11 Easy Tricks to Prevent Tangled Hair in the Morning

Dealing with tangled hair can not only be painful and difficult to comb out, it also looks messy. The causes of tangled hair are many, including particular hairstyles and heat products. Curly hair is even more likely to get tangled and long hair is also hard to keep tangle-free. So how do you prevent tangled hair? Nutrafol gives you 11 easy tricks to stop knots before they form. So start your morning by taking these preventative measures for a tangle-free hair and life.

Prevent Tangled Hair 101


Before taking that morning shower, brush the hair. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush with plastic tipped bristles. This will help your hair from getting tangled when you wash it. And live by the rule not to brush your hair when it is wet – wet hair is more prone to damage and breakage.


While in the shower and shampooing your hair, focus rather on the scalp than the hair and never pile your hair on top of your scalp. Using a natural shampoo without sulfates will keep your hair healthier and not dry it out. Remember that it is not necessary to wash your hair every day. When you wash it, you strip it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and more prone to breakage.


After you are done shampooing, apply condition into your hair, using this as an opportunity to remove your tangles. When you have removed all the knots, gently comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb. You should not usually comb your hair while it is wet, but as long as you remove all the tangles first, use conditioner and use the right comb, you can do this. If you have thick and curled hair, stay tangle-free by condition your hair twice per day. Condition once in the morning or after you shampoo your hair. Then again before bed with a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner to prevent tangled hair in the morning.


When drying your hair, do not wrap, twist or rub it. Gently squeeze it with a towel. If possible, let it dry by its own – giving your heat tools a rest is always a good idea. Blow dryers and flat irons can dry out your hair and leave it prone to damage and tangling.



Moisturize your hair as often as you can and as often as it needs it. Healthy and moisturized hair is less likely to get tangled. Why not try a weekly hair mask, deep conditioning, or make a conditioner of your own to keep the ingredients as natural as possible?


When jumping out of your morning shower, make sure to seal the tips of your hair, using some oil. The oil will seal in the moisturizing conditioner and help smooth and relax the ends of the hair, and with that prevent tangled hair from forming.


Is hitting the gym and being active one of the first things you do in the morning? Then make sure to tie your hair up. If you are playing sports, swimming or just exercising, prevent tangled hair by wearing it in a braid, ponytail or bun. The less your hair moves around and the less it gets matted with sweat and dirt, the more likely you are to be able to brush through it when you are done. Remember to position your buns and ponytails in different spots on your head to prevent damage to your hair.


Cotton pillowcases can cause friction as your hair rubs against the material during the night; this can draw out moisture and leave hair dry and tangled. To prevent painful knots and drying, try braiding your hair or using a silk pillowcase or bonnet to avoid friction.


When trying to untangle already tangled hair and prevent tangled hair from forming again, try to finger comb your hair first. Start near the tips and run your fingers through your hair. Using a comb on an already tangled hair can make the knots tighter, so untangle what you can with your fingers first.


Instead of running a comb or a brush through your hair first thing in the morning, try to apply water and conditioner. No matter how much you prepare the hair the night before, sometimes it’s inevitable to wake up with tangled hair.


Start the day by tying up the majority of your hair. Work in small sections when trying to untangle the tangles from last night. Once you untangled one section, make a bun or a ponytail. This is to keep the untangled hair separated from the tangled one and prevent it from tangling again.

Photos: dassie.photography via Flickr

Enric Fradera via Flickr.

How to Keep Your Hair Tangle Free

smooth hair

Feeling frustrated with your tangled hair? You’re not going through snarl struggles solo. We asked several stylists why hair becomes tangled and how to keep your hair tangle free.

So if you suffer from tangled texture, read the tips below for silky smooth strands.

The Real Underlying Cause of Tangled Hair

No one likes having a head full of tangled hair. Those knots are the reason many of us take measures into our own hands and bring out the scissors. But before taking that drastic measure, find out what causes the hair to tangle in the first place. It happens when the outer layer of your hair, the cuticle, becomes damaged and opens up. Unlike a healthy cuticle, which is smooth and closed, the open layers of the cuticle become snagged on each other, resulting in tangles and knots in your hair, leaving you frustrated and considering picking up the scissors. The more damaged the cuticle is, the worse the tangles.

A damaged cuticle is caused by a variety of these factors.

Heat: If you use heat tools, such as blow dryers, straighteners, curling rods, on your hair regularly, you’ll experience split ends more frequently, as they eliminate the moisture in your hair. Excessive sun exposure can have the same damaging effect. Be sure to protect your hair and avoid potential tangles by using a heat protectant or wear a hat or bandana when outside for long periods of time.

Chemicals: Another way to harm your hair is by exposing it to extreme chemicals, such as bleach, hair dye or other hair products with harsh chemicals.

Not washing your hair properly: It is possible to overwash your hair and strip it of its natural oils. Instead, don’t wash your hair every day and use a gentle, natural shampoo free of sulfates and parabens. When you do wash your hair, massage shampoo on your scalp and use conditioner on the ends of your hair.

Using your towel vigorously: When you hop out of the shower, squeeze the water out of your strands or pat it dry instead of tying it up with a towel. If you do leave your hair tied up in a towel, be sure to brush it out first.

Genetics: Some people have a condition (sometimes inherited) called trichorrhexis nodosa that causes the nodes around your hair shaft to grow thicker or weaker than usual and the hair to break more easily. It also could also be caused by iron deficiency, hypothyroidism or too much ammonia in the body.

Lack of moisture: An absence of moisture in your mane leads to the weakening of your strands and increase of split ends and tangled hair. Always moisturize your hair if you’re tangle prone, says TRESemmé Celebrity Stylist Jeanie Syfu. No matter what your hair type is, never skip on conditioning the ends, she advises.

Additionally, you may experience tangled hair more often if:

  • You don’t brush your hair throughout the day
  • You sleep with your hair down
  • You have super thick and curly hair
  • You have long and fine hair

How to Prevent Tangled Hair

Brushing your hair before bedtime is a great way to start avoiding tangles. Avoid abrasive brushes and use a wide-tooth comb instead to detangle your hair. Also, consider styling your hair differently throughout the week, so you’re not repeatedly stressing the same area of your hair and potentially damaging it.

Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase causes your hair to rub against the material, so before going to bed, make a braid to protect it and minimize friction. When your hair rubs against a cotton pillowcase, moisture is drawn out of it, making it dry and causing it to easily get tangled.

Don’t shower with your tangles, as it can be even more painful to detangle wet hair and make it more prone to breakage. Instead, use a detangler product pre-shower to help eliminate extreme tangles. Rinse with cool water before jumping out of the shower, which will seal the cuticle and works wonders for a tangle-free life.

If your hair still feels dry after a shower, leave in your conditioner to get extra moist and smooth hair. Or consider applying a hair mask to your damaged hair. In fact, doing a hair mask once a week for 30 minutes will turn your damaged hair into healthy hair. Masks can help restore moisture and other nutrients to your hair. You should also let your hair air dry as often as possible. Skip the blow dryer whenever you can to prevent damage.

If you get tangles from too much product in your hair, put a couple drops of light hair oil or a similar detangling product and brush through the damaged area in order to break down the product and soften up the hair.

Take Down Your Tangles

Looking for products to help restore your hair to its healthy self? Nutrafol has natural solutions to improve your hair quality — think strength, shine, texture, manageability, softness and faster hair growth.

Sound good? Discover what Nutrafol can do for you here.

Photos: Paul Scott via Flickr

John Richardson via Flickr