Solutions For Tangled Hair

   I remember a frustrated hairdresser trying to comb my hair out before giving me a haircut. She had barely combed out a section when it got tangled again. She told me I have a "tangly hair type". I replied with "I know".
   Most of the tangling was caused by damage (mostly mechanical stress) and after I started taking care of my hair it gradually stopped tangling. Now I never get "rastas" any more though I almost never comb my hair (once in a while I do a bit of finger-combing but most days I do nothing at all). I used to get them all the time in the days when I combed way too much with a crappy comb and brush.

  Tangly hair is often damaged and / or highly porous. So all my tips for porous and damaged hair totally apply here. Also, follow the suggestions on my how to minimise mechanical damage to hair post. Here are some additional tips:


 Shampoos often make the hair tangle. This is because the agressive ones strip the hair of it's natural oils (lubricant). You can try a different shampoo (definitely sulfate-free), and always follow it up with a conditioner.
Be very gentle while washing, don't rub, don't tangle the hair. You need to massage your scalp thoroughly to get it clean, but you don't need to knead the lengths (just gently spread the diluted shampoo, if necessary). If you get a weird sticky-tangly section at the nape of your neck, try washing your hair head-down and applying shampoo there as well.  
Be extra gentle when drying: squeeze the hair with a microfibre towel / old T-shirt, never ever rub.
Lightly acidic rinses make the hair cuticles lie flatter. Try adding a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar to your last rinse. Cold water also loses the cuticles.


Very tangle-prone hair often "likes" silicones: do chose lighter ones so that you don't have to use harsh shampoo to wash it off.
If you want to try detangling products, be aware that many are silicone-based. It is fine to use silicones as long as you are doing it consciously. Otherwise: see the point about product build-up. I have heard good things about the Oil Nutritive conditioner from Glisskur.
Silicone-free products include the detangling styling water and the detangling spray for kids from Yves Rocher, the Lilliputz Leichtkamm Spray für Prinzessinen from Rossmann. Try also silicone-free leave-in conditioners.
Beware of product build-up which can make the hair work like velcro. The usual culprits are silicones, but even a silicone-free routine can cause build-up after a while. So washing your hair with a stronger shampoo or otherwise clarifying it is recommended every 2-3 months.

Combing and styling:

When you comb or brush your hair, take your time and be gentle. Try finger-combing first, and always work ends-up. For some people combing the hair before washing works really well. The choice of brush or comb is also very important. The tangle-teezer also works well for tangly hair. If your hair is curly, you might want to skip brushing altogether and just finger-comb.
Use hair elastics without metal parts, and avoid anything that may pull your hair. Never back-comb.  
Wear your hair up to protect it from strong wind, scarves, jacket collars, etc.
Braid or tie up your hair before bed. And try sleeping on a satin pillowcase!
If you do get a knot, apply tons of conditioner and then slowly and gently undo it with your finger and a wide-toothed comb. Never use a brush to detangle.
Avoid heat whenever possible. It damages the hair more than anything else!

   It will take some time for these methods to work, over time the most damaged hair will be replaced by healthy new one. You might want to get your hair ends trimmed as they are often very damaged and much more prone to tangling. Also while some of you can completely get stop your hair from tangling, others (who have naturally highly porous hair) can only minimise it.

   What do you do to minimise tangling? Do you have any favourite de-tangling products?
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