how to detangle matted hair blog

How to Detangle Matted Hair

Are you tired of dealing with severely matted hair that is making your hair look dirty and messy?

Have you tried everything to get rid of it but have yet to get anything to work

Understanding how to detangle matted hair can help you revive your hair and avoid having to cut it.

Read along to learn how to untangle those stubborn knots and get more manageable hair today.

What Causes Matted Hair?

what causes matted hair

When you have matted hair, it's because knots in your hair get too rough to remove easily. These knots get hard because they get mixed with loose hair, oil, and product buildup. If left untreated, it can become even more difficult to detangle matted hair.

Here are some causes of matted hair:

  • Irregular Detangling: Hair that isn't regularly detangled can lead to knots. These knots can then get filled with hair and buildup, causing them to get harder.
  • Hair Type: Curly and tinner hair is more prone to tangling due to its texture and the friction between strands.
  • Improper Hair Care Products: Using products not suited for your hair type can lead to residue build-up. This can make strands stickier and more prone to tangling.
  • Dry Hair: Dry hair can lead to mattes because it is more fragile and dehydrated. This could be caused by hair products not working with your hair porosity or other reasons.
  • Environment: Wind, humidity, saltwater, and chlorine can roughen the hair cuticle and lead to knots.
  • Sleeping Habits: Sleeping right is good for your hair too. Tossing and turning at night with wet hair or without a protective hairstyle or silk pillowcase can cause friction and result in matting.
  • Neglected Hair Care: Skipping regular haircuts or not conditioning properly can lead to split ends and dryness. This can further contribute to tangling and matted hair.

By following these steps, you can help avoid dealing with matted and tangle-free hair.

Knots and matted hair can also be due to your after-shower hair care routine. Then read our blog After Shower Hair Care to learn how you can avoid this.

The Problems with Matted Hair

Matted hair doesn't just look and feel bad—it can cause some hair problems if not taken care of. Here are the following problems that can come with matted hair.

Hair Breakage

Attempting to comb or brush out mats by force can result in serious hair breakage. The tugging on tangled hair can weaken the strands, leading to split and frayed hair shafts.

Hair Loss

The tension caused by trying to detangle matted hair can cause hair to be pulled out from the roots. This can lead to thinning, or even worse, traction alopecia, which is a form of hair loss caused by constant tension on the hair follicles.

Scalp Problems

Matted hair can trap dirt, oil, and sweat against the scalp, creating bacterial and fungal growth. More than just gross, this can lead to things like dandruff, itching, and even infections.

Affect Your Hair Care Routine

Your hair care routine can suffer. Washing, conditioning, and styling can be difficult with matted hair. A harder routine can lead you to neglect and avoid hair care practice and worsen the condition.

Discomfort and Pain

Severely tangled hair can pull on the scalp, causing discomfort and, in some cases, headaches. Detangling matted hair can also be a painful process if not done gently and patiently.

Impact Your Confidence

Besides just causing hair problems, matted hair can affect your self-esteem. They can make your hair look dirty and messy, causing people to question your hygiene.

Want to have more good hair days to boost your confidence? Then, read our blog More Good Hair Days to learn how you can get and maintain beautiful, healthier hair.

How to Detangle Matted Hair

So now you know what causes matted hair and why it's important to avoid it. But if you're reading this article, then most likely you are already dealing with it. Detangling matted hair can be a delicate process that requires patience and the right approach. So that you effectively remove it while minimizing damage and breakage.

how to detangle matted hair

Follow these step-by-step instructions to untangle your locks effectively:

1. Prepare Your Tools

Before you start detangling, you'll need the following tools:

  • Brush or flexible comb (wide-tooth preferred)
  • Detangling spray (or cream) or leave-in conditioner (you can try our Hair Hydrate made with an organic formula)
  • Fingers (yes you'll need them)

2. Wet Hair and Apply a Product

The first step is to wet your hair and generously apply a detangling spray or a conditioner that provides slip. This will lubricate the strands, making it easier to untangle the knots without causing damage. Then wait around 30 minutes to let the product soak in.

3. Section Your Hair

Divide your hair into manageable sections. The number of sections will depend on your hair type and matted condition, but when in doubt just aim for 10. Working with small sections at a time helps you focus on individual tangles. That way you avoid becoming overwhelmed.

4. Work from the Bottom Up

Always start detangling from the tips of your hair, gradually working your way up to the roots with your fingertips. This technique loosens up knots and reduces breakage.

Use gentle, patient strokes. When dealing with a stubborn knot, you can apply more detangling product or conditioner. Then use your fingers to gently tease it apart. If some knots just don't want to go away, you can use the tooth of a wide tooth comb to help unravel those knots. Once the knot is loosened, you can then use the tooth of a fine tooth comb to break them up even more.

After you finish a section, move on to the next and continue the process. Once you're done, you should go back over the sections and detangle them again. That way you can ensure you are removing all the knots and making your hair smoother and ready for washing.

Note that you may lose a good amount of hair while doing this. Don’t panic, this should be expected since these knots will contain hairs that have already fallen out.

5. Wash and Condition

Okay, now you just learned how to detangle matted hair. Now the fun part begins (joking). After you've removed those pesky knots, you can now wash your hair to remove all that extra product. You want to use a hydrating shampoo to help bring back moisture to your hair. Our Recover Me Shampoo is a great choice, and free of salts and sulfates.

Next, you'll want to apply a deep conditioning hair mask or hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture. This will help further ease any remaining tangles you may have missed. We recommend our Nourishing Mask, filled with powerful nourishing ingredients.

6. Dry Your Hair Carefully

Avoid rubbing your hair with a cotton towel, which can create new tangles and cause friction. Instead, gently squeeze out the water or use a microfiber towel to softly blot your hair dry.

Last Option. Cut It

If you follow steps 1-6 and still find those knots too hard to remove or causing too much tension, then you may be dealing with severely matted hair. These knots have gone to a point of no return.

So how to detangle severely matted hair? Well, sadly you may have to cut them out. This should be your last option if you are unable.

How to Prevent Matted Hair

So now you've untangled matted hair and have softer, smoother, tangle-free hair. Preventing matted hair is essential for maintaining healthy, manageable locks. By applying a few key practices to your hair care routine, you can minimize the risk of knots and tangles. Here's how to keep your hair smooth and tangle-free:

1. Regular Brushing and Detangling

Use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to gently remove knots. Brushing your hair twice a day, especially before bed, can significantly reduce tangling.

If you have curly or coily hair, make sure to detangle your hair at least once per week. This will help prevent knots from getting harder and tighter.

Not sure what your hair type is? You can read our blog How to Know Your Hair Type to learn yours with an easy-to-follow guide.

how to detangle matted hair

2. Moisturize and Condition

Dry hair is more prone to tangling. That's why it's important to keep hair hydrated. Use leave-in conditioners and hydrating hair masks regularly to maintain moisture and elasticity in your hair strands.

For an intense conditioning, we highly recommend to use hydrating ampoules to give your hair a potent boost of hydration. Our Hair Ampoules Set is a favorite amongst our clients and will give you visual results in under 30 minutes.

hair ampoules set

3. Choose the Right Hair Products

Choose shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that are appropriate for your hair type. Avoid products with harsh chemicals that can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and tangles. If your hair is a bit dry, you'll want to avoid chemicals like sulfates and salts; these can lead to knots and matted hair.

4. Protect Your Hair from Environmental Damage

Wear hats or use protective hair coverings when it's windy or when swimming. Saltwater and chlorine can dry out hair, making it more susceptible to tangling.

5. Use Silk or Satin Pillowcases

Silk and satin pillowcases don't only look elegant but also are good for your hair. They create less friction than cotton. helping to prevent knots and tangles from forming overnight.

6. Implement Protective Hairstyles

Styles like braids, buns, or twists can protect your hair from tangling and breakage. Especially while sleeping or during physical activities. Make sure not to make them too tight because this could cause tension on the hair strand.

7. Trim Hair Regularly

Regular trims help prevent split ends, which can lead to further tangling and matting. Aim for a trim every 6-8 weeks, depending on your hair's growth rate and condition.

8. Be Gentle with Wet Hair

Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage. Avoid brushing wet hair aggressively. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle, starting from the ends and working your way up.

how to prevent matted hair

By following these magical rules, you will help prevent matted hair. If you want to learn more ways you can learn about hair damage, check out our blog 10 Ways to Prevent Hair Damage.


Learning how to detangle matted hair and prevent it is important for keeping your hair healthy and free from tangles. Being patient and taking care of yours is the best way to keep it healthy. Use these tips and tricks to make sure your hair stays in great shape, which will make you feel good and confident.

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What is Matted Hair?

Matted hair happens when individual hair strands tangle and knot together, forming tight clumps. This can happen due to a lack of brushing, environmental conditions, or unsuitable hair products. Matted hair is hard to detangle and, if not taken care of, can lead to hair damage and a messy look.

How Much Does It Cost to Detangle Matted Hair?

If hair isn't severely matted, you may be able to detangle it yourself with just a detangling product, some water, your fingers, and a comb. If you go through professional detangling services, prices can vary from $50 to $300 or more.

Can Matted Hair Cause Headaches?

Yes, matted hair can cause headaches, especially if the mats are tight and pull on the scalp. This constant tension can lead to discomfort and pain. Similar to that experienced with tightly pulled hairstyles.

Why Does My Hair Get Matted So Easily?

Hair can get matted easily due to different reasons. Some include hair type (curly and coily are more prone), lack of hair care, or even the environment. Even using the wrong hair products and not protecting your hair while sleeping can worsen the problem. Ensure you follow a consistent and proper hair care routine to prevent matted hair.