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When wash day crosses our minds, we think of the smell of our favorite shampoo and catching up on our favorite shows while our hair is deep conditioning. Sometimes we overlook one of the most important parts of this task: detangling. It helps make our styling session easier and last throughout the week. It also helps maintain the health of your hair to prevent any damage or breakage.  Our curl friend, Jasmina, from Curly Q&A is tired of her hair matting and asked :

Question

Can anyone tell what are causes of matted hair? This is my main problem and I still can't solve it...”

Answer

Matted hair can occur if the hair is not detangled. First, evaluate your current hair regimen. How often are you detangling your hair? Are you thoroughly detangling your curls with a generous amount of conditioner during wash day? These are practices that you should monitor and keep an eye out for and here reasons why you are experiencing matting:

1. Not Protecting Your Hair at Night

Protecting your hair at night does not only help preserve your hairstyle for the next day, it also protects the health of your hair. To preserve your style, place your curls in a pineapple, twist, braid your hair if you are preserving a twist out/braid out (try to not re-twist/braid every night). Sleeping with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase can help prevent your hair from matting and breakage. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase without any protection on your hair will allow your hair to rub against the material. This can remove the moisture out of your hair and can also cause your hair to matt. 

2. Wearing Protective Styles for Too Long

Protective styles are a great way to help retain length and ease the worrying about styling your hair. Even though protective styles are great, leaving them in too long can cause more harm than good. The protective style should be installed when your hair is freshly washed and moisturized. Protective styles can lasts between 4-6 weeks depending on the style and maintenance. Personally, I would not leave it in any longer than six weeks because it can cause matting if it is left too long. When removing the style, carefully wash and detangle the hair.

3. Not Detangling Your Hair Properly

If you style your hair when it is not thoroughly detangled, this can cause matting. During wash day, use a conditioner and detangle your hair. You can use a conditioner with a lot of slip if it will make it easier. You can also use your tool of choice, whether it is your hands or a wide toothed comb. Make sure to detangle your hair gently from the ends to the roots. Divide your hair in sections if needed to avoid not feeling overwhelmed. 

Read more: 13 Detanglers that Work Like Magic for Curly Hair

If you are experiencing matting and your gentle detangling session is not working, it may be best to schedule an appointment with a professional stylist to help detangle or remove the matts by a haircut.