The 13 Best Detanglers of 2022
It’s never a fun time when you run a brush through your hair, only to jam it to the point of no return like Mia Thermopolis in The Diary of a Princess. Generally, a good conditioner (and lots of patience) will come in handy when brushing or combing out tangles, but sometimes you just need a little extra strengthening to help save you time (and hurt). to the scalp). This is where detanglers come in.
Many celebrities incorporate a good detangling spray into their hair care routines. In a recent TikTok video, Selena Gomez revealed that she uses Unite 7 Seconds detangler in the morning. Other celebs have gone so far as to create their own formulas such as Jennifer Aniston’s LolaVie Glossing Detangler and Jonathan Van Ness’ hair care line with signature full conditioning mist.
“The best way to detangle hair is to brush your hair in small sections starting at the end and then slowly and carefully working your way up,” celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons tells PEOPLE. “It allows you to get rid of all the tangles instead of being harsh on your hair, which you would be if you were going from root to tip.”
Fitzsimons has his own 10-in-1 leave-in conditioner, which he loves to use for his “exclusive AF Bonding System designed to not only maintain hair strength, [but to] restores and replenishes strands from the inside out.” He explains that it’s made to detangle hair while leaving it soft, shiny, healthy and smelling great thanks to Auscent technology that wraps hair in citrus, green florals and wood cream that gradually releases overtime.
No matter what your precious locks need, we’ve rounded up the best detanglers to help create nourished, shiny results. Here are the 13 best detanglers for every hair type and every need.
How to choose the right detangler
When looking at different detanglers, the ingredients can indicate how well the product will meet your needs. For example, amino acids help stimulate keratin production and strengthen hair, while pantheol (or vitamin B5) is better for moisturizing and softening hair. Squalane controls oil and soothes skin, Biotin increases hair growth, and Shea Butter sends a boost of moisture into even the toughest tangles. All of these ingredients (and more!) work on the texture, moisture level, and condition of the hair to help loosen strands and fight tangles.
“When looking for a detangler, I usually look for products with moisturizing ingredients like castor oil that will help the brush move easily through the hair without pulling on the strands,” says Fitzsimons. He notes that beyond conditioning and nutrition, other protective factors will serve you well. “I also like multipurpose detanglers that can be used to prep hair before styling and include heat protecting properties.”
Your hair type plays an important role in deciding which detangler you should buy. “In any case, detanglers work best on all hair types, just make sure you’re buying a detangler that meets your hair’s needs,” says Fitzsimons. For example, those with colored hair are more prone to dryness and can benefit from detanglers that protect against damage and restore moisture. “Drier hair types, and generally curlier or thicker hair, will need more moisturizing ingredients, while fine or straight hair types will need a lightweight detangler that won’t weigh hair down” , he adds.
If you’re just looking for a general remedy for tangles, that’s one thing, but sometimes you’re dealing with bigger issues, like mattes. The consistency and level of knots will determine the type of detangler you need. For daily tangles, you’ll need a leave-in conditioner that you can apply after showering or spray on before styling. If you use hot tools frequently, you might want something that takes heat protection into account. Or for those with intense mattes or thick knots, a stronger detangler with plenty of moisture to break up those clumps will work best.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do detanglers work?
Essentially, detanglers work to smooth the surface of each strand by coating it with a conditioning agent to reduce friction and help separate tangles. With leave-in conditioning detanglers, you can spray them onto the surface of your hair and then comb through, while creamy in-shower detanglers need to be rinsed out.
Can detanglers only be used on wet hair?
You can use different detanglers on wet and dry hair, but Fitzsimons says the best way to use it is on just-washed hair. “The wetter the hair, the faster your hair products will penetrate the hair shaft, which then makes it easier to get your brush through the tangles. If you have curly or thick hair, I recommend detangling it in the shower.
What are the most common causes of tangles?
Tangles can occur for a number of reasons: friction with clothing like collared shirts and scarves, long hair prone to knots, coloring, dryness, heat damage, etc. Keeping your hair up when wearing around-the-neck clothes can reduce tangles, as well as deeply conditioning your hair regularly with hair masks to replenish moisture.
Take our word for it
Madison Yauger is a seasoned copywriter who’s tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has an extensive network of expert sources. She has already covered many different beauty topics, including the hair space. For this story, she spoke with a celebrity hairstylist and researched the detangler market extensively to determine the best choices for different needs.