Having knotted hair is a horror no one wants to live in. Instead of planning to cut your hair, there are several ways to detangle your hair. Yes, you heard right, and you can do it safely without hurting your strands. If you have medium to long-length hair, it is bound to get tangled even when left on its own.
Not to talk about if you love to braid your hair, knots become a norm. No matter how knotted your hair is, you don’t have to worry, as these proven steps will restore your hair in no time. You might be doing it all wrong or with just a comb. Read on to find a guide on overcoming knotted hair with minimal damage.
What Makes the Hair Tangle and Form Knots?
Hair knots get formed when two or more strands of hair wrap themselves together to become interlaced. It starts with a tangle, opening damaged cuticles on the hair’s outer layer. Since these hair cuticles are opened, they block themselves and develop knots. You can work through average knots by brushing, but when it becomes extreme or super knotted, it means several clusters of hair form one interlaced section.
Such knots look like a ball or mass of hair. The hair can get knotted in different places, making it stressful to detangle. The best way to avoid this is to maintain a healthy mane. That’s because hair with a silky texture is less likely to become knotted than coarse or curly hair. With that said, below are some causes of tangled hair.
Harmful hair products: Going with natural-based products is always a great option. Avoid hair products with harmful ingredients or harsh chemicals, no matter the results they promise.
Product build-up: When your hair accumulates so much residue from products overtimes it is prone to tangle. This happens because of using the wrong products or using the right products the wrong way. A different coat of build-up forms a new cluster of residue and hair, which will have no choice but to clump together. Whatever you apply to your hair, ensure it doesn’t leave any build-up, and if it does, wash it out thoroughly.
Over-washing: Yes, washing and keeping your hair clean is a good thing, but when done in excess, it can strip your hair of its natural oils. When this happens, your hair becomes brittle and frizzes easily, leading to tangling. It would be best if you washed your twice or once a week; some people even go up to two weeks depending on how quickly their hair becomes dirty.
Not washing the hair correctly: There is a learning curve when choosing to wash your hair yourself. It goes beyond lathering on shampooing your hair; over-massaging the hair while you wash is terrible. Instead of hard scrubbing your strands, focus on the scalp and wash through your strands gently. Also, after washing, avoid using the towel to rub your hair.
Heat damage: Using heat styling tools can sometimes be un-avoided if you have a specific hairstyle. So, you must apply heat protectant before using the styling tools or upgrade your skills so you burn your strands.
Dryness of the hair: When your hair lacks hydration, it could lead to several other problems. You start developing split ends, knotting, breakage, and hair loss. Investing in hair moisturizers and oils is a great way to promote hydration. In addition, ensure you don’t sleep with your hair down, but keep it protected in a silk or satin bonnet and pillows.
Step-by-Step Detangling Process for a Super Knotted Hair
Before you begin the process, you must remember that the process is not quick. When you plan to detangle the hair, clear up a considerable amount of time. That’s because if you rush the detangling process, you could damage your hair, defeating the whole point. With any more delay, let’s get into the detangling process.
Step 1: Get Your Hair Wet
When your hair is knotted, your first thought is to comb it out, which is painful and will break your hair. The better way to do it is to get your hair wet. You can either spray your hair with water or get into the shower. If you opt to spray your hair, you must spray until water drips from your hair, which will create a mess. Hopping into the shower will best ensure the water duly soaks into your hair.
Step 2: Apply Hair Products
You cannot rely on water to get the job done; you will need the combined force of a good hair product. Apply either your regular conditioner or leave-in conditioner (hair moisturizer). If you can find a detangling spray, the better; apply it to the wet hair. Work these slippery hair products into the knots, with extra focus on the super knotted parts.
Related Article: 15 best moisturizers for natural hair and where to buy them
Step 3: Wait it Out
After applying hair products, do not be in a hurry to wash them off. Stay patient for 10-15 minutes to allow the conditioner to seep into the knotted hair. When you start getting into the knots, it will also make the hair softer to work with.
Step 4: Loosen up the Knots
At this stage, you have a lot of work; go in with your fingers to loosen the knots. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t break your strands. This process could take a lot of time, pay no mind to the clock, and focus on carefully reducing the knots. Ensure you use only your finger pads to detangle your hair, rather than using sharp objects.
If you get tired doing this, which you would because keeping the arms raised can get tiring, take short rests. You might also notice your hair becoming dry after sitting out. Apply more water and products to keep it damp and soft.
Step 5: Apply Mineral Oils
These are antistatic substances effective in detangling knots in the hair. When combined with the right amount of conditioner in the hair, oils work better to reduce the knots. You can use various oils, like castor, coconut, lavender, almond, and olive oils. They make all the difference when the hair gets super knotted; you can skip if the conditioner was able to work through the knots in your hair.
Step 5: Comb Your Hair
Once you are sure your fingers have worked through the knots enough, you can comb it out. Take a wide-toothed comb or brush for this and run your hair from the ends to the roots gently. You might come across some bumps, pause, and use to hands to detangle again before combing. So, whenever you come across a knotted hair, detangle it with your hands first instead of forcing the comb through it.
Step 6: Wash Your Hair
You can now wash off the conditioner when you can efficiently run your comb through your hair. Ensure you rinse your hair thoroughly before drying, and apply hair foods and more oils before you style.
After detangling your hair, lock in moisture by steaming your hair with oils for a few minutes. This simple process involves applying a generous amount of essential oils to your hair and sitting under the steamer. If you don’t have one, wrap your hair in a plastic bag, and allow the heat to infuse the oil into your hair for a few minutes.
It helps to improve your hair’s health. If your hair proves stubborn after this process and is still spotting knots, you might need a chop. Sometimes, the hair can get too knotted for such a manual detangling process.
How to Detangle Natural Hair
For naturalists, the detangling process is slightly different because of the difference in hair textures. Your hair is prone to tangle more, and you need a sure way to get out of the knotty web with ease.
Step 1: Spritz the Hair
Spray your strands with a detangling spray. Ensure you completely spritz your hair.
Step 2: Keep the Hair in Sections
Do not be in a rush to detangle the whole hair; instead, create a small section. It will make the detangling process easy. A rat-tail comb is your best bet in creating these sections. You can make four or many as you can based on the volume of your hair.
Step 3: Comb Your Hair
Switch the comb to a wide-tooth type, and work through each section. You can start combing at your ends and remove the knots until you get to the roots. The combing technique gives your comb a smooth glide when you get to the roots. In addition, combing from the ends to the roots reduces pain and hair damage. When you are done detangling a section, move to the next until you get the entire hair.
Step 4: Detangle the Entire Hair
After going through each section, you can spritz the hair again and work through it. You must get all the knots out when the hair is still divided into sections. You can quickly work through the knots before combing the whole strand.
Home Remedies to Detangle the Hair
If you struggle with knots often, use a hair mask to maintain hydration. You can buy naturally formulated masks or prepare yours at home with everyday kitchen ingredients—simple combos like banana, honey, eggs, and several other items.
1. Honey and Yogurt Masque
Take a tablespoon of honey and yogurt, and mix up to the tips concentrating on the knots before applying to your roots. Leave the masque on your hair for 45 minutes to 1 hour before detangling and washing off the hair.
This combo is super hydrating and will help you work through knots. Yogurt is naturally enriched with vitamin D, while honey conditions the hair. When you combine both, it strengthens the hair and makes it smooth.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider is a star ingredient that works for a lot of things. It might not be your everyday choice of use but having it at home is very helpful, even for detangling hair. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Since it contains acetic acid, the vinegar will detangle and make your hair healthy.
3. Peanut Butter
If you notice knots in your hair, think about your peanut butter spread, it softens your hair. Apply the peanut butter to your knotted hair and leave for 10 minutes before combing and washing off. Use lukewarm water to ensure you get all the peanut butter out.
4. Green Tea
Green tea might be great for drinking, but it also contains antioxidants and amino acids that can improve hair growth. Apply a freshly brewed tea and allow to soak into your hair for 20 minutes, and rinse with cold water. It will make combing through your hair manageable.
Mashed avocado is one of the best natural conditioners you can whip up. When you have super knotted hair, massage some mashed avocado into your hair to help detangle your strands. Run a wide-tooth comb and brush through the knots to detangle them.
6. Lemon Juice
Add lemon juice to your water before shampooing; it will help detangle your hair. It is also healthy for your strands.
Pro Tips for Maintaining a Knot-free Hair
- Always start at the bottom when losing the hair to prevent breakage.
- Only wash your hair after combing out all the tangles.
- Keep your hair in braids or other protective hairstyles more.
- Trim your often to avoid getting split ends.
- Do not allow your hair to go with the wind. Wrap up your hair in a scarf when the wind becomes too much. We have different ways to rock hair scarf here if you need some inspiration.
Practicing a good hair care regime is best to avoid getting knotted hair. However, if you’ve already gotten yourself in a tangled mess, these steps should help you with minor damage. Remember to invest in good hair care products, so you don’t repeat this detangling process often.
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