Since detanglers seem to be mostly cones, can you adjust your technique to avoid detangling?

I don't ever detangle DD's hair unless I'm co-washing it. I admit, it's braided nearly all the time, which makes life easier. My DD has a ton of hair, and it doesn't much like being handled. But, I did recently try the technique discussed in detail on the tightlycurly.com website and I was surprised by how well it worked on my DD's very shrinky 4A hair. In addition to using much heavier conditioners than I had tried, she suggests separating each curl out and pulling it between your fingers and thumb. This seals each curl, for want of a better description, and I was astonished by how this kept her hair basically detangled for a full week. The curls minded their own business and didn't go looking for trouble! My DD's curls are much tighter and shrinkier than the person who made the site, but the techniques worked just as well.

Of course, all hair is different, and while my DD's hair is very tightly curled and shrinky, it doesn't do stuff like mat from the roots. This might not work for everyone, but could be worth a try!