8 Ways to Detangle Hair and Keep it From Getting Knotty

Tangled hair is one of the most frustrating and time-consuming parts of hair care. And if you suffer from knotty hair, then you know exactly what we mean. But is there a way to remove knots from hair – quickly and easily?

If you ever wake up with a tangly mess or wonder why your hair gets tangled SO easily, you are in luck! In this article, we’ll look at why your hair might be prone to tangles and how to effectively deal with them.

What Is Hair Tangling and Why it Happens?

Your hair tangles when strands of hair wrap around each other, making it easier for more strands to intertwine with an existing knot. This causes bigger and more tangled knots that are a pain to remove (literally).

Hair tangles more when the cuticle (the outer layer of hair) is damaged or open. Healthy cuticles should be closed, smooth, and lie flat. If your hair is damaged, the open cuticles snag together, causing – yep – more tangles and knots. Also, if your hair isn’t smooth, the strands you are losing daily do not slip down easily but wrap around other strands, creating a tangled mess.


Although tangled hair can happen to most hair types, it is usually longer hair and curly hair that tangles easily. Some of the main contributing factors to knotty hair include:

  • Dry and damaged hair
  • Frizzy hair
  • Long, fine hair (longer than shoulder length)
  • Sun-damaged and heat damaged hair
  • Curly or coily hair
  • Hair that has been rigorously towel-dried
  • Wind
  • Poor sleeping routine
  • Chemical treatments
Detangling Hair with a Wooden Comb

Instagram / @verdurehairsg

How to Get Rid of Tangles

Now you have a better understanding of what causes tangled hair, it’s time to get those knots out of your beautiful locks and keep your hair from getting tangled. Follow these recommendations and keep matted hair at bay.

#1: Wash Carefully

If you find that your hair gets tangled after washing, then you might want to look at your hair washing methods. Brush gently before you wash to stop knots from forming while you shampoo your hair.

While washing, try not to scrunch your hair up as you scrub; this can add to the knots and make it harder to brush through. Instead, massage shampoo using your fingertips, on the back, sides, and top of your head. Concentrate on your scalp and aim for massage movements over scrubbing ones. Then just rinse the shampoo down your hair. Finally, at the end of your shower, rinse hair with cold water to seal the cuticles.


A good thing would be also to consider the quality of water you wash with. Sometimes, getting a filter is a magical trick to solve the tangled hair problem when you take care of your hair and have already tried everything.

#2: Step Away from the Towel

We know it’s very tempting to grab a towel and scrub your hair as soon as you step out of the shower, but that’s far from the right way to dry your hair. Besides, it is one of the easiest ways for your hair to tangle and knot, as harshly towel drying will damage your cuticles when your hair is at its most vulnerable state.

Instead of rubbing, squeeze your hair gently. Then, shake your hair well to let air in. You can also wrap your hair in a t-shirt or microfiber wrap to absorb excess water without damaging your hair.

#3: Always Condition

When your hair gets so tangled underneath that you can’t even run a brush through it, then it might be time to up your conditioner game. No matter how tired or in a rush you are, NEVER miss out on conditioning your hair. Use a conditioner specifically designed for your hair type and be generous. If your hair is dry, it has a bigger chance of getting tangled and knotted.


Start brushing your hair while you are still in a shower and have your conditioner on. Pay particular attention to the ends and remove any knots you might feel with your fingers. If your hair is particularly thick or tightly curled, consider using a leave-in treatment or even deep conditioning hair at a salon. Here is the change the latter can make:

Tangled Hair Before and After Conditioning Treatment

Instagram / @ericasbeautysalon

#4: Oil Up

Oils and hair masks lubricate your hair cuticles and nourish your hair. They act as a sealant, locking in moisture and smoothing your strands. This smoothness will help avoid nasty snarls, as your stands will be prevented from wrapping around each other, creating knots.

Choose an oil or a hair mask for your hair type and enjoy an at-home treatment at least once a week. If your hair is very dry and damaged, try Olaplex treatment for extra care.

#5: Try a Detangler

If you need to get really bad knots out of hair, reach for a detangling spray for your hair type and a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush. Natural and lightweight, Honest Conditioning Detangler is getting impressive acclaim. Or, you may shop by ingredients that smooth hair and prevent tangling: argan oil, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba protein.


Separate your hair into four sections and spray each section separately (best when your hair is damp or dry). Then gently use your comb to work the knots out. Start with hair ends and move up slowly, holding your hair taut as you go.

Woman with Long Hair Applying a Detangling Spray

Instagram / @honest

#6: Prevent Hair from Tangling at Night

If you sleep on a cotton pillowcase, then it might be time for an upgrade. Cotton can catch your hair as you twist and turn, causing it to snarl and tangle when you sleep. Welcome a matted mess in the morning.

Try switching your cotton pillowcase for a silk version. The slippery and breathable fabric prevents friction and adds moisture – meaning smoother hair without the knots.

#7: Keep It Up

Also, get used to sleeping with an updo, especially if your hair is curly. Grabbing hair in a pineapple, you don’t let the strands rub against each other and tangle as you toss your head at night. Better yet, throw a silky scarf or a bonnet on top.


The smooth fabric will protect your hair and prevent it from getting tangled as you snooze. If you put your hair up in a bun or loose braids and also wrap it, you will also keep your hair from getting frizzy. Two benefits for the price of one!

#8: Get a Trim

To help banish knots and tangles, you need to invest in your hair. We recommend getting your hair cut or trimmed every 8 – 10 weeks. This will help get rid of split ends, as well as any dry and damaged strands, leaving your hair happy and healthy. Once you have trimmed away damaged hair, it eases your natural hair shedding process, helping loose strands slip away without becoming tangled.

Detangling Brush and Trimming Scissors

Instagram / @elonaworld

Don’t let the tangled tresses take the shine away from your gorgeous hair. Whether you have short, medium, long, straight, or curly hair, follow these tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy beautifully smooth hair every day. Without a knot in sight!

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