Need to work through some advanced detangling? Consider your strategy carefully, since not all approaches are created equal.
Most of the time, according to Williams, wet hair will give you a detangling advantage.
“Hair structure is made up of 97 percent keratin protein,” Williams explained at Huffington Post.
“The weakest [protein] bond in the hair can be temporarily broken with water,” making it easier to work through knots and tangles, she added.
For ladies with natural hair, this strategy may not necessarily work. Instead, suggests Lisa Price, co-founder of Carol’s Daughter, try working on dry hair with your fingers first.
“Some people put coconut oil on their fingers and start to work the hair apart before they even bring a comb into it,” Price told Refinery29. “You can also use conditioner on dry hair if you know you already have a tangled mess.”
Celebrity stylist Tasheara Neshell agrees that detangling hair while it’s dry is usually better for ladies with textured hair.
“Soaking knotted hair with water may cause severe friction to the cuticle layers of the strand which can lead to spilt ends and breakage,” Neshell explained to Coveteur.
Statistically, breakage does occur more often when hair is wet – but that doesn’t mean you can’t detangle in the shower, too, says Price.
“Recognizing that it’s more fragile when wet just means to do it with conditioner and do it with care,” she advised.
Most important of all, take your time. If you force a stubborn knot or an ugly snarl in your hair, you could cause irreparable breakage.
It’s better to treat your hair with the TLC it deserves.
When it comes to getting the best of knots, strategy is key. And your number one strategy should be to avoid knots altogether by keeping your hair happy, healthy, and well-moisturized.
If you have stubborn knots, you know using any old styling tool just won’t cut it. Opt for a specialized de-tangling comb, especially if you have textured hair.
“Look for a comb made of hard rubber, which is the best type to use, because they do not split and tear the hair,” suggested Pat Grant Williams, the education expert for Creme of Nature, to Huffington Post.
But, hey, we’re only human. Tangles happen. And when they do, you should be armed with a kick-butt conditioner, a wide-tooth comb, and tons of patience.