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.
Here are The Main Steps In This Guide
- 1 Why Is My Hair So Matted?
- 2 What Home Remedy Gets Rid of Knots?
- 3 Conclusion
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.
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.
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 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.