4 of the Best Detangling Products for Natural Hair


By Christina of The Mane Objective

When it comes to natural hair, there are few things more cumbersome, time consuming, frustrating, and painstakingly slow than detangling. This is especially true for transitioners. Despite it being the bane of my (and everyone else’s) existence, detangling is an integral part of the natural hair regimen. Detangling serves three critical functions:

1. Prevent matting in hair, which can lead to unwanted locs.
2. Remove shed hairs that cause tangles and knots. Shed hair tends to wrap itself over, under, around and throughout the rest of your hair that’s still chillin’/attached to your scalp (in growing or resting phase).
3. Allow the hair and scalp to be adequately cleansed. If your hair is matted up it is more difficult to cleanse; and even more difficult for your scalp to be accessed for cleansing/clarifying.

When it comes to detangling products, I break them down into two categories: pre-wash and mid-week. Here are my top two picks for each:


Pre-wash detanglers are those I like to use after I pre-poo, but before I wash my hair. I’ve tried quite a few products in this category — ranging from Coconut Oil or Curl Enhancing Smoothie to Infusium 23. However, what seems to work best on my pre-wash days are conditioners with plenty of slip.

#1 Pick: Tresemme Split Remedy Conditioner

To me, this conditioner is the slipperiest of the slippery. Tresemme doesn’t even pretend to try to make this stuff thick and goopy — it practically oozes out the bottle at the slightest squeeze. It is super slippery, and has a pleasant smell. Needless to say, I don’t recommend this product for its intended use. Just in case you are curious, it does “mend” split ends temporarily. But they go right back to splitting unless you regularly continue to apply the conditioner. The best way to cure split ends is to get rid of them. Additionally, this isn’t a great co-washing or conditioning product — too many silicones and not enough moisturizing/softening agents to be effective. Even in spite of all that, I’d detangle my hair with this stuff any day.

#2 Pick: U R Curly Quinoa Protein Conditioner

I can’t say enough about this conditioner….except that I’m having theeeeee hardest time finding where to purchase more of this stuff locally. I initially received a full-size bottle of this conditioner in my November Curl Kit for review on Black Girl with Long Hair. And I must say, I was skeptical at first. Quinoa? Word? Then I read the ingredient list…. menthol? Like, as in Vicks Vapo Rub? But when I read what the bottle said it would do, my interest piqued. I will go into further details about the ingredients and whatnot in a post soon, but suffice it to say that this product eased its way up the ladder past plenty of natural staples. I mixed it with water in a spray bottle to detangle my hair. It is great for co-washes and conditioning, and the menthol actually works to create a cooling sensation on the scalp…but  more on that later. What I liked best about U R Curl’s Quinoa Protein Conditoner is how it helped keep my hair detangled after I washed it. Usually, I do mid-week detangle sessions so my weekend detangles aren’t so terrible. But with this stuff, by mid-week all I needed was a little bit mixed with water in a spray bottle and a few finger rakes through.


Although protective styles are awesome, my hair gets tangled in them anyways — especially with buns. To prevent an utterly abysmal situation at the end of the week, usually around Wednesday I do a quick finger detangle with a light product. Light detangling products are also good for transitioning from a protective style to prepping for a braid/twist/bantu knot out. Light detanglers will give you enough slip to effectively detangle without the heaviness of oils or conditioners. Additionally, they leave your hair damp, at most.

#1 Pick: Kinky Curly Knot Today

If KCNT doubled the size of the bottle and left pricing the same, I would never use another detangler in my life. But the price point for such a small bottle makes this an every once in a while purchase for me. Even though a little goes a long way, my new natural hair is super thick/dense and swallows this stuff whole. Even still, it’s my #1 because of it’s versatility, light-weight formulation, and waterless make-up. It’s a detangler, light conditioner, hair refresher, detangler, and more. Because it doesn’t contain water, it won’t dampen the hair. Plus, the smell is adorable.

#2 Pick: Target Up & Up Hair Detangler

Random, right? The story here is, I needed a quick and light detangle for putting my hair into two french braids. I ran to Target, in search of Kinky Curly Knot Today. They were all out, and I didn’t have time to go to another store. So I chanced up on this stuff on the baby aisle…of all places. My logic was that, if it’s safe enough for baby/kid hair, then it should be fine for me. While I am still breaking down all the ingredients exactly, the active ones are essentially slip-providing agents found in most conditioners, and silicones. It detangled, and didn’t weigh my hair down. At $1.34 for a 10oz bottle, how could I not include this little gem?

What do you think should be on this list? What are your favorite detangling products?

Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

54 thoughts on “4 of the Best Detangling Products for Natural Hair

  1. I constantly struggle with this, my hair is always in need of detangling even straight after it has just been detangled! Its really disheartening as it meeans that its almost impossible to retain length and even blowdrying it straight is way too much hassle and makes its too dry to manage at all. I think I need help or a hair transplant – its that thick kinky coily type hair that just wont be tamed!

  2. I am a huge fan of KCKT, although like Christina, I have to treat it as a once-in-a-while purchase because budget-wise, it’s too expensive to become a staple for me. But I love how it gently detangles and nourishes my hair without weighing it down.

  3. I’ve had a horrible time with keeping my hair detangeled. So much that I would just cut the knots out sometimes. I started using this product called Hair Tease about 6 months ago and I love it! My hair is much more manageable after I wash it and it doesn’t break off when I comb it. It’s pretty much replaced my regular conditioner. I haven’t seen my hair this healthy since I was a kid. You can check it out here… http://www.thehairtease.com

  4. I’d like to add Soultanicals’ Mango Dip Detangling Slip and Knot Sauce Coil Detangler to the list! HG Detanglers right there! :o) http://www.soultanicals.com/hair-care/

  5. I use Nutress Instant Conditioner and Stop Break Hair Enhancer which are both incredible detanglers and super affordable – like under $5 a bottle (the instant conditioner is slightly thicker where the stop break is more watery). They both have mostly the same ingredients but they works so well and leave my hair incredibly soft. The problem is I went and let a big muscle bound stylist rip my extremely healthy hair out with a paddle brush one day when I was desperate and it wasn’t detangled and I was just praying I had some of that stuff in my purse. I do want to try some of the ones mentioned above, especially the knot sauce…just sounds good.

  6. I like the Hello Hydration from Herbel Essence. It works wonders for my hair, I don’t even have to brush really hard when I use it. Thank you for the other suggestions, I might need to branch out.

  7. My bes detangling routone is VO5 detangle n shine spray.I saturate my hair,put on a plastic cap& terry towel for abt 30 min . I think the natural heat better activates the ingredients than if I just sprayed & went straight to detangling. After I wait, the wide tooth comb almost glides thru my hair with few tangles! Then I separate my hair into parts & shampoo. Works for me& I see a lot less breakage.

    • Im about 7 months post so to protect my hair for leave in I like the detangler by mizani and the cream of nature agron strengthner

  8. Pingback: 30 Blogs with the Best Tips for Keeping Hair Detangled » Nanny.NET

  9. I need a little help. I would like to know which of these, besides Knot Today, does NOT contain glycerin? I don’t like the size of Knot Today, I would use it up too fast and I cannot get it nearby. I really need to try staying away from glycerin because I think my hair might hate it.

  10. Hi Ladies, I recommend pure coconut oil as a natural detangler. I usually detangle my hair mid week. I apply the coconut oil to my end first and work my way and detangle from the bottom up and then add a little bit more of the oil to my entire hair and either put it in a bun or a braid. Coconut oil has truly improved my hair and has stimulated growth better than anything. I highly recommend it!!

  11. Pingback: Detangling conditioners | tash099's Blog

  12. I love Tresemme conditioners! When I used to straighten my hair I used the heat protection conditioner alongside their heat protection spray. LOVE them!

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