How to detangle long hair

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How to detangle long hair

Hair detangler is a product used to prevent hair from becoming snarled or help loosen tangled hair for easier styling. Many hair product companies offer a detangling product, since tangled hair is a common and frustrating hair care problem. Choosing the best detangler can take trial and error, but in the end may save valuable time that would otherwise be spent fighting persistent tangles.

Hair tangling occurs when hair strands become twisted or knotted around one another, forming snarled clumps of hair that cannot be easily brushed through. Trying to detangle hair by hand can result in damage to the hair strands, leading to breakage, split ends, and unwanted frizz. Hair detanglers coat hair strands using natural or chemical compounds, making strands smoother and less likely to catch on one another. Constant tangles are often a plague to people with naturally curly or wavy hair, but tangles can occur to anyone.

Many conditioners include a detangling component that combats snarled hair while adding moisture and shine. Using a conditioner that also detangles hair can help prevent tangling before it starts, allowing hair to be dried, brushed, and styled without having to fight through difficult knots. For busier people, conditioners with a detangler can also save time during the styling process by allowing one product to be applied for multiple benefits.

For people with serious tangle problems, a conditioner with an added detangler may not be enough to ward off serious knots and snarls. Many hair care companies, especially those that specialize in products for curly, thick, or naturally frizzy hair, offer leave-in products that fight knots. These products may be applied before drying hair, to prevent snarling during the drying process, or after hair is dry to prevent snarls from forming during the day.

Detanglers can be a good hair product for children who have curly or thick hair. Combing out knots can be quite painful if done incorrectly, and may upset or anger children whose hair is prone to snarling. With babies and young children, look for a hair detangler that is safe for use on youngsters and contains non-toxic ingredients. Judicious application of detangler can help turn a hair-brushing session from a screaming nightmare into a pleasant experience for all involved.

A good detangler will make hair sleek, shiny, and snarl-free, without making it greasy or heavy feeling. The product should wash out easily to prevent build-up from forming in the hair, which can lead to a dull, lank appearance and hair damage. Since the chemical compounds that make up detanglers may contain allergens or skin-clogging ingredients, be sure that use of a new detangler is not accompanied by an increase in skin breakouts, rashes, or reddening of the skin on the face and neck.

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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Discussion Comments

I have thick hair that gets horrible ratty tangles in it and it takes forever to brush through my hair! But Shielo’s Leave in Protectant makes it so easy. My hair is so soft and shiny. I apply it to my hair wet and dry and it does not build up and it does not get greasy. Plus, it controls frizz throughout the whole day. And I look so much better that way. TangledTechs May 10, 2012

Conditioners do not always work on really tangled matted hair. The most effective detangler is the Take Down Remover/Detangler. It softens the hair immensely and works on all types of hair textures and hair tangles. anon194054 July 6, 2011

I bought Sauve Kids Detangling Spray in double dutch apple. I had an allergic reaction because I didn’t know it was sour apple scented, and I’m allergic to sour apple artificial preservatives. It also dried out my hair once my hair was dried, while not offering much help when it was wet.

I have caucasian hair untreated, medium to thick, normal to dry, and long. This product is full of chemicals. The only thing positive to say is it smells good and is cheap. A waste of money nonetheless. lawnmower August 19, 2010

shoeshopper- Suave detangler is a pretty inexpensive product that you can buy at your local supermarket or drug store. However, I have used Suave detangling products before and they actually work pretty well. The product left my hair much more manageable and easy to brush through.

An added bonus is that the product is very inexpensive and lasts forever. I bought the detangling serum 6 months and it is yet to run out.

Does anyone have any experience using Suave detangler? Does it work?

Posted on Last updated: March 18, 2021 By: Author Kenneth

How to detangle long hairWhat are the best hair brushes for natural hair?

The numerous options include boar bristle brushes, Denman brushes, and the Tangle Teezer.

Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Using Boar Bristle Brushes on Curly Hair

Can a brush made from boar bristles cause hair damage?

Yes, it’s important to understand that regular, normal manipulation of your hair can potentially cause damage.

Damage could be caused by traditional styling tools, like combs and brushes, heating appliances, like flat irons and hair dryers, and finger combing.

Boar bristle brushes, Tangle Teezers, and Denman Brushes can all lead to hair damage depending on how they’re used.

Some ladies have complained that boar bristle brushes are too stiff, leading to hair damage. For this reason, many women avoid using boar bristle brushes altogether.

If you’re interested in using boar bristle brushes, test the brush on a small section of your hair and see if you like the results. Check current prices and reviews on Amazon with this link.

Tangle Teezer: The Original Detangling Hair Brush

The Tangle Teezer brand has received mixed reviews. Some women have reportedly experienced breakage after only a short time relative to using other hair brushes – like the Denman brush.

Interestingly, the Tangle Teezer brushes have teeth that aren’t smooth, which seems counterintuitive since the brush can easily get stuck in naturally curly hair.

However, there are some real benefits to using the Tangle Teezer, including the teeth’s flexible design. The tips of the brush can be used to help detangle the hair.

Plus, if you can refrain from pressing the brush too far into the hair, you may be able to avoid the breakage problem reported by others.

If your hair becomes tangled easily, this brush can be a real time saver. The Tangle Teezer can also be used to remove lint from your hair.

Although, we’ve always been fans of finger combing and detangling. This technique (i.e., finger combing) requires a lot of patience, but it’s easily the best technique if your goal is to mitigate breakage.

Just as with the boar bristle brush, you should test the Tangle Teezer on a small section of your hair. If you like the results, continue to use the brush throughout your hair.

Denman Brush: The Best Natural Hair Brush

The Denman brush continues to become more popular over time. It can remove tangles effectively and works very well on curly hair.

However, the Denman brush has led to a few disappointed customers, but this appears mostly due to general misuse.

For example, some women have warned against using the brush if your hair is still wet.

Just remember that despite several positive reviews, some women have mentioned that the brush pulls their hair a bit too much.

So, when you compare boar bristle brushes, the Tangle Teezer, and Denman brushes, the right brush for you still depends largely on your individual preferences and hair type.

There are different versions of these brushes on the market, so you might need to experiment with a few different versions to find the best hair brush for you.

If you find a brush that seems as if it’s snagging too much, don’t fret. You can actually modify hair brushes to suit your needs rather than having to buy another one.

One tactic that some savvy brush owners have found is to remove certain rows of bristles, usually in a pattern that leaves every other row intact. This is the basic approach to crafting the often mentioned “modified Denman” brush.

How to detangle long hair

Written By Sowmya Tamatam On April 07, 2020

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All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable academic associations.

All statistics and facts used in a blog link to the original source.

All content related to drugs, procedures, treatments, ingredients, and side effects are clearly indicated to the reader.

The ultimate goal of our blogs is to make the reader well aware of skin and hair health, and enable them to take informed decisions.

How to detangle long hair

The hair battle begins. Is this the kind of feeling you get, everytime you pick up the comb to brush your hair or detangle its knots? We all relate with you.

None of us can escape knotted hair strands, given the harsh hair products we use or the new hairstyles we flaunt every other day. But there are ways to detangle your hair without tearing away half of your hair. All you need is a little patience and our list of prevention tips. Scroll down.


  • What Causes Hair Tangling?
  • How To Detangle Your Hair?
  • Tips To Avoid Tangled Hair

What Causes Hair Tangling?

Tangles are caused when the outer layer of your hair (cuticle) is damaged and opens up. The open cuticles block each other and form knots. Basically, a hair knot forms when two single strands of hair wrap around each other to become intertwined.

If this happens to a couple of strands, it gets difficult to remove these knots (tangles), right? Hair that is smooth or silky is not prone to tangles. But damaged and textured hair (wavy or curly) is the worst hit.

It is not surprising to know that all these factors can contribute to hair tangling:

  • Harsh hair care products
  • Massaging hair too hard while shampooing
  • Heat styling
  • Rubbing hair with a towel
  • Wind blowing through your hair
  • Not brushing hair daily or overbrushing
  • Sleeping with your hair down
  • Split ends

How To Detangle Your Hair?

1. Conditioner

Conditioning your hair is one of the most important steps towards good hair care. What it also helps with is detangling the hair. Apply a conditioner at the tips and move upwards towards the roots. Spare your scalp, it does not need a conditioner. Leave on the conditioner for 5 minutes, comb your hair to detangle, and rinse.

2. Detangling Spray

Detangling hair spray is definitely worth the money. It helps reduce the tension between the hair while detangling. Also, it is a quick fix when you are out and have no time. Detangling sprays can be used on both dry and damp hair. They need not be rinsed out. The sprays contain ingredients like shea butter to soften your hair so that detangling becomes easy.

3. Oils

Mineral oil can be used to effectively detangle the hair. It is a colorless and odorless distillate of petroleum. Mineral oil acts like an antistatic and removes tangles. Make sure that your hair is conditioned just enough, too much residue on the hair hinders the function of mineral oil in removing tangles.

After you detangle your hair, your hair may seem a lot more brittle. Apply a few drops of olive oil and let the oil penetrate your scalp and strands for a good twenty minutes. You can sit under a steamer for this or simple wrap a warm towel on your head.

Oil your hair regularly to avoid dryness. You can use a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil or sweet almond oil along with essential oils like lavender, tea tree or rosemary.

4. Water

Moisture can make detangling easier. It helps remove the tangles without harsh pulling. Use a spray bottle filled with water to spritz some water on your hair before starting out. Take sections of hair with your fingers, comb with a wide-toothed brush and clip the detangled hair with a secure hair clip or pin. Continue for all hair sections until your hair is completely detangled.

5. Wide-toothed comb

Have you been overlooking the importance of a wide-toothed comb? Wide-tooth combs and paddle brushes help detangle hair in a much painless way. They are gentler on your hair.

6. Begin from the bottom

One hair care mistake that most of us make is by combing the hair from the roots. Start from the bottom of the hair. Comb some inches at the bottom and work your way upwards gently. This helps prevent hair breakage and the pain at the scalp due to aggressive pulling.

7. Use your fingers

Before you reach for your comb, separate your hair into sections with your fingers gently. This way you can remove most of the tangles before combing your hair.

8. Hair masks

If your hair is prone to regular tangles, it may be a sign of dry hair. Use a hair mask packed with moisture to provide your hair instant hydration. You can choose from a variety of hair masks in the market or make one at home using simple kitchen ingredients like egg, yogurt, honey and banana.

Tips To Avoid Tangled Hair


  • Do brush your hair before washing if you have hair that gets tangled easily.
  • Use a little amount of shampoo on the strands when compared to the scalp.
  • Apply conditioner and comb your hair to detangle and spread out the conditioner evenly. But be gentle because wet hair is more prone to shedding.
  • Wear braids as these hairstyles keep the hair in position and avoid tangles.
  • Use a scarf or a hat on windy days to make sure your hair is not all over the place and tangled.
  • Get your hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Split ends cause tangles, making your hair look damaged and dry.


  • Don’t rub your hair with a towel as it can cause tangled hair. Use a soft cotton t-shirt to dry your hair.
  • Don’t sleep with open hair. Consider a gentle updo.
  • Don’t sleep on a cotton pillowcase. Switch to silk pillowcases and avoid knotty hair the morning after.
  • Avoid products that produce heat as they lead to hair damage. Hair damage obviously means more tangles.
  • Over using shampoo to create more lather should be avoided as more foam doesn’t necessarily mean more efficient cleaning. It does more harm than good.

Wrapping Up

This was our two cents on detangling hair in the sanest way possible. We hope that you no longer lose your mind over tangled hair and follow our simple tips of using conditioners, oils and wide-toothed combs the right way. Most importantly, be gentle with your hair.

How to detangle long hair

Long, fine hair is especially susceptible to tangles. If you have trouble detangling your long or fine hair (or your kid’s), here are some tips on how to properly detangle fine hair.

Reach for the Conditioner

Some people with fine hair think they can get away without conditioner because fine hair tends to be oily and therefore doesn’t need conditioner.

Wrong. A conditioner will help soften strands, making them so much easier to detangle. If you have oily hair, apply conditioner to the bottom two-thirds of your hair. You can also try applying conditioner before you shampoo—the shampoo will rinse off the residue the conditioner can leave, but you will still be left with untangled hair. If you have normal or dry hair, try a leave-in conditioner, applied to ends.

A leave-in conditioner sprayed only on the bottom two-thirds of hair can also help in the detangling process.

The Wide-Tooth Comb vs. the Detangling Brush

For years, beauty experts preached that the best way to detangle fine hair is with a wide-toothed comb. And then someone created detangling brushes.

There are actually plastic brushes on the market created for detangling hair when it’s wet. The bristles are spaced far apart so you experience less breakage, but (and this is a big but) these are not meant for super fine, easily breakable hair. If you have fine hair, you are much better off with a comb than a brush. My favorite comb is the Breezelike No Static Wavy Handle Green Sandalwood Wide Tooth Comb.

Don’t have super fine hair? You might consider The Tangle Teezer. It’s particularly great for detangling children’s hair without yanking it.

How to Comb (or Brush Hair) When It’s Wet

Always comb or brush wet hair by working from the bottom of hair up. Start by combing the bottom six inches of hair. When this is detangled, move on up the hair until you reach your crown.

How to Brush out Tangles in Dry Hair

If hair is dry and tangled and you don’t want to wet hair, rub a few drops of shine serum in your palms, then run your hands through your hair. The serum will help you work out the knots with a comb. Don’t have a serum on hand? Spray a leave-in conditioner on hair before combing or brushing out tangles.

Layne likes to share her favorite health and beauty tips for people on-the-go.

How to detangle long hair

Tips and tricks for detangling fine hair from someone with fine hair.

The Best Way to Untangle Matted Hair

Fine hair, as with all hair types, comes with its pros and cons. It offers a care-free, windswept look, is easy to straighten and curl, can be easy to dye, but it’s also easy to damage.

Sometimes straight hair gets celebrated for its uniformity, but people with fine hair have their work cut out for them every day! People with fine or thin hair know that tangles happen easily, especially when wet, during sleep, swimming, or excerise. It’s no fun and can be pretty painful—ever had to use scissors to get those knots out? If you know, you know.

The Cons of Having Fine Hair

  • Flat: It falls flat (no amount of hairspray, gel, or teasing in the world will get it to stay put beyond an hour or two).
  • Tangles: It tangles easily (within a half hour of brushing).
  • Mats: If it’s long, it’s prone to matting.
  • Shows Oil: It’s more apparent when you need to shower—you cannot hide those roots.
  • Detangling Takes a While: If you get your hair wet or are out in the elements, detangling will take work.

How to detangle long hair

This is a great style for active people who have a hard time keeping their hair from tangling.

The Truth About Fine Hair

I can’t tell you how many times my hair has matted and literally HURT from the weight of the tangles. Sometimes I had such bad knots I had to literally cut them out. If you’re active and have fine hair, you may have experienced the same issues.

  • My hair type: Fine, color-treated bi-annually, sun exposure, salt water exposure, no blow-drying or straightening.
  • Length: 4 inches past my shoulders.

So here are some tips I put together to help you out. I’ve used these detangling techniques on children with fine hair, too, as they are gentle. Use a child-friendly detangler, however, instead of the one I recommend for teens and adults.

Best Advice Ever

If dealing with mats, never try to brush from the top of your head down. ALWAYS START FROM THE BOTTOM and work your way up. I always work out my mats in the underparts of my hair first, and brush top to bottom LAST. If you try to brush top to bottom to start with, you only concentrate the tangles/mats.

The Best Products for Detangling Wet, Fine Hair

When I was younger, I remember my mom literally yanking on my hair to get it to detangle—it was miserable!. Throughout my life I tried so many products and brushes. I’ve used all sorts of conditioners, leave-in conditioners, serums, detanglers, and brushes. I had a Mason Pearson brush at some point—those are nice and super expensive—and I had a Wet Brush. None of these items worked.

So, after many years of trial and error, here is my go-to formula:


  • Conair Detangling Cushion Brush (forget the Wet Brush!)
  • Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner (I use this conditioner on my wet hair every day. Do not use this product if you are gluten sensitive.)
  • Giovanni Shampoo
  • Giovanni Conditioner for Damaged Hair (I swear by this conditioner; it’s vegan and cruelty-free!)

Why These Products Work for Me

I think the magic in this whole formula is the Conair brush that I found. It generally works well regardless of the type of detangler you chose to use, but I do like the Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner (I bought 10 for Black Friday) because it does not weigh down fine hair and you can use it right after a shower. It also keeps hair from being frizzy.

Sometimes, if my hair is dry, I spray a couple sprays into my palm and just run it over my hair to tame flyaways. The Jane Carter product contains many natural ingredients.

It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t experienced hair tangling. Healthy hair is the first condition to prevent hair from tangling. But it’s not always an easy job to do. No matter how hard you try, you end up with tangled hair. The question is how to detangle hair?

Before learning how to untangle your hair, it’s important to know what causes tangled hair.

What Causes Tangled Hair?

Several issues can result in tangling your hair. If you know what causes tangled hair, it’ll be easier for you to prevent the causes.

  • Different hair products you use can damage your hair. They contain chemicals that roughen your hair and results in tangled hair.
  • Rubbing your hair with a towel can cause hair tangling too. It makes strands of hair intertwined and causes tangled hair.
  • Not combing your hair regularly causes damaged hair to get tangled. Combing your hair also helps keep the blood circulation of your scalp regular.
  • Different hairstyles can also cause hair tangling.
  • Sleeping with your hair open makes your hair tangled when you move in your sleep.

How To Detangle Hair Without Any Damage

Healthy hair needs a lot of care to stay healthy. Silky and smooth hair is less likely to get tangled. Sometimes it gets hard always to keep your hair smooth. The reason is regular hairstyling, dust, sunlight, and other things you can’t avoid.

Even when your hair gets tangled, there are a few options you can try to detangle your hair.

1.Comb Your Hair Properly

Learn how to comb your hair properly if tangled. The improper way can get your hair more tangled. Also, choose a suitable comb for your hair type. It’s better if you use a wide-toothed comb for detangling your hair.


  • Do not start from the root. The proper way of detangling your hair is to start from the bottom and go upwards.
  • Use a comb that’s wide-toothed rather than using a narrow comb.

2.Use Water

Water can help moisturize your hair and make detangling easy. Fill a spray bottle with clean water. Section your hair. Isolate your tangled hair from untangled ones.


  • Do not completely wet your hair
  • Section your tangled hair and spray water on them

3.Apply Oil

Oil also helps moisturize your hair. Mineral oils can help make the process easier. Rough hair results in hair tangling. The oil moisturizes your strands of hair and helps untangle them.


  • Do not apply oil before conditioning your hair
  • Try applying oil regularly to avoid dry hair

4.Detangle With Your Fingers

As obvious as it sounds, this is one of the best hair detanglers. If your hair is not much tangled, you can use your finger to untangle them. Even if you have matted hair, you can use your fingers to make the process easier for the next step.


  • Avoid hurrying up while finger-combing your hair
  • Be gentle to avoid hair damage

5.Conditioner Helps Too

Conditioning your hair can also ease your process of untangling. Use a conditioner you’re comfortable with. Conditioners contain unique ingredients. They make your hair smooth and silky to avoid tangled hair. Keep in mind that using excessive hair products can damage your hair in the long run. You can use a homemade conditioner too.


  • Do not use too much conditioner
  • Use a reliable brand

6.Go For a Detangling Spray

There are a lot of detangling sprays available. If you’re willing to pay for a hair product to detangle your hair, a spray can be your best hair detangler. Detangling spray can also be used to style baby hair.


  • Do not use detangler spray on soaking wet hair
  • Apply the spray throughout all knotted hair

7.Detangling Shampoo

Again, if you’re willing to buy a hair product for your tangled hair, you can buy a detangling shampoo. There are a lot of renowned brands that offer detangling shampoos. Choose one that you prefer.


  • Do not use too much shampoo
  • Condition your hair to avoid roughness

8.Try Out Hair Masks

Hair masks work as a great detangler too. You can make a detangling mask at home using water, vinegar, and conditioner. Or, you can buy a mask too.


  • Avoid experimenting with different ingredients when making your mask.
  • Apply mask according to the instructions if you buy one.

9.Detangling Brushes are Different than Your Regular Hair Brush

There are special brushes available for detangling your hair. You can buy one that suits your hair type. The tangled brush can be of different types. They differ in size and shape.


  • Do not start brushing your hair from the root
  • Keep your hairbrush clean

How to Prevent Tangled Hair

Prevention is always better. Take the necessary steps to prevent your hair from tangling. Forget about solving your tangled hair problem. Please start at the bottom and prevent it from happening. A few tips to prevent tangling-

  • Comb your hair daily. Keep your comb clean.
  • Don’t use too many hair products.
  • Try trimming your hair every 5 to 6 weeks, even if you maintain a long layered hairstyle.
  • Cover your hair in windy weather. Wear a scarf.
  • Don’t keep your hair open while sleeping. Tie your hair into a braid.

Bottom Line

Many things can trigger rough hair that results in tangles. Maybe you use a curling iron regularly, or maybe you highlighted your short hair. Using different chemical-induced products can damage your hair.

Tangled hair can be hard to deal with. If you don’t take care of your tangled hair, it can turn into matted hair. Learn how to detangle your hair. Learn how you can prevent tangled hair. Most importantly, learn to take care of your hair.

Let us know which method you used to solve your tangled hair problem. Did it help? What difficulties did you face?

Men who keep their hair cut short generally have little to worry about with tangles. However, those of us who prefer medium to long hair need to know how to detangle hair. This is because the hair tends to tie itself in knots during the course of the day, especially when washing.

Detangle Your Hair in Easy Ways

The first step to detangling hair is to prevent as many tangles as possible. This means that care must be exercised when washing the hair to avoid manipulating long strands in a direction that promotes tangling. Most of the effort should focus on the scalp area. Shampoo can then be worked gently from the scalp outward to the ends of the hair.

When drying hair, pat it with a towel gently. Do not use any sort of rubbing motion as this will result in additional tangles. A blow dryer may be useful on low heat, but care should be used because the heat of the dryer can damage hair in other ways.

After removing excess moisture from the hair, a wide-toothed comb can be applied to the hair in small sections. It is best to start in short strokes near the ends of the hair and work back toward the scalp using a longer stroke each time.

If tangles are present that cannot be combed out without damaging the hair, the conditioner may be added to the rinse or applied directly to the hair and left in. Most conditioners contain ingredients that aid in detangling the hair. There are also spray on detanglers that can be applied in a light mist to the hair to aid in untying the knots and tangles.

Under no conditions should one simply try to pull out tangles. What will happen is that the tangled strands of hair will be ripped out of the scalp or the hair will be broken and damaged.

No tugging, no pulling, and no damage in sight.

How to detangle long hair

If you struggle with extra tangled hair, you might want to just give up on brushing all together. The key is preventing knots from happening in the first place before you even get in the shower. “Your hair is most fragile when it’s wet, so brush out any tangles before it ever touches the water to help make the brushing easier afterwards,” explains Siobhan Quinlan, hairstylist and creative director at Art + Autonomy Salon in NYC. If you want to double up on the preventative measures, you can also use a wide tooth comb to brush through your strands while you have conditioner in. Dry, damaged hair is more prone to knots, so never skip conditioner (and if you have fine strands, just avoid your roots).

When you get out of the shower, squeeze or pat your hair with your towel to ring out excess water—rubbing it will cause tangles. Then, spritz in a detangling spray and brush out your strands working your way up from the bottom up. Make sure to hold the section of hair with your free hand so you’re not pulling hair from the scalp. Quinlan also recommends choosing a brush made specifically for tangles like the Wet Brush or the Tangle Teezer.

While you can be predisposed to tangles depending on your hair type—fine hair and textured hair tend to struggle the most—tangles could also mean it’s time for a trim. “As the ends of your hair split, all of those little pieces intertwine with each other and can cause tangles,” explains Quinlan. “A quick inch or so off of the bottom creates a clean finish that’s less likely to get mangled.”

Yet, even with all of these tips, one of the easiest and most tried and true ways to nix tangles fast and without damaging your hair is with a detangler. Not only will they help knots slip right out, but they also boost shine, condition, and nix frizz. Here are the best ones for keeping strands smooth and knot-free.