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4 Detangling Hacks For Tangles That Are Doing the Most

• Dec 8, 2014

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:

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!

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

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I will have to try warming my conditioner definitely!

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!


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.


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…


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


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.

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.


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.


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 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.

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


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.

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