We’ve all been there.

You put wash day off a few days or weeks, because your big hair was fly. Or a prod­uct you thought you’d love turned your tress­es into a tan­gled night­mare. Maybe your beloved kinky Curly Knot Today just up and told you, “Not today!”

When your hair gets help­less­ly tangled,you need a few tricks in your back pock­et. Before you go out and buy the Newest Super Nat­ur­al Slip­py Dip­py Mir­a­cle Detan­gler with Botan­i­cal Extracts, Gold Flakes and Mag­ic But­ter, try these 4 hacks:

1.  Vinyl Gloves

This hack has made it’s way around the inter­webs, but it’s worth stat­ing again. Using vinyl gloves just might save your hair. It is the sin­gle most effec­tive hack I’ve ever used to work through my hair. The key  is to make sure you have vinyl gloves, not rub­ber. Rub­ber gloves act just like a rub­ber band. Vinyl gloves, with their smooth sur­face make it eas­i­er to glide your fin­gers through tan­gles and knots, when com­bined with your favorite oil, con­di­tion­er, detan­gler, or com­bi­na­tion there­of. Just make sure your vinyl gloves are the right size — gloves that are too big or too loose can exac­er­bate the sit­u­a­tion. Vinyl gloves are also a great tool to have if you have uneven, long, or acrylic nails — they pre­vent snag­ging and break­age.

2. Warm Con­di­tion­er

Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven has writ­ten pre­vi­ous­ly on the ben­e­fits of warm­ing your con­di­tion­er to ren­der it more effec­tive for absorb­ing and adsorb­ing to the hair. I have also found that warm con­di­tion­er takes to the hair bet­ter, help­ing to melt away super dif­fi­cult tan­gles. I’ve tried the same con­di­tion­ers warm and at room tem­per­a­ture (cold), and they work ten times bet­ter warm — every sin­gle time. You can warm your con­di­tion­er the old school way, by sat­u­rat­ing your hair and sit­ting under a dry­er or steam­er. You can also warm your con­di­tion­er in a microwave-safe con­tain­er or in a hot water bath. If you’re a show­er detan­gler, let­ting the warm show­er steam work on your tress­es before detan­gling can also do the trick. Some­times, the tem­per­a­ture of your prod­ucts does mat­ter!

3. Let it Mar­i­nate

Giv­ing your detan­gling prod­uct of choice a lit­tle time to work may be what’s nec­es­sary to get over the detan­gling hump. Com­plete­ly sat­u­rate your hair, cov­er it with a plas­tic cap or bag, and let it sit for about half an hour. Extra bonus for let­ting it sit with heat (see num­ber 2)! Not only will your detan­gling be a lit­tle eas­i­er, but you’re get­ting one heck of a pre-poo treat­ment while you’re at it!

4. Use Gel

I’m sure this doesn’t make one bit of sense. If you’re try­ing to detan­gle your hair (like­ly on wash day), how exact­ly will styling gel help? Tan­gles and knots are eas­i­ly unrav­eled with prod­ucts that have tons of slip. If your favorite gel or styler has tons of slip, why not use a few pumps here and there on the most dif­fi­cult sec­tions of your hair? I’ve used Hel­lo Curly Curl Stim­u­la­tor, Camille Rose Nat­u­rals Curl Mak­er and Soul­tan­i­cals Curl Blaze Hair Glaze on super gnarly knots. Just make sure the hair is appro­pri­ate­ly sat­u­rat­ed with water first. If you’re look­ing for a cheap­er way to use a slip­pery gel for detan­gling, whip up some DIY Flaxseed Gel. Flax seeds cost under $2 per pound, and are reusable! Need to know how to make Flaxseed Gel? Check out this tuto­r­i­al from Nap­tural85.

What are your favorite tan­gle-bust­ing hacks? Share in the com­ments below!

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.

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16 Comments on "4 Detangling Hacks For Tangles That Are Doing the Most"

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I let my con­di­tion­er mar­i­nate (while in twist­ed sec­tions) and use vinyl gloves to fin­ger-detan­gle. Both meth­ods make detan­gling my dense, kinky coily hair eas­i­er. The vinyl gloves pre­serve my hair and my man­i­cure. I’ll try warm­ing my con­di­tion­er and using flax seed gel next.


I mix a lit­tle acv n water in with my con­di­tion­er con­coc­tion and that does the trick for me

serena hale

I will have to branch out and use warm con­di­tion­er. The flax seed gel seems inter­est­ing and it will give me a rea­son to use the flax seeds up.


I love the vinyl gloves. I tend to not have very many tan­gles so it works out pret­ty good for me. I also like that it’s eas­i­er on my hair than my bare fin­gers.


I bought a humon­gous con­tain­er of gel acti­va­tor that I haven’t ful­ly got­ten through yet. I tried that as a detan­gler and it was excel­lent!


I tried warm­ing my con­di­tion­er in the microwave for about 25 sec­onds. It def­i­nite­ly worked for bet­ter detan­gling! I only microwaved the small por­tion that I was going to use that day.

Karen J

Mar­i­nate and/or warm con­di­tion­ers aren’t bad. I tried the vinyl gloves ear­li­er this year — didn’t like it. I had a hard time feel­ing for knots and tan­gles. Up with try­ing the gel though.


This title was con­fus­ing, I thought the hacks were doing the most, and I was like,huh? Why would you write an arti­cle about hacks doing the most? I think there’s a miss­ing com­ma in your title.


Well, it seems it was cor­rect­ed.


Def­i­nite­ly gonna have to try #2 the next time I take down my twists.


The Gel hack is so true. When­ev­er I do the wash n go style, my wash day detan­gling ses­sions are easy breezy!! No con­di­tion­er need­ed! All I need to do is wet my hair and the gel is re-acti­vat­ed into a slip­pery slimy, see weed like feel and my tan­gles just melt away!!! When I tell peo­ple this they look at me as if I’m crazy. I remem­ber see­ing Cyn­thiarf on youtube doing this years ago for her thick 4b/c hair.


Oops I mean **sea­weed! Not see weed…


Too funny…I did 3 and 4 this week­end. :) This is the first I’m hear­ing of the vinyl gloves trick so I’ll def­i­nite­ly have to try that.

A Lazy Student

Inter­est­ing hacks, but! This arti­cle didn’t men­tion coconut oil! Do you see my name? That is who I am; I will put off hair in favor of any­thing just so I don’t have to detan­gle it. But omg coconut oil has made my job a mil­lion times eas­i­er. Twist­ing up my hair has nev­er been quick­er or eas­i­er to do. It’s insane. 2 hours were sub­tract­ed from wash day. This is not a joke!

Lavinia Lahrese

LOL! Coconut Oil is HUGE! I love me some coconut oil all day, eeeeeeeeeeev­ery day!!! =D

I have super fine nat­ur­al hair and I’ve noticed the best way to remove the knots/tangles is to do a pre-poo treat­ment with coconut oil overnight and then detan­gle just before wash­ing the hair. The TRICK how­ev­er, is to make sure you wash your hair in twist­ed sec­tions after your detan­gling ses­sion. This way, your hair won’t be able to tan­gle up again!


I will have to try warm­ing my con­di­tion­er def­i­nite­ly!