well do this procedure right after taking a shower. 

Step 3

Put hair conditioner in the matted parts of the hair. If you have too many knots on your head, apply conditioner all over your hair from roots to tips. 

You can choose from hair detangling conditioners to deep conditioning products. If you have curly and coarse hair, you can use oils – coconut oil, argan oil, etc. 

If you’ve got severe tangles, try to work the product into the knots really well. Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes so that it moisturizes and makes the hair slippery for further action. 

Step 4

Once you have worked in the conditioner, it is time to start untangling. 

Take your time and start working on the knots little by little. Working section by section may take you long. However, this way you will avoid pulling out your hair and causing damage. 

Start picking through the knots with your fingers. Loosen the tangles working your way up from the ends to the top of your head. 

On this stage of detangling, avoid using combs. You can easily feel and work on the knots with your fingers. The comb, on the other hand, will snag at the tangles and perhaps make them worse.

Step 5

Once you have worked through the knots with your fingers and loosen them as much as possible, pick a wide-toothed comb. This kind of comb is sturdy and will work better than a brush with delicate teeth. 

Start combing the ends of your hair. While you are brushing the tips, hold the hair taut to prevent you from pulling out hair as well as cause less pain on the scalp. 

Step 6 

When all knots are detangled, give your hair a gentle brush. This is especially important for those who have curly hair. The final brush will help you recover the pattern of the hair. 

How to Prevent Hair from Getting Tangled?

Detangling matted hair is a tough and time-consuming process. There is no denying to the fact that with some hair types knots of matted hair are just inevitable.

Here are a few steps you can incorporate into your hair routine and daily life to minimize the risks of facing this problem. 

Braid your hair before going to sleep

Braiding your hair before bed is the key to waking up without multiple tangles in your hair. Not only will this prevent knots but also give you effortless waves in the morning. 

As an additional step to avoid knots, use a silk pillowcase. It prevents the hair from getting tangled and frizzy. As an alternative, you can use a satin pillowcase. 

Do a ponytail if it is windy outside

No matter how long you have spent on straightening your hair or doing perfect waves, if the weather is windy, tie your hair up. If your hair is the type that gets tangled easily, the wind is your worst enemy.

Brush your hair before taking a shower

Hair can get all tangled and knotted even in the shower when you are washing it.

To prevent it from happening, don’t forget to brush or comb through your hair before you wash it. Choose a brush type depending on your hair texture. 

Use detangling products

While detangling products are not an absolute must, it is always helpful to use products targeting a specific problem. 

If your hair is prone to getting matted, replace your regular shampoo and conditioner with detangling one. You can also use a detangling spray. 

Do not rub your hair with a towel

It is a habit for many to rub the hair with a towel after coming out of the shower. While doing this helps to get the hair dry quickly, it makes them knotted and frizzy. 

What you can do instead is wrapping your hair with an old cotton t-shirt. 

Make brushing your hair a habit

If your hair gets easily tangled, adding a few steps to help the situation is certainly worth it. Make brushing your hair every morning and night a habit. It will take you only a few minutes. The rewards, however, are quite big. 

Apply as little heat to your hair as possible

One of the main causes of getting tangled hair is applying to much heat to it. 

Such tools as blow dryers and straighteners cause split ends and take away the moisture in the hair which eventually leads to matted hair. 

Avoid chemicals

If you want fewer tangles in your hair avoid bleaching and dyeing. If you can eliminate all hair care products that contain too many chemicals.

Hair Detangling Tips

Here are a few tips you can use when you face the problem of detangling your hair. 

Push the tangles down

If the knots are close to the root, try to push them down with a comb. Once they are in the middle part of your hair, start working in the conditioning product through the knot. 

Pushing the tangles down will prevent putting too much pressure on the follicle. This way you can hold the hair taut and not damage the roots. 

Use a leave-in conditioner

To detangle your hair, you don’t only need it to be wet but you also need it to be very slippery.

Leave-in conditioners make the hair much softer and slippery when applied to wet hair.  So, before starting to detangle matted hair, apply a fair amount of leave-in conditioner to it. 

Add some hair oil 

If you want your hair to be extra slippery before you detangle the knots, add a few drops of hair oil to the conditioner you are using.\ Aside from specialized hair oils, you can use other oils that moisturize the hair.

You can use anything from Moroccan oil to olive oil from your kitchen. You can also put a few drops on the knot itself while you are in the process of loosening it. 

Don’t miss the trims

Trimming your hair every 4 to 6 weeks will keep your hair healthy and remove the dead ends. Doing this will make your hair less tangly. 

FAQ

How to get a really bad knot out of your hair?

If the knot in your hair is really bad, you have to pull out the big guns, i.e. the scissors. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut out an entire chunk off your head. 

Pick a sharp pair of scissors and start snipping hair from the knot. Do not snip out the entire chunk all at once. Start slow and snip off a few strands of hair and make sure to cut really close to the knot.

Going slow will prevent you from cutting a lot of hair. 

Is it best to detangle hair wet or dry?

There are methods to detangle the hair while it is still dry. However, it may result in a lot of damage.

If detangling the hair while it is wet requires delicate moves, doing it on dry hair requires you to be extra gentle. It is better to detangle the hair while it is still wet and slippery so that it is easier to untangle the knots. 

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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