How To Prevent Your Hair From Tangling

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Do your hair strands cuddle each other often? Are they unwilling to part ways? Tangled hair can be a frustrating thing to deal with. Your hair could be a tangled mess no matter what you do sometimes. Heat styling tools, blow-drying, bad hair washing techniques, and certain hairstyles can cause tangled hair. But, using the correct conditioning products that are suitable for your hair can help promote hydration, which, in turn, can prevent your hair from tangling. Here is a list of ways you can stop your tresses from getting tangled up. Take a look!

What Causes Hair Tangling?

There could be a few reasons why your hair is constantly tangling. Hair texture, frequency of brushing, exposure to wind, as well as the health of your hair can all contribute to matting. Your hair is more likely to tangle due to:

1. Lack Of Moisture

When your hair lacks moisture, it leads to friction and tension, which then causes tangles. The outer layers of your hair shaft break, which results in a rough and damaged look. Lack of hydration can also deteriorate the condition of your hair.

2. Not Combing Your Hair

Not brushing daily is a major threat to your hair. Eventually, it will create kinks in your hair. With no combing, the oil or residue that is built up over time can disrupt the health of your hair. Some people only detangle the ends of their hair and fail to detangle the knots at the roots. Improper detangling of hair can further cause more tangles and knots.

3. Untrimmed Dry Ends

Going long periods without trimming your hair results in split ends and frizzy hair. Dry ends also tend to break easily. And once your hair splits, it cannot be repaired. It remains dry and causes tons of frizz in your hair. Dry, frizzy strands and split ends can tangle your hair easily.

4. Sleeping With Your Hair Down

Sleeping without braiding or tying your hair up can lead to some serious tangles. Hair tangling can be caused by the friction between hair strands. If you leave your hair down, the hair cuticles rub against each other while you sleep. Another major no-no is going to bed with wet hair. Hair is most fragile when it is wet. It can get frizzy quickly and break easily. The tangles caused by lying down with damp hair are a nightmare as they are rigid and tough to remove.

5. Damaged Cuticles

Constantly heat styling or blow-drying can make your hair shafts break and cause friction, resulting in knots. When your hair is damaged, its external layers get scraped off, leaving the inner layer (the cortex) exposed and unprotected. This accelerates the damage to your cuticles.

Furthermore, wearing high collared tops or cotton scarfs may absorb all the moisture from your hair and cause friction, which then causes hair tangling. Product build-up, using the wrong deep conditioner that is not suitable for your hair porosity, and postponing your wash days all lead to tangles. But, you can stop your hair from tangling. Find out more about how to stop your hair from tangling in the next section.

How To Stop Your Hair From Tangling

1. Condition Your Hair

Merely shampooing your hair is not good enough. Always finish with a moisture-locking conditioner. This helps your brush slip through your hair without any obstacles. Conditioner smoothens your hair and softens dry strands effectively. It is best to let the product sit in your tresses for a couple of minutes before washing it off. Applying conditioner to your hair will restore moisture and make your hair less tangled. While applying conditioner, always pays more attention to the ends of hair.

Use your fingers to remove all the knots carefully. This will help in detangling your hair without any breakage. Then, gently comb through your tresses with a wide-toothed comb.

2. Use A Wide-Toothed Comb

It is best not to use a rat-tailed comb or a brush on tangled hair, even though using a hairbrush can be tempting because it’s easy to use. But, brushes can tear open the shafts and cause further hair damage. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb as it removes knots more efficiently without pulling your hair too much. Always start at the ends and work your way up to the roots.

Always brush your hair before taking a shower. This will prevent your hair from getting tangled when you wash it. Furthermore, do not brush your hair when it is wet as it is more prone to breakage.

3. Rinse With Cold Water

This is a simple yet effective step. A hot water shower opens up the hair cuticles, which leads to tangling and frizz. Rinsing your locks with cold water at the end of your shower closes your cuticles and prevents any breakage and tangling. Doing so also keeps rough and dry strands at bay.

4. Go Easy With The Towel

Twisting and rubbing your hair with a terry cloth towel vigorously immediately after a shower can cause a great deal of hair fall and breakage. It also disturbs the structure of the cuticles, resulting in split ends and frizzy hair. Instead, gently squeeze your hair with a towel and let it air-dry. Microfiber towels are the best option to get great results. If you want to blow-dry your hair, let it air-dry about 80% of the way before blow-drying it.

5. Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

Did you know that your hair can get tangled while you sleep? Yes, the friction caused by the hair strands can cause knots and tangles. To combat this, invest in a silk pillowcase as it does not cause friction and prevents your hair from getting tangled. Avoid cotton pillowcases as they are rough in texture and tend to dry out and break your hair.

Furthermore, loosely braid your hair or tie your hair up in a loose bun before going to sleep to avoid tangles.

6. Oil Your Hair Regularly

To give your hair a healthy dose of moisture, you need to oil it on a regular basis. Organic coconut oil is an excellent way to show some love to your locks. Massage some warm coconut oil into your parched tresses to moisturize them. This trick works great on all hair types. To get long-lasting results, you can mix coconut oil with jojoba and olive oils. This mixture can get rid of tangles effectively.

7. Apply Hair Masks

Applying a hair mask once a week can improve your hair texture drastically and restore its moisture. It hydrates and soothes your dry cuticles, leaving your locks silky and soft. Some of the most effective ingredients that can transform your hair are yogurt, honey, and almond oil. Mix these ingredients, apply the paste to dry hair, and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off.

You will see a lot of difference in your hair texture within a few weeks. If masks are too time-consuming for you, you can add lemon juice to two cups of water and massage the solution onto your scalp. This will transform your hair within days. These are highly potent hair treatments that can leave your hair healthy, silky, and less prone to tangles.

8. Avoid Using Heat Styling Tools

Heat styling tools like blowdryers, straighteners, and curling irons can take a toll on your delicate locks. It may seem to be difficult to avoid styling tools. But, if you are using them constantly without using any heat protectants, they can dry out your hair. This condition further leads to tangling. To avoid this, use the tools on low to medium heat settings. You can further avoid damage by applying a heat protectant before heat styling your hair.

9. Use Detangling Products

Products like detangling sprays, serums, and conditioners can undo knots effectively. They soften dry strands and eliminate interweaves. If a gigantic knot is troubling you, apply some detangling product on it and the area surrounding it. Massage your tresses and gently brush downwards through the knot. You may also use your fingers to separate the tangles.

10. Avoid Products Containing Alcohol

Although there is a wide range of products that claim to be natural, it is vital to look for the ones that are true to their claim, especially in terms of the presence of alcohol. Alcohol dries out your hair and ruins its texture, leading to tangling and breakage. Therefore, choose products that are free of sulfates and alcohol.

Now, let’s check out some simple tips that you can follow to reduce knots and tangles in your hair.

Tips To Reduce Knots And Tangles

  • Always use your fingers to loosen the knots before using a comb. This can reduce the size of the knots substantially and make detangling less painful. Also, section your hair before detangling it. This can make your work way more manageable.
  • Trim your hair every three months to get rid of split ends. Also, if you are not able to remove any knot, trim it as a last resort.
  • Brushing wet hair can result in hair fall and breakage. Instead, use your fingers to remove any knots and tangles right after you step out of the shower.
  • Avoid using styling products that leave a residue as they will contribute to knotting your hair.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner right after you wash your hair. Not only will this make your hair more manageable, but it will also reduce frizz and flyaways.
  • Use natural homemade hair masks with ingredients like yogurt and honey to deep condition your hair every couple of weeks.
  • Wear a scarf or a hat when stepping out to protect your hair from the sun, wind, dust, and pollutants.
  • Oil your hair with a natural oil an hour before shampooing it.

Listed below are a few simple tips to reduce different types of tangles.

Fixing Dry Tangles

Dry tangles are especially painful to get rid of. Apply a mousse or a serum to smoothen the dry cuticles before you start detangling them with a comb.

Fixing Tangles Caused By Styling Products

Using too much hairspray or hair gel can make your hair stiff and cause stubborn knots. To get rid of the stiffness and knots, use an oil to moisturize your tresses first. This also helps in softening the dry ends. Gently massage the oil onto the troubled area and brush through your locks.

Fixing Wet Tangles

When your hair is wet, apply a serum before detangling it with your fingers. This helps in keeping your locks soft and smooth.


Detangling your hair can be a painful endeavor. But, it does not have to be that way anymore! Conditioning your hair properly and using a wide-toothed comb can help prevent your hair from getting tangling. Just follow the tips listed above and get tangle-free silky hair!

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).