How To Untangle Matted Hair

How To Detangle Matted Hair | Untangle Painlessly, Without Damage

Have severely matted and hair nothing is working? Here’s a quick guide on how to detangle matted hair painlessly and naturally.

I think you’ll agree with me, too, if I said it is one scenario to have tangled hair, and an entirely different scenario is to have matted hair. 

Also, there’s no denying the fact that it always feels like a battle between the brushes and the matted hair every time you go to detangle them. 

While any hair type can go through this pesky hair concern, people with naturally curly hair, kinky, or coily hair are particularly prone to the issue. Adding to that, let’s not forget that taking the matter into our own hands without any proper research can take a toll on our shafts. 

So, what should we do? I mean, sure, professional help is always the last resort, but who wants to invest that much money every time their hair gets matted? 

Well, you’re in here for a treat because, at the end of this matted hair tunnel, there sure is hope. 

What’s Really Matted Hair? 

severely matted hair nothing is working

Matted hair, let’s just say, is the nonessential upgrade version of knotted and tangled hair. 

There are usually days now and then when you wake up with knotted hair, but let me just tell you, matted hair is a whole different level of the ballgame. 

Matted hair is basically an unwanted combination of the shed and unshed hair intertwined together and forming a lump or tangle that is quite tough to get rid of, along with being painful. 

If you still are confused or are not able to get the whole picture, the simplest way to explain matted hair is to tell them that they are the bad news for your hair strands. 

Also, matted hair is usually associated with dogs with furs because it gets matted super easily, but trust me, it happens to more of us than you think!

How to detangle matted hair

How To Detangle Matted Hair

As said before, no matter the hair texture, everyone’s hair is prone to mats, and it’s just some hair textures are at more risk than others.

 Adding to that, while it is not easy to detangle your hair without losing a certain amount of it, it’s entirely impossible either. 

Also, while there are many people who seek professional help at these tough times, it is even possible to get rid of the mats at the ease of your home. All you would need to have is some right tools and a lot of serious patience. 

Adding further, before you move on to the actual detangling process, just know that none of these methods are painful, and no, you will not be asked to chop your hair off. 

So, let’s jump into the matter for which you are really here. 

Related: Best Shampoo For Tangled Hair

Dampen or Saturate Your Matted Hair

how to detangle super knotted hair

The very first and chief thing that you will need to do is dampen your hair. So, start by taking a small section of your hair, though don’t pull them and then soak them using a water spray or slow running water. 

Start initially with the parts where the mats seem less and easy to detangle, rather than directly going for the roots.

But also, keep in mind that you need just enough saturation. Don’t make it dripping wet, as it will cause more breakage. Make sure that you have the apt volume of dampness in your hair, just so that it gives your matted hair strands to move along with each other. 

Adding to that, I would suggest dampening your hair starting from the ends and then moving near the scalps for minimum damage. 

Use a Detangling Spray 

The next thing you can do for detangling your mats is to use a detangling spray. The spray, I feel, is a worthy investment if your hair is too prone to the mats. 

What the detangling spray actually does is reduce the rigor of your mats and aids in detangling smoothly. This spray also works as a quick fix if you are out and don’t really keep the tolerance for waiting for your strands to detangle. 

Adding to that, you can use the spray on both damp and dry hair, and the rather good part is that you need not rinse it. So, it really is like a quick fix to your mats. 

A regular detangling spray has ingredients such as shea butter to make you are detangling your hair easily without causing much trouble to you. 

Use Mineral Oils 

how to detangle matted hair with coconut oil

One of the other common tried and tested ways to detangle hair mats is to apply a generous amount of mineral oils. 

Mineral oil is an odorless abstract of petroleum, and it does wonders while detangling hair. What it really does is perform as an antistatic and aids in removing the tangles effectively. 

Just one thing that I would like to advise here is if you choose the mineral oil for detangling your mats, just make sure your hair isn’t too wet or conditioned, as it might hinder the potential of mineral oil. 

After you detangle, if your hair feels brittle, then you can also apply a good amount of any oil of your choice, from olive oil to coconut. The carrier oil will help you gain moisture for your hair. 

Start at Your Bottoms First 

how to detangle matted hair without cutting

One rather common trick that not most of people know is if you get tangled or matted hair, you need to always start from the ends of the shaft. 

There are many people who commit a crime by not doing so for their hair mats. 

Instead of starting to detangle your hair directly from the roots, begin gently from the ends and then move upward as you tangle. This way, not only will you be in rather less pain, but the process will become less complicated. 

Starting detailing the mats from the ends helps in preventing excessive breakage along with the pain in the scalp that you will face from detangling vigorously from the roots. 

So, basically, starting from the ends of the strands saves both your shafts and scalp. 

Make Sure to Use Your Fingers (Gently)

Once you have dampened your hair, before going directly for combs, you should make use of your fingers. 

All you are actually required to do is take your hair mats and gently try to detangle them by first dividing them into smaller sections. Starting from the bottom, separate your tangled hair into smaller sections and start combing them with your fingers. 

This way, before reaching out for combs, you will manage to detangle most of your mats easily and without much breakage. 

But I am saying it again go easy on your hair mats. Any sort of aggression can lead to breakage and pain both.

Go For a Widetoothed Comb Afterward

how to detangle matted hair painlessly

When you think that your fingers have done enough detangling, now is your time to reach out to the combs. But remember to use a wide-toothed comb over the regular ones. 

Also, if you don’t use or have a wide-toothed comb with you, then you can choose paddled brushes as well. 

The reason I am asking you to use this comb or brush is that they go easy on your hair. Using a wide-toothed comb is one of the methods to detangle your mats in an easy and painless way. 

Rinse Your Hair Out 

Finally, on the last step, once you know your hair mats are all detangled, it’s time for rinsing them. 

Adding to that, you need to know as a must that your hair needs to be rinsed in a cool (a rather room temperature) and not warm water. 

Rinsing will take all the treatment products out of your hair and leave them tangle-free. Also, please note that if you have hair that is tightly coiled, I would suggest you to part your hair in sections and wash each section one at a time. 

Parting your hair will cause you fewer issues while rinsing. 

How to Prevent Your Hairs From Matting

Now that you are aware of detangling your matted hair, and also of the fact that it takes immense patience to get rid of it. 

Adding to that, you lose a decent amount of hair, if not excessive, every time your hair gets matted. 

So, as the saying goes, “Prevention is better than Cure,” here are a few tips on how you can prevent hair mats in the future. 

Comb Your Hair Each Day

Although it is recommended to comb or brush your hair every day, if you are not able to do so, then at least you need to comb them after every wash. 

Adding to that, I would suggest using tools that will not cause any further tangles. For instance, you can choose a wide-toothed brush or paddled one for gentle combing. 

Also, try combing your hair once it is dry. Start gently with your fingers and from the ends first. 

Use moisturizers or Oil At Least Twice a Week 

Another measure that you can take in detangling your mats is to use oils and serums as moisturizers for your hair. 

As less or more, it is the dry hair that is more prone to mats than the one that’s moisturized. 

Adding to this, I would suggest using an oil base that is light and applying it evenly on your hair without rubbing aggressively on the strands. 

Use Decent Detangling Products 

If you have textured hair, or a hair too prone to mats, then you need to make a detangling product, for instance, a detangling spray, your best friend. 

It will be your friend in need and aid you from severe mats effectively. 

Wash Your Hair on a Regular Basis 

Another important caution to prevent hair mats is to wash your hair regularly. The reason is the pollution, dirt, and dust of the outside world, and the sebum and hair products that you use are likely to build up on your scalp, causing hair mats. 

Adding to this, a regular wash will keep your scalp’s pH balance in check and your shafts rather shiny. 

All you will require to do is find a good clarifying shampoo or product that suits you and make the best out of it. 

Protect Your Shafts While Sleeping

One of the most common mistakes that our hair becomes a victim of is not tieing our hair while sleeping. 

You should always tie your hair up while taking naps. You can either cover it all in satin or silk scarfs or make a braid out of it. 

Doing this will not only prevent your hair from mats but will cause your hair to fall lesser. 

Following are a few other things that you can do to prevent further hair mats-

  • Please stay away from drying treatments, like using bleach and other therapies that tend to damage our hair chemically.
  • Get regular trims, which is usually after six to eight weeks
  • Also, try to steer clear from hair extensions as much as possible, as they can also intertwine your hairs, leading to mats.

What Causes Matted Hair? 

youtube how to detangle matted hair

Talking of the common causes that lead to the matting of hair, the list is quite long. But one of the most common and often seen reasons is not detangling your strands the right way. 

Other reasons for hair mats are usually unclear hair that doesn’t get washed and even combed regularly. 

Also, the dirt, dust from the outside world, and even sweat can lead to accumulation and thus cause tangling of your hair. Adding to this, if you are using hair care products that are harsh on your hair, then it will lead to mats. 

Even overwashing your hair and massaging a little too hard while doing so will lead to the same issue. Heat styling and dehydration in your hair can cause matting as well. 

The other most common causes that are getting your hair in trouble of mats are the following- 

  • Rubbing your hair using your regular towels,
  • Not brushing your hair regularly or even overbrushing,
  • Wind blowing through the hair,
  • Split ends can cause hair mats too,
  • Keeping your hair down while sleeping.

What to use for detangling severely matted hair when nothing is working?

Detangling severely matted hair can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but with patience and the right tools, you can help restore your hair to a manageable state. Here are some suggestions to consider:

  1. Conditioning Treatment: Start by saturating the matted hair with a generous amount of conditioner or a detangling spray. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften the hair and make it easier to untangle.
  2. Wide-Tooth Comb or Detangling Brush: Begin working through the tangles and mats using a wide-tooth comb or a specialized detangling brush designed for thick or tangled hair. Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots, gently combing through small sections at a time. Be patient and use gentle, slow movements to avoid causing more damage.
  3. Fingers or Seamless Comb: If a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush isn’t working, try using your fingers to carefully separate the tangled strands. Alternatively, you can use a seamless comb with wide teeth to gently tease apart the knots. Take your time and work through the tangles gradually.
  4. Apply Oil or Lubricant: If the hair is extremely stubborn and resistant to detangling, you can apply a lubricant like coconut oil, olive oil, or a specialized detangling product. These substances can help reduce friction and make it easier to loosen the knots. Apply a small amount to the matted sections, and then use your fingers or a comb to gently work through the tangles.
  5. Divide and Conquer: If the hair is severely matted or knotted, it may be necessary to divide the hair into smaller sections to make the detangling process more manageable. Work through each section individually, being cautious not to pull or tug on the hair forcefully.
  6. Seek Professional Help: If you’ve tried various methods and the hair remains severely matted and unmanageable, it may be best to seek professional help from a hairstylist or a trichologist (hair and scalp specialist). They have experience in dealing with challenging tangles and may be able to provide specific advice or techniques tailored to your hair type and condition.

Remember, detangling severely matted hair requires patience, gentleness, and time. Take breaks if needed, and avoid using excessive force or harsh pulling, as this can lead to hair breakage or further damage. It’s essential to approach the process with care to minimize hair loss and preserve the hair’s health.

FAQs About How To Detangle Matted Hair Naturally And Painlessly

Should you detangle matted hair wet or dry?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are pros and cons to both methods. Wet detangling may be more effective in dislodging knots, but it can also lead to hair damage if not done correctly. Dry detangling, on the other hand, is less damaging but may take longer due to the time needed for the hair bonds to dissolve.
Ultimately, it becomes important to experiment with different techniques until you find one that works best for your individual hair type and texture. And be sure to use heat only when necessary – over-heating will cause unnecessary damage.

How does apple cider vinegar detangle matted hair?

ACV is a great solution for detangling matted hair because it has natural acidity that can break down the build-up of hair. It also has a ton of other benefits, like promoting overall scalp health and preventing scaliness. Here’s how to use it:
Wet your hair completely and apply ACV to the roots. Work it through the hair until it’s completely saturated.
Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse off completely. You can also use this method as a conditioning treatment before styling your hair.

How to detangle matted hair with coconut oil?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to detangle matted hair with coconut oil will vary depending on the type and severity of the mat. However, some tips that may work include:
Wet your hair thoroughly before applying coconut oil – This will help to soften the hair and make it easier to detangle.
Work the oil into the hair – Massage it into the hair until it is fully absorbed.
Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers – Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle the hair from the root up. Be sure to go slowly and be gentle to prevent further damage.
Rinse off the oil – Once the mat is detangled, rinse off the oil using warm water, soap, or a shampoo. You can also use a conditioner if you like, but be sure to rinse it all off before styling your hair again.

Wrapping Up On How To Detangle Matted Hair

Most certainly, for many of us, matted hair feels like the end of the world, but it is definitely not! 

I know that matted hairs are a lot to deal with, and detangling them is another level of pain, but it still isn’t impossible. 

If you have textured hair that is prone to mats, it’s a really tough game for you, and I can certainly relate. But as I said, with the right way, right products, and a lot of patience, it can all fall in place. 

Using the correct way not only will be less painful but also will cause less breakage and shedding. 

So, I am assuming and hoping that by now, you have found the best way to detangle your hair, and you will not lose your mind on matted hair any time in the future. 

Just make sure you are patient, gentle, and doing the right things for your hair. But if it still doesn’t work for you, then you might need to seek help from a professional. 

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

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