Remedies for Knotted and Tangled Hair

Depending on the kind of hair you are dealing with, there are a ways to get it untangled. This guide is about remedies for knotted and tangled hair.

Knotted and Tangled Hair
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Please need help. I have a 5year old mixed race daughter (she has more of African hair). Her hair is stressing me out and don't know what to do. I am thinking of using texturiser, but really don't want to because of the chemicals.

I have tried almost all hair products to soften hair, but she keeps crying. I bought a hot comb to try stretch it out, but she still cried.

I am currently using Tresemme Mositure plus both shampoo and conditioner as I use them for my own natural hair as well, but don't think it is helping her. I am still using Dark and Lovely detangled spray, but she is still crying.

Please need help because my only option now is to cut her hair really short or use a kid's hair softener (Just for Me, Beautiful Beginnings).


By Emma B

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Hey Emma,

Being mixed, I've been through it myself with not knowing what to do with my hair. My mom relaxed my hair when younger to better deal with it's thickness (she relaxed her hair too, so she knew how to style it better when straight). I recently chopped off my hair almost a year ago to get back to being naturally curly and learning to love my hair as-is. Please do NOT relax her hair or use chemicals. You both will appreciate it in the long run as it'll only cause more breakage. There are many curly girls out there who support each other and many tips/tricks on curly blogs and youtube for sure for visuals. You can check my blog for some tips @

One tip, before attempting to work with her hair, try spritzing with water (moisture) then adding oils (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) to soften. Leave that in until you can almost run your fingers through her hair without hurting her. Then wash it out with SULFATE-FREE shampoo or use a cleansing cream. You could also just rinse with conditioner (aka co-washing). Detangle her hair when wet, after adding lots of leave-in conditioner, trust me if her hair is thick it will soak it all up! Try giving her about 4 braids or so (more if her hair is shorter), leave it overnight, then when dry, undo the braids. This will give her a wavy look and her hair will be more manageable.

Hope this helps as a starter, but start googling and checking youtube/blogs. There is SO much information out there to help you out :) Goodluck on your/her hair journey!

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My husband and I are in our 60s. He loves my hair, and has requested that I grow it long for him. So I thought I should at least give it a try. For some strange reason, I didn't remember that it can get matted if it is not brushed out often. I have tried detangler sprays. I even found a special brush for tangles at a local store. It is really a mess. I spent about 3 hours on it yesterday. My arms hurt, and my scalp hurts. Any ideas? Help.

By Lois

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Dear Lois,

I send my best wishes to you with growing your hair, it can really be a "crowning glory", but it can be a real pain and a lot of work and care. It sounds like you might have dry hair, as I do sometimes. Like the posts recommend, keep it conditioned, and I even will put a little jojoba or almond oil on it while wearing between shampoos - just a little till you see if you like it. This has helped me with lessening tangles.

But the most important thing I always say, is to prevent them in the first place! Control your hair with a braid, one of those lace up things for a long ponytail, or in a bun with plastic hair pins. Watch out that your metal barettes and clamps don't break your hair, and don't ever let it "fly in the breeze" it snaps off the ends-making split ends, and tangles like crazy.

Care for your hair like fine cashmere, it will look good on you!


P.S. Read on the internet about long hair too.

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I remember seeing a recipe for a leave in conditioner for your hair in a magazine many years ago, however I don't recall what it was. Does anyone know of a recipe for leave in conditioner? I think it had fabric softener in it, but I'm not 100% positive.

AC from Minnesota

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One tablespoon of Epsom salts with warm distilled water (last longer without water going funky). Put in a old spray bottle about 22-24 oz. Shake well to dissolve salts. Shake before using. Spray until hair is wet and comb through. Will make your hair curly if its magnesium depleted. Hair will be incredibly soft and easily combed through. Can add a 1/2 tsp of conditioner or fabric softener if your hair is really thick. I would try more epsom before putting more chemicals on your hair first though.

Should use a wooden wide tooth comb. Best for your hair wet or dry. Boar bristle brush for your 100 strokes per night to move oil down to ends of hair. Prevents split ends and stimulates blood circulation for hair growth and healthy hair. Eat well and take biotin. My hair, nails, skin were dry brittle and hair falling out due to meds. Ate more veges and take biotin. My hair is almost to my waist, really stretchy. My hair grows extremely slow.

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For hair detangler, fill a spray bottle with one third hair conditioner and two thirds water. Spray on hair and comb out. This not only detangles your hair, but also stretches your hair conditioner.

Source: The Dollar Stretcher

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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I am having trouble with my daughter's thick tangled hair. Dealing with her hair is a pain and it hurts her when I have to comb her tangles out. Help. I do use conditioner in a bottle, but it seems like it makes her hair look oily or like too much conditioner is in it? She won't let me cut her hair haha.

By Veronica

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Start with the shampoo. First mix the shampoo with water in a glass, before you pour onto the wet hair. It doesn't take a lot. After you rinse her hair, mix conditioner with water in a glass. Pour over hair and work through with your fingers. Use a comb with large teeth and comb tangles out. Then rinse. Her hair should be pretty tangle free. When her hair is dry, if it tangles. Use Johnson and Johnson No More Tangles spray, Spray it on and again use a large toothed comb to comb through. See if this helps.

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I had washed my hair and it got really tangled and knotted up. I've tried conditioner, mayo, olive oil, washing it again with conditioner in it, detangler shampoo, and Vaseline and none of it helped. Does anyone know what I an use for my hair?

By Lea

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I know this is a little late, but I just read your post. I've had this problem before with my hair and with my children's and grandchildren's hair, and what has worked wonders for us is using Frizz Ease hair serum. It is silicone based and helps to de-tangle even better than oil. I would put it on the knot and take a large tooth comb and start to work it out gently, even using my fingers to pull individual strands out as I was able. My one granddaughter said she only wanted grandma to comb her hair!

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I need to make "hair detangler". It is for a small girl who swims every night in her bath, the cost of buying hair detangler is getting too high. I think there must be a cheaper way.

Sharon from East Texas


Hair Detangler Recipe

I put a small amount (a 2 second 'squirt') of hair conditioner in a spray bottle then fill with water and shake. It doesn't feel quite the same as the commercial detangler but it works just as well. (12/29/2005)

By Lilygloves

Hair Detangler Recipe

Our hairdresser suggested hair conditioner also as our daughter has long hair and it is easier to brush with the hair conditioner when it is wet.It certainly makes a difference. (12/29/2005)

By rustyreks

Hair Detangler Recipe

This is not a recipe, but I have 3 girls with long impossible to brush hair and have tried everything! What really works is Biolage Detangling Solution by Matrix (Get it at a salon). The directions say to use it as a rinse but don't. Wash and condition hair as usual and then put a small amount of the Biolage in your hand and rub it through your daughter's hair. You can use it on dry hair as well; it doesn't make it greasy. It has made a world of difference in my girls' hair...wish I'd known about it years ago. (12/29/2005)

By Rebecca

Hair Detangler Recipe


Hair Detangler Recipe

To detangle my own curly hair and to tame frizzies I use a dab of hand lotion mixed with a couple of drops of water. I buy cheap, runny lotion from the dollar store. I mix it in my hand each time I need to use it, but it would be easier to mix in a spray bottle like Lilygloves suggested. (Recycle a hair spray bottle:) (12/29/2005)

By thriftyboo

Hair Detangler Recipe

Have you gone to a beauty supply store? They have genaric hair care products that work just as well as any name brand. If her hair is long enough, why not braid it until it's time to wash it. That will help keep he knots out of it. (12/30/2005)

By onixxx888

Hair Detangler Recipe

I agree with Lilygloves, that's what I do, too. Another suggestion is to pull the hair up high and hold it in one hand while you start parting horizontal across the bottom of the hair (very small parts). As you part, you pull the hair down and comb through it and it almost magically detangles with each part going higher until you've done all of the hair. It's a trick I learned in beauty college about 40 years ago and it really works!!! My daughter's hair tangled so easily, so I used this method with her. (12/31/2005)

By Luvyabye

Hair Detangler Recipe

See if you can buy the product in a large supply... Perhaps you can get it in a gallon jug and a lower per ounce price. I'd try Sally's Beauty Supply. (12/31/2005)

By Carol

Hair Detangler Recipe

I buy the Equate brand from Wal-Mart for 98 cents a bottle. It works just as good as any other brand. (01/01/2006)

By jessiworm

Hair Detangler Recipe

I was buying a Suave children's detangler and it wasn't too much $. I recently found Dollar General has some and it is only a buck for the spray bottle. I never thought of putting conditioner on my daughter's hair that I could rinse out. I only use Johnson's Head to Toe on my kids to wash their hair and body. My daughter's hair is fairly short but still gets so tangly and she really yells and pulls away when I try to brush it out. It's worse in the morning after sleeping especially when she puts her head under the covers! (02/21/2006)

By Debbie52

Hair Detangler Recipe

I found out from another website to put a very small drop or two of fabric softener in a spray bottle and add warm water and shake - spray on hair as you would detangler. This works great on my daughters hair, and she has had comments on how shiny her hair is. This does not make the hair look greasy at all - I would highly recommend this very cost effective solution. (08/29/2007)

By Donna

Hair Detangler Recipe

I had this curly tangled hair problem for a long time and I was looking for some solution. I was so tired using different hair conditioner with not much effect what so ever. Than one day while browsing in the grocery store I just saw the Hair Detangler for kids , Equate Brand on the isle.

For the sake of giving one more product a try to my unresolved problem, I bought the product. And to my amazement it worked so well. I feel so lucky to find a working solution for my problem.

Thanks Euwate!

By Meera

Hair Detangler Recipe

I just put 1 part conditioner and 3 parts water in a spray bottle and shake well. I spray it all over my hair when I get out of the pool, and my hair is a mess. It works really well, and it is cheap too. (08/19/2008)

By Shannon

Hair Detangler Recipe

My 2 year old has curly curly hair, I use the equate brand or the generic from the dollar store. We can not live without detangler, so am looking to make it myself. For overnight sleeping that tangles the hair, try satin pillowcases. They are a wonder. It cuts down on the tangles dramatically. (10/25/2008)

By Rekia

Hair Detangler Recipe

My 2 1/2 year old gets nasty tangles in the back of her mid-back length hair. I have super curly, wiry, frizzy hair and I use Biosilk Silk Therapy ($12/150ml). TWO DROPS rubbed in the palms of my hands and applied to her towel-dried hair.. the comb goes right through, her hair is shiny, and it smells wonderful. And it is CHEAP. I've had this bottle for over a year and I use it daily, too. That is already less than a dollar a month and getting cheaper by the day. (12/09/2008)

By Barbi

Hair Detangler Recipe - no fabric softeners please!

Please don't use fabric softener on your kids hair and better yet, don't use it on your clothes. I learned from a friend who got sick after cleaning out his dryer exhaust conventional fabric softeners are riddled with toxins.

See EPA referenced citation below: (12/31/2008)

By Dave

Hair Detangler Recipe

Hello..I don't have a recipe, however; I highly recommend John Freida's Sheer Blonde Sleek and Shine Detangler. Don't be afraid of the "Blonde" this product does not contain any dyes (it's clear). It can be used on all hair colors and types. You can pick some up from a drug store, ie. CVS/Walgreens for about $5. I wait until they have a BOGO free sale! (01/11/2009)

By CutieP

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Health & Beauty Beauty Hair Tips TipsDecember 10, 2012
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