About a year and half ago, I decided to start detangling on damp hair instead of soaking wet hair. When our strands are saturated in water, the hair shaft swells, making it weak and vulnerable to breakage. Since my 4a coils are fine in width, I know that even though wet detangling in the shower was easier, it is not the best approach to prevent breakage.
After parting my hair in six sections before removing tangles and shed hair at the sink, I reach for one of these five conditioners (daily conditioners and leave-in conditioners”> with slip that eliminate all friction between my strands for smooth application.
1. Brown Butter Beauty Sweet Milk Hair Detangling Leave in Conditioner
When in need of a leave-in detangler with strengthening properties, I reach for the Brown Butter Beauty Sweet Milk Detangling Leave in Conditioner. It has hydrolyzed wheat protein to help make the weak points along the hair shaft stronger for less breakage, and is also great for those who do not like overpowering fragrances. It spreads easily without excessive application.
2. Soultanicals Knot Sauce
Love dessert fragrances? Then the Soultanicals Knot Sauce is for you. This coil detangler is nourishing and packed with oils, marshmallow root and slippery elm for slip, and aloe juice for its humectant properties. The flaxseed gel provides curl definition with light hold, making it a great primer for your styling product.
3. Trader’s Joes Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
If you love essential oils, then check out the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner. It is chock-full of oils, like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, nettle oil, thyme oil, birch leaf oil, chamomile oil, yarrow oil, and horsetail oil. Although full of them, this conditioner is far from oily; it smells and feels great, and is capable of detangling a head full of tangled curls. This conditioner is a great alternative to the Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner, if you prefer silicone-free products.
4. Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment
The Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment not only provides great slip, but it also adds moisture. The surfactant behentrimonium methosulfate makes my tangles disappear, and the castor oil and shea butter leave my strands soft, without the need to refresh before my next wash day. It spreads easily, and a little goes a long way. This leave-in conditioner also pairs great with any styler, like the Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Set Styler and TreLuxe Curl Supreme.
5. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner
The SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Conditioner has been my go-to detangler for the past year, and I am still on the same 13 oz. bottle, using 2-3 pumps per section. With coconut oil as the third ingredient, I feel confident about preventing hygral fatigue, and the stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride give me endless slip with little product application necessary.
Read more: Do You Over-Moisturize Your Hair? Understanding Hygral Fatigue
What are your favorite detanglers? Share them with us in the comments below!
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.