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To detangle or not to detangle wet hair…that is the question! One of the most highly debatable methods for caring for curly, coily, and wavy hair is the act of detangling.  Detangling can make or break a curly girl because it can be a tiresome and lengthy process. Now, it does not have to be, but as we are all unique, have different health concerns, live in different climates, and have different ages, we run into the problem on which way works best for each of us. With that comes trial and error so feeling that one method is the Holy Grail of detangling and is universally beneficial is not accurate. This is why there are different ways to detangle your hair. Ozal.Howard inquired about the wet method in our Curly Q&A section.

Question

What's the best and least painful way and product to detangle my wet matted hair?

Answer

There are pros and cons to both wet and dry detangling. There is an optimal way (being less painful and less damaging) to wet detangle your curls so let’s share how to do it.

First off, detangling is getting rid of shed hairs, knots, and tangles. It is done mostly prior to or during wash day but one can detangle whenever they see fit. I detangle in the shower right before I wash my hair, but when I rewet my hair and add conditioner (usually during the middle of the week) I will do light detangling just to remove the shed hairs and not allow my hair to knot up too terribly. Yes, I am a wet detangler and see more benefit it doing it this way as the water aids in my detangling.

The object in wet detangling is enlisting the help of water, conditioner, and oils to remove the shed hair, knots, and tangles. Here are some tips on decreasing the time, damage, and pain factor in your wet detangling:

Completely saturate the hair

Let water aid in releasing shed hairs and stubborn knots. I never begin detangling until my hair is fully saturated. Even though hair is more fragile when wet, it is more flexible and easier to comb than with dry hair. You can also consider damp detangling so that your hair is stronger than being in a fully wet state.

Use tons of conditioner (usually a cheap one)

The hair is in a weaker state when wet so slather on either a super cheap conditioner or detangler. These products use ingredients like silicones and marshmallow root to provide massive slip for releasing knots and tangles. Adding a few drops of your favorite oil will also help with detangling less painfully.

Less comb, more fingers

Try using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to release knots. Never use a small tooth comb. Finger detangling allows you to feel for the knots and tangles better. Finger detangling leaves for less manipulation of the strands and less breakage than using a comb.

Work in sections

It is always a good idea to work in small sections when detangling your curls, coils, and waves. This ensures all hairs are fully detangled and you do not become overwhelmed trying to detangle a full head at once.

Favorite detanglers

Here are some top-notch favorite detanglers that curly girls rave about. These detanglers will help in lessening the time and pain with wet detangling.

Read more: Should You Detangle Wet or Dry?...It Depends