Having to deal with tangles, single-strand knots and matted hair is not a joke. I didn’t really start having issues with knots and matted hair until I really started gaining some length. The longer my hair grew, the more I found myself becoming frustrated with having to remove knots and tangles from my hair. In haste and a little impatience I found myself causing more damage to my hair than necessary…
Detangling naturally kinky, curly and coily hair is something that just comes with the territory. If you’re one of those naturals that doesn’t have to wrestle with knots and tangles then consider yourself extremely lucky. Removing knots, tangles and even sometimes matted hair doesn’t have to be laborious.
I usually start my detangling process in the shower on clean hair. After I’ve shampooed, I’ll add a palm-size of conditioner and rake it through my hair with my fingers. Starting at the roots, I gently rake through to the ends of my hair. If my finger becomes stuck anywhere, I’ll twist that section of hair counter-clockwise first to see if this helps loosen the hair. I’ve been wearing my hair in a twist-out for the most part and I’ve found that most of my knots come from twisting my hair too tight or when hair from one twist joins the hair from another twist. Twisting in the opposite direction will usually help remove most of the knotted or tangled hair with minimal damage.
This is a very important step to removing knots and matted hair. When I use a conditioner with a lot of slip such as Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural conditioner, it usually helps to loosen my hair and allow for easier detangling. I’ve found that the conditioners with more slip actually work better than the mediocre conditioners on the market. Apply the conditioner to the knotted or matted section for several minutes before attempting to work out the tangles. This step also works best in the shower as the steam also helps loosen the tangled curls.
Using a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair will make the job much easier than trying to detangle with a smaller toothed comb. Not to mention, using improper hair tools can cause damage to the hair that isn’t tangled. There are several detangling combs on the market that you can purchase specifically for removing knotted hair such as the Mebco Tortoise shower detangler, the Tool Structure Shower Detangler comb, or the Denman brush (D3 or D4 model).
Raking a comb or your fingers through your hair all at once is only going to leave you frustrated and later while attempting to style, you’ll discover that your detangling session didn’t go as great as your thought. Try sectioning the hair into 4 small sections and detangle each section individually. Start detangling the ends of the hair and work your way upward to ensure maximum removal of each tangle of single-strand knot.
You have products to use before shampooing, your favorite cleanser, conditioner, deep conditioner, sealant, styler and the list goes on but does your arsenal include a trusty detangler? There are two detanglers that I will probably purchase for life, or until another heavenly product comes along, which includes Aunt Jackie’s Knot on My Watch and Zuresh’s Smoothing Detangler and Curl Definer. Both of these products are creamy and have proven to be exceptional when it comes to battling some of the most stubborn knots that I’ve ever encountered. I only attempt to detangle when my hair is wet so I’ve only used the products on wet or damp hair and both have cut down my detangling time in half. The Zuresh detangler is a little more runny than Aunt Jackie’s and can get a little messy if you’re too heavy handed, but both are always on my shelf at all times.
Let’s face it, there are just some knots and matted hair that simply cannot be saved. As a last resort, the hair should be removed to prevent further damage and more hair from tangling with the already non-salvageable hair. In an effort to save whatever hair you can, try using this recommended technique from Hairfinder; take the matted hair in hand and with the point of your scissors facing the scalp and sever the matted hair halfway. Add a slippery conditioner to the ends and allow to penetrate for several minutes. Using a wide toothed comb, work through the matted hair in an attempt to loosen any salvageable hair. If this method does not work then you may want to consider removing the matted section all together.
Any of these tips would be beneficial to removing extremely tangled or matted hair. All it takes is a little patience and know-how, and you can possibly avoid losing any strands by having to cut the hair. What are some of the methods that you’ve used to detangle or remove knots from your hair?
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