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7 Ouch-Less Ways to Detangle Your Tresses This Summer

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We get it—tangled hair can be a nightmare to comb through. This is especially true in the summer season when high heat days are spent in the pool. “You may notice in the hot summer months that your hair becomes extra tangled due to sun damage, salt water and chlorine from pools,” says Carolyn Aronson, CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare. “They dry the hair shaft and rough up your locks, causing them to catch easier as the hair shafts rub together,” she adds. In addition to the heat and pool water, Aronson says, “hair gets tangled for the obvious reason of messing it up and not brushing it regularly.”

Whether you love the summer sun—and a good pool day—or are prone to tangles, a good detangler can help make a world of difference. With the help of conditioning sprays, tangled hair is not just easier to comb through without pesky tugs and pulls, it can be healthier, too. By dampening your strands with a little leave-in spray and brushing out the tangles throughout the day, “you’ll actually notice your hair [getting] healthier over a period of time,” says Aronson.

In addition to detangling with a conditioning spray, there are a handful of other noteworthy tips and tricks for pain-free combing (and soft, silky, tangle-free hair!) Discover the dos and don’ts of tangled hair, plus the best detanglers for pain-free combing, ahead.

The Dos and Don’ts of Tangled Hair

Do: Spray a leave-in conditioner before combing

If you have tangled hair, Aronson suggests spraying a leave-in conditioner before brushing through your strands. “The brush will slide right through the tangles,” she explains.

Don’t: Brush hair while dry

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with tangled hair? Brushing it while dry, as “it can easily break,” says Aronson.

Do: Keep a comb in your shower

If you’re prone to tangles, keep a wide-toothed comb in your shower and brush through your hair while waiting for your conditioner to do its thing.

Don’t: Sleep on a cotton pillowcase

Another tip for tangled hair? Try to avoid cotton pillowcases. Instead, switch to a silk pillowcase—such as the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase—to reduce hair friction (aka, bedhead!). For added protection, braid your hair in two pigtail braids or protect it with a silk scarf.

Do: Use a deep conditioner

In addition to combing your hair in the shower, you might also want to try using a deep conditioner that promotes smooth, tangle-free hair.

Don’t: Forget to tie your hair up while working out

If your hair gets tangled during workouts, you might want to pull your hair back and secure it during your sweat. You can also try braiding your hair to keep knots at bay.

Best Detanglers for Pain-Free Combing

As far as tangled hair is concerned, following the above dos and don’ts can really make a difference. That said, a stellar detangler is also a must-have. In search of your next “can’t live without” product? Peep our favorite detanglers ahead.

  1. 1. Harry Josh Pro Tools Detangling Brush

    Looking for a detangling brush for both wet and dry hair? Reach for the Harry Josh Pro Tools Detangling Brush. Made with special bristles that work through tangles without tugging and pulling, the Detangling Brush can work through unruly hair, stimulate the scalp and promote healthier-looking hair.

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  2. 2. R+Co PINSTRIPE Intense Detangling Spray
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    2. R+Co PINSTRIPE Intense Detangling Spray

    Before touching tangles with a brush, you’ll want to spray your ends—especially knotted areas—with R+Co PINSTRIPE Intense Detangling Spray. Enriched with nourishing oils and botanical extracts, the milky detangling spray can provide dry strands with a burst of fatty acids, antioxidants and much-needed shine.

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  3. 3. Rene Furterer 5 SENS Enhancing Detangling Conditioner

    When it comes to tangles, a good conditioner can help do the trick. By adding a burst of hydration and nourishment to dry hair, Rene Furterer’s 5 SENS Enhancing Detangling Conditioner works to fortify strands and leave your ‘do looking and feeling softer.

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  4. 4. Leonor Greyl Serum de Soie Sublimateur Styling Serum
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    4. Leonor Greyl Serum de Soie Sublimateur Styling Serum

    Leave-in conditioners and detangling sprays aren’t the only way to soft, tangle-free hair. Using a styling serum such as Leonor Greyl’s Serum de Soie Sublimateur Styling Serum can also be beneficial. Formulated with unruly locks in mind, the conditioning botanical serum not only hydrates and strengthens strands, it can also help keep frizz and flyaways at bay, too.

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  5. 5. DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray
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    5. DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray

    It’s no secret that curly hair can be prone to tangles. To keep the inevitable from happening, try a few spritzes of DevaCurl’s No-Comb Detangling Spray to help make combing through curls a little easier. Formulated specifically for detangling curly hair without weighing things down, the No-Comb detangling spray makes it easier to comb your fingers through your hair without tugging and pulling.

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  6. 6. John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler

    If you have fine hair and are prone to tangles, then John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler is just what you need for softer, smoother, more manageable strands. In addition to conditioning strands, the leave-in conditioning treatment can help soothe dry scalp and keep dandruff and flaking at bay.

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  7. 7. Mason Pearson Detangling Comb
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    7. Mason Pearson Detangling Comb

    One way to manage tangled hair is to comb through conditioned strands in the shower. To make things easier, try a round-toothed comb such as the Mason Pearson Detangling Comb to work your way through the knots. Specifically designed with tangled hair in mind, the handmade comb can make detangling a pain-free breeze. Not feeling the shower comb-out? No problem, it can also be used post-shower on damp strands for a tug-free detangle.

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Beauty Reporter

Jessie Quinn

Jessie Quinn is a writer and editor with work published in NYLON Magazine, StyleCaster.com, Girlboss.com, Marvel.com, and more. She is a graduate of Academy of Art University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism. Originally from Los Angeles, she currently resides in Brooklyn—her home for the last five years. In Jessie’s free time, you can find her creating content for her beauty blog, Hair Skin Kale, testing out DIY beauty recipes, exploring her neighborhood, or binge-watching episodes of Friends. Her background in fashion has taught her that beautiful skin never goes out of style. Follow her on Instagram.