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When I suffer unusually high stress, my hair begins to shed in the following weeks. Likewise, when I neglect to get my bi-annual trims, I can count on experiencing more tangles and knots. It’s all about finding out what’s going on with my hair and habits so I can rectify the problem, switch gears, and make my hair happy. If you are always experiencing tangles, there is a really good chance you are failing to do one or more of these vital hair care necessities that will drastically change your hair game. 

You are not using (enough) conditioner

There are still some curlies out here in these streets skipping the conditioner step on wash day. Shampoo slightly lifts the cuticle and conditioners are formulated to close the cuticle, making less friction. Conditioner is necessary to combat the stress and tangles that occur after cleansing with shampoo to soften and protect the hair. A deep conditioner rebuilds the health of your hair by penetrating deeper than a regular conditioner to repair and hydrate from the inside out. After rinsing your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner to maintain the hair’s moisture and lessen tangles as your hair shrinks.

You are not fully detangling during wash day

It is a chore no one particularly loves, but when you put it off or do half the job you make matters worse. Detangling is a necessary evil of wash day. In a nutshell, find a method that works for you, be patient, and work in sections. Tangled hairs do not miraculously disappear if you ignore them. They just find other hairs to entwine with.

You are leaving old styles in too long

I understand that some protective styles are meant to stay in long periods of time like box braids, but what about low manipulation styles that you allowed to fester without moisturizing because you were lazy? Neglect causes your hair to tangle even more. If you go a whole week with a wash and go and haven’t added a drop of water, conditioner, refresher, or even touched it, then you are inadvertently creating a tangled nightmare. Stop putting off detangling and moisturizing your hair.

You don’t protect your hair at night

Sleeping on a satin pillowcase, wearing a satin scarf, placing hair in a pineapple, bun or braids are all ways to not only keep hair soft, less frizzy, and less tangles. Another no-no is going to bed with a wet, tangled hair. There is no detangling fairy coming to visit you and detangle your wet hair, so if you do want a serious nightmare in the morning, never go to bed with wet hair.

You need a trim

Trimming is a necessary component of keeping curly hair healthy and tangle free. Raggedy ends or split ends are not smooth and will cause friction with other raggedy ends and create fairy knots or tangles. Keeping those ends healthy and sealed not only looks better but also helps lower the tangles.

You may need to try stretched styles

Wash and go may not be your style of choice if you suffer from massive tangles despite everything you do to combat them. Try stretched styles, as they are less prone to tangles. Roller sets, banding, African threading, heatless blow-outs and even Curlformers help to stretch textured hair.

How do you keep tangles at bay?