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

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 Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

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54 Comments on "4 of the Best Detangling Products for Natural Hair"

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Just curi­ous is BGLH Store still up and run­ning to buy prod­ucts?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Unfor­tu­nate­ly no :( We had a good run but things became too time inten­sive, so we shut down the store in late sum­mer.


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!


When my hair is tan­gling real bad even after I detan­gle it’s because it’s not clean. Re wash it.


May­be you have hard water…boil two large pots of water and let them cool and use that to do your wash­es. I had a sim­i­lar prob­lem.


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.

Dennise Hackett

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…


I’d like to add Soul­tan­i­cals’ Man­go Dip Detan­gling Slip and Knot Sauce Coil Detan­gler to the list! HG Detan­glers right there! :o)
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Can’t for­get about the Tre­sem­me Nour­ish­ing Mois­ture Con­di­tion­er! Detan­gles like nobody’s busi­ness :).


I love trese­mee mois­ture con­di­tion­er of course I add, pure argon oil, pla­cen­ta uot oil treat­ment from sallys, and avoc­do and mac­dama­ian put it and my hair is like but­ter


Love it, and love that they have it Sallys yeah

Curlygirl 26
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… Read more »

Hands down…Biolage Detan­gler and Light Con­di­tion­er.


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.


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.


What about leave in con­di­tion­ers? I have not been using those late­ly but not sure which ones are the best…


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


[…] 4 of the Best Detan­gling Prod­ucts for Nat­u­ral Hair […]


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.


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!!


[…] Detan­gling con­di­tion­ers […]


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