Every single one of us (whether woman or man) must have experienced a hair crisis at least ONCE in our life.
A common hair issue faced by most – whether young or old – is CLUMPS of MATTED HAIR.
In this article, we’ll share TESTED and PROVEN ways to treat and say “goodbye” to matted hair – for good.
Ready to get your healthy and shiny hair back? Let’s begin!
Step-by-Step: Detangling Matted Hair
Tangled, frizzy, dry, clumps of hair.
Do these words sum up the catastrophe that’s happening to your hair?
We know the pain when your hair is in knots and feels like it’s beyond rescue.
DO NOT WORRY, as we will walk you through the WHOLE PROCESS of detangling matted hair.
Here are the simple tools and products your need to safely detangle matted hair:
- Detangling comb or a wide-toothed comb
- Deep conditioner (best for untreated hair)
- Hair Detangling spray (best for treated hair)
- Natural oils or chemical-free hair products (best for textured, untreated, or treated hair): olive oil, Moroccan argan oil, shea butter, coconut oil
- Spray bottle with water (optional)
Step 1. Dampen Hair with Water
Make sure to start with DAMP HAIR.
- If you have a spray bottle, fill it with water and dampen your hair.
- If you do not have a bottle, you can run your hands under running water and LIGHTLY wet hair.
You DO NOT want dripping wet hair because this state is where the hair is most prone to breakage.
If you have just been from the shower, dab your hair with a towel to remove excess water and blow dry hair until damp.
Step 2: Apply Oils or Deep Conditioner
A deep conditioner would suffice for those with matted hair WITHOUT color or treatments.
Meanwhile, for those with treated hair, you might need a more powerful product – a detangling spray.
For those who want to use natural products – whether treated, untreated, or TEXTURED hair, your safe bets would be olive, Moroccan, or coconut oils.
These oils are known for strengthening the barrier of your hair while promoting hair growth and a healthier scalp.
- Lather the conditioner or apply detangling spray generously.
- Start with a circle smaller than your palm and apply to the area with tangled hair.
- If the damaged or affected area is quite wide, apply more product to ensure that you cover THE AREA PAST the matted hair.
- LIGHTLY massage it on your hair strands using your fingers.
- HOWEVER – do not scrunch or attempt to detangle matted hair right after applying the product. LEAVE it as is!
- Make sure that the product well covers each strand.
Step 3. Leave on for 30 minutes
To SAFELY detangle matted hair, let the hair knots soak and absorb the hair products for quite some time.
Leaving the oil or detangling spray or conditioner on your hair would also loosen up some strands, which will make it easier for you to untangle matted hair later on.
Step 4. Remove strands of hair
You want to salvage some healthy hair strands that are just caught up in a mess.
USING JUST YOUR FINGERS, remove loose strands you can see while staring at a mirror.
Hold the portion of the tangled bunch with one hand while you use the other hand to GENTLY pull and pick apart the shed strands.
Massage in the product as you go.
Step 5. Try to break down the whole matted portion into SMALLER clumps
If your matted hair is quite loose but tangled, there is a high chance that you can break the big bunch into smaller matted hair clumps.
This will make it easier for you to untangle matted hair later on.
Gently TUG, but do NOT FORCEFULLY tear it apart as you will only break your hair.
If the clump doesn’t budge after a few tugs, SKIP this step.
Step 6. Grab your wide-tooth comb or brush and start detangling matted hair
Now for the CRUCIAL part.
Make sure that you use a detangling brush or a wide-tooth COMB.
Do not use your regular brush as they do not have the proper spacing and structure that would help mitigate the clumping issue.
NOTE: MAKE USE OF A WET BRUSH!!!
This will help the brush or comb glide smoothly and untangle matted hair.
- With one hand holding the matted hair and the other hand holding the comb, START combing through your hair.
- BEGIN AT THE BOTTOM — Comb tangled hair starting with the ends of your hair.
- DO NOT TRY TO DETANGLE MATTED HAIR AT ONE GO.
- Comb through using ⅓ of the comb only.
- GO SLOW and be patient – If you pull everything at once, you might end up losing more hair.
- Work your way up until the tangled clumps are no more.
- If you have a sensitive scalp, you have to be extra careful.
- Always have one hand on your scalp as you brush through the clump.
- Apply more of the detangling spray to the hair strands as necessary, but THERE’S NO NEED TO PUT TOO MUCH.
- Repeat this process until you have reached the top and removed all clumps.
Step 7. Rinse hair completely
After you have successfully detangled the severely matted hair – CONGRATULATIONS, crisis averted!
Apply a few drops or massage the products gently to your scalp and hair strands. This will add an extra layer of protection to the walls of the strands.
Leave it on for another 5 minutes before completely washing it off.
Other Solutions You Can Try
If the hair gods seem to not favor you today and your hair refuses to show any improvement, DO NOT LOSE HOPE.
There are a couple more ways you can try to untangle severely matted hair.
FIRST OPTION: Visit a professional.
- Go to your most trusted hair stylist if your hair is still deeply tangled and uncooperative.
- Your stylist may have more products and tools to safely salvage matted hair.
SECOND OPTION (and our least suggested): Cut it out.
We know it’s painful to cut your hair (well, emotionally), but it’s better to remove the matted portion than the risk it spreading to other parts of your hair.
You DO NOT have to cut everything off right away.
You can start by cutting the worst strands that seem knotted in all areas.
- Hold your hair tight to avoid chopping off healthy hair. Alternatively, keep it in a bun or use a hair clamp while you do this process.
- As you remove shed hairs, try untangling the remaining matted area to check if this has loosened the clump.
Trim more strands as necessary.
What Causes Matted Hair? 3 Main Causes
No one is born with matted hair, so the definite root cause is what we do or apply to our hair.
What causes matted hair, anyway?
It’s important to know what’s causing this problem, so you know what to avoid in the future.
#1 - Poor Hair Hygiene or Routine
Good hair starts with good hygiene.
Your hair needs tender loving care a little bit more than any part of your body.
HOWEVER, it does NOT mean you have to wash your hair every day.
When you shower, your hair loses natural oils that maintain the shininess of your hair and keep your scalp healthy.
- Washing it too often (twice or thrice in one day) would leave it dry and stiff – which would only contribute to the risk of having severely matted hair. This might also cause premature hair loss, eventually leading to weak and thin hair.
- Washing it rarely (once or twice a week) would leave it greasy and would only accumulate dirt build-up, shed strands, and clog your scalp’s pores.
Dirt combined with attached and shed hairs entwined together spell out disaster, A.K.A. MATTED HAIR.
There is no blanket recommendation as it would depend on your scalp and daily activities.
Those who sweat a lot in the day or people with oily scalp would be better off washing it daily or every other day.
Meanwhile, those with healthy scalp can keep their hair healthy by washing it every other day.
Be sensitive to what your hair and scalp are telling you to find the right washing routine for your hair.
#2 - Too much TREATMENT
As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is never a good thing.” The same is true when it comes to most treatments.
A regular trip to the salon is good if you go there for hair maintenance purposes.
However, if your trips to the salon are made for you to change your hairstyle now and then, then your hair might need a break.
Too much treatment (i.e., color, styling, perm, or rebond) would break the barriers of your hair so that the chemicals can be effective.
Thus, constantly breaking the barriers of your hair would sooner or later leave it damaged.
This would cause severe mats or hair breakage – which no amount of deep conditioners nor detangling products would be able to remedy.
#3 - Prolonged use of hair extensions
Matted hair occurs when extensions are kept longer than advised.
Remember, the average number of strands that one loses per day is about 80 to 100.
That means, if you keep your extensions longer than allowed, the loose hairs are kept on your head and bind together with the healthy and intact hair.
This would start severe tangles, which can spread and infect other parts of your hair.
Moreover, the hair beneath where the extensions are clipped needs to “breathe,” rest, and relax.
Regularly removing and maintaining your extensions is a must for healthy, shiny, and voluminous hair.
#4 - Contact with adhesives or sticky materials
If you have kids – the cause of your hair issue might be from a marker or glue stick.
Alternatively, you may have gotten some ice cream or other sticky liquid onto your hair.
Make sure you do not let it dry on your hair when this happens
RINSE IT IMMEDIATELY.
If there is no bathroom nearby, remove the product using tissue or cloth, then rinse when able.
How to Prevent Matted Hair
- WASH HAIR REGULARLY. Have a tried and tested hair routine. Experiment and identify what works for your hair and what doesn’t. Establish a clear routine to keep your hair and scalp healthy.
- Add a good moisturizing conditioner to your hair routine for those with dry hair. In addition, have a regular hair treatment to maintain your hair’s current state.
- Another product you can explore would be a leave-in conditioner. These normally come with natural oils (Argan oil, shea butter, or coconut oil is highly suggested), which would nourish your hair naturally and, at the same time, prevent hair fall. A win-win, especially for those with thin hair.
- Do not use harmful tools or products. It may be the latest trend nowadays but will your hair suffer? If it’s a yes, we are telling you now that it is NOT WORTH IT. If you have sensitive hair or scalp, avoid most hair treatments completely.
- Do not brush right after you get off from the shower for those with fine, treated, or curly hair. If unavoidable, use a WIDE toothed brush.
- Invest in a good protein treatment. You don’t have to do this many times in a year; a couple or three times would be more than enough. Protein treatments help restructure the hair bonds and fill in any gap in a damaged hair cuticle.
- Take proper care of extensions. Set reminders on your phone so you won’t forget when you need to remove the extensions. Suppose you notice a bit of clumping or loose mats, separate tangles IMMEDIATELY using your fingers or a detangling brush.
- For textured hair, it helps to keep your own hair in braids. Segmenting your hair would prevent it from forming clumps that lead to matted hair.
What Hairbrush Should You Use?
In addition to a detangling spray or conditioner, a brush or comb would greatly help detangle matted hair.
Here are our top favorite options:
1. Detangling brush for straight or normal hair: Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush
This is a crowd favorite as it’s very versatile. This brush is gentle but tough enough to break severely matted hair apart whether you have straight, treated, or curly hair.
Some reviews even vouch for this product – it is safe even for attached hair or hair extensions.
What we like about this brush are the bristles.
They are soft enough to untangle matted clumps but flexible enough to not pull your hair down excessively.
You can also use this as your daily brush as the end of the bristles give off a massaging effect to your scalp.
2. Detangler brush set for textured, thick, and frizzy hair: Urtheone Hair Brush
For those with slightly unruly or brittle hair, the Urtheone Hair Brush is a god sent.
This set has both a wide-tooth comb and brush.
Thus, you can opt to use the wide-toothed comb when your hair is wet (before you try to set and style your hair). This is perfect for those with tightly coiled hair!
Meanwhile, the brush can effectively detangle matted hair and comb through even the thickest hairs. You can use it to smoothen out any hair clumps.
3. Detangling Comb: Ultra Smooth Cricket Ultra Smooth Coconut Oil and Keratin Detangler Comb
Last but not least – Ultra Smooth Comb from Cricket.
Its claim to fame is its innovative infusion of natural oils to its bristles.
You won’t have to buy separate oils for your hair because you can have this benefit from this wide-tooth comb!
This leaves your hair smooth and healthy after every single comb.
Moreover, this works great for wet or dry hair – whether you have curly, frizzy, colored, or fine hair.
The secret to healthy, shiny, and smooth hair DOES NOT require a complex hair routine or rocket science.
It does, however, require some T.L.C. to avoid severe and troublesome hair problems.
Get rid of and prevent cases of severely matted hair TODAY by following the tips and steps above.
Share your experience below!