Have you ever been multiple hours into a detangling session, with sore arms, eyes full of tears, and the growing urge to shave your head? Yeah, us too. When natural hair gets matted together, it can sometimes feel like nothing short of a miracle (or chainsaw) can get your strands loose. Because we’ve been there done that, we want to share a few tips to try before deciding it’s time for a haircut.
First, Calm Down
We get it! Believe us, we do. There is nothing more frustrating than a knot that just won’t budge, but ripping through those matted knots will only cause severe pain and more damage. If you’ve been at it for a while and feel yourself getting impatient, take a break. You’ll be more productive if you approach this task calmly.
Use Appropriate Tools
A couple things you’re gonna want at hand are a spray bottle, various combs (a rat tail, fine tooth comb as well as a wide tooth comb), and a conditioner with tons of slip. We recommend our PRIME Smoothing & Detangling Conditioner. Fill your spray bottle with warm water and some of your conditioner, shake to mix well.
Use A Gentle Hand
Now that you have your tools ready, let’s talk about technique. Identify which knots are the easiest to work through and start with those. This will help with making the task feel less overwhelming. Spray the knots with your water/conditioner mix and work slowly to undo the knots. It may be smartest to use the tip or your rat tooth comb to loosen the knots. Then you can use your fingers to pull each strand free. This will be time consuming, but it will ensure that you sustain the least amount of damage.
Once you get to the worst knots, you can use this same technique, just with even more care and patience. Be sure to be gentle when pulling the strands free. Some breakage is inevitable, but the more you avoid the better.
Work In Sections
This is another tip to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Split the hair in sections and maintain those sections throughout the detangling session. Once you’ve finished a section, run through it with a wide toothed comb and braid or twist it up before moving to the next.
Once you’re completely finished with each section, wash all that conditioner out of your hair. Leaving it could lead to more knots, not to mention build up. You may also want to consider a trim in the near future, especially if you experienced a lot of breakage.
Prevention Is The Best Cure
In order to avoid severe matting in the future, you may want to consider keeping your hair in stretched styles like twist outs or braid outs. You should also keep your hair moisturized; dry hair is quick to tangle. Keeping your ends healthy will also be crucial in preventing matting. All and all, keep a close eye on the state of your hair and you should be fine.
Have you ever dealt with matted natural hair? Share your story wit us in the comments.