We’re all fans of a bit of texture when it comes to hair, but if getting a brush or comb through your locks has you pre-emptively wincing in pain, it’s time to look at the cause of those knots and how to prevent them. Believe it or not, there are effective solutions for tangly hair and in this masterclass we’ll look at causes, preventative measures and both quick fixes and longterm solutions for those pesky knots.
According to Glasshouse senior stylist Matt Benns, the main core cause of severely tangly hair is down to a lack of protein. “When the hair is damaged, i.e low in protein, the cuticle is exposed and becomes quite abrasive. This means the hair strands don’t have smooth enough edges to slide against one another without becoming tangled, so knots form.”
Addressing protein deficiency to repair the hair is, thankfully, simple - we’re talking regular protein treatments. The main hair saviour and strengthener we use here in the salon is Organic Colour Systems Revamp, a spray-in foaming treatment that uses natural quinoa and wheat protein to restore the protein levels in the hair. Ideal for frizzy, tangly and generally unmanageable locks, it repairs the internal hair structure and has visible results even after just one use. A miracle worker you say? We agree. Use a treatment like this once or twice a week and you’ll be less birds-nest, more silky-smooth in no time. Make sure you always use conditioner afterwards, even a lightweight one like Power Build, as this will lock the treatment into the cuticle and protect it from environmental damage.
Apart from regular treatments, there are physical preventative measures you can take to avoid tangles. Matt recommends brushing your hair before you get in the shower, saying “while you’re in the shower, use a good amount of conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to work from the tips of you hair slowly upwards. If you have fine hair, stop short of the roots because you don’t want conditioner in the root area and scalp as that will cause flatness or greasiness.”
For day-to-day maintenance, brushing with a natural (ideally boar bristle) brush helps bring down moisture from the roots of the hair to the ends, preventing dryness which in turn helps with knots.
Using a product like Know Knott from O&M is also a great quick fix - containing cold-pressed Argan oil and Macadamia oil, Know Knott is a super effective detangling spray that leaves the hair glossy and conditioned as well as comb-able. We recommend working this through with a Tangle Teezer, which is specially designed to brush the hair without pulling or snapping the strands even when wet, so you’ll be able to get through those tangles with minimal teeth-gritting.
If you prefer a cream, Aqua Boost Leave-In Conditioner is another go-to, adding protection and silkiness to all types of hair. For hair that’s on the longer side, brushing and plaiting into a loose braid or scrunchy before bed can also help.
Matt’s final piece of sage advice comes back to the condition of your hair. “Try to avoid over-processing your hair with lighteners - in the salon, the hardest hair to get a comb through is always super bleached, brittle hair and many common hair woes can usually be traced back to poor hair condition and lack of protein. Here at Glasshouse we prioritise the condition of the hair, and especially when clients are doing regular lightening processes we make sure to do protein treatments to avoid tangling and breakage. It helps that our lightener is also ammonia free, so is slightly more gentle on the hair.”
And there you have it. While there will always be external factors out of your control that contribute to tangly hair (wind, we’re looking at you), follow our advice and tugging through painful knots will be a distant memory.
Words: Rosie Herdman
Main Image: Czar Kristoff