If your hair is anything like mine, the chances are it is well overdue a cut. I have always had long hair (with the exception of a blip at age 13 when I wanted to look like Victoria Beckham and went for an inverted bob), and as far as my super-long hair goes, it’s always been relatively easy to manage. While my curly haired friends complained of frequent tangling and dryness, my fine, limp lengths had their faults, but tangling wasn’t really one of them.
But then, around five years ago, years of bleach damage caught up with me, and my usually smooth hair started matting and knotting in ways I did not know possible. Suddenly, I was having to carry around hairbrushes in my handbag and adding leave-in conditioners and nourishing hair masks into my routine. And after many conversations with different hairdressers, I have finally come to accept that knotting and matting are just part of life, especially if the hair is wavy, curly, coarse or dry.
But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. And frankly, forgoing my routine cuts over the last few months has left my hair more prone to knotting and tangling than ever before. To help make things a bit easier for those who are also experiencing such knotty dismay, I have rounded up the best (and gentlest) conditioning and detangling products out there for instant relief. From lightweight sprays to heavy-duty curl gelées, there’s a detangler out there for everyone. Just keep scrolling.