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3 Steps: How to Untangle Wet Matted Hair Without Breaking It

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If you are struggling with how to untangle wet matted hair without breaking it, I both feel your pain and have solutions that work.

I struggled with wet matted hair since childhood, to the point where I cried every time my hair was wet and my parents stuffed my Christmas stocking with detanglers.

It wasn't until adulthood that I found my holy grail detangling spray, which I share below. Over the years, I have also found a few complimentary products that work really well at detangling my hair when it's wet without breaking it.

How to Untangle Wet Matted Hair in 3 Simple Steps

Conditioner for Detangling Hair


First, I prepare my hair for detangling in the shower, and you may wish to do the same. I use a variety of shampoos and conditioners, which I wash out, but then I add a bit of a leave-in conditioner before I step out of the shower. I really like this specific Shea Moisture Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner.

It's made with certified organic raw shea butter, black castor oil and peppermint to revitalize and moisturize hair.  Reparative omegas and Jamaican black castor oil also nourish dry and damaged hair. Certified organic raw shea butter and black castor oil also smoothen hair and restore shine. It's non-greasy and leaves your hair feeling soft, shiny and tangle-free. Lastly, certified organic raw shea butter, black castor oil, peppermint and keratin provide hydration.

I got a sample from Whole Foods a year ago and have been purchasing it and using it regularly ever since! I love almost every one of the Shea Moisture products I have tried, and they are also really affordable.

Click here to read all the 5 star reviews.

Spray for Detangling Hair

Birchbox Awards Winner

Next is my HOLY GRAIL DETANGLING PRODUCT! This is the golden ticket for how to untangle wet matted hair without breaking it.

I went back into my Birchbox history to determine that I first received this specific Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray as a sample in my subscription box in 2013 and have been using it ever since!

I consider a holy grail beauty product to be one that absolutely cannot be substituted for something else, and this spray meets that criteria.

Just spray this Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray on wet hair and it smooths out knots while also protecting hair from moisture loss, UV damage, heat, and color fading. Its gentle, floral scent lingers but isn't overbearing (it smells sooo good). It's cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free and sulfate-free.

I can still remember the first time I used it and my brush gently glided through my usually knotty hair. It felt like a lifelong problem had finally been solved.

I spray it all over my wet hair, then let it sit for a few minutes while I do my makeup.

But, don't just take my word for it -- it's a Birchbox bestseller with over 145,000+ 4.5 star reviews at the time of this post.

Click here to read the reviews.

Birchbox has said:

Subscribers went full-on fan girl for the leave-in conditioner that makes hair shiny, soft, and tangle-free, consistently describing it with one very powerful word: addictive.

And it's exclusive to Birchbox, so grab it there.

Brush for Detangling Hair

Next, brush your hair with a good detangling brush. There are two excellent options on the market that I recommend, and they are both really affordable.

Tangle Teezer vs. Wet Brush

My Choice


Amazon's Choice


This specific Tangle Teezer is the brush I am currently using after hearing so much buzz about it, and I love it! It's one of my favorite Amazon purchases. It's gentle, virtually indestructible and easy to clean. Its 325 two-tiered teeth flex over tangles and knots to quickly and gently detangle without breakage. 

Click here to read the reviews on Amazon.

Buying Tips: Make sure the manufacturer and seller are the Tangle Teezer company. I hear there are a lot of fakes out there. I have and recommend this specific Tangle Teezer. Usually, "millenial pink" is the cheapest color.

For at least ten years before, I used the Wet Brush. It was also great and lasted me a really long time, but the little balls on the ends of the bristles do come off after years of use, and it is a bit harder to clean.

Click here to read the reviews on Amazon.

Pro Tip: Start by gently brushing through your ends, then slowly move up closer to the roots. My mom is a hairdresser and this is her top hack for not breaking your hair while brushing it wet.

In summary, while a good detangling brush is a must, I think both the Tangle Teazer and the Wet Brush make great options, so pick whichever one is cheaper or seems best for you!

That's exactly how to untangle wet matted hair in 3 simple steps, which I use myself on my chronically tangled hair. I hope these products change your life as they have mine!

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