The Best Detangler for Matted African American Hair

Matted African American hair is the combination of attached and shed hairs entwined in clumps or web-like tangles. Our hair is prone to curling into itself and tangling together creating more difficulty when it’s time to detangle. The best detangler for matted African American hair is one that has enough slip to help work through the matting. And, with the proper techniques and tools you can avoid getting the point of having knotted and matted hair. The key is proper daily maintenance.

Matted African American hair can occur if the hair is not detangled. Loose strands can knot several times around attached hair, create a tangle, and lead to matting if not removed regularly. This prevents matting and knots from forming. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a one size fits all method for finding the best detangler for matted African American hair. A lot of it is determined by your hair type.

Matting for all hair types is typically caused by large amounts of hair that have become twisted or matted together, usually due to its curl pattern, health condition of the hair, or infrequent detangling practices. All hair textures are prone to matting, but African American hair types are more at risk. Detangling African American hair, whether it is curly, coily or kinky, is something that can come with matting and can be really stressful. But we will go over the most common requirements for hair types when trying to find the best detangler for matted African American hair.

The Best Detangler for Matted African American Hair – Tightly Coiled

Tightly coiled African American hair has curls that have the circumference of a watch spring. Their texture can range from fine all the way to coarse. This hair type is prone to dryness, breakage, matting, shrinkage, and lack of curl definition. Tightly coiled hair types may find it difficult to detangle without the aid of some type of conditioner with great slip.

The best detangler is one that provides the right amount of slippage to unravel the tangles and matting. It’s important to look for natural ingredients (think oils, butters, and vitamins) that will protect and heal your hair, along with a creamy formulas that has tons of slip.

The best way to detangle matting for tightly coiled hair is to slather it with some good conditioner and rub the matting between your thumb and index to release it. This will greatly reduce breakage from the tension of detangling and releasing the shed hair from being entwine with the other hair.

The Best Detangler for Matted African American Hair – Loosely Coiled

Loosely coiled African American hair has a curl pattern with defined spiral curls when the hair is wet. This hair type he hair tends to be springy and achieves natural, larger springy ringlets with wash-and-go’s. The loose curls can either be as wide as a jumbo marker to as thin as a pencil. Those with looser coiled hair may be able to use just a light detangling spray to detangle matter hair.

Spray detanglers can be applied to both wet and dry hair. A detangling spray can also work as a leave-in conditioner, and this can help to avoid matting in the future. Because loosely coiled hair can be finer and weaker it’s important to look for a detangling spray that strengthens hair while it detangles it. Do not under any circumstances, soak matted hair in water or shampoo it before detangling it, this will make detangling more difficult.

The Best Detangler for Matted African American Hair Methods

EFFECTIVELY Detangle MATTED KNOTTED TANGLED Hair | Natural Hair Length Retention

  • Using the best detangler for matted African American hair can help you avoid having to cut your hair. It takes patience, work, and product, but it can work. Yanking or ripping matted hair apart leads to further damage to your hair.

  • During wash day, always use a conditioner and detangle your hair especially before using shampoo.

  • Loosen the matted African American hair by saturating with an excellent detangler (like those listed above), oil, or moisturizing conditioner but never a shampoo and water only.

  • Use fingers or a wide tooth comb to gently pull apart the strands, be patient and take your time.

  • The more kinky the hair is, the more important it is to use a daily styling products with slippage. Never try to comb the hair out dry. Use a detangler that softens, oils and moisturizes.

  • DO NOT put off detangling matted hair, as it may turn into a more tedious and damaging detangling session.

The Best Detangler for Matted African American Hair Prevention

OLD Braids Takedown: How to Safely Detangle MATTED & TANGLED Hair | Natural Hair

Protecting your hair at night does not only help preserve your hairstyle for the next day, it also protects African American hair from matting. Sleeping in a protective stye or with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase can help prevent your hair from matting.

Protective styles are a great way to help retain length but it is not recommended to leave it in any longer than five weeks because protective styles can cause matting. When removing the style, be sure to carefully wash and detangle the hair.

If your hair is not thoroughly detangled, this can cause matting. Make sure to detangle your hair gently from the ends to the roots. Divide your hair in sections if needed to avoid not feeling overwhelmed. But keeping your hair detangled regularly can help prevent matting.


Using a product with slip is important when finding the best detangler for matted African American hair. You can’t run a comb through a dry, tight coil and expect for it to not get damaged. knowing your hair type and what works for it is important because although hair is easier to deal with when it is wet, it also is weaker and more vulnerable to breakage. You cannot detangle finer hair when it is soaking wet like some of the other hair types can. It is important to wait until hair is about 25-50 percent dry until you start to do your detangling.

Want to create your own detangler for matted African American hair? Check out The Absolute Best Detangler for Matted Hair and 11 Tips on How To Untangle Matted Hair.