The Best Way to Detangle Natural Hair – and My Top 3 Detanglers

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Detangling natural hair can be a PAIN! Loads of us naturals regularly struggle on this step. It’s understandable because hair strands, especially in the case of very curly natural hair, tend to marry surrounding strands, creating a MESS of tangles. In an attempt to take the pain out of detangling, I am going to tell you all about the best way to detangle natural hair. I’ll also include my top 3 detanglers! Let’s get started.

Section Your Hair

This part is optional. It is only needed if your hair is very tangled, or matted.

For this step, you want to take a few minutes and use your fingers to gently separate your hair into sections and use an elastic band (a smooth fabric band) on each section to keep it away from the other sections. The number of sections that you should make will depend on Water moisturize hairhow tangled your hair is. I recommend 2 sections minimum.

Sectioning helps you not to get overwhelmed and it helps to prevent your hair from matting into one big knot when you add water in the next step below.

Drench Your Hair With H2O

Yup, drench it. Your hair should not be damp- it should be completely saturated with water.

You can get in the shower, lean over a sink, or grab a spray bottle, and wet your hair completely. I prefer to do this process in the shower because I detangle my hair every time I wash it, and I happen to wash my hair in the shower.

The reason why you should drench your hair is that it makes the hair more pliable, making it better for detangling. Detangling dry hair carries a higher risk for breakage- I’m sure we want to avoid that if at all possible.

Get Some Slip

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What I mean when I say “get some slip” is that you need to apply a product that is slippery to your hair to assist in detangling.

Finding a product with enough slip is not always easy, but I saved you the headache- here are a few detanglers that have never let me down.

Top 3 Natural Hair Detanglers

Kinky-Curly Knot Today

Kinky-Curly Knot Today is a life-saver and holy grail for many naturals (including myself). It’s both affordable and effective, providing the slip needed to get through the most stubborn tangles. The herbal formula works by smoothing the hair’s cuticle, allowing you to detangle your hair, no matter the type, with ease.

DevaCurl One Condition

DevaCurl’s trusted conditioner works by providing intense moisture to your hair. I use it from time to time, and every time I do, I use it to detangle my hair. It coats the hair with lots of slip which makes detangling a lot easier. It is on the more expensive side, but it’s a nutrient-rich conditioner and detangler in one. For all hair types.

Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch

This detangler is one of the best! I find that my hair detangles quickly using this product. Shea butter and Olive Oil help to moisturize your hair while you detangle. It can be used on wet and dry hair. Use it on all hair types.

Start Detangling

After you coat your hair in your detangler or conditioner, you can start detangling.

Using your fingers to detangle your hair is the most gentle option, compared to using tools like combs. I have been finger detangling for years because finger detangling allows me to actually feel how hard I’m pulling my hair while detangling and it keeps me from ripping through my hair and snapping strands. This is much harder, if not impossible, to do with combs and brushes.

However, if you prefer to save time and use a comb or a brush, do that. You have to do what is best for you. Just make sure that your hair is completely drenched in water and a slippery product has been thoroughly applied.

To detangle: Run your fingers, comb, or brush through each of the sections that you made earlier. Take a little time and give special attention to larger knots. If you are finger detangling, try not to use your fingernails in any part of this process. Use only the pads of your fingers.

Rinse The Product Out and Style

If you are using a rinse-out conditioner, make sure that you rinse your hair and get all of the product out. If you are using a leave-in conditioner or detangler, no need to do this step.

Now, you can proceed with the rest of your hair styling routine.

Take Your Time – It’s Necessary

I know that there are several steps to detangling, but out of the many steps in your hair routine, detangling is not the step to rush through. Rushing and ripping through hair will inevitably cause hair weakness, leading to split ends and breakage. No one wants to have a natural hair setback that could have been prevented by taking a few extra steps when detangling.

What works for me is to wash, detangle, and then style my hair every week or so. I make sure that I have ample time to gently and thoroughly detangle.

I’m all about finding the best ways to care for natural hair, and this way of detangling is the best. While it takes a bit of patience and time, it keeps the health of your hair at the forefront.

Do Share!

I hope that you enjoyed this article and that it will be helpful to you. Do you know of a better way to detangle natural hair? If so, please share.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

If you have any personal questions or concerns, you can use the Contact Us page and I will get back to you within 24 hours

Thanks for reading!

Happy journey!

8 Responses

  1. Cris says:

    I’ve been looking for products and methods to detangle for my friend’s daughter, and happened to find this post. She gets the worst knots after EVERY shower, and she’s only seven, so trying to just “comb through it” is out of the question. She’s tried so many things, and so many products.

    It’s funny, but one thing I noticed to try in this post is to drench her hair. Usually, she towel dries (no rubbing, just squeezing the water out) but it makes sense to keep it wet. She does snag and lose strands of hair. I am saving your site, and have shared. Thanks for this info!!

    • Andrea says:

      Awesome! I’m glad that you were able to use something from this post. It’s so important to keep the hair wet when detangling. I hope that this works going forward. Also, I try to post new articles every day or two. Hope that you’ll stick around and find those helpful as well. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  2. Tamika G says:

    Hi there, this was a helpful post to read. I’ve no tried this particular method but it certainly seems like a much more manageable way to handle the problem of detangling. I’m familar with Aunt Jackie products and I have used some in the past so I certainly see this one in particular being a good addition. Great to see the other options you provide as well. How long does the detangling process generally take you?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Tamika, The detangling process that I explain in the post takes me about 5 to 15 minutes to complete in the shower. It depends on how tangled my hair is and whether I am using a comb or my fingers to detangle. A comb is quicker at detangling but my fingers (which I prefer) are gentler. Thank you for reading; I hope that the post was helpful to you and I wish you the best with your hair detangling endeavors!

  3. Amber says:

    Great tips! I definitely need to get one of those “slips” you mention for my daughter’s hair. It is always suck a fight to get her to sit still while I brush out the tangles. Do you have a favorite out of the three you listed?
    Thank you!

    • Andrea says:

      My personal favorite is the Kinky Curly Knot Today (the first one listed). I have been using it for years and based on my experience, it has the most slip of the three! Thank you for leaving a comment. I wish you the best 😊

  4. Angelique says:

    Great tips! My daughter’s hair is often so tangled. It’s a daily struggle to get it detangled before leaving the house. I even decided to go to the hairdresser at one stage because the stress about it was just TOO MUCH. I will look up the products that you recommended.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Angelique, I have 2 daughters with curly hair and I KNOW the struggle. I hope that you find a detangler that’ll make the process easier for you and your little one. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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