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detangling matted hair

How To Detangle Matted Hair | Pro Hacks

matted hair

Matted hair is as frustrating as it is tedious to deal with; when you wake up late in the morning, already in a rush to get to work, it’s the last thing you want to see when you look in the mirror.

Fortunately, there are means and ways by which you can detangle matted hair, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at within this blog post today. First, though, what actually causes hair to tangle?



What Causes Tangled Hair?

tangled hair

Knots in hair are simply caused when different strands of hair intertwine with one another, becoming entangled in the process. And whilst anybody’s hair can become tangled, there are certain hair types more prone to tangling than others. These include:

  • Damaged hair (whether by sun, bleach or other chemicals).
  • Afro or curly hair.
  • Dry hair
  • Hair that’s regularly exposed to hot straighteners (or other heat-based styling tools).

  • When you come across knots in your hair, it can be all too tempting to just go at it - hammer and tongs - with your nearest brush, you versus the knot in one almighty battle to the hair-based death.

    But this isn’t the best way to go about it, and might actually lead to more damage, breakage and knots down the line, as well as causing pain to your scalp in the immediate term - you might even pull out some of your hairs and nobody wants that!

    Tackling mats and tangles is a process, therefore, that requires patience and going about it in the right way. First, though, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between knots and tangles, and mats.



    What’s the Difference Between Mats and Tangles?

    All mats are knots and tangles, but not all knots and tangles are mats. Mats are, in essence, supercharged tangles, and they usually develop in natural, curly hair because this hair type is more prone to tangling in the first place. So, how do you untangle matted hair?



    How to Untangle Matted Hair

    The first step in untangling matted hair is to get everything you need to unmat in one place, so that you’re nice and organised, and can go about unmatting your hair in a methodical, seamless manner. For the unmatting process, you’ll need:

    • A leave-in conditioner (like this one)
      Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner
    • A spray bottle (to dampen your hair)
    • A detangling comb or tangle teezer
    • Sectioning clips

    Once you’ve got everything together, then you can make a start on unmatting your hair.

    1) Dampen Your Hair

    Firstly, you need to dampen your hair (use your spray bottle) as wet hair is more pliable and easier to work with than dry hair.

    2) Apply Conditioner

    Once your hair is damp, then you can apply your leave-in conditioner to give you some extra assistance when it comes to detangling. Apply most of the conditioner to the worst-affected areas of matting. Some detangler products (such as the one we’ll link to) act as both a detangler and conditioner, so in these cases you can move straight onto applying the detangler.

    3) Apply Detangler

    Baobab hair Detangler & Cleanser

    Once your hair is nice and conditioned, then you can apply the main product itself - the detangler. This product is what will help turn the detangling process from nightmare to something which is relatively easy, and hopefully pain free. A good detangler will feature ingredients like aloe vera juice, almond oil and lavender oil, and works using surfactants to help gently detangle your matted or tangled hair. A good detangler provides the perfect foundation from which you can tackle your problem, tangled hair areas.

    4) Wait!

    Now, this step is important - you have to give your conditioner the time to get to work, otherwise it renders using it completely pointless. Each product will have their own directions regarding duration, but as a rule, we’d suggest leaving it in for no less than thirty minutes before proceeding to the next step.

    5) Tackle Easier Tangles First Before the Mats

    You want to make your life as easy as possible, so you want to get rid of all the easy tangles and knots with your fingers first, before then moving onto the serious mats. Hopefully, after applying the conditioner, your hair should be nice and pliable (or, at least, more so) and so the minor tangles should be worked out fairly easily.

    6) Working on the Mats, Themselves

    Now, you get to the hardest part; getting rid of the really tangled, matted sections of your hair. For this, you’ll need your wide-toothed comb or Tangle Teezer, and what you’ll want to do is comb gently from your ends to your roots. Tackle each section slowly and try not to force through when there’s resistance, as this might cause damage to your hair.

    7) More Work on the Mats

    The more you work through each mat, the looser the strands of hair should become until, finally, you should be able to work them free with your fingers again. Unfortunately, there may be times where the hair has become so matted, that a bit of work with scissors becomes unavoidable.

    If you do have to resort to this, however, use them as sparingly as possible, using them only to thin the section, rather than taking out whole clumps of hair. Scissors should, it’s important to note, however, only be used as a last resort.

    Other Top Tips!

    Don’t Use a Fine-Toothed Comb

    When it comes to unmatting your hair, there are a few dos and don’ts to follow; for instance, you should never (and we mean never) use a fine-toothed comb, as this will not only cause you an immense amount of pain trying to work through the tangles, but it won’t work, either.

    Give Yourself Time

    On top of that, don’t ever detangle your hair if you’re in a rush; unmatting your hair always, always takes longer than you think it’s going to, so we’d always advise setting aside a whole morning or afternoon for the job. Hopefully, it shouldn’t take that long, but at least then you’ve got contingency factored in should your hair prove to be more stubborn than you were at first expecting.

    Consider Using a Detangler Product

    Alongside your conditioner, you might also want to look at using a purpose-formulated detangling product, specifically designed to help you work through even the most stubborn of mats and tangles. There are countless detangling products out there, but most will include ingredients like: shea butter, avocado oil, argan oil, coconut oil and more. 



    Final Thoughts…

    Whether your hair is just a little tangled, or full-on matted, we know how stressful it can be, and how much it can knock your confidence. Fortunately, most mats can be untangled and worked through relatively easily, provided you take time and care whilst you do it.

    Here at Equi Botanics, for instance, we offer a range of products that can be used to help detangle your hair, natural or otherwise. These include our leave-in conditioner and our specially designed hair detangler.

    If you’d like to find out more about our products, or learn more about our hair care philosophy, then get in touch! Contact us today by filling out one of our online forms, here! We can’t wait to hear from you!