Due to unfortunate events or laziness, you probably neglected to take care of your hair. As a result, your hair has grown into huge knots, and you’re wondering if you can save it or if you need to get a big chop. First, know that you are not alone in this, and don’t be too hard on yourself since matted hair can be fixed, and this article will explain how.
What Causes Matted Hair?
Matted hair results from long-term hair neglect, such as the process used to grow dreadlocks; other causes include uncombed hair, frequently keeping it wet, skipping a good wash, styling it while it’s still damp, or scalp-related diseases.
Steps to Untangling Matted Hair
1. Take a Deep Breath
Relax by taking a deep breath. Although they can be somewhat intimidating, knots can be removed. It would help if you tried to remain as calm and level-headed as possible while keeping in mind that the knotted area didn’t form overnight; it took time to form, so it will take time to get it all out. Being frantic and ripping and tearing at your hair wouldn’t help.
2. Start Detangling on Dry Hair
Before detangling, avoid attempting to wash or wet your hair. Most of the time, wetting your hair makes the knotted portion considerably worse.
You’ll need to use a lot of hydration, such as a slippery conditioner or oil, to prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle due to knots.
Apply a deep conditioner or oil to dry hair and focus on untangling the big knots with your fingers rather than spraying in water, which will set the knots. Heat can soften the region after conditioner and oil have been allowed to soak into the knotted hair.
For 30 to 60 minutes, sit with hydration in your hair under a hood or bonnet dryer.
3. The Combing Process
A wide-toothed comb with strong, widely spread teeth is necessary for severe tangles. Fine combs and brushes are likely to encounter too much resistance, causing you to either quit brushing or rip out clumps of hair.
First, comb the ends. Always begin combing tangled hair close to the ends. The end of the tangled hair should be a few inches away from the comb as you brush downward. Repeat this process until the hair in that area is free of tangles, and then raise the comb a little higher. Continue doing this until your entire head of hair has been combed. This could take an hour or longer for hair that is very matted and long or thick.
If you have a sensitive scalp, hold a section of your hair and comb this portion of hair beneath your hand, moving your grip higher once the hair below it is successfully untangled.
Add more oil or conditioner to a stubborn knot with your finger when necessary. This aids in lubricating those hair strands, even more, lessening the degree to which they stick to one another. You could also make use of a detangling spray.
4. Thin stubborn mats with scissors
If a hair mat doesn’t separate despite your best attempts, you might need to thin it out. With one hand holding your hair tightly, open a pair of scissors. To remove loose hairs, run the bottom of the scissors’ blade down the mat’s underside before giving your hair a gentle tug. Cutting off mats may be your best option if it has been weeks or months since you last combed your hair because you can spend hours trying to untangle it.
5. Rinse your hair
After detangling your hair, thoroughly rinse any hair treatments to prevent product buildup, which can lead to hair breakage and damage.
6. Ask for Help
Always ask a friend or member of your family for assistance. If you have help, it is always easier to deal with challenging hair knots and matts because you can see what you’re working with. And, before thinking about a big chop, call in to ask for salon assistance if, after spending a lot of time trying to detangle your hair, you are still having trouble. This way, you can see if your situation can be salvaged.
Tips for Preventing Hair From Matting
Preventing tangles and knots from forming is the easiest approach to removing them from hair. Consider the following tips to prevent hair from tangling:
Know your Vulnerable Tangle Zones
Identify sections of your hair that easily tangles up and pay attention to those areas. Keep the tangle-prone sections oiled and adequately hydrated.
Gently Detangle Before a Wash
Before wet washing, gently untangle hair that is dry using your fingers, a wide-tooth comb, or a brush made of boar bristles. Pay special attention to the ends of the hair.
Douse Hair Completely During a Wash
Always thoroughly wet hair in lukewarm water before using shampoo to reduce tangling. Apply the shampoo to your palms, then massage into your scalp using your fingertips as the suds flow through your entire head of hair.
Never over-scrub the hair because this can lead to tangles, and avoid stacking damp hair on top of the head. Give a thorough rinse.
Never skip a Conditioner!
Aside from its hydrating and Moisturizing effects, Conditioners provide the slip making detangling easier. Gently scrunch excess water from hair after washing and apply a hydrating rinse-out conditioner from the top of the ears to the ends of your hair.
Apply conditioner to the hair strands; once the hair has been separated into small sections using your fingers or wide tooth comb, gently detangle, working your way up the ends to the roots. Once hair is completely detangled, rinse well with lukewarm water.
Use a Microfiber Towel
After you’ve washed your hair, squeeze out any extra water, and then give it one last cold rinse to seal the cuticle. To dry hair, use a clean t-shirt or, preferably, a microfiber towel; softer material causes less friction on the hair, which results in less tangling and frizz.
Leave in Conditioner
Apply a leave-in conditioner; this doesn’t need to be rinsed out and can keep the hair moisturized all day; doing so would stop the hair from matting up or tangling.
Get a Trim
Sometimes when your hair is dry and matted at the ends, it might be time for a trim. Keep split ends trimmed to avoid tangling. What happens if your hair has split ends? Your hair gradually separates down the shaft and could matt together, slowing growth and increasing hair breakage. Getting a trim takes out these unwanted bits enhancing the hair growth process.
Long-Term Planning for Tangle Prevention
Wash, detangle, and deep condition your hair when you know you’re heading to the hospital for surgery or other operations. To prevent tangles as much as possible, you might also need to lightly oil your hair and braid it or put it in a bun.
Although time-consuming, detangling matted hair is possible. Stop and rest if you become fatigued, as detangling could take more than 24 hours. And In that case, keep the knot from worsening by putting on a satin bonnet or silk scarf.