Conditioners are designed to coat the hair and reduce friction. The best way to remove tangles without breaking hair and causing more tangles is to comb wet hair with conditioner added. But don’t comb right away! Apply lots of conditioner to wet hair and gently squeeze/press it into tangly curls and waves and let it stay there for a few minutes. Then you can begin combing with a detangling comb — from the ends on up towards the scalp.
Hold hair near the roots to prevent painful pulling on the scalp for super-sensitive kids. If your child is already terrorized by detangling, settle for less than perfection and use your fingers rather than a comb. During detangling, you can massage the scalp gently.