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How To Detangle Your Hair In 5 Easy, Pain-Free Steps

07 August 2018
woman detangles hair
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Associate Editor

Whether you have long, short, curly, or straight hair, chances are good you’ve spent a significant amount of time detangling your mane. Detangling your hair can make wash day an absolute nightmare—but it doesn’t have to be like that!

If you follow these five simple steps, you’ll be able to easily detangle hair in no time.

Gently detangle your strands before washing your hair.

The cardinal rule of detangling is that you should only detangle in the shower (we’ll get to that one in a minute).  There are a few exceptions to that rule, however: If you’re dealing with some significant tangles, it may be helpful to begin detangling your strands before stepping in the shower. Drenching your tangled locks in water can sometimes cause your knots to become even more matted. Avoid tangling your hair even further and give yourself a head start by gently detangling your strands before you take a shower.

Saturate your strands with a detangling product like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Mythic Oil Detangling Spray and begin using your fingers to separate your knots gently. If your strands need further detangling, lightly rake a wide tooth comb through your strands until your tangles start to loosen.

Only detangle your hair in the shower.

As we mentioned above, making sure to detangle your hair in the shower is the cardinal rule of damage-free care. You may have heard that hair is most fragile when it is wet and, depending on your hair type, that may be true. Water also creates a good amount of slip and lubrication, however, which can make it easier for the comb to slide through your strands.

Use a conditioner or a detangling product.

Detangling your hair in the shower is only half the battle. Making sure your hair is wet is essential, but you’ll need to enlist the help of a conditioner or detangling product if you really want good slip. Conditioner can help to make your hair look and feel moisturized, making it easier for knots to slide out.

After washing your hair, saturate your strands with your favorite creamy conditioner (we suggest L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Inforcer Conditioner) and begin to detangle your strands gently.


Start at your ends and work your way up.

Now that your hair is wet and conditioned, you’ll need to work on your technique. When it comes to detangling hair, we’re all guilty of placing the comb at our roots and yanking it towards our ends in hopes that all of our snarls will magically disappear. Unfortunately, that method doesn’t work and it wreaks havoc on your precious strands. Instead, section off your hair and begin by detangling at your ends and work your way to your roots.

While it may feel counterintuitive, when you think about it it makes perfect sense. If you start at your roots, you’ll have to work the tangles through the entire length of your strands. When you start at your ends, the knots have a much shorter distance to travel.

Use the right comb.

You may have the proper technique down pat, but your detangling efforts will be fruitless without the proper tools. When it comes to proper detangling, gentle is the name of the game. You should use tools created to rake through your strands without breaking them like a wide tooth or detangling comb. Detangling combs have a lot more teeth than their wide tooth equivalents, but those teeth are placed strategically to help make detangling a breeze.

Prevent future tangles.

It’s impossible to prevent your hair from ever becoming tangled again, but there are a few things you can do to help you avoid major tangles in the future.

Maintain a regular haircut schedule.

We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but maintaining a regular haircut schedule is the key to healthy-looking, tangle-free hair. Split ends may seem tiny, but they can cause significant tangles if other strands get caught in the split end. Get rid of split ends before they create snarls in your strands by heading to the hair salon every 10 to 12 weeks.

Sleep your way to tangle-free strands.

Ditch your regular cotton pillowcases for luxurious-feeling satin pillowcases. Cotton is a deceptively rough fabric that can cause breakage as you toss and turn in your sleep. In contrast, your locks will glide over your new satin pillowcase without a snag in sight. Protect your strands from becoming a tangled, broken mess by sleeping with your hair in a loose top knot. The top knot will keep your hair in place as you get your eight hours of slumber, and you’ll wake up with tangle-free locks!

Interested in advice about detangling your hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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