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25 Best Hair Detanglers for Knot-Free, Smooth Hair

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No matter your hair type, you may at some point need the assistance of a detangling product to help ease your way through any knots or snarls in that gorgeous mane of yours. We’ve gathered twenty-five detangling products, one of which is sure to be made for your specific hair type. Keep reading to find your dream hair detangler!

In this article:

Best Detanglers Overview

Our Picks for the Best Hair Detanglers

From the best overall to ones made specifically for your hair type, you can find the best detanglers on the market below.

Best Overall
Amika The Wizard Detangling Hair Primer

This vegan detangling spray from Amika is jam-packed with nutrients such as sea buckthorn berry to not only detangle your hair but also protect it from heat damage, as well as assist in cutting down drying time. A weightless formula that you can use on all hair types, this detangler is truly a wizard of a product. Pick it up at Sephora!

Best Lightweight
Oribe Run-Through Detangling Primer

This detangler from Oribe is a lightweight formula that will prime your hair and make it soft enough to detangle with only your fingers. It promises to leave your hair silky-smooth while protecting it from heat damage and further knots. The lush scent of apricots, pomegranate, and coconut doesn’t hurt either! Get it at Nordstrom!

Best Conditioning
The Honest Company Sweet Orange Vanilla Conditioning Detangler Spray
The Honest Company

With the word ‘honest’ right in the name, it’s hard not to trust the Honest Company’s fantastic vegan option. This lightweight detangling spray is gentle enough for everyday use while still being nourishing and moisturizing. Using a blend of argan oil, shea butter, jojoba protein, and quinoa extract, this detangler naturally softens and nourishes hair without harmful ingredients. Get it from Amazon!

Best for Heat Protection
Drybar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler

This lightweight detangling spray from Drybar is formulated with biotin and vitamins B and C to help increase your hair’s elasticity, supporting the hair shaft from within to leave your hair conditioned without being weighed down. Prep Rally will also leave your hair smelling like you just left the salon, with notes of ginger, mint, and sandalwood. Snag it from Sephora!

Best Brush
Tangle Teezer Ultimate Detangler Hairbrush
Tangle Teezer

While we may have been adamant about not using regular hair brushes, this detangling brush from Tangle Teezer is the ultimate detangling tool. Designed to be used in the shower, this brush will detangle without pulling or breaking your hair. You can grab this brush at Nordstrom!

Best for Thick Hair
Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Instant Leave-in Detangling Therapy
Aunt Jackie’s

Who doesn’t love good wordplay as well as good detanglers? Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch is a high-slip, leave-in detangler that will work its way through your tangles and into your hearts. It can be used on most hair types, but the ultra-hydrating ingredients like shea butter and olive oil may be too heavy for some. The ‘super slip’ formula makes it perfect for thicker hair types and combating difficult knots. Purchase it on Amazon!

Best Shine
Drunk Elephant Wild Marula Tangle Spray
Drunk Elephant

While Drunk Elephant is well known for their unique skincare products, they also have an extensive line of hair care products, including their Wild Marula Tangle Spray. This leave-in mist is, of course, made with marula oil, which is super absorbable and rich in omega 6 and 9, allowing it to moisturize, add shine, and smooth frizz. The sweet almond scent provided by the fermentoil hair complex gives off a deliciously sweet smell without being overpowering. Grab it from Sephora!

Best Fragrance-Free
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Fragrance-Free Detangler

If you’re like me and have a sensitive scalp or like my husband and don’t like strong smells, a detangler like this one from Briogeo will be the perfect option for you. This dermatologist-approved, fragrance-free detangler soothes your skin while adding shine and moisture to your hair. Pick it up from Sephora!

Best Splurge
Leonor Greyl Paris Lait Luminescence Detangling Milk Spray
Leonor Greyl Paris

This botanically infused line from Leonor Greyl was launched in 1968 with her husband, Jean-Marie. This leave-in detangling milk is a luxurious addition to their environmentally friendly line of products. Enriched with plant extracts and oils, this leave-in detangler may cost a bit more but promises to increase your hair’s luminosity while providing UV/UB protection. Treat yourself to it at Net-a-Porter or Nordstrom!

Best for Thin Hair
Not Your Mother’s Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler
Not Your Mother’s

Not Your Mother’s products have been around for a while now, and I’m continually amazed at their quality. Their punny names, such as this Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler, and their drugstore prices, keep me coming back to them. This detangling spray from NYM is infused with a keratin protein and is lightweight enough not to weigh down thinner hair types. Give it a try today on Amazon!

Best for Dry Hair
Bumble and Bumble Prep
Bumble and Bumble

While the name may only imply that it’s a priming product, Prep from Bumble and Bumble also acts as a detangler. A perk of Prep is that you can use it on dry hair to revive already styled hair or detangle and prepare it for styling. It was initially designed to be used backstage at fashion shows, so models could easily change their hair looks without shampooing. Purchase it at Sephora!

Best for Curly Hair
Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-In Conditioning Detangler

For thicker, coarser hair types, a lotion or heavier cream product may be needed for deep hydration. The Oribe Priming Lotion is ideal for tight or coily hair types. It’s formulated with cupaçu and mango seed butters to deeply moisturize and smooth out your curls. The high slip prevents breakage, and the lotion also prevents thermal damage. Grab it from Net-a-Porter, Amazon, or Nordstrom!

Best Slip
DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder Time Saving Slip Detangler

This pre-cleanse detangler from DevaCurl is meant to be used as it implies, before cleansing, for the easiest detangling. Pracaxi oil provides slip, while saffron flower adds shine. This high-slip product is best for use on curly and coily hair types. Purchase at Sephora!

Best Beachy
Tigi Bed Head Beach Freak Detangle Spray
Tigi Bed Head

More like Beach Head, am I right? This detangling spray from Bed Head will return moisture to sand-infused locks, taming flyaways and adding smoothness to your hair via glycerin. Formulated with a UV complex and seaweed extract, this detangling spray will also help protect your hair from future damage, so have no fear, slather on the sunscreen, and hit the beach! And don’t forget to pick up Beach Freak on Amazon!

Best Mask
Aveda be curly Intensive Detangling Masque

This detangling mask from Aveda moisturizes your curls while fighting back frizz. Unlike most of the products on our list, this mask is NOT the same as a leave-in and is best used on clean hair, for five minutes at a time. The organic babassu oil and shea butter will easily separate even the most tangled curls, leaving them ultra-moisturized. Stop by Nordstrom and give this mask a try!

Best Natural
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler

This creamy, herbal conditioner from Kinky Curly is designed to smooth your hair cuticles and detangle and remove knots with ease. While it is mainly for thicker, curlier hair types, other hair types can also use it as a regular conditioner, with thicker types using it as a leave-in. Pick it up from Amazon!

Best UV Protection
Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier

Formulated with both morete and sacha inchi oils, as well as mango sugars, this tropical scented detangler from Rahua will not only moisturize and detangle your hair but also protect it from harmful UV damage. The morete oil protects from UVA rays, while the sacha inchi oil conditions and locks in the mango sugars’ moisture. Purchase it at Sephora!

Best Scalp Treatment
Christophe Robin Detangling Gelée
Christophe Robin

This detangling gelee from Christophe Robin not only acts as a detangler but is also advertised as the perfect second step in a complete detox ritual for your hair. Working as a scalp treatment, this gelee uses sea minerals to fortify your hair fibers. You can pick it up at Nordstrom.  

Best Drugstore
Maui Moisture Detangler Hibiscus Water
Maui Moisture

For some hair types, you want a decent dose of moisture without weighing down your hair. Maui Moisture’s Detangler is a lightweight formula made with hibiscus and coconut water to keep your hair looking fresh and detangled without any of the heaviness. The passionfruit and juicy watermelon scents will leave you dreaming of a tropical getaway every time you use it. Purchase it on Amazon

Best for Travel
Drybar Lil’ Lemon Drop Daily Detangler

Nine times out of ten, when going on an overnight trip, I’m incredibly likely to forget a few things, and one of those things is almost always a brushing implement. The Lil’ Lemon Drop Daily Detangler from Drybar would be a perfect detangling addition to any overnight bag, with its compact size. Suitable for any hair type, this little beauty’s flexible bristles effortlessly glide through wet or dry hair without snagging or pulling. Check it out at Sephora!

Best Refresher
DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray Lightweight Curl Tamer

DevaCurl is practically synonymous with curly hair (it’s right in the name, after all), but the No-Comb Detangling Spray can also be used on looser hair types, such as wavy hair, to refresh your hair after a night’s sleep. To add moisture and detangle, spritz directly onto problem areas and gently detangle with your fingers. Grab it at Nordstrom!

Best for Coils
Cantu Coil Calm Detangler

For coily hair types (hair type 4), a cream or lotion is ideal for detangling dense knots. Free of silicones, sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil, the Cantu Coil Calm Detangler is made with pure shea butter to moisturize and add shine. This cream detangler will easily slide through tightly coiled hair to detangle and prevent breakage. Pick it up from Amazon!

Best Balancing
dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Detangling Conditioner

When most people think of apple cider vinegar, they don’t think of dumping it on your head. While there are many recipes online for homemade ACV rinses for your hair, this detangling conditioner from dpHUE takes out the guessing games. Designed with a controlled applicator, you can easily apply just the right amount to your scalp. Ultra-lightweight, this detangling conditioner rebalances the pH of your hair to reduce frizz, increase shine, and strengthen your strands. Snag it from Nordstrom

Best for Long Hair
Mane ‘n Tail Detangler The Tangles and Knots Solution
Mane ‘n Tail

With the word ‘mane’ right in the name, you know that Mane n’ Tail is a brand that means business. Famously sporting ingredients such as horsetail extract, this detangler can be used on animals and people! Those with long hair will find their hair easily detangled with added shine and manageability. Mane n’ Tail products are also known to help grow hair faster, increasing your chances of getting that flowing mane! Order it from Amazon!

Best Budget
Pantene Pro-V Moisture Mist Detangler

If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight detangler that you can use on every wash, look no further than the Pantene Pro-V Moisture Mist Detangler. This detangling spray will provide light moisture to prevent split ends, calm frizz, boost hydration, and of course, eliminate tangles. Purchase it on Amazon!

What to Look for in the Best Hair Detangler for You?

Hair detangling products come in a range of formats, each working best for different hair types. Here is what you should take into account when picking the perfect formula for your unique hair needs!

Hair Detangler Type

When you’re considering a detangler, there are many options to choose from regarding the delivery method, texture, etc. Here are just a few different options you can choose from:

• Spray

Most detanglers that you will see on the shelves are in some form of a spray bottle. A spray detangler is easily applied and targeted to your most tangled areas. You can also spray it on your comb or brush to increase detangling power.

• Lotion or Milk

Depending on your hair type, you may want to opt for a thicker detangler that can also act as a moisturizer. Plenty of detanglers come in the form of thicker lotions, or “milks,” that will also serve as a leave-in conditioner while detangling your hair.

• Oil

If your hair is particularly dry or lackluster, a leave-in oil with detangling properties may benefit you. Hair oils, such as argan oil, can easily detangle and add shine to your hair. They can also help tame frizz!

Types of Hair Detanglers

Read Next: How to Detangle Knotty, Matted Hair (No Matter Your Hair Type)

The Right Formula for Your Hair Type

Thin Hair

If you have thin hair, a detangler with volumizing or “thickening” properties is most likely your best bet. Thin hair may also need moisture, but you don’t want it to get weighed down too quickly. Look for a lightweight detangling spray to detangle those annoying, tiny tangles that thin hair is often plagued with.

Thick Hair

If you have thick hair, your hair may be able to handle a slightly heavier product, such as a lotion or even oil. You can even use the same conditioner you use in the shower to detangle your hair by applying a few drops to your towel-dried hair. Look for a long-lasting, medium-weight product that won’t weigh your hair down but will be enough to penetrate the thick strands and keep them nourished.

Natural Hair

For natural hair, detangling can be the most significant pain in the backside. Only you know your hair, its texture, and what it will respond well to, but you can try something with lots of “slip” (a slippery texture) to make it easier to detangle your hair. Products like Aunt Jackie’s Curls+Coils Knot On My Watch will provide the slip you need to work your way through your tangles while nourishing your hair with shea butter and olive oil.

Curly Hair

It may depend on your curl type and texture which kind of product you choose to detangle when it comes to curly hair. Looser curl types may be happy with a spray or lotion, but you may want a thicker detangler to work through big knots in your curls.

Over-Processed Hair

When you have over-processed hair, it can be susceptible to breakage. A multitasking formula that addresses the issues you’re having is your best bet. Look for a product that will protect against UV rays, as well as heat protection. It’s essential to use a detangling product or leave-in with heat protection, as further heat damage will only be a detriment to your hair.

Color-Treated Hair

If you have color-treated hair, you should look for a detangler specifically made to protect against fading. Luckily, many of the options on this list are safe for color-treated hair!

How to Choose the Best Hair Detangler for Your Hair Type

Hair Detangler FAQ

Now that you have your detangling product, you have to make sure you apply it correctly and get the most out of it.

How to Use a Detangler

Towel off: If you’ve just hopped out of the shower, towel-dry your hair, or wait until it’s a quarter to halfway dry. To cut down on frizz, try using a microfiber towel.
Apply Your Product: Apply your spray or whichever type of detangler you use. Focus on the areas that give you the most trouble or are known to have the worst tangles. 
Comb through: As brushes can cause breakage, opt for a wide-tooth comb to drag your detangling product through your hair. Starting at the ends, work your way up to the roots. You can also finger-detangle any complicated knots to avoid further breakage.
If You Need to Detangle Dry Hair: If you have an annoying knot or cowlick in your hair when you wake up, you can use a spray to target the area without saturating your entire head. You can apply a few sprays or drops of your product to your fingers and gently detangle it with your hands. If you want to use a comb, remember to be gentle to prevent further knots.
Detangling natural hair types is a bit of a different process. Natural hair types, such as wavy, curly, kinky, or coily types, can be more prone to breakage and need a more delicate hand. For a full description of how to detangle curly hair, check out our article on detangling knotty, matted hair, no matter your hair type!

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