If your hair is anything like mine, the chances are it is well overdue a cut. I have always had long hair (with the exception of a blip at age 13 when I wanted to look like Victoria Beckham and went for an inverted bob), and as far as my super-long hair goes, it’s always been relatively easy to manage. While my curly haired friends complained of frequent tangling and dryness, my fine, limp lengths had their faults, but tangling wasn’t really one of them.
But then, around five years ago, years of bleach damage caught up with me, and my usually smooth hair started matting and knotting in ways I did not know possible. Suddenly, I was having to carry around hairbrushes in my handbag and adding leave-in conditioners and nourishing hair masks into my routine. And after many conversations with different hairdressers, I have finally come to accept that knotting and matting are just part of life, especially if the hair is wavy, curly, coarse or dry.
But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. And frankly, forgoing my routine cuts over the last few months has left my hair more prone to knotting and tangling than ever before. To help make things a bit easier for those who are also experiencing such knotty dismay, I have rounded up the best (and gentlest) conditioning and detangling products out there for instant relief. From lightweight sprays to heavy-duty curl gelées, there’s a detangler out there for everyone. Just keep scrolling.
Ideal for those who struggle to get a brush through their hair after washing it, this conditioning spritz detangles and also contains heat protection. Perfect for straight or wavy hair that's prone to knotting, but those with coarse hair might require something a little more heavy-duty.
Ideal for coarse, textured hair, this shea butter spray softens and deeply conditions without any artificial, potentially drying ingredients.
Formulated in collaboration with celebrity hair extraordinaire Chris McMillan (yes, that is Jennifer Aniston's go-to stylist), this tangle spray contains plant oils to nourish and is without weighty silicones to prevent build-up. It's super fine, so it's a great option for those that don't like to overload their hair with product.
Not only does this affordable hair spritz smell divine, but it also contains Australian hemp seed extract to tame, smooth and hydrate hair more quickly and effectively that many 10 times its price.
Another one for hair that needs a helping hand post-wash, spray this nourishing milk over towel-dried hair for an extra hydrating boost. Plus, it's hydrating enough for most hair types.
If you like your hair products to be real multitaskers, look no further. This spray from Redken not only detangles and helps to condition every single hair type, but it also acts as a heat protectant.
This mist might seem lightweight as first, but it's actually jam-packed with super-nourishing amino acids and keratin to help repair for a conditioned, bouncy finish.
Formulated with seriously nourishing shea butter, argan oil and sea kelp, this leave-in treatment is ideal for dry, coarse and over-processed hair.
Whereas the other products on this list are leave-in, this particular gelée is actually an in-shower treatment. For hair that needs some silky nourishment post-shampoo without the weightiness of a conditioner, this is a great option.
Formulated specifically for curly hair, this cream works to define and contour curls (sans crunchiness) but also contains Amazonian murumuru butter for serious nourishment.
If your hair is prone to matting, knotting and lacks serious shine, this luxe tube could be just what it needs. With amino acids, moringa seed extract, keratin and glycerin, it softens, smooths and conditions, delivering next-level shine while it's at it.