Dealing with tangled hair can be a painful experience, especially when you feel a knot snagging your hairbrush. The discomfort it causes to your scalp and the sound of your hair ripping can be emotionally distressing. But don’t worry, there are various methods to detangle your hair and relieve the stress caused by tangles. The most effective approach, however, may depend on the specific characteristics of your hair type.
- Brian C. Hawkins works as a hairstylist and makeup artist for celebrities, with his base of operations located in Miami, FL.
- Lakeisha Heard is the owner of Intangible Inches Hair Salon and specializes in trichology and hairstyling.
- Nycole Jones, a celebrity hairstylist, founded Yara Luxe Hair Perfume.
Tangles, regardless of their size, can arise from several factors. One of the primary reasons is physical manipulation, such as brushing, styling, or even sleeping on your hair, which can lead to knots and matted areas. Another factor is the use of certain hair products and the residue they leave behind, which can cause the hair to become sticky or tacky, resulting in a tangled mess. Lastly, some hair types, due to their texture or thickness, may be naturally more prone to tangling.
Regardless of the cause, it’s crucial to know how to properly detangle your hair based on its unique characteristics. To help with this, we consulted three hair experts who shared their tips on detangling different hair types. Read on to learn the most effective ways to detangle your hair according to its type.
How to Detangle Your Hair Type
Irrespective of your hair type, it’s crucial to use appropriate tools and products for your hair. Celebrity hairstylist Brian C. Hawkins emphasizes that using the right tools and products is critical for achieving a pain-free and healthy detangle.
Nycole Jones, a renowned hairstylist, agrees with Hawkins and adds that some general advice applies to detangling all hair types. Regardless of whether her clients have super-fine, fragile hair or an abundance of thick, coarse, and curly hair, she takes a gentle and patient approach to detangling. According to Jones, taking one’s time and handling the hair gently is key.
Cricket Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangler Comb
If you have fine hair, it’s crucial to be gentle to avoid breakage and fallout from brushing. Fine hair can be challenging to style, so maintaining its health and integrity is paramount. Celebrity hairstylist Brian C. Hawkins warns against adding tension or stretch to fine hair, as it can cause damage and breakage.
To detangle fine hair without causing stress, Hawkins suggests using a lightweight detangling spray and a wide-toothed comb, such as the Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangler Comb. The wide teeth of the comb make it easy to comb through fine hair without creating tension. Hawkins recommends following up with the Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangling Brush for added smoothness.
Trichologist and hairstylist Lakeisha Heard recommends using a detangling spray to dampen hair, especially if it has already dried. “I always detangle damp to wet hair, that’s when your hair has the most elasticity and is less likely to break,” explains Heard. She also advises combing or brushing the hair from the ends to the roots, particularly for fine hair.
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The Hair Edit Untangle & Glide Comb
According to Hawkins, regardless of your hair texture, it’s important to start detangling from the bottom and work your way up slowly, gently, and evenly. This is especially true for long hair. Hawkins warns that if you start detangling from the scalp, it will create more work, tension, and headaches for you, essentially making the hair tangle up more.
Jones also advises being gentle and taking your time, especially with the oldest and longest part of your hair. If your hair is really long, Hawkins suggests using a detangling comb with wide teeth and a long handle for better control before brushing. Heard recommends detangling all hair types when the hair is damp or wet. It may be helpful to keep a misting bottle of water on hand as long hair is more likely to dry out while you work through it.
Jones also recommends misting the hair with cold water after detangling wet hair. This will help close the hair cuticle and maximize the benefits of conditioning.
Thick, Course, and Curly Hair
Denman D3 Original Styler 7 Row Brush
For those with thick, coarse, or curly hair, Heard emphasizes the importance of moisture. Hair should be well-moisturized with both water and conditioning products. Heard’s detangling technique for curly hair involves saturating and separating curls using fingers, followed by using the Intangible Inches Dual Bristle Brush to brush through one to two-inch sections of hair at a time, starting from the ends and working up to the roots.
Curly hair should be detangled when wet to prevent damage. Hawkins also recommends misting a detangling spray on smaller sections of hair before using a wide-tooth comb, like the Denman D3 Original Styler 7 Row Brush, which is popular among those with curly and coarse hair for its ability to detangle without snagging and helps with styling.
Damaged, and Color-Treated Hair
Cricket Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangling Brush
When dealing with color-treated or damaged hair, it’s crucial to be mindful of its fragility and avoid causing any additional tension or damage. Hawkins recommends using a gentle approach to detangling, using a lightweight detangling spray and a wide-tooth comb, like the Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangler Comb, to minimize strain and tension on the hair.
Heard suggests taking a similar approach to detangling color-treated or damaged hair as you would with curly or coarse hair: start with damp, deeply conditioned hair using a leave-in strengthener such as Intangible Inches Essential Leave-in Strengthener. She recommends being generous with the application and using fingers to separate strands end to root.
To add an extra layer of conditioning and relaxation for the scalp, Hawkins uses Cricket’s Ultra Smooth Coconut Detangling Brush while conditioning hair. This type of brush, when used with conditioner, provides thorough conditioning for each strand, making detangling easier while easing tension in the scalp.
The Final Takeaway
Detangling hair can vary depending on your hair type, but there are three universal pieces of advice that apply to all hair types. Firstly, start detangling from the bottom to the root, gently working your way up. Secondly, detangle damp and conditioned hair, as this reduces the risk of breakage. Lastly, consider beginning with a wide tooth comb before transitioning to a brush. These tips are important to remember, no matter what type of hair you have or which tools you use. Always take your time and be gentle to avoid causing unnecessary damage to your hair.
Photo: Pexels/ Yan Krukau