We get it—tangled hair can be a nightmare to comb through. This is especially true in the summer season when high heat days are spent in the pool. “You may notice in the hot summer months that your hair becomes extra tangled due to sun damage, salt water and chlorine from pools,” says Carolyn Aronson, CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare. “They dry the hair shaft and rough up your locks, causing them to catch easier as the hair shafts rub together,” she adds. In addition to the heat and pool water, Aronson says, “hair gets tangled for the obvious reason of messing it up and not brushing it regularly.”
Whether you love the summer sun—and a good pool day—or are prone to tangles, a good detangler can help make a world of difference. With the help of conditioning sprays, tangled hair is not just easier to comb through without pesky tugs and pulls, it can be healthier, too. By dampening your strands with a little leave-in spray and brushing out the tangles throughout the day, “you’ll actually notice your hair [getting] healthier over a period of time,” says Aronson.
In addition to detangling with a conditioning spray, there are a handful of other noteworthy tips and tricks for pain-free combing (and soft, silky, tangle-free hair!) Discover the dos and don’ts of tangled hair, plus the best detanglers for pain-free combing, ahead.
The Dos and Don’ts of Tangled Hair
Do: Spray a leave-in conditioner before combing
If you have tangled hair, Aronson suggests spraying a leave-in conditioner before brushing through your strands. “The brush will slide right through the tangles,” she explains.
Don’t: Brush hair while dry
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One of the biggest mistakes you can make with tangled hair? Brushing it while dry, as “it can easily break,” says Aronson.
Do: Keep a comb in your shower
If you’re prone to tangles, keep a wide-toothed comb in your shower and brush through your hair while waiting for your conditioner to do its thing.
Don’t: Sleep on a cotton pillowcase
Another tip for tangled hair? Try to avoid cotton pillowcases. Instead, switch to a silk pillowcase—such as the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase—to reduce hair friction (aka, bedhead!). For added protection, braid your hair in two pigtail braids or protect it with a silk scarf.
Do: Use a deep conditioner
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In addition to combing your hair in the shower, you might also want to try using a deep conditioner that promotes smooth, tangle-free hair.
Don’t: Forget to tie your hair up while working out
If your hair gets tangled during workouts, you might want to pull your hair back and secure it during your sweat. You can also try braiding your hair to keep knots at bay.
Best Detanglers for Pain-Free Combing
As far as tangled hair is concerned, following the above dos and don’ts can really make a difference. That said, a stellar detangler is also a must-have. In search of your next “can’t live without” product? Peep our favorite detanglers ahead.