How to Fix Matted Hair: A Step by Step Video Guide

How to Fix Matted Hair : There are lists of things that can leave you with a very confusing appearance, and matted hair happens to be on top of that list.

Matted hair is a situation that occurs when some of the loose hairs twist around other hair strands repeatedly. Very often, the body shed some hair as part of a natural cycle, but sometimes (especially times when your hair is not smooth and straight), these loose hair do not fall off entirely.

Instead, they hang on to other hair strands, get intertwined with those strands and form knots. More falling strands continue to wrap around different strands in damaged or textured hair.

The result is usually this severe tangling that becomes too difficult or painful to unravel. You can think of hair mats as intensified everyday tangles and knots that are impossible to remove with just a comb or brush alone.

Matted hair can occur for several reasons, including terrible detangling techniques used over time, refraining from trimming hair ends for an extended period, and refusing to protect the hair at night as you sleep.

Also, those with textures such as coils and curls or with drier hairs may be more predisposed to hair mats.

When it occurs, most people quickly grab a pair of scissors, cut the hair short, run to the professional hairstylist for chemical-bound solutions, or demand a short hairstyle.

Some of the above solutions are expensive, while others can cause you to lose a large chunk of precious hair.

Alternatively, you can learn how to fix matted hair by yourself and in the comfort of your house. This is what we intend to teach in this short post and answers to some general questions about matted hair.

How to Fix Matted Hair

Equipped with some patience, information, and the right tools, anybody can easily detangle matted hair. Following the steps described below, you too should be able to fix matted hair without spending anything at the salon and with a bit damage to your hair as possible.

Step 1: Comb the dry hair

It might sound tempting to try to untangle the hair right after you take a shower. But detangling wet hair can quickly turn into a bad idea, as we will explain shortly.

Instead, comb the hair while it is dry but not too dry. Use a wide-toothed comb if you have one of those. Combing it while it is not all dry will make it less painful and difficult.

Step 2: Start at the ends.

The combing needs to start from the hair ends. Comb a few times near the ends and then raise the comb a little higher and repeat the strokes a few times.

Continue to repeat this until you reach the root of the hair. The longer or thicker the hair, the more severe the mats will be. And the more severe the mats, the longer the time you might spend detangling them.

Step 3: Raise the hair

Slightly raise a handful of the hair about the thickness of a marker and then twist it halfway before combing the portion under your hand. Then move your grip higher and continue to comb beneath the grab.

Raising it this way prevents pain, and combing it only a portion at a time makes it easier to remove the mats.

Step 4: Apply some conditioner.

If you are having trouble removing mats after step 3 above, try to apply a drop of conditioner or oil on the tough knot and massage it in. this helps to lubricate the intricate strands causing them to lose quickly.

Step 5: Thin out more rigid mats

The above steps may still prove futile with some mats. In that case, you will need to thin them out using scissors. Hold the strands of hair housing the knot higher up, open a pair of scissors and insert the edge of one side of the scissors into the knotted area, then tug gently until the strands loosen apart.

Some knots, especially those formed over several weeks or months of hair neglect, may still refuse to come apart after this. In this case, cutting the mats out would be intelligent as detangling may take too long with no results.

Step 6: Comb with a fine-toothed comb.

Once the mats have all been eased out, you need to run a fine-toothed comb several times over the hair to straighten all the tangles out.

Step 7: Wash the hair

Now that the mats are removed and straightened out, you will need to rinse the hair. You may also consider parting your hair into several portions and rinsing them one at a time if you have tightly curled hair.

Otherwise, you can stand under the shower and rinse the hair just before you bathe.

Why Is My Hair So Matted?

Generally, several known factors can cause your hair to form severe tangles and mats. While the reasons can be separated into chemically-induced and natural causes, they are mostly under your control.

Some of the reasons your hair could be so matted include over-processing the hair, avoiding combing the hair for a long time, failure to trim or cut split ends, and letting the hair hang loosely while you sleep.

Failure to Protect Your Hair While You Sleep

Many people believe that they should only protect their hair whenever they make a new style and try to preserve the new hairstyle until it looks older.

But this is not so. Your hair needs to be protected while you sleep, especially when you are yet to braid it.

 You can try to make your curls into a pineapple at night or braid it just before bed if you have a twist out/braid out.

Also, cover the hair with a satin scarf or bonnet before you lay down. And lastly, choose a satin pillowcase instead of a cotton one as the latter is known for removing every bit of moisture from your hair as you rub against it, causing the hair to mat.

Not Combing the Hair Often or Not Detangling Properly

Combing the hair every day might seem like too much work, but it is necessary if you don’t want the hair to get tangled up.

Also, not detangling correctly can often cause the hair to mat and allow more minor knots to develop into severe hair mats.

Hence you must comb often and detangle as you go, using the detangling steps described above.

Over Processing/ Over Styling the Hair

Processing your hair with various styles is good as it gives you an attractive look and gives you a break from worrying about what to do with the hair for some weeks. It also helps you retain your hair length for that period.

However, over-processing the hair and carrying it that way for too long often result in mats. To prevent this from happening, only install protective styles on wet hair and only leave the style on for 4 – 6 weeks.

Lastly, when getting rid of the style, follow up immediately with a session of careful washing and detangling.

The following reasons may also cause some hairs to be more prone to forming hair mats than others:

  • When the hair is always too dry
  • When the hair is naturally curly
  • When the hair becomes longer than shoulder length
  • When the hair is damaged by heat, sun, or chemicals such as bleach
  • When the hair breaks off easily
  • When you vigorously scratch or comb the hair
  • When the hair is constantly exposed to hot styling tools
  • When you use hair products that contain alcohol too often

What Home Remedy Gets Rid of Knots?

Having matted hair is nobody’s favorite moment – it leaves you with damaged hair, and that is beside the pain and grief that comes with trying to comb and detangle the hair.

It can also cause money to detangle mats if you wish to take them to the stylists. It is almost impossible that the people at the salon will help you get rid of mats for free.

Therefore, it will make so much sense if remedies are lying around in your house that you can quickly and efficiently use to remove knots, and luckily there are a ton of them.

A few great home remedies that can help you get rid of knots include apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, peanut butter, mayonnaise, baby oil, and many other everyday items.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This household item has helped many get rid of even the worst knots. Apple cider vinegar can act as a natural conditioner, making knot removal effortless and painless.

To use, mix half a teaspoon of this item in 2 cups of water, then rinse your hair with the solution. Try to focus more on the areas with the knots. Lastly, use slightly warm water to rinse the entire hair.

Coconut Oil

This simple ingredient can be quite effective and is readily available. If you have some at home, then your hair woes won’t last longer than they should.

To use, pass some coconut oil to warm it slightly, then pour some into one palm and, with the other hand, smear the oil all over the knot.

Once you are satisfied with the smearing, go ahead and use a wide-toothed comb to comb the area, starting from near the ends and going higher gradually. You will feel the knot loosen easily without causing you any discomfort.

Peanut Butter

If you are like most people who love to consume peanut butter, then chances are you will have some lying around even right now.

If you don’t already know this, people have found peanut butter to be a perfect softening gent and have been using it on hair locks for ages.

To use on hair mats, take a little scoop of this item and apply directly on the knots, then allow sitting for a few minutes before rinsing with slightly warm water.

Allow the hair to dry correctly, and then use a wide-toothed comb to comb gently, starting from the ends and making your way up.


This is another very common household consumable. It is also very effective in helping you detangle knots.

Start by smearing some mayonnaise over the areas with knots, then allow sitting for a few minutes. After that, brush the hair using a wide-toothed comb. The result is usually an easy detangling that causes neither pain to you or damage to your hair.

Baby Oil

Baby oils can also come in handy in fixing many hair related issues, including mats. They can make detangling matted hair easy and prevent breakage at the same time.

Find out where all the mats are located, then apply some baby oil directly to the knots. Allow standing for a minute, then brush gently using a wide-toothed comb.


Hair mats are painful to detangle and cause severe damage to your hair, yet they are so common that everyone experiences them now and then.

The cause could be something you did or failed to do, but that never stops it from becoming problematic and causing you valuable time, money, and some hair.

Therefore, learning how to fix matted hair effectively, efficiently, and with minimal damage is an essential life hack.

How to Untangle Matted Hair – A Detailed Guide For Anyone [Video]

Matted hair – those hard clusters of tangled hair that form when loose hair strands get caught up and entangle with other strands forming distinct clumps around the hair – have become a major problem for many of us and most people don’t know how to untangle matted hair.

In the best case scenario, they can be caused by the accumulation of sweat, dust, and dirt, by the failure to comb the hair regularly, or through the build-up of oils, minerals, and other chemical products.

Worst case scenario, they can be caused by head lice infestation, which would prompt the total removal of hair followed by immediate application of the appropriate treatment.

The type of matted hair caused by everyday issues such as dust, build-ups, and failure to comb the hair regularly can happen to anyone but is often more popular amongst those with curly hairstyles.

Since it can happen to anyone, it could happen to you too. And when it does, your first reaction may be to panic, grab a pair of scissors and go to town cutting and destroying your hair. It is also very tempting to consider running to the professional stylist to get the mats untangled.

However, this guide will teach you how to untangle matted hair without paying the professionals or losing too much hair.

How to Untangle Matted Hair

How to Untangle Matted Hair – A Beginner’s Guide
How to Untangle Matted Hair – A Beginner’s Guide

Now that we know what causes your hair to mat and how popular this hair challenge can be let us learn how to untangle matted hair as painless as possible.

For Easier Mats

Step 1: Gather your essentials

These are the items you will need to untangle efficiently and as painlessly as possible. These items generally include your favorite conditioner, detangling or wide-toothed comb or brush, oils such as coconut oil or olive oil, and shampoo.

Step 2: Prepare the hair.

Get your hair ready for detangling by making it slightly wet. You can achieve this by running some drops of water through the hair at minimal pressure.

Alternatively, you can use a water spray bottle to sufficiently dampen the hair. You can do this by holding the bottle next to some hair strands and spraying away.

Also, if you suspect that your hair may contain too much oil or other chemical products, then you may want to consider washing those off first. Then wait until the hair drains properly before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Apply some conditioner.

Once you have dampened the hair enough or finished washing and draining (if it contains excessive oil), fetch a handful of your selected conditioner and apply it to the hair.

Apply and massage until the product reaches the hair ends and fully covers every strand. The amount of conditioner you require depends on the thickness or length of your hair.

Step 4: Allow the treatment to stand.

You will then need to allow the conditioner set to work, untangling and detangling tight clumps of hair strands. The time the treatment requires to attain maximum efficacy might depend on the product you choose.

However, most products need between 30 minutes to 2 hours to work effectively. In extreme cases, some may even be required to be left overnight. You should consult the package to be sure how long to allow it.

Either way, cover the treated hair with a shower cap or a plastic bag. This will reduce the extent of the mess that may be made and hasten the treatment process.

Step 5: Start detangling with your fingers.

Once the treatment time is complete, start untangling each knot with your fingers. It is always best to start with the easiest mats beginning from the roots and working your way down.

Brushing from the roots to the hair ends makes it easier to loosen the knots.  It would be best if you stopped every time you feel a particular knot becoming too hard to loosen. Then try to untangle from a different angle.

It would help if you continued to do this until you had gotten all the knots out of the way. Then finish up by washing the hair and taking a shower.

For Severe Mats

Step 1: Start by combing

Use a wide-toothed comb to brush up the hair gradually. Separating the hair into many partitions will make the combing much easier.

It is advisable to start combing from the ends and gradually move a few inches higher every time you feel you have completely unknotted the mats below your hands.

That is, fetch a handful of the strands; give it a half-twist to prevent pulling the hair directly from the scalp, and brush under the hand repeatedly until the knots have been removed.

Also, it is a good idea to hold the hair higher up while combing to avoid or reduce pain.

Step 2: Apply the conditioner.

If the combing does not remove all the knots, you will need to apply a few drops of conditioner directly on the tough knots and massage it with your fingers.

This lubrication will reduce the effort required to loosen the matted hair.

Step 3: Thin out the tougher knots

Some mats may refuse to untangle despite the conditioning; you will need to thin out those mats when this happens.

Please do this by opening up a pair of scissors, then running the bottom blade of the scissors through the underside of the tough mats and tugging gently at the knot until it comes loose.

If all else fails, then carefully cut out the tough mats. This should be a last resort approach and done very carefully to prevent taking out more hair than necessary.

Step 4: Finish with combing.

This time use a fine-toothed comb to brush the hair from the roots to the ends. This will help you confirm that all the mats have been successfully removed.

Step 5: Wash the hair

Once you have established that all the mats have been completely eradicated, rinse your hair with shampoo and conditioner. Wash one partition at a time to make the job easier. Then take a shower to wash the rest of your body.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Matted Hair?

How to Untangle Matted Hair – A Beginner’s Guide

Healthy hairs usually have a scalp with a pH level of 5. However, as we start to encounter pollution, the hairs begin to suffer neglect. After extended use of different chemical products, this pH level increases to about 7, becoming very alkaline.

This causes the hair to lose its smoothness, shininess, and softness, becoming dryer and breaking easily. The result is frequent tangling that forms several mats.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help with matted hair by lowering pH levels to balance the high alkalinity. Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3, which may be too acidic but can be diluted in water and used without any negative effects.

When used to rinse your hair, ACV can return your hair scalp to its normal acidity and restore the health of your hair, especially if you have natural or curly hair.

Other benefits of ACV include

  • ACV can easily prevent both bacterial and fungal growth on the hair scalp. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it able to counteract dandruff and hair lice infestation – the very things responsible for hair loss.
  • It has essential hair ingredients such as Vitamins B and C, and potassium which are important for clarifying and exfoliating the scalp.
  • ACV can help to stimulate and increase blood circulation to the hair follicles, thereby promoting hair growth
  • Using ACV is not only cost-effective but also an excellent way of avoiding products with chemicals and preservatives that can potentially damage your hair.

How Do You Detox Matted Hair?

How to Untangle Matted Hair – A Beginner’s Guide

Your hair needs regular detoxification after extended use of chemical products. These chemical products may contain toxins and low-quality ingredients that affect the health of your hair.

You can detox matted hair by using a hair detox mask, undergoing oil-based scalp massage, or creating your special detox regiment from household items.

Using Hair Detox Mask

This is a 5-step procedure that can be easily used to eradicate build-ups from the hair at home. But first, run a sensitivity test to ensure your skin will not react to it and wash off immediately if you feel discomfort.

The ingredients used for this method include bentonite clay powder, apple cider vinegar, and Aloe Vera gel.


Step 1: Measure half cup each of the clay powder, ACV, and Aloe Vera gel and mix

Step 2: Take a handful of the product and generously spread it on the hair. Massage until it reaches the scalp and covers the entire hair.

Step 3: Wear a shower cap or plastic bag and allow sitting for 20 – 30 minutes. However, try not to allow the mixture to dry out completely before taking the next step.

Step 4: Measure one cup of white vinegar and use it to rinse your hair, then wait for about 3 minutes before washing with a clarifying shampoo.

Step 5: Lastly, finish up with an immediate detox hair soak or a shine boost rinse

Using Oil-Based Scalp Massage

This is an alternative method for detoxing matted hair and is popularly used by those who may be easily sensitive to a hair detox mask.

The simple procedure involves selecting the oil-based product based on your hair needs, diluting the product, then massaging it into the scalp as generous as possible, then allowing it to sit for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, wear a shower cap or plastic bag to allow the hair to absorb the oil properly. It would help if you also spent some time in the sun to allow the heat to open up the hair pores so that the product can penetrate.

Making Your Detoxifier

Alternatively, those who can’t stand clay or oils on their hair can create their homemade recipe and make a custom detox mask or massaging oil.

You could use baking soda or garlic to make a hair detox mask. Baking soda can make a detox mask that can easily remove build-up in hairs that have suffered mild damage. At the same time, garlic can be diluted in a carrier oil to prevent chemical burns while encouraging hair growth.

For oil-based scalp massage, you can use micellar water or egg whites mixed with coconut oil. Micellar water can remove impurities from the scalp by making it too dry, while the egg white mixture can help clean and strengthen the hair.


It is correct to view matted hair as the arch-nemesis of natural and curly hairs as they occur very often with these types of hairstyles and can be extremely frustrating when they happen.

Yet, they can also occur on just about any hairstyle, making it unclear who is spared from the evils of matted hair and who is not.

However, when it happens to you, do not panic or run off to your stylist. Instead, take a breather and follow the guide above to learn how to untangle matted hair effectively and painlessly.