Blessed with long hair? Not-so-blessed with long, tangly hair? You’re not alone: tangles and knots are one of the most common problems that women with long hair face when it comes to keeping their mane intact. Because post-jawline hair has so much extra length, the strands south of your collarbone tend to be dry, waxy, or otherwise neglected simply because of their age, which makes them stick together and knot in annoying and sometimes painful ways. To remedy this, try these methods that will help reduce the amount of time you spend painfully untangling, and get your hair back to its shiny, beautiful length.
START AT NIGHT
Ditch your cotton pillowcase
Cotton pillowcases are rougher than other fabrics and are notorious for causing dry strands to stick to them, making tangles and knots. Instead, reach for slippery materials like silk or bamboo sheets, whose softer surfaces allow hair to glide over the surface instead of getting stuck and knotted.
Sleep masks: for your hair
You’re probably used to slathering on night cream to give your face an overnight facial, but what about your hair? Allowing your hair to sleep naked can cause extra tangles and knots, and will definitely contribute to early-morning frizz. While there are plenty of great overnight hair masks and treatments available, a simple and natural way to condition your locks overnight is with coconut oil: simply comb a quarter-sized amount into the hair below your collarbone, making sure to work the oil onto every strand. Unless you have extremely dry roots, try to stay away from hair above your ear line: otherwise, you might end up with greasy hair in the morning. Once you’re done, simply throw your favorite headband, and get some beauty sleep!
BEFORE YOU SHOWER
Brush out your hair before shampooing
With your coconut oil still in your hair (and hopefully mostly soaked into your hair cuticles!), gently comb through your hair, focusing on any knots or tangles that may still be left. Make sure to work your way up from the bottom of your hair to the top: brushing from the roots down can sometimes exacerbate tangles, and working from the bottom up keeps you from losing hair in the detangling process.
Why brush before shampooing? Shampooing can strip your hair of those important oils that keep your hair slippery, so it’s best to brush oiled hair than dry hair.
WHILE YOU’RE SHOWERING
Use smoothing hair care
If you frequently suffer from knots and tangles, make sure to choose shampoo and conditioner that’s right for your hair texture. Look for hair care that contains natural oils like argan and Moroccan oils, and natural cuticle-strengtheners like keratin and ceramide.
Let your conditioner work
Instead of applying your conditioner only to immediately wash it out, let your conditioner sit on your hair for at least five minutes. The hydrating and strengthening ingredients need time to work their magic, so try doing your haircare routine as the first order of business in the shower, and letting your conditioner soak while you wash your body, shave, and wash your face.
Et voila: by following this routine, you should be tangle-free in no time. Long-haired ladies: what are your favorite tips for detangling and keeping your hair silky smooth?