How do you untangle severely matted hair?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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Detangling Process
- Start 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 conditioning it, making it easier to detangle. You should also condition the surrounding areas to help prevent the mat from spreading further.
- Let the conditioner or detangling spray sit in your hair for approximately 30 minutes. Your hair needs to absorb the moisture and nutrients to help make the detangling process easier.
- Get a detangling brush or detangling comb. Additionally, you may want to get a wide-tooth comb, as well. Wide-tooth combs help spread the hair apart and can pull large strands away from each other easily.
- Start 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rinse the conditioner from your hair carefully with cool water. Then, reapply a leave-in conditioning treatment or detangling spray to the affected areas to 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Rinse out some of the conditioner, allowing water to continue running with some conditioner remaining in the hair.
- 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 conditioner helps prevent pulling and tugging and allows the matted hair to move more freely.
- Add more conditioner to the hair as needed to help detangle and remove 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 mats, rinse the remaining conditioner out of your hair.
This process 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
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-toothed 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.
Keep in mind, though, that the time it takes to untangle matted hair 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
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.
Honestly, this is one of the best detangler sprays on the market for fine, curly hair.
Due to curly hair’s nature, it’s much more likely to become matted than straight hair. This 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.
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.
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.
Wide-tooth combs are great for detangling matted hair, as they force tangled strands away from each other. However, the Majestik comb is infused with argan oil, 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.
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 for Preventing Matted Hair
- Make sure you carefully wash out any product used on your hair before you sleep or lie down.
- Use conditioner regularly to help keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
- Consider changing your diet to help improve the overall health of your hair.
- Braid curly hair frequently to keep it from interlocking into mats.
- Refrain from processing your hair excessively to help keep it healthy.
- Cut your hair at regular intervals to help get rid of dead ends that easily mat and damage your hair.
- Brush your hair regularly with a comb or detangling hairbrush to prevent large tangles from forming.
How To Untangle Matted Hair Fast: A Summary
No one likes having matted hair. However, 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.
Check out more hair care posts on our blog:
- Best Sulfate Free Purple Shampoo for Platinum Blonde Hair
- Rice Water for Hair
- How to Moisturize Your Scalp Without Greasy Hair