Styling your hair shouldn’t make you wince, shriek or cry. If your hair is tangled, banish the bird’s nest. Smart styling techniques can create smoother, healthier and more manageable tresses.

When it’s time to style your tangled tresses, you need help — and fast. Patience and a trusty comb can rid your hair of tangles, whether it’s naturally curly or simply snarled from a good night’s sleep. Separate your tresses into sections so you can focus first on the tangled pieces. Start combing your knotted hair from the bottom up, focusing first on the tangled ends. Once you rid the hair of tangles at the ends, you can work your way up to the roots to free the rest of the twisted mess.

Tips

Hold your tangled tresses with one hand, and comb with the other. By holding the hair steady, you’ll reduce stress on your scalp, which can ease the discomfort.

Work on preventing tangles before you ever pull out the brush and blow dryer.

  • Keep a wide-tooth comb in the shower, and work it through your tresses when you’re conditioning them. Massage the conditioner into your hair, comb through it and rinse. You’ll step out of the shower with fewer knots.

  • Pat your hair dry with a towel rather than rubbing it. The rubbing motion can trigger tangles and knots in otherwise smooth hair.

You probably already have products on hand to create a detangling spray. Mix one part conditioner with two parts hot water in a spray bottle. Spritz this homemade detangler on damp or dry tresses, and work it through with a comb to loosen those irksome tangles and knots.

Or, try some coconut oil in those tangled locks. Melt room-temperature coconut oil by partially submerging a small bowl of coconut oil into a larger bowl of hot water. Work the now-liquid coconut oil through your strands from tip to root. The coconut oil will soften your tresses immediately and hydrate them for the long term, resulting in fewer tangles today, tomorrow and beyond.