We've all had those days when our hair just doesn't cooperate - tangles, frizz, knots, and split ends can make it feel like a never-ending battle. But the good news is, there are plenty of ways to combat these hair woes. In this article, we'll delve into the causes of tangles, and more importantly, how you can avoid them.
What Causes Tangled Hair?
It may seem like a simple question, but it's worth exploring - what exactly causes tangles in our hair? Sure, we all know what tangled hair looks like - knotty, frizzy, unmanageable strands that seem impossible to brush through. But what's happening on a deeper level to create these knots?
In a nutshell, tangles occur when multiple strands of hair wrap around and grip onto each other. Live hairs, which are still attached to the scalp, can become intertwined with dead, detached strands, creating a knotty formation that tightens and grips onto itself when brushed.
Damage to the hair can also contribute to tangles, as when hair becomes dry and damaged, its cuticles become raised and exposed, creating a Velcro-like effect that allows strands to easily grip onto each other.
Why Some People are More Prone to Tangled Hair Than Others
If you've ever felt like your hair is exceptionally difficult to keep smooth, rest assured that it's not all in your head (no pun intended). Science shows that there are a number of factors that can contribute to how tangle-prone strands are, from density to moisture levels. Let's take a closer look at some of these below and how they can influence your hair's good order.
Hair texture plays a big role in how prone your hair is to tangles. This trait, which is determined by genetics, refers to the circumference of your individual strands and their natural shape. There are three main types of hair texture - fine, medium, and thick. Each type has its own characteristics, with thick hair being known for its tendency to tangle due to its often dry nature and rigid shaft.
Curl pattern can play a significant role in the tendency for hair to tangle. Looser and wavier curls are less likely to tangle because the individual strands don't grip onto each other like tightly coiled locks do. On the other hand, hair with tighter curls is more prone to tangles due to its tightly coiled structure.
Overall Hair Health
Hair has its own way of letting you know when it's not well - frizz and tangling. In many cases, hard-to-manage hair can be traced back to the health of the strands themselves. If your hair is dry, damaged or over-processed from chemical treatments and heat styling, it's far more likely to tangle than strands that are well-cared for.
Exposure to Wind
Exposure to wind can also contribute to tangle-prone hair. When hair is exposed to wind, it can become electrostatically charged, causing the individual strands to become "sticky" and grip onto each other. In addition, wind can lead to increased dryness in hair, which can exacerbate tangles.
Certain habits, such as constantly twirling your hair, pulling at it, or forgetting to brush it regularly, can also contribute to tangles. These habits can lead to breakage and split ends, which are known causes of knots.
How To Prevent Your Hair From Tangling
To prevent hair from tangling, it's important to take a multifaceted approach that addresses the specific factors causing tangles. Some general measures to improve hair health and reduce the likelihood of tangles include:
Completely Dry Your Hair Before Bed
Going to bed with wet hair will only increase the chances of it becoming tangled later on. This is because when wet, your strands become stretched and weakened, allowing them to become even more likely to knot. For this reason, it's important that you always wait for your hair to dry naturally or use a blow dryer before bed.
In some cases, it's best to opt for a silk or satin pillowcase to further reduce the chances of your hair becoming tangled. Satin and silk pillowcases are much smoother than other fabrics, and have been shown to reduce the amount of friction between your hair and the pillow.
Maintain a Regular Hair Care Routine
Regular hair care is essential for keeping your strands healthy and tangle-free. This means shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, and trimming your hair on a regular basis, as well as styling it in ways that don't cause too much damage.
In terms of the products you use, make sure that they are free from sulfates and other potentially harsh ingredients. Sulfates can strip hair of its natural oils and cause dryness, leading to the weakening of strands and an increase in tangles. Natural oils, on the other hand, help to coat your hair and make it more resistant to tangles.
Invest In a High-Quality Leave-In Conditioner
If dryness and damage is a leading cause of hair tangles, it would only make sense for conditioning and hydration to be the antidote. Investing in a good, leave-in conditioner can be a great way to help prevent your strands from tangling, as it helps keep the cuticles of your hair smooth and better able to slip past one another without getting snagged. Look for products formulated with natural ingredients that help hydrate and protect hair.
If you're looking for some recommendations, we highly suggest taking a look at Better Natured®'s Hydrating Leave-In Milk Conditioner. This high-quality blend is crafted with 97% naturally-derived* ingredients and formulated with our Triple Plant Milk blend of Tahitian Palm, Coconut and White Orchid. The fresh fruity-floral fragrance gives your leave-in session an exotic vibe. Simply apply a few spritzes onto clean, damp hair to hydrate, soften and smooth locks while also protecting against your blow dryer’s blast.
Restore Your Hair's Inner Moisture Levels With a Replenishing Masque
In some cases, the causes of tangled hair go beyond superficial causes and can be linked to the health of strands themselves. Brittle, poorly moisturized locks can be a major culprit when it comes to tangles, as the strands don't have enough of their own natural oils to keep them slippery and soft.
To help reverse this problem, you'll want to incorporate a hydrating and nourishing hair mask into your regular hair care routine. These masks infuse the hair with beneficial ingredients that help repair damage, restore vibrancy and promote inner moisture levels.
Our product recommendation would be Better Natured®'s Moisture Replenishing Masque which comes with 6 fl. oz of protective, lipid-rich product for next-level smoothness. It's created with 97% naturally-derived* ingredients and responsibly formulated without silicone or parabens. All you need to do to work its magic is apply a generous amount to your locks, leave it in for three to five minutes and rinse. Repeating one to three times a week will fortify your hair with the hydration it needs to help stay tangle-free.
Use Heat Styling Lotion
As we've already covered, hair damage is a prime cause of tangled and frizzy hair. The cause of that damage? Heat styling tools. Stopping hair tangles requires not only treating the symptoms, but also the factors responsible for causing them. If you're going to be using any heat on your mane, make sure you apply a good heat styling lotion prior. This way, you'll protect your hair from the damage caused by the styling tool and lessen the chances of tangle formation.
There are tons of options for heat styling products on the market, but our favorite has to be Better Natured®'s Heat Styling Lotion. This cream is created with 93% naturally-derived* ingredients. This heat styler comes with an extra boost of conditioning power thanks to added coconut oil, plus an amazing texture with our signature Triple Plant blend of Tahitian Palm, Coconut and White Orchid milk.
Just squeeze a small amount into your palms and work it evenly throughout damp hair before styling, then a bit more afterward to keep flyaways at bay and deliver up to 96 hours of frizz control.
By now, you should know that a 'bad hair day' due to tangles and frizz is totally preventable. All it takes are the right habits, products, a bit of patience and dedication to help protect your hair from the various aggressors that would otherwise cause it to be unruly. Start with the tips outlined in this article and you'll be well on your way to helping save your tresses from a lifetime of tangles and knots.