If the story of my hair was summed up in one word, that word would be tangles.
You only have to look at my hair the wrong way for it to work itself into a bunch of angry, unruly knots.
Getting the tangles out can be extremely time-consuming and painful, especially when someone doesn’t know how to deal with it, or is in a hurry: I’ve had more dry haircuts than I can count because it’s better than having the (well-intentioned) person who washes it inevitably try and rip through the wet knots to brush them out, taking half of my scalp with them in the process.
I even once had to cut a chunk out myself, when I made the mistake of sleeping with my hair in a bun after curling it. I woke up with tightly wound knots that were pulling so badly that I had to cut into them just to loosen them up enough to work them out.
As well as being a source of major frustration and pain, tangle-prone hair will also suffer from more breakage and damage, so minimizing knots is a must.
Over time, I’ve learned the best ways to manage my brand of ‘high maintenance hair’, so today I’m sharing my top tips to keep your tresses tangle-free too.
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- Brush your hair before washing it
One of the worst times for hair to tangle is during washing and it’s also more prone to breakage when it’s wet, so before you step into the shower, comb your hair gently all the way through, getting rid of any existing tangles.
Use a wide-toothed plastic comb like this.
Wide Teeth Detangler Comb with Hook
Plastic combs are the best option they are gentle on your hair, I prefer using these over any brushes I’ve tried, including the special tangle brushes you can buy. Ideally, your hair should be completely tangle-free before it gets wet.
- Never scrub
The worst thing you can do when washing tangle-prone hair is to use a scrubby motion with your hands as you see in the shampoo ads on TV. Lathering it vigorously in this way will only work it into tangles that will be impossible to get out later.
Instead, you want to move your hair around as little as possible whilst still getting it clean. To do this, I wet my hair thoroughly, then lather the shampoo between my two hands and then gently press the suds into my hair and work it through all over the scalp to clean the hair, whilst making sure to disturb it as little as possible.
- Avoid over-washing
Most people don’t need to wash their hair every day, and over-washing will also make hair drier and more likely to tangle. When you do wash, be sure to use a moisturizing shampoo that’s free of drying sulfates.
A co-wash (or conditioning wash) might also be worth trying as a less drying alternative to shampoo. It takes a little getting used to as there are no ‘suds’ but my tangle-prone hair loves it. I’ve tried a lot of them, but my current favorite co-wash is this one.
- Always use conditioner
Everybody’s hair is different so you might need to try a few conditioners before you find the right one for you, however, don’t worry, you don’t need an expensive salon-brand conditioner. Drugstore finds are just as good. Look for a formulation that’s designed for dry and tangly hair with a lot of ‘slip’.
I only put conditioner on the mid-lengths and ends of my hair, not the roots. Press it all over your hair in the same way as the shampoo. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for a minute in the shower and then rinse.
- Gently comb conditioner through to rinse
When rinsing, you should use your wide-toothed comb again to brush it through to the ends. – Mine has a hook, so I just keep it in the shower all the time. If you’ve brushed the tangles out before your shower and not moved it around a lot whilst washing, then the conditioner should brush straight through to the ends of your hair easily.
Again, this is the one you need
Wide Teeth Detangler Comb with Hook
Because your hair is most prone to breakage whilst wet, however, I recommend always combing it whilst under the running water from the shower, in order to help it run through without damage.
I also use this to gently work the product through
Anti-stress Scalp Massager
Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash
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