How to Detangle Curly Hair: Your Go-To Guide

Detangling curly hair doesn’t have to be tricky. With the right tools, techniques and detangling products, you can gently work out even stubborn knots and enjoy the bounciest ringlets around. Here, we reveal why preparation is key to taming tangled hair, and how you can prevent knots around the clock. This is what you need to know…

Collection of Wella NutriCurls products on a white surface.
Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Reveal Shampoo with labels stating that it adds shine, makes hair up to 3 times smoother, and leaves hair deeply cleansed.
Hand holding the INVIGO Nutri-Enrich Deep Nourishing Hair Mask.
Close-up of curly, brown hair with caramel highlights.
Model uses fingertips to smooth and detangle curly, brown hair.

1. Do Finger Detangling First

To avoid hair breakage while detangling, start by using your fingers to gently pull apart any matting or hair knots. Be careful not to tug or tear strands – simply work your fingertips through the biggest tangles. 

Elements Renewing Leave-In Spray with labels stating that it protects from breakage, hydrates frizzy hair and has 99% natural origin ingredients.

2. Make Hair Soft and Supple

Hair should be soft, supple and moist before detangling. If you’re starting with clean, damp hair, mist the Elements Renewing Leave-In Spray from root to tip to nourish curls and release knots. If hair is dry, reach for NutriCurls Milky Waves to hydrate and define in one. 

Hairbrushes and Koleston Perfect hair color on a flat, white surface.

3. Use a Detangling Hair Brush or Wide-Tooth Comb for Curly Hair

Avoid using a paddle brush when detangling, as they should only be used when creating styles where tension is needed. Instead, opt for a sturdy wide-tooth detangling comb, a detangling brush, or a hair brush with flex bristles. You can use any size comb to detangle curly and coily hair. 

Back of model’s head with long, brown, curly hair.

4. Start From the Ends of Curly Hair

Start from the ends of the hair in the nape area, and work your way up to the scalp and then eventually to the front hairline. This way you’re not dragging your comb from root to tip, but instead delicately detangling curls section by section. 

Close-up of model with curly, brown hair swept across face.

5. Take Your Time During a Detangling Session

It’s important to take your time when detangling curly hair. This is especially true when hair is wet, as this is when it’s at its most fragile. So don’t rush – embrace the process and enjoy those healthy, hydrated, beautiful curls when you’re done.

Wella Elements Pre-Shampoo Clay Hair Mask on a wooden surface.
Model with curly, brown hair holds up a bottle of Elements Shampoo.

6 Tips to Free your Tight Curls | Wella Professionals