How To Untangle Matted Hair Fast – Untangling Severely Matted Hair Painlessly and Easily

How To Untangle Matted Hair Fast – Untangling Severely Matted Hair Painlessly and Easily
November 22, 2021 Ellis James
If you’ve never dealt with matted hair, consider yourself lucky. Hair can become matted for tons of different reasons, but dealing with it often feels like a crisis. However, it’s easiest to handle hair mats when you address them early on.

People struggling with mats also know that they can be uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. Thankfully, we’ve learned how to untangle matted hair fast through trial and error, so that you don’t have to worry.

Read on below to find answers to common questions about matted hair. We also researched some of the best products for quickly and painlessly removing mats. Plus, we’ve also gathered the best tips for preventing matting in the future.

Detangler Brush and Comb Set - Detangling Hairbrush for Women and Kids Detangling Hairbrush for Wet or Dry, Fine, Curly, Thick, Afro Hair by Lily England - Ombre (Pink Orange)

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What Causes Matted Hair?

Before we address how to get rid of hair mats, let’s discuss their root cause. After all, if you understand what causes matted hair, you can help prevent it from happening in the future.

Honestly, it may surprise you just how many issues can cause you to end up with mats in your hair.

Thin, Brittle Hair

One of the largest causes of matted hair is having fine, thin hair that’s relatively brittle. The longer your hair is, the more likely it is to tangle and snarl. However, thin, brittle and fine hair is especially prone to matting.

Thin hair is more likely to break, causing many loose strands of hair. Once a few strands of hair are stuck together, a knot can quickly form, rapidly turning into a mat if not adequately addressed.

Naturally Curly Hair

Another hair-type that is especially prone to matting is naturally curly hair. Many individuals who have hair with tight curls find individual strands of their hair often curl around each other, causing knots that rapidly form into mats.

Long Hair

Improperly treated long hair is much more likely to mat than short hair. Mostly, this is due to the fact there is more hair for individual strands to become tangled in.

However, frequent brushing and proper haircare maintenance help reduce the chances of excessive tangles and mats.

Processed Hair

Heavily processed hair is often much dryer and more likely to tangle. Correctly cared for hair that receives regular hydration and conditioning is less likely to cling to nearby strands.

However, when you process your hair frequently, it often causes the hair to become dry, making it clingy and brittle. Your chances of matted hair rapidly increase in these circumstances.


What Should I Do if My Hair Gets Matted?

If you start to notice that your hair becoming matted, there are certain steps you should take to help minimize the damage and keep it from matting further. To begin with, consider putting conditioner in the affected area. Conditioning the matted hair will make the mat easier to undo.

Additionally, try to isolate the mat to the best of your ability. When you separate the mat from the rest of your hair, you’ll reduce the chances of it spreading further and keep it from becoming excessively tangled.


How to Detangle Matted Hair Fast

Naturally, once your hair starts matting, you’ll want to get rid of the tangled spots as soon as possible to avoid spreading. Detangle hair as quickly as you can before the area worsens.

Taking care of matted hair as quickly as possible is ideal, as it prevents breakage and excessive damage to your hair and keeps the situation from getting worse.

There are a few different ways you can go about detangling your matted hair.

Detangling Brush for Black Natural Hair - Detangler Brush for Curly Hair, Afro Textured 3a to 4c Kinky Wavy for Wet/Dry/Long Thick Curly Hair Detangler for Women (Green)

How to Detangle Matted Hair: The Detangling Process

Here are the best steps for detangling matted hair. Keep in mind that you can replace conditioners with a variety of natural products, such as coconut oil, argan oil or olive oil as well.

  1. Start to detangle matted hair by putting detangling spray or deep conditioner in your hair. Matted hair is often dry and brittle, and will pull tighter when you attempt to brush out or pull apart tangles. You’re allowing the hair to relax and become hydrated by using deep conditioners on it, making it easier to detangle. You should also condition the surrounding areas to help prevent the mat from spreading further.
  2. Let the conditioner or detangling spray sit in your wet hair for approximately 30 minutes. Your hair needs to absorb the moisture and nutrients to help make the detangling process easier. When hair is moisturized from root to tip, it’ll be slippery and easier to manage.
  3. Get a detangling brush or detangling comb. Additionally, you may want to get a wide toothed comb, as well. Wide-tooth combs help spread the hair apart and can pull large strands away from each other easily. Fine toothed combs won’t be much help detangling hair, as they don’t have widely spaced teeth that’ll make their way through your locks. Fine combs instead of remove loose strands will rip out hair strands instead.
  4. Comb tangled hair starting at the top of the mat, using your fingers to try to separate any large strands from the mat itself. By using your fingers, you’re less likely to damage your hair or cause breakage unintentionally.
  5. Once you’ve separated as many strands from the mat as possible, use your detangling brush or comb to work slowly through the mat. As you begin detangling it, attempt to separate the still-matted area to prevent hair from becoming entangled in the mat again.
  6. Once you’ve eliminated the majority of the mat with the comb or brush, use the wide-toothed comb to finish separating any narrower strands that may still have tangles it in.
  7. Rinse the conditioner from your hair carefully with cool water. Then, reapply a leave-in conditioning treatment or detangling spray to the affected areas of your wet hair. This will increase hydration and reduce the risk of your hair becoming matted again.

Realistically, this is the easiest way to detangle matted hair. The entire process, for moderate to semi-severe mats, often takes about an hour to complete.


Painlessly Detangling Matted Hair

While detangling matted hair quickly is ideal, it can often be painful.

However, there are ways you can easily detangle your hair without inflicting pain.

If you have a sensitive scalp or are worried about potentially hurting yourself, here are the steps for painless detangling of matted hair:

  1. Start by taking a shower and rinsing the hair in warm water. Use a hydrating shampoo and carefully massage the affected areas with warm water and soap.
  2. Once you’ve rinsed out the shampoo, put in some deep conditioner and allow it to sit for at least five minutes to hydrate and help loosen the hair.
  3. Rinse out some of the conditioner, allowing water to continue running with some conditioner remaining in the hair.
  4. Use a detangling brush, starting from the bottom of the matted hair and working your way up. Section off the matted hair and hold it at the top to avoid any pulling as you brush through it. The combination of running water and deep conditioners helps prevent pulling and tugging and allows the matted hair to move more freely. You can also use a wet brush to do this.
  5. Add more conditioner to the hair as needed to help detangle and remove hair knots. At this point, there’s no such thing as using “too much” conditioner. Use enough to allow the hair to untangle easily. Once you’ve removed the hair mats, rinse the remaining conditioner out of your hair.

This process to detangle matted hair can take quite some time, depending on how severely matted your hair is and how much conditioner you need to use during the process. After you’ve got the mats out of the hair, you should treat the hair with a deep conditioner to help hydrate it and prevent further matting issues.


The Best Ways to Get Matted Hair Untangled

How do you untangle severely matted hair?

Ultimately, you’ll have the most luck with unmatting tangled hair by using conditioning treatments. As noted above, conditioner plays a key role in both the quick and painless ways to unmat hair. You may also choose to use hair oils to help hydrate the hair and make it easier to detangle.

Using a detangling brush or comb, in conjunction with a wide tooth comb to help separate hair is also highly beneficial. It keeps the process from being excessively painful and makes it the detangling process happen much more quickly.


Breezelike Wide Tooth Hair Comb - Natural Detangling Wooden Comb for Curly Hair - No Static Sandalwood Comb for Women and Men


Keep in mind, though, that the time it takes to untangle hair that is matted often depends entirely on the severity of the mat and the condition of the hair itself. Matted hair that is relatively healthy, for instance, will be much easier to detangle than hair that is unhealthy, thin or brittle.

Other Solutions for Matted Hair

If you’re also wondering how to get rid of matted hair clumps, here are more tips.

Another solution we haven’t discussed for getting rid of matted hair is to cut it out. While many individuals dislike the idea of cutting their hair, you may need to cut away excessively matted hair. Often, severely matted hair is already significantly damaged, making it prone to matting again in the future.

Cutting away matted sections of hair and keeping hair shorter in length, can reduce the chances of matting over time.

Additionally, once you’ve detangled your hair, taking proper care of it in the future can keep it healthy and reduce the risk of further problems.


Best Products for Matted Hair

If you have hair that frequently becomes matted or tangled, there are some products you should keep on hand. They’ll make the detangling process smoother, faster and keep you from causing further damage to your hair.

The Honest Company Sweet Orange Vanilla Conditioning Detangler Spray

The Honest Company Sweet Orange Vanilla Conditioning Detangler Spray | Lightweight Leave-in Conditioner & Fortifying Spray | Paraben & Synthetic Fragrance Free | Plant-Based | VEGAN | 4 fl. oz.

View on Amazon

Honestly, this is one of the best hair treatments on the market for fine, curly hair types.

Due to curly hair’s nature, it’s much more likely to become matted than straight hair. The structure of tightly coiled hair creates more friction and tangles. This hair detangling spray uses a variety of natural oils and conditioners to help relax the hair. It’s gentle and does not irritate the skin or scalp, while also improving your hair’s overall health.


Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush for Adults & Kids


Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush for Adults & Kids Hair - Detangler Comb & Hair Brush for Natural, Curly, Straight, Wet or Dry Hair (PINK)

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As the title suggests, this hairbrush, designed to glide through hair effortlessly, quickly and efficiently detangles hair.

A unique design and firm, massaging bristles helps stimulate the scalp and pull apart individual strands of hair without causing excessive pain or discomfort.

Ultimately, the brush does not pull down at the hair, but helps separate strands and remove knots instead.


Remington DT7432 Wet or Dry Tame The Mane Electric Detangling Brush

Remington DT7432 Wet or Dry Tame The Mane Electric Detangling Brush with Brush Cover, Adults & Kids, (Batteries Included)

View on Amazon

One of our favorite products on the list, this detangling comb can be used on wet or dry hair.

Its electric design helps it carefully and efficiently pull apart knots and tangles without pulling or tugging.

The comb’s teeth move back and forth, allowing it to separate strands of hair electronically for a comfortable, painless detangling process.


Cricket Ultra Smooth Hair Conditioning Rake Comb with Argan Oil

Cricket Ultra Smooth Hair Conditioning Rake Comb infused with Argan Oil

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Wide-tooth combs are great for detangling matted hair, as they force tangled strands away from each other. However, the Cricket comb is infused with argan oil, which is like having hair treatments in a comb, allowing it to hydrate the hair naturally while you’re using it.

It’s an excellent solution for those who want a tool and a product all in one.


Design Essentials Natural Moisturizing & Super Detangling Sulfate-Free Conditioner

Design Essentials Natural Moisturizing & Super Detangling Sulfate-Free Conditioner with Natural Shea Butter and Coconut Milk-Almond & Avocado Collection, 8 Fl Oz

View on Amazon

Honestly, natural-based products are great for helping detangle matted hair. This conditioner includes shea butter and almond, making it help hydrate the hair and carefully pull apart tangles. Plus, unlike many conditioners, it doesn’t leave behind an oily residue when you leave it in for an extended period.


Tips to Prevent Matted Hair

  1. Make sure you carefully wash out any product used on your hair before you sleep or lie down.
  2. Use conditioner regularly to help keep your hair hydrated and healthy. It doesn’t have to be detangling conditioners, ordinary conditioner should be ok. You can also schedule a regular hair treatment to keep your hair strands tangle-free.
  3. Consider changing your diet to help improve the overall health of your hair.
  4. Braid curly hair frequently to keep it from interlocking into hair mats.
  5. Refrain from processing your hair excessively to help keep it healthy.
  6. Cut your hair at regular intervals to help get rid of dead ends that easily mat and damage your hair.
  7. Brush your hair regularly with a comb or detangling hairbrush to prevent large tangles from forming. Gently pull comb through.
  8. Detangling wet hair is easier than detangling dry hair, but hair when wet is weaker. Pat dry dripping wet hair with a towel to get less damp hair, then proceed with gently detangling.


How To Untangle Matted Hair Fast: A Summary

No one likes having matted hair. However, hair mats are relatively easy to treat if you have the right products on hand and the patience to take care of them. Contrary to popular belief, unless your hair is severely matted, you won’t even have to cut it.

Ultimately, learning how to untangle matted hair fast is a simple process that almost anyone can do with a bit of patience. Detangle your hair without pain or difficulty with our tips and tricks!

Check out more hair care posts on our blog:


How do you detangle hair fast? Do you use a wide toothed comb or a moisturizing conditioner, too? What’s your recommended hair treatment to get tangles and matting out of hair? Do you think hair treatments completely remove matted hair?

Comments (8)

  1. Margot 2 years ago

    Amazing tips here.
    When my hair gets longer I always struggle more to brush them.
    I need theses untangled brushes
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Happy to help, Margot!

  2. Kinga 2 years ago

    Good tips 🙂

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Cheers, Kinga!

  3. Nancy 2 years ago

    I never really had an issue with dealing with tangled hair. Though, I know there are some hairs that are harder to manage. It is important that you detangle your hair without pulling a huge chunk off. I always condition my hair to make it easier manageable. Love all of these different options! Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Yes, there indeed are hair types that are more prone to matting and tangling, and it can both be a chore and a painful thing to go through, to untangle all that hair. Hopefully this post helps anyone who is struggling with it!

      Thanks for sharing your experience and tips with us, Nancy!

  4. Alison 2 years ago

    So interesting to see the different options for combs and brushes! My hair is usually pretty good, but it is long and thick. If I am needing to detangle, one of the helpful things I do (which you mentioned) is combing my hair out from the bottom up. Makes the process more manageable 🙂

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your tip with us, Alison! Glad to see that a method we mentioned also works for you!

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