Don’t you just hate it when your pretty hairdo ends up with nasty tangles? Tangled hair has always been my greatest pain as someone with long and thick hair. The nasty snarls don’t just ruin my hairstyle but also damages my hair and increases the occurrence of split ends. And since it’s a daily struggle, I’ve exhausted all means to find out how to keep hair from tangling throughout the day.
In this post, I will share with you my tried and tested tips to avoid the dreaded tangles. I’ve tried this on my waist-length, wavy, brunette hair, and the results are stellar. See if my not-so-secret tips will work for you as well!
Why do I get hair tangles in the first place?
Before we go into the how-tos, I think it’s important to first understand why our hair gets massive tangles. Basically, a knot or tangle occurs when two strands of hair wrap and get intertwined. In most cases, it’s not just a single strand but a handful of them.
For those with straight and smooth hair, tangles are less of a problem. This is because when hair strands fall naturally, they will slide away from the other strands smoothly.
However, it’s a different story if you have coarse and wavy hair. Due to the texture, there’s more friction in between hair strands. So when a strand sheds, it could cling to the other strands. As you comb, brush, or just move around, knots will start to form.
Aside from this natural occurrence, another culprit to nasty hair tangles is the way you dry your hair. Many of us are guilty about rubbing and wringing our hair with a towel. It offers fast and easy drying, but it will also tangle your hair like hell.
The following conditions can also get your hair tangled into a rat’s nest:
- Dry and damaged hair
- Long hair that’s beyond shoulder length
- Naturally curly hair (especially 4C type)
- Bleached hair
- Frequent use of hot tools
- Combing the hair vigorously
- Frequent use of hair products with alcohol content
Aside from avoiding or minimizing all these, the tips I discussed below will also offer great results.
10 Tips On How To Keep Hair From Tangling Throughout The Day
Below are some of my tried and tested hacks in reducing hair tangles. Just remember that hair tangles are inevitable at some point. Unless you have the silkiness of one of those fake commercial hair, our goal here is to minimize the problem:
1. Start with conditioning
By making your hair as smooth as possible, you’re reducing the formation of friction between the strands. This will allow the hair strands to glide on each other instead of getting stuck and forming knots.
Hair conditioners are indispensable, no matter what your hair type is. It locks in moisture to keep your hair smooth, bouncy, and healthy. Skipping this part of your shower will lead to a slew of hair problems like brittleness, breakage, and, you guessed it, a rat’s nest worth of tangles.
For the best results, I suggest using the conditioner right after you wash your hair. Leave it on for five minutes before rinsing to allow the product to seep through the hair.
If you don’t have much time, leave-in conditioners will save the day. Just make sure that you apply this while your hair is still damp.
2. Get the right brush/comb
Another important thing you should think about is your choice of hairbrush. Paddle brushes are my go-to AFTER detangling. If you’re yet to fix a knot, make sure that you use a wide-toothed comb instead.
A wide-toothed comb will help you work on the tangle bit by bit. In comparison, a brush will just pull and snag your hair. It’s painful, and it’s unlikely to fix tangles.
And speaking of brush and combs, make sure that you give your hair a nice brush before and after sleeping. You should do the same before washing your hair. Glide the comb or brush gently into your hair instead of doing a yanking motion.
3. Go easy with heat and products
This one should go without saying, but I’ll still emphasize it: don’t use hot tools every day. Hair strands are fragile, and they can easily become brittle with regular exposure to extreme heat. Subjecting your hair to 200F every single day spells knots, breakage, frizz, and a slew of damages.
My hair is fairly healthy, and I limit hot tools for two to three times a week tops. But if you already have damaged hair, I suggest keeping it once a week. If possible, go cold turkey with hot tools until your hair regains its health back.
As for the products, it’s a matter of trial and error to know which works for you. Just avoid going overboard with the amount because it will weigh your hair down. Once your hair is too greasy, it will attract dirt, which can make tangles a total nightmare.
4. Buy a detangling spray ASAP!
Whatever hair type and hair length you have, a detangling spray is your bosom friend. I always keep a bottle handy in my purse, bathroom, car, and just about any bag I carry.
A detangling spray will help loosen up tangles, so you don’t have to yank on them. It saves your scalp from all the pulling and yourself from the frustration.
I always opt for detangling sprays with natural ingredients that moisturize the hair as well. I’m quite particular with the odor, which you may want to consider, too.
To use a detangling spray, simply spritz a small amount into the knots before gently combing it using a wide-toothed comb. For tight knots, I’d use my fingers to unravel it before giving it a nice brush.
5. Seal your ends
One thing I often encounter is tangles right on the hair tips. To fix it, I use jojoba oil as a hair sealant. This prevents the tips of my hair from twisting and starting a tangled mess.
Take note that a small amount goes a long way here, especially if you’re using oils. As I mentioned, you wouldn’t want to make your hair too greasy or weighed down.
Aside from jojoba oil, you can also try whipped shea butter, castor oil, Aloe vera, and grapeseed oil. There are available formulations in the market made specifically for hair applications.
6. Wear wind protection
One of my archenemies outdoors is strong gusts of wind. This is my pet peeve whenever I’m going to the beach. My hair will be all over my face, and I’d have to deal with the worst case of tangles ever.
Do you know what the simple solution is? Hats!
Those wide-brimmed beach hats aren’t just protection from the sun. It also keeps your hair still, at least within your head.
I also use scarves if the wind is really making my hair unruly. Aside from preventing tangles, scarves are also stylish. You can even match it with your outfit!
7. Consider getting a trim
The truth is that long hair simply can’t avoid tangles. The more length you have, the more it will get tangled.
Consider getting a trim to keep your hair manageable. During beach season, I get a shoulder-length haircut to save myself from wind-induced tangles. Besides, a short haircut looks great when styled and tousled with sea salt spray!
Generally, most ladies (and long-haired gents!) will get their hair trimmed every six weeks. Remember that split ends can also cause tangles, so it’s best to get rid of the damaged tips. If your hair grows slower than most, a trim every three months should do the trick for you.
8. Treat yourself to a hair mask
Once a week, I treat my hair to a hair mask. It’s a deep-conditioning treatment that will help heal damaged hair. You can find this in varying concentrations, depending on how damaged or texture your hair is.
Similar to how facial masks work, hair masks help fix dry hair. I suggest getting one with natural ingredients, especially if you have damage-prone tresses.
Others make homemade hair masks made from honey, banana, and yogurt. I haven’t tried this yet, but I heard that the results are stellar.
9. Don’t comb from the roots!
Another thing I noticed to some of my friends is that they tend to comb from the tips first. Worst, they do so briskly, as if they are scraping fiber off a pineapple leaf.
When you brush the tips first, the knots from the upper length will just be pushed down. It will undo your brushing efforts and even lead to split ends.
Remember, you should brush or comb from the roots down. This way, you follow the direction where your hair goes and the other way around.
10. Work on minor tangles as it occurs
Lastly, unravel minor tangles the moment you spot one. I have a habit of finger-combing, which allows me to locate tangles all over my hair. Once I found one, I toy it with my finger until it loosens. Again, a detangling spray will be very helpful on these occasions.
I don’t recommend cutting hair tangles unless it’s beyond fixing. But based on my experience, no tangles are too stubborn on a combination of a detangling spray, wide-toothed comb, and conditioning. This is the same solution I used when my niece wrapped a hairbrush on her hair. With that, I can’t see any reason it won’t work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my hair get knotty underneath?
A: If your hair gets knotty underneath, you probably failed to brush it properly. Make sure that you comb or brush your hair from the roots to the tips. Keeping your hair moisturized will also help a lot in reducing the knots.
Q: Why does my fine hair tangle so easily?
A: Fine hair tangle less than coarse and curly types. However, if you notice increased knots, you may need to amp up your conditioning while reducing heat exposure. Trim may also help in reducing the hard-to-fix knots.
Q: Is it better to detangle dry or wet hair?
A: Sometimes, it’s easier to detangle wet hair than dry ones. However, some hair types are better untangled before washing. You should use your fingers to fiddle with the knot to loosen it up instead of yanking it with a brush.
Q: Can I cut a knot out of my hair?
A: Sure, you can always cut a knot out of your hair if you want a quick solution. However, it should be the last resort. There are many ways to work on a massive knot on your locks before you reach for a pair of scissors. A detangler spray can do wonders on hair knots.
Q: Is it better to detangle with a brush or a comb?
A: The best way to work out a tangle is by using a wide-tooth comb. Never use a brush, as it will surely make the knots worse. The brush can get into the tangles and become another problem for you.
Q: Why is my relaxed hair so tangled after washing?
A: Relaxed hair can get tangled if it’s too dry and stripped of natural oils. Also, you probably rubbed your hair with a towel or washed it too early than what’s recommended after the treatment. It’s important to pair your relaxed hair with a healthy regimen to keep it nourished.
These tips on how to keep hair from tangling throughout the day will save you from the hassle of restyling over and over again. It will also prevent hair damage like split ends, breakage, or excessive hair fall. The key here is keeping it gentle and never pulling on a hair knot. There are many ways to solve the hair problem without resorting to cutting or yanking your hair like there’s no tomorrow.
Do you have something to add on my tips here? Drop it in the comment section!