Is it better to detangle wet or dry hair?

Sep 15 2020Joanna

Is it better to detangle wet or dry hair?

In this blog I explore the pros and cons of detangling both dry and wet hair. Also, to help ease those tangles out of your hair, I’ve also included my five step plan to detangle hair. With the aid of this, as well as a few natural products, you should be able to achieve smooth, healthy looking hair!

Detangling wet hair

In general, hair that is wet is weaker than hair that is dry meaning there is more chance of breakage and damage if you try to detangle it immediately after showering or bathing. This is down to hair proteins called keratins which become weaker when the hair is wet.

Also, when the hair is brushed whilst wet it stretches but, unfortunately, it doesn’t spring back into shape afterwards. Instead the stretching damages the hair cuticle causing the edges to break and, over time, this contributes to rough and damaged hair.

Nevertheless, as I’m sure you are aware hair detangles much easier when it is wet. Plus, for some hair types such as dry or curled it’s actually better to detangle damp locks.

So, detangling wet hair doesn’t have to be avoided, but you must approach it in the correct way, with some helpful products too! You can discover my five step plan for detangling hair below.

Detangling dry hair

Just as there are certain hair types that are best detangled when wet, there are a few that would benefit from being detangled whilst dry. The tangles in thick, heavier hair types for example, can be eased more quickly and simply if you leave it to dry it first.

5 steps to detangling hair: step one – condition!

When it comes to hair care, washing is always first on the ‘to do’ list. It goes without saying that you should invest in a top quality shampoo to keep your hair clean but don’t forget conditioner – this is key to tackling tangles!

Here at Jan de Vries we are big fans of John Masters, as my colleague Ayesha explains in her recent blog! Their Organic Lavender Conditioner is particularly beneficial as it contains 12 organic and natural ingredients including avocado oil and soy protein which together hydrate and strengthen the hair. This contributes to soft and shiny hair that’s less prone to tangling!

However, remember to massage the conditioner into your hair from the roots up to ensure all strands get covered!

Step two – try a detangler

If your tangles are particularly stubborn then a strengthening detangler may come in handy. If you favour a more natural approach to hair care then you can, once again, turn to John Masters as they have created an Organic Rosemary Detangler. This contains a host of natural ingredients including coconut and peppermint oil which contribute to the health of the hair, whilst also adding volume.

Simply apply to wet, clean hair and leave in for a few minutes. After rinsing well you will definitely notice a difference in the appearance and texture of your hair, as well as in the severity of your tangles!

Step three - dry with a towel

You’re probably used to towel-drying your hair after a shower or bath but this actually encourages tangles to form so is best avoided. However, to cut down the time spent using a hair dryer you can use your hands to squeeze some of the excess water out of your hair and then carefully blot your hair dry with a towel. Remember though – avoid rubbing it too harshly as this will only damage your hair!

Step four – apply a heat protector spray

If you choose to style your hair using a hair dryer or straighteners then it’s imperative that you invest in a good quality heat protector spray. This will prevent damage to the hair which, in turn, encourages healthier, smoother hair.

There are plenty of products on the market here but I particularly love John Masters' Argan Oil. This not only acts as a heat protector, it also contains vitamin E and omega 6 making it incredibly nourishing for the hair. It helps to prevent hair breakage and overall it will leave your hair feeling luxuriously soft and smooth.

You can read more about how to apply argan oil in my colleague Liz’s blog ‘How often should I use argan oil on my hair?’

Step five – brush!

I’d recommend a wide toothed comb or large paddle brush, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, to tackle tangles. Divide your hair into sections and start at the bottom and work your way up slowly until the hair is tangle free!

Other tangle tips!

Ignore the view that your hair has to be tangle free - tangles come part and parcel with hair so as long as the tangles don’t prevent you from styling your hair, they shouldn’t be too problematic.

Remember to detangle regularly - above I have listed my five steps to detangling your hair but to keep your hair in the best shape possible, you will have to do this regularly.

Protect your hair as your sleep – tangles form as your head rubs against your pillow at night so to avoid this, try putting your hair up at night. Plaits are the most comfortable option and will even leave you with a naturally wavy style when morning comes around!