How to Keep Your Curly Hair from Tangling Easily

Simply by existing, your hair tangles, and wash day is the worst! And nothing appears to get these knots out or prevent it from happening, and it gets overwhelming. For those of us with curly hair, tangles can be challenging to remove; even be painful most of the time.

There are techniques to stop hair from matting, though! You wouldn’t have to deal with those knots if you could prevent your curly hair from tangling. 

10 Best Tips to Keep Your Curly Hair from Tangling

Keep Curly Hair from Tangling
Instagram / @ilovevirgola

The shower, your wash day regimen, how you apply and style your products, and how you care for your curls at night are all crucial factors in preventing tangling.

1. Reset with a Clarifying Shampoo 

Clarifying Shampoo 

First off is to reset your hair with a clarifying treatment; it could be with a clarifying shampoo or other homemade remedies. A clarifying shampoo eliminates product buildup, excess oils, debris, and minerals. 

This buildup arises from using styling and hair care products and could potentially weigh hair down and increase the chances of tangling. A clarifying treatment restores the hair to its natural state; if you stay in a hard water environment, it is essential to clarify.

Clarifying Shampoo ingredients

You can make do with a sulfate-containing shampoo instead of a clarifying shampoo if you do not have any, as a clarifying shampoo contains sulfate. Still, in a hard water situation, a chelating shampoo would be best as it contains EDTA agents, which would bind to the minerals enabling it to be washed away.

A clarifying shampoo should be used similarly to shampoo during a wash; massage shampoo into the scalp, and don’t scrub! Avoid piling the hair on the head to prevent tangling. Other home remedies include adding baking soda into a regular shampoo and doing an acid vinegar rinse; find out more on clarifying here.

2. A Pre-Poo Hair Treatment 

Pre-poo is treating your hair before a wash. Add a conditioner before shampooing or a hot oil treatment to prevent tangles. Work your conditioner to your strands to give that slip, and detangle first with your fingers, starting at the tips and working your way up the hair shaft. After which, you could detangle it with a brush or a comb.

Pre-Poo Hair Treatment 

To do a hot oil treatment, take your favorite oil or a variety of oils, and pour it into a bowl; you could either microwave it for a bit or dip it into hot water to let it warm up. Apply into the strands and give your scalp a good massage with the oils. Massaging the scalp stimulates blood flow which encourages hair growth. Let the treatment sit for 30 minutes to two hours, and then go for a wash.

3. Use a Moisturizing Shampoo 

Shampoo with a moisturizing or sulfate-free shampoo, sulfate as effective as it can be during a cleanse, strips the hair of its natural oils in the process, which results in dryness, and that’s one of the significant causes of tangling! When the hair isn’t hydrated and moisturized enough. Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo allows the hair to retain its oils, preventing dryness and reducing the possibility of tangling.

When shampooing, do not wash aggressively, as you would only cause the curls to tangle up; the strands are fragile when wet. Your concentration during the process should be on your scalp, gently moving your hands back and forth.

4. Never skip a Conditioner!

Conditioners provide that slip, making detangling much more manageable, so ensure you do not skip this process! It also helps to keep the hair moisturized, prevent split ends, and restore curls.

Only detangle hair when it’s wet and thoroughly conditioned. Do not go easy when applying a conditioner; apply from the mid-lengths to the tips. Doing a weekly deep conditioning treatment would help prevent those knots from forming, as your hair would stay moisturized.

5. Detangle with a Wide-tooth Comb

It is advised to detangle conditioned hair with a wide tooth comb or fingers; the hair strands are weak when wet, so excessive manipulation could result in mechanical damage.  To detangle hair, work in sections that would ensure you properly detangle.

Wide-tooth Comb

Start combing from the tips, and work your way upward; that should do the trick! If using a comb takes too much of your time and doesn’t get the job done, ensure when brushing, use the right brush for your hair type and follow the exact method. After detangling each section, put the hair in a loose twist to prevent it from tangling.

6. A Softer Clothing Can be a Game Changer!

It’s time to ditch your old terry towel for a microfiber towel; it soaks up a ton of water and is completely lint-free! An old t-shirt is also a great alternative.

Roughing your hair in a terry towel while trying to dry would cause the strands to tangle up and encourage frizz; using softer clothing prevents that, as they are gentler to the strands. 

7. Apply Moisturizing Products

After the wash, apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair. This hydrates your strands all day long but be sure you use the one suitable for your hair type and porosity. Heavier weight leave-in conditioners are suited for coarse and high porosity hair and lightweight for low to normal hair porosity. 

Your hair porosity is how well it can absorb and maintain moisture. Color-treated, heat or mechanically damaged hair is more porous than usual; the hair can retain moisture and release it quickly. Add more of these products in areas particularly prone to knots, and hair oils are good too! Apply some to the ends of your hair, which get tangled up easily.

8. Do some Protective Styling 

Protective Styling 

Do some braids, twists, and locs to get free from tangling and still look cute! Braids and twists are not that complicated to do; after neatly sectioning your hair into your preferred sizes, take a part, divide it into three, and braid by layering one piece over the other.

To twist, take a section, split it into two, and twist by stacking the halves together. It’s that simple; if you want to do some French Braids and Dutch Braids, you might want to click here.

9. Get a Trim

Split ends! One primary reason the hair keeps tangling on and on! Split ends occur when the hair shafts split, which could result from damage. The thing with split ends is that they cannot be fixed and have to be cut off. For some, hair tangling is a sign of split ends and a much-needed visit to the stylist. 

If you have damaged hair or transitioning to curly hair, your strands would be super prone to tangling, except if you cut the split ends. This would allow your hair to grow and have healthy, thriving curls.

10. Sleep with a Protective Head Wrap

Protective Head Wrap by @wrappedbysarah

Tossing and turning at night, especially if you are a crazy sleeper, puts so much friction on the curls causing them to tangle up, and cotton sheets which are rougher on the strands, pull and absorb moisture from the strands resulting in frizziness.

Sleeping with a silk or satin bonnet and scarf can make all the difference. If you are at home, put your hair in a pineapple. Silk or satin head wrap has a smooth surface, which reduces friction on the strands and helps prevent tangling. 

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