Get Rid of Tangles in Your Hair

Almost everyone gets annoying tangles. But here are some easy steps to banish them.


Getting Rid of Tangles

  1. Try detangling your hair when it is wet or damp. Detangling your hair when it is dry may cause it to break. This is especially important for ethnic or textured hair. Start by sectioning off your hair, then spraying it down with some water. You want it to be damp, but not dripping wet.
    • Consider adding a few drops of coconut oil or hair conditioner to the water. This will help make the tangles even easier to get out.
    • Avoid using a hairbrush on wet hair. Use a comb instead. Brushing wet hair may cause it to break.
  2. Consider adding a food-grade oil to your hair. Use your fingers to brush some oil through your hair. This will lubricate the hair strands, and make brushing or combing easier. Try using some avocado, coconut, or olive oil. Do not use too much, however, or your hair will look greasy. Start with a pea-size drop for short or thin hair, and a grape-sized drop for long or thick hair.
    • You can also use jojoba or argan oil. Both are very healthy for hair and can be found in beauty shops.
  3. Try pulling the tangled strands apart instead of brushing through them. Raking a brush through a knot may only cause the knot to tighten and become worse. It may even cause your hair to break. Instead, try pulling the knot apart with your fingers into smaller sections. Do not yank, your hair may break. Be gentle, but no so much that your actions are ineffective. Gently brush or comb each section, starting from the tips.
    • If you have textured or curly hair, twist or wrap each strand around your finger once you are done brushing. Gently release the strand. This will help re-shape the curl.
  4. Brush or comb in small sections, starting from the tips. Sectioning your hair off will help make it more manageable. If your hair is very tangled, it may also help make it less overwhelming. Be sure to brush or comb starting from the tips first. Once your brush or comb can pass through your hair without getting stuck, move upwards and continue brushing or combing. Keep doing this until you reach your roots.
  5. Use some detangling spray or leave-in conditioner. Both of these products will help lubricate your hair, and make it easier for a brush or comb to glide through. You can find both products in a beauty shop or a drug store. If you are having trouble finding the detangler, check the baby and kid shampoo section; you may find it there.
  6. Invest in a tangle teaser. A tangle teaser, also called "tangle teezer," is a round or oval-shaped pad with short, soft, flexible bristles. You slip it over your hair and run it over your hair while your hair is still wet. It will help gently remove tangles.

Know What to Do and Avoid

  1. Don't wash your hair every day. Doing so will get rid of the natural oils in your hair. These natural oils are important, because they help lubricate the hair strands. If you wash your hair every day, your hair will become dry—and dry hair is prone to getting tangled.
  2. Avoid buying shampoo with sulfates and silicones. These two chemicals go hand-in-hand. Silicones are plastics that may help your hair appear sleek and smooth, but they can only be washed out with sulfates. Sulfates are very harsh cleaning agents that may leave your hair brittle and dry.[1] Dry hair gets tangled easily, and brittle hair tends to break.
    • Consider looking for hair products that have some sort of oil or butter in them, such as argan oil, coconut oil, or shea butter. These are natural ingredients that will help moisturize your hair, thus minimizing tangles.
  3. Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush when detangling wet hair. Using a brush on wet hair will cause the hair strands to stretch and snap. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb to gentle detangle your hair. Start from the tips first, and move your way upwards towards the roots.
    • Consider brushing your hair before you wash it. This will make it easier for you to apply the shampoo. It may also make the conditioner more effective.
  4. Never rub your hair with a towel. This will lead to tangles and frizz. Instead, wrap it up or gently scrunch it with a soft towel. If you have curly hair, try using a microfiber towel or a t-shirt instead. These will be gentler on your curls, and help keep them from frizzing and tangling.
  5. Don't use too much heat styling, and use heat-protective sprays when you do. Flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can all damage hair by causing it to dry out completely. Dry hair is brittle, and it tangles easily. If you must heat style your hair, use a spray on a heat-protective spray onto your hair first. This will prevent the flat iron, curling iron, and blow dryer from frying your hair.

Preventing Future Tangles

  1. Carry some hair oil, hair cream, or leave-in conditioner for emergency tangles that come up. Just because you leave home with tangle-free hair does not mean that your hair will stay that way. Consider carrying some hair oil, hair cream, or leave-in conditioner with you in your purse or backpack. This way, you can apply it to your hair whenever it starts to get tangled.
    • Try getting the sampler or travel sizes of your favorite hair product. It will be small enough to fit inside your purse or backpack. Since you won't necessarily be using it all the time, it should last you quite a while.
  2. Consider adding more protein, vitamins, and healthy fats to your diet. Protein, vitamins, and healthy fats are important, because they help make your hair strong, and less-likely to break during brushing/detangling. Here are some foods that contain these things:
    • You can find protein in eggs, fish, and meat.[2] You can also find it in nuts.
    • You can find Vitamin C in broccoli, citrus, and spinach.
    • You can find Vitamin B in berries, eggs, fish, and nuts.[2]
    • You can find healthy, unsaturated fats in avocados, nuts and olive oil.
  3. Wear your hair in braids or a ponytail if it is windy. You can also cover your hair with a hood or scarf. This will help keep it tangle-free until you get back inside.
  4. Braid your hair before sleeping. It will help keep your hair from getting tangled while you sleep, and prevent the morning bed head. You can wear plain braids or a French braid. Plain braids are easier and quicker to do, but French braids will keep all of your hair in place—including the hair on top of your head. This will result in fewer tangles.
  5. Point the nozzle of the hair dryer downward when blow drying your hair. This will help direct the airflow along the shaft of your hair. It will help the cuticles of your hair lay flat, and prevent snarling.
    • Consider using a diffuser attachment. This is ideal for curly hair, because it distributes the air flow. You can also rest your curls inside the diffuser so that the hot air will flow around them; this will help keep your hair from tangling while allowing it to dry curly.
  6. Consider deep conditioning your hair every two weeks. Most deep conditioners can be used instead of regular conditioner. They usually need to be left on for 20 minutes, but it is always best to check the label for more specific times; some deep conditioners only need to be left on for five minutes. To get the most out of your deep conditioner, tuck your hair under a shower cap once you put it on; the shower cap will help trap the heat and make the conditioner more effective.
    • Deep conditioning will help smooth the hair cuticle. This, in turn, will help prevent tangles.


  • Apply a couple drops of oil to the hair, this will ease out the tangles and make it easier to comb.
  • Don't rip your hair out to get the tangles won't help. Also, don't play with your hair too much. It will cause knots.
  • If detangling your hair is painful, try putting it in a ponytail first. This will stop it pulling on your scalp while you brush it.
  • If you have short hair, you can put it into a loose ponytail instead of braid.


  • Tugging on your hair too much can damage it, so make the braid loose.

Things You'll Need

  • Conditioner
  • Brush
  • Ponytails (optional)
  • Patience

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Sources and Citations