How To Detangle Matted Hair Painlessly (Step By Step)

There’s nothing worse than waking up only to discover your hair has turned into a matted nest. It’s often painful, timeconsuming, and requires you to use that brush you hate.

But what if there was a way to get the job done without all the pain? We’re the matted hair specialists for you. (Well not specialists, but ill tell you all our secrets PROMISE)

If you want to know how to detangle matted hair painlessly, we have a few quick and easy steps that you’ll want to follow.

All you need is your regular shampoo and conditioner as well as a comb and brush.

Check it out and start your journey with us to painless detangling. 

mia having her hair detangled
This is my youngest daughter mia, she is 6 and has hair down past her bum. Tangled matted hair is a regular problem for us, so hair wash day is essential. Even daddy gets dragged in to help!

What Is Matted Hair And What Causes It?

Let’s jump into the reasons why hair gets matted in the first place. After all, we can’t prevent this from happening if we don’t know the reasons why.

The truth behind matted hair is the combination of the shed and attached strands that have tangled together. (which is why some of us suffer more than others, everyone’s hair cycle is different).

They twist together to form clumps or knots, and it is very common in humans with long hair.

Even those of us with short hair have experienced tangled and knots before, it’s likely worse with longer hair. But what causes our hair to become matted in the first place? 

Mias longer hair is more likely to become matted

There are loads of reasons why, and sometimes it’s simply because your hair feels like it. (so dont blame yourself, blame your hair).

Common reasons for hair becoming matted –

  • Illness
  • Depression
  • Leaving hair down at night
  • Hair products
  • Not brushing out knots daily (which could be down to illness & depression)
  • No haircare routine
  • Because your hair says so (No reason at all)

However, a lot of the time it is because you simply aren’t detangling enough – invest in some good detangling sprays and follow our steps on how to deal with matted hair below.

Steps To Detangle Matted Hair Painlessly

Whether your scalp is overly sensitive (just like mine) or it’s hard to physically remove the mats.

These steps will help you to achieve sleek and smooth hair WITHOUT the pain.

We’d also like to take you through the options for dry detangling as well as wet. So you always have multiple solutions to hand. 

Detangling Painlessly While Dry 

There’s nothing worse than trying to drag a brush through matted hair when it’s dry, but if you have no time to wash it you need a different solution. We’ve even got a great video for details. 

 Gryph and IvyRose Get A Grip Detangling Hair Spray

#1 Grab some detangling spray of your choice. Personally, we the Gryph & Ivyrose detangler spray. Apply it generously to your hair, making sure you get the top as well as underneath for the best results.

#2 Take your brush and start to gently brush your hair, working your way through the knots. Once you have brushed over the hair, grab a comb and slide it through, removing the fine hair knots easily to leave hair silky smooth. 

hair brush for detangling

We cant recommend the Vented Detangling Hair Brush enough, it really is the Ferrari of the hairbrush world! (You will thank me after)

Using sweetheart designs detangler on millie, (my eldest daughter) which is another one of our favourite detanglers but is always sold out so we have recommended another fav above.

Detangling Painlessly While Wet 

If you have more time, wet detangling tends to be the easiest option. We even managed to sources fantastic videos that help detail the steps so you can use them on yourself or your kids. 

#1 Rinse your hair in the shower – the shower keeps hair wet and makes it easier to wash shampoo out. Next, apply your chosen shampoo and massage it into your scalp before rinsing it off as normal. 

#2 Apply a generous amount of conditioner and leave it to sit for five minutes. Then, take your brush and start working on the knots.

Make sure the hair is kept under running water while you brush, it makes it easier but also massively reduces the amount of pain. 

Pro Tip: Start from the ends of the hair as it will make it a lot easier for you if you are working from the bottom up as opposed to top-down. 

#3 If the knots are so severe you are struggling to get them out, simply apply more conditioner and allow it to sit for a further five minutes. Repeat step two, and this should ensure the hair is soft enough for the knots to be removed effortlessly. 

#4 Dry the hair gently with a towel and add some essential oils for matted hair to the ends. This not only smells lovely but also helps to prevent matting as well as adding moisture and protection. 

#5 If your hair, or that of your child, is really prone to matting you can also use a leave-in detangling conditioner on the hair every day.

This helps you stay on top of things so that the above steps don’t have to become a regular part of your routine. 

How To Prevent Hair From Matting?

One of the easiest ways to prevent hair from matting is to follow our easy advice above and make sure you are using detangling treatments regularly so that you stay on top of things.

A daily conditioning spray will save you a lot of hassle in the future. (we all know the saying an apple a day will keep the doctors away – well yeh same applies with the spray!)

Additionally, you can also wear your hair tied back in a bun or a ponytail to help protect it from tangles.

A silk scarf wrapped around the hair is also a popular and effective way to avoid tangles – as well as leaving you feeling fancy. (Well it makes me feel fancy anyway)

If you decide to use protective styles, make sure you take them out each morning and let your hair breathe. Wearing them for too long can also cause matting, so give your hair a chance to bounce around. 

Get your hair cut regularly. Trimming removes the dead ends, gets rid of all the hair you are shedding, and restores it to its natural and healthy self. A regular trip to the salon makes all the difference, TRUST ME. 

Read Here: How to remove blue-tac from your hair

Frequently Asked Questions 


How To Detangle A Matted Wig?

To detangle a matted wig you are going to want to invest in some suitable detangling sprays as well as wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Otherwise, it is a lot like your own hair in that it will need to be washed and gently brushed to get it back to normal.

How To Detangle Matted Hair After Depression?

To detangle hair after a depressive episode, the best advice is to be gentle and take it slow. It’s hard to find the energy, but a little patience goes a long way.

Slow and steady wins the race.

You can follow our detangling advice above, and this video provides some excellent and compassionate guidance. 


How To Untangle Matted Hair After Braids 

To untangle matted hair after braids, make sure you invest in a good detangling spray and apply it generously across your hair.

Separate your hair into sections, and use conditioner to soften the strands while you are in the shower to make them easier to brush. 

Really work the conditioner into each section, and use the spray alongside it for those really matted areas. Comb it gently throughout the process, and when each section is done you should tie it so that it remains separate from the rest of your hair. 


Matted hair doesn’t have to be painful anymore, especially now that you have our tricks and advice.

The best way to go is to comb and brush under running water to eliminate the pain and make it a more pleasant experience for you or your child. That and an excellent detangle spray. 

We love helping you learn more about caring for your hair.

If you would like to read more advice and take advantage of some of our best hacks, make sure you check out the rest of our guides. 

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