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How to: Detangle Long Hair (in Eight Easy Steps)

Tue, 18 June 2013 11:06AM

It seemed to happen overnight. One morning, as I was going through my usual mane-maintenance routine, I realised that I suddenly had really rather long hair.

Ever since this revelation, I have had to rethink my hair regimen. My locks have become so long that attempting my once signature style – a textured, beachy look – simply leaves me with knotty, gnarly, not-very-nice-at-all hair.

You see, when you have lots of hair, there are so many more chances for it to twist and tangle around itself. Something, I’m sure, Girls actress Jemima Kirke knows all about.

JemimaKirkeLongHair

Sound like you, too? If so, I’m here to help! Here’s what I do in order to keep my hair tangle-free …

1. Brush hair before washing it. You see, the shampooing process can dry hair out a little, making for strands that are more likely to catch each other and knot up. So it pays to make sure that your locks are a knot-free zone before you hit the shower. Tip: when brushing long hair, never brush from the roots down, as this can compound any knots on the way. Instead, brush the ends, then work up in stages. This means you can zone in on any knots and more easily work through them.

2. Treat hair before shampooing it. I’ve added in the pre-shampoo step of treating the ends and mid-lengths of my hair with an oil (namely, Kérastase Paris Elixir Ultime Les Grand Crus, $55, salons). Again, this smooths hair, making it less likely to knot up during shampooing.

 Kerastase-Elixir-Ultime-grand-crus1

3. Use smoothing haircare. I’m currently in love with the new crop of keratin-based haircare ranges. As you might know, keratin is a protein, and one that can be stripped during the colouring process. So, shampoo and conditioner that have been formulated with this protein help to reinforce weak hair fibres, which in turn makes strands strong and smooth. Sold? Thought so! Check out these new ranges:

  • Matrix Biolage Advanced Keratindose Shampoo & Conditioner, $29 each
  • Organix Shampoo & Conditioner, $19.99 each, Coles
  • Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner (below), $11.49 each, pharmacies

 TresemmeKeratinSmoothShampooConditioner

4. Leave conditioner on for a few minutes. Most conditioners require this much time to work to full effect – AKA leave hair soft and supple.

5. Try a Tangle Teezer. This genius flexy brush manages to do what it promises – tease out tangles – in next to no time, and with next to no pain. I use it to work through my conditioner, and then once again after rinsing conditioner out. My favourite is the ‘Aqua Splash’ Tangle Teezer, which has been especially created for use in the shower; it’s $32.95 – call 03 9848 8388 for stockists.

TangleTeezerAqua

6. Lavish hair in styling product. Whether you use a silicone-based serum or a leave-in blow-dry cream, such a styling aid works to coat and condition individual hairs, meaning they’ll be less likely to get caught up as you blow-dry them. Speaking of which …

7. Blow-dry like a pro. The only way you’ll get swishy, swingy, silky hair is if you take the time to style it that way. Using a paddle brush and a hairdryer (complete with nozzle), section hair into several tiers, and work across each tier in three to four sections. With the brush underneath each section, always aim the dryer nozzle on top, pointing downwards, to encourage the cuticle to lie flat (and the hair strand to stay smooth). Pack your brush in your bag so you can smooth things out during the day as needed.

8. Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. Seriously! Cotton pillowcases can snag and rough up the hair cuticles; however a smoother surface will mean that your hair will slip and slide over it, rather than snagging and roughing up the hair cuticles.

Tell us, Primpers, do you have any detangling tips of your own?

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25 Comments

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Tue, 18 June 2013 11:42am

    Such great advice and thanks Kat. I didnt realise your hair was so long, id love to see it!
    Ive never tried a tangle tweezer but ive heard good things and would love to get my mitts onto one.
    I rely on oils to keep my hair soft and smooth but eventually nothing will cure those ends and its time for a cut.

  • Posted by: connor 777 Master Fan // Tue, 18 June 2013 05:55pm

    Thanks kat that’s some great tips for my long hair I must say I’m lucky in that as wild as It can be it doesn’t tangle too much :)
    And I love treatments and avocado mashed in my hair

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 18 June 2013 09:02pm

    Hair serums work well for keeping hair tangle free. I finger comb my hair gently to get any serious tangles out. Mind you my hair is just below the shoulders so really not that long. I use conditioners and treatments regularly to keep hair nourished.

  • Posted by: LouAna Master Fan // Tue, 18 June 2013 09:20pm

    ‘The Ends’ by delorenzo has been the best detangler for my long hair

  • Posted by: Amanda E // Wed, 19 June 2013 12:21pm

    LouAna- I’ll have to try it.. I love their products

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Wed, 19 June 2013 01:58pm

    I run my fingers through my hair when I apply conditioner and it really helps to take out the tangles.

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Wed, 19 June 2013 02:19pm

    My hair is always getting tangled! :( That Kerastase oil looks divine!!

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Wed, 19 June 2013 11:39pm

    I never thought to treat my hair before I shampooed it!! I’d heard of sleeping on silk or satin before, I have a friend who does this and swears by it, I’ve just never thought to bought any of my own… might be worth it!

  • Posted by: xdarkdreamsx Enthusiast // Thu, 20 June 2013 02:31am

    Great tips! Brush hair before washing it with a detangling comb gently. Treat hair before shampooing it – I only do this occasionally using coconut oil that I leave in before washing for several hours, or over night. I use a treatment instead of regular conditioner every 2nd wash, and ALWAYS use Argan oil as a leave-in treatment. Without it I can’t even get my comb through! I have really long, bleach-blonde hair so tangles are a nightmare. If I don’t look after my hair, I’ll sometimes wake up with a dreadlock, which needs to be cut out as it can’t be detangled!! >_< Oh and tie it up in a loose ponytail when you go to sleep, stops it from tangling.

  • Posted by: aliasam // Thu, 20 June 2013 12:49pm

    Ooh, I want one of those tangle teezers!

  • Posted by: Daria Devotee // Thu, 20 June 2013 03:27pm

    Thanks so much for this great article. I didn’t know about pre-treating your hair before shampooing. Interesting. I actually use Nak Replends Conditioning Foam to detangle my locks. It acts as a moisturising mousse but I find also my hair detangles instantly.

  • Posted by: inaj Devotee // Thu, 20 June 2013 08:40pm

    Great advice! I always forget to brush my hair before shampooing though.

  • Posted by: thecatwhosawstars Master Fan // Fri, 21 June 2013 08:43pm

    I brush my hair before I shampoo and condition and that makes it easier to brush afterwards. I use a tangle teaser on my sons big curls – it works really well.

  • Posted by: Tina-1291133452 Master Fan // Sat, 22 June 2013 03:05am

    omg her hair is perfect! the loreal extraordinary oil is amazing for shine and to help detangle hair!

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Sat, 22 June 2013 08:23am

    I need the tangle teezer………..For my girls hair. The stress caused doing hair before the bus arrives- argh…, If this halved that time, then I need it!!

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Mon, 24 June 2013 05:45pm

    I do miss my keratase serum!

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 4 July 2013 03:59pm

    Love these tips! Will be de-tangling my locks from the ends up from now on!

  • Posted by: Jannz Master Fan // Tue, 9 July 2013 10:43am

    I have long hair but want it even longer. Spent so many years with a bob cut (which looked great by the way) but I feel a bit more wild and carefree with it long.

  • Posted by: Britty1 Master Fan // Fri, 12 July 2013 03:09pm

    ive got a tangle teezer, i swear by it. my long hair is extremely fine and breaks REALLY easily, this seems to have definitely minimised my loss!

  • Posted by: Britty1 Master Fan // Fri, 12 July 2013 03:09pm

    ive got a tangle teezer, i swear by it. my long hair is extremely fine and breaks REALLY easily, this seems to have definitely minimised my loss!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sun, 21 July 2013 09:55pm

    Since dying my hair with box dye it has become so much more tangle prone

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Sun, 22 September 2013 09:13pm

    I haven’t quite adjusted to using a hair serum before shampoo. I like to use it after

  • Posted by: Lauren-1339916162 Master Fan // Wed, 16 October 2013 08:22pm

    This would’ve been so handy before I got frustrated and just went for the chop. My niece has ridiculously long hair and I need to use these tips on her. The Tangle Teezer almost looks like an animal brush

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Wed, 11 December 2013 09:16am

    Cannot survive without my Tangle Teezer it certainly works like a charm!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 19 May 2014 07:35pm

    Kerastase Elixir looks divine, I would love to try it.

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