Facts Checked By Freewill Beauty Experts - Written by Nancy Agrahari (Journalist) on 14th Oct 2020

How to detangle hair safely without breaking your hair 

How to detangle hair

We all have been in the phase where we consciously avoid combing hair or style them in different hairdos. We do that because we would like to avoid the heartbreak that comes with hair fall or finding the hair tangled in the comb or the hair ties or pillows, and the list goes on.

To detangle hair without any hair fall is no more a dream. The truth is, we have been doing it all wrong.

Remember the times you wished that your hair was as perfect as the one in the movies. When you see the protagonist comb out the hair and throw the comb on the bed without missing a bit, because she has moved past the zone of hair fall is what your life is going to change/turn out to be now.  

Hair breakage can be frustrating!

Whether you have short, long, curly, straightened, or chemically smoothened hair, you have been frustrated and hurt with the amount of hair fall due to the hair knots. There are several/multiple reasons why your hair gets tangled and another few how to detangle them. But most importantly, we have ways how you can detangle your hair and leave with no hair fall at all. Nope, nada!

We promise you this article will leave you happier and healthier than you were 5 minutes ago. Yes, that's all you need, five minutes and no more tangled hair mess.  

What causes those knots in your hair

A Knotty Affair! 

When two strands of hair wrap or are intertwined with each other, they typically form a knot. The problem starts when a couple of strands are stuck together, and the knots become more prominent, and the more you try to detangle it, the harder they are to remove.

It is natural if strands of your hair shed. It is even considered as a healthy hair life cycle. If you have smooth and straight hair, then the hair is shed in a relatively simple process(this is a regular hair cycle).

In case you have damaged, rough, dry, or textured hair, you may have to deal with hair knots now and then. This is because the cuticles, the hair shaft's outer layer, often don't lie flat.

Instead of falling away, these loose ones tangle with other hair strands when released from the scalp, ending up in knots.  

Why do knots form?

It is the scientific reason behind your hair strands forming knots. The most common cause of hair forming knots is when hair strands rub against certain surfaces like pillows, towels, sheets, etc.

It is one of the significant reasons why you always end up finding hair strands on your pillows, towels, or after you wake up in the morning. 

Types of Hair Prone to knots

Hair fall from knots is a prevalent thing. Though it happens to almost every hair type, the following are the ones that need to be a little cautious when it comes to hair knots- 

  • Dry Hair 
  • Sun-damaged, bleached, or heat-damaged hair 
  • Naturally curly hair 
  • Roughly combed hair 
  • Hair that is shoulder length or more 
  • Hair frequently exposed to hair spray, gel, mousse 
  • Regular hair styling of hair with hot styling tools
  • Vulnerable hair 

Ways to get rid of tangled hair or hair knots 

It sounds tempting to reach for the hair comb and roughly pull the hair to get rid of those knots but refrain from doing that. Around pulling off the hair will only cause them to break and lead to more breakage.

The best way to detangle the hair knots is by either using a professional hair detangler spray or following the tips mentioned below. 

1. Use Conditioner

We can not stress enough on the importance of the hair conditioner. Hair conditioners are a vital tool to keep your hair healthy and soft. They play a significant role in keeping your hair free of knots. To detangle your hair use the hair conditioner regularly. 

How To:

After shampooing & rinsing your hair, take conditioner in your palm, apply them at the tips, and move upwards towards the roots. Always start from the tips and move upward. Skip your scalp. It doesn't need a conditioner.

Once you have applied the conditioner, keep it for 5-6 minutes and detangle it softly using your fingers. Wash after a few minutes. 

2. Detangler Hair Spray 

If your hair often ends up in knots, then invest in a good detangler hair spray. A detangler hair spray can be used on damp or dry hair, and you do not have to rinse your hair after applying it. It is like a dry shampoo but works on detangling the knots from your hair.

Select the detangler hair spray depending on your hair type. Usually, detangling spray products are meant to lubricate your hair strands, this way making it easier to separate hairs that have become tangled.

Usually, most detangler sprays can be used on damp or dry hair. But for everyday use, make sure your hair isn't soaking wet when you want to use a detangle hair spray as this could cause the product to run off your hair. 

How To:

You can read the instructions on the box of your detangle hair spray for better clarity. 

  • The other common way to use a detangle hair spray is by separating your hair into small sections. 
  • For instance, you have four sections, two at the front and the other two at the bottom. Then you can use a regular hair clip to hold all the units in place. (You can make more sections if you have thick hair) 
  • Go ahead and start working on one section at a time. Start with drawing the hair away from your scalp, and then gently holding it taut. 
  • Then, spritz the detangling spray on that section of hair and allow it to saturate your hair for a moment. 
  • Once done, you can use a hair comb or clip to detangle that section of the hair. Slowly start from the root and comb your hair down to the tip. Repeat the process until that hair is detangled. 
  • Do that to every section, one at a time. Once every area is detangled, unclip all the departments and comb your hair again. 
  • Unless stated, otherwise, you are good to go and do not need to rinse your hair again. But if the instructions on your detangle hair spray ask you to rinse your hair, then do that.  

3. Mineral Oils

The other effective way to detangle your hair or avoid hair knots is by using mineral oil. These oils are useful when it comes to detangling the hair.

Mineral oils are like other oils but are often odorless and colorless. They are the distillation of petroleum and help to remove tangles. Before using mineral oil, make sure that your hair is conditioned well, as too much residue on the hair stops the work of mineral oil.  


Once you have used mineral oil, you may notice that your hair is a lot more brittle. It is because of the mineral oil. To soften the hair, apply a few drops of olive oil and give your hair an excellent massage. The idea is to allow the oil to penetrate your scalp and the strands well. You can even sit under a steamer or even wrap a warm towel on your head. 

4. Regular Oil 

Celebrities swear by coconut oil and its magical properties. Coconut oil is a natural remedy that works wonders for your hair. A good 10 minutes massage can help your hair to avoid future knots. Coconut oil has been used as a traditional moisturizer for centuries now.

Coconut oil has properties that improve skin hydration while increasing the natural oil in the skin. Warm-up a few drops of coconut oil and gently massage your scalp with it. For best results, use it thrice a week to avoid hair knots. 

5. Hair Mask 

A hot oil mask is the right way of giving yourself a relaxing head massage. For a healthy scalp heat, few drops of coconut oil in a microwave or over a hot plate and gently massage your scalp with it. Allow it to rest for a few hours and then wash it off. Try not to over-heat the oil as it may damage your scalp or cause irritation.

Regular massaging your hair with oil rousing a hair mask will help detangle your hair and keep it healthy

6. Use your fingers 

Right before reaching for the hair comb, use your fingers and gently try to detangle your hair. Once they are detangled, then softly comb them to avoid hair fall

7. Change your comb 

If you have a comb with a thin tooth, they can get stuck in knots and lead to hair fall. Switch to a wide-tooth hair comb that will give you ease to detangle the knots and avoid breakage. 

The Takeaway 

Try not to comb your wet hair as they will lead to more breakage. Avoid vigorous rubbing of the hair and condition your hair often. Be patient with your hair, and regularly oil them to avoid hair fall and knots.