If you’re currently on the hunt for the best detanglers for African American hair you can get your hands on right now, be sure to check on a few important things first: the type and application, the slippage, and your hair type. I have searched far and wide to find the best of the best in the business. With these mentioned factors in mind, I list down and review below my current favorites from a wide array of choices. If you want to find out what made the cut and what items met my expectations, go ahead and have a read!
I have naturally wavy hair. I don’t brush my hair out of the shower and once my hair has been styled and set in fear of ruining it and giving myself some unnecessary frizz. When it’s time for me to wash my hair, my head can be full of tangles that can be difficult and painful to detangle. It also adds precious time to my hair washing time and would cause a lot of hairfall whenever I wash my hair.
Because of these struggles when I wash my hair, I’ve decided to start my search for the best detanglers that can take away the pain whenever I try detangling my tresses that have become tangled overtime and in between my wash days. If I’m already having extreme struggles in detangling my hair, I could only imagine how difficult it is to do with African American hair. And because African American hair can be quite different from other hair types, certain formulas can work better in detangling than others.
If you want to find out what made it into my list of favorites to add in your hair regimen as well, get ready as I list them all down below!
What is a Detangler and How Does It Work?
A detangler is a product that helps make your hair smoother so that your strands become more manageable and easier to comb through in order to get rid of stubborn tangles. It can be a conditioner, a shampoo, or simply a spray you apply on your tresses to help detangle them.
A detangler works by coating your hair with a solution or formula that helps reduce friction and static between hair strands so tangles and knots are much easier to detangle and get rid of. They also help treat damaged hair so your strands become healthier overtime. They are effective heat protectants whenever you’re styling and can protect hair from further damage as well.
A detangler is not a requirement to be added in your hair care regimen. But if you want to make your hair more manageable and lessen the pain and time whenever you’re washing and detangling natural hair, it is definitely a good addition. You can detangle everyday, just during your washdays, or whenever you feel like your hair needs it – it all depends on your hair’s texture and what your hair needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
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The Best Detangler for African American Hair
1. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla 4-in-1 Combing Creme – Our Pick!
Our number one pick for the best detanglers for African American hair is the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla 4-in-1 Combing Creme! This super rich detangler effectively helps untangle your strands as it softens and controls frizz. This is also able to add and improve your hair’s natural shine with every wash. With this as part of your hair care regimen, you are sure to take your unmanageable strands of hair to soft, smooth, and incredibly manageable hair that will take your confidence and your love for your hair to a whole new level.
Specially formulated for dry and dull hair, you can trust this Carol’s Daughter detangler to revive and transform hair while it deeply moisturizes. With regular use of this detangler, you are sure to take your hair from being dull and dry to being deeply moisturized and with added shine. Anyone whose hair suffers with dry and brittle hair will also benefit from this thanks to its moisture-rich recipe. As it effectively detangles your tresses, your hair is prepared for an even more manageable styling that feels ultra smooth.
Infused with ingredients that curly hair loves like aloe vera, shea butter, and sweet almond oil, this is sure to give your curls the moisture and nourishment it needs so it can appear healthy and shiny all over. This has also been formulated and created for naturally curly hair from 1C waves to 4C curls and promises to provide everything your hair needs for that tangle-free washing and manageable styling every single time. The formula is also free from sulfates, silicones, petrolatum, mineral oil, and artificial colors for toxic-free washing and detangling.
This Black Vanilla combing creme promises to instantly and easily detangle and smooth out thick hair. It provides just the right amount of slippage for combing and brushing through curly and coily hair with much ease and comfort while minimizing hair breakage and further damage. Your hair also stays intensely moisturized throughout the day without leaving your hair looking and feeling greasy. Although it deeply moisturizes and keeps your hair super soft, this one doesn’t weigh down your strands at all.
There is also a black vanilla fragrance to it from its pool of good ingredients that is sure to provide you with a soothing detangling experience. With using this detangler, do keep in mind that users have shared that this could leave hair with a crunchy cast that isn’t up for everyone’s taste. But no worries as the crunch isn’t something you can scrunch out for a softer and more natural finish to your hair.
- Detangles hair as it softens and minimizes frizz
- Adds shine to hair to take it from dull to healthy-looking
- Revives and transforms dry and dull hair
- Deeply moisturizes dry and brittle hair
- Hair is manageable and prepared for easy styling
- Curly-friendly ingredients that curls love for healthy and shiny hair
- No sulfates, silicones, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors
- Instantly and easily detangle thick hair
- Perfect slippage for easy combing through curly and coily hair
- Minimizes hair breakage
- Deeply moisturizing without weighing hair down or with a greasy feeling
- Crunchy cast is not for everyone
2. SheaMoisture Extra Moisture Detangler – Best for Extremely Damaged Hair!
The next item on our list of the best detanglers for African American hair and our top choice for extremely damaged hair is the Extra Moisture Detangler from beauty brand SheaMoisture! If what you’re looking for is a detangler that will not only help untangle stubborn knots but will also help repair damaged hair, you might be in for a treat with this one. Designed to restore and revitalize damaged and transitioning hair so they appear to be softer, moisturized, and simply overall healthier.
Infused with shea butter, mango butter, and argan oil – all of which curly strands love and crave for – this SheaMoisture detangler promises to leave your strands super smooth, soft, and deeply-conditioned. This also helps make your hair more manageable for easy styling while eliminating knots and tangles. This gives your strands the perfect and just the right amount of slip for ease of washing and styling every single time. With this in your hair care regimen, you are sure to achieve hair that is soft, manageable, hydrated, and frizz-free.
Designed for damaged hair, this can be effective in boosting and strengthening weakened hair follicles due to a number of hair treatments such as color treatment, perms, and heat treatment and styling. The raw shea butter and nourishing natural botanicals in its formula promises to soften, moisturize, and condition so it can renew and restore damaged and even transitioning hair. If you’re on your journey of going from chemically-treated hair to wearing your tresses all natural, this might help you nourish and deeply moisturize them for a healthier result.
Specially designed for 3A to 4C hair types, this detangler promises to maximize hair manageability whether it’s your wash day or you’re simply styling for a glamorous look for a night out. By getting rid of knots and tangles, you also take away time from your usual hair washing time. This also effectively helps reduce and minimize breakage when you comb and brush through your hair. You can conveniently use this on both wet hair and dry hair and will work as beautiful on both, for whatever you need.
The SheaMoisture detangler has somewhat a thick consistency that is great for providing deep moisture and hydration especially for extremely damaged hair, though others may find it a bit too thick, so keep that in mind. Some users have also shared that using too much of the product can cause buildup on some scalps, so be careful not to use too much. This has also been formulated without silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and petrolatum and is cruelty-free. If these are important things for you, be sure to check this one out.
- Ideal for extremely damaged hair
- Restores and revitalizes damaged and transitioning hair
- Leaves hair super soft, smooth, and conditioned
- Makes hair more manageable for easy washing and styling
- Eliminates knots and tangles for reduced washing and styling time
- Minimizes and reduces hair breakage and damage
- Strengthens weakened hair follicles due to chemicals, treatment, and heat
- Maximizes manageability of 3A to 4C hair types
- Can be used on both dry and wet hair
- Thick consistency that deeply penetrates and moisturizes
- Free from silicones, parabens, sulfates and other harmful ingredients
- Can be too thick for some
- Can cause buildup is too much is used
3. The Honest Company Conditioning Detangler – Best Gentle and Kid-Friendly Formula!
Our next favorite detangler for African American hair and our number choice for the best gentle and kid-friendly formula is the Conditioning Detangler from beauty brand The Honest Company! If what you’re on the hunt for is a gentle formula detangler that is so gentle that you can conveniety use it on kids, then this might be what you’re looking for. Formulated without parabens, silicones, sulfates,synthetic fragrances, or dyes, this is a parent-trusted brand and is gentle enough for daily use, even on kids. You can trust to use this on your kid’s hair and scalp.
Infused with a blend of argan oil, shea butter, jojoba protein, and quinoa extract, you can trust this conditioning detangler to efficiently soften and nourish your hair as it easily separates strands and eliminates unruly frizz and flyaway hair. Every use of this hair product also promises you added shine on your hair so it appears healthier and more alive all over. Using this to untangle stubborn knots on your hair will definitely calm and control them and will instead leave you with extremely manageable, smooth, soft, and moisturized strands to last you for days.
Formulated and designed specifically for dry and curly hair, this can easily target tangles and frizz so you can comb through and style your strands with much ease and comfort. Its unique formula is made so that it can target different hair types from kids to adults for tangleless results every time. While it leaves your hair with a very silky soft and smooth finish, this will never weigh your hair down. There is also no greasiness and oiliness that comes with usual softening and smoothening hair products.
The unique formula of this The Honest Company detangler is purely plant-based and completely vegan, containing no animal byproducts. The company and this product itself has not been tested on animals as well. If that is something of major importance to you, be sure to check this one out. Packed in a convenient spray bottle, you can easily bring this with you wherever you go and are very on-the-go. The spray also gives a very fine mist, and definitely applies better with less wasted product and much less mess.
This has a natural orange, vanilla scent to it that although doesn’t bother most people, is not up to everyone’s taste and nose. The scent can also linger on hair for quite some time before fading, so just keep this in mind. Some users have also shared that it can be sticky in your skin so make sure to be extra careful on application with this in your hand.
- Ideal gentle and kid-friendly formula
- Gentle enough for everyday use and on kids
- No parabens, silicones, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes
- Cruelty-free and plant-based, vegan formula
- Nourishes and soften hair
- Separates and detangles hair strands for easy combing
- Minimizes frizz and flyaway hair
- Tangle-free washing and styling from kids to adults
- Doesn’t weigh hair down and no greasiness or oiliness
- Convenient on-the-go spray bottle
- Fine mist application reduces waste and mess
- Scent can linger on hair and is not for everyone
- Can be sticky on skin
4. Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy
The Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy is the next item that made it into our list of the best detanglers for African American hair! With this detangling product in your hair care routine, you are assured you will easily get rid of otherwise stubborn knots and tangles. Though ideal for all hair types and a variety of hair textures, specific hair types such as curly, wavy, and coily hair will achieve maximum manageability with this. This is also able to tame and control unruly frizz as it detangles.
Formulated with what curly hair loves, shea butter and olive oil, this promises to soften your tresses and help restore your hair’s healthy moisture balance for optimum health. This is able to give your hair the perfect silky slip it needs to allow your brush or comb to smoothly glide through. Eliminating knots and tangles from your hair will also protect your hair from damaging hair breakage. This ensures results without tangles even on the most unruly and hardest to manage hair.
This Aunt Jackie’s detangler can be used as a leave-in conditioner that won’t weigh hair down at all or leave it feeling oily and greasy. It allows you to achieve a moisturizing hair finish that looks and feels like it, every single time you whip this one out. Overall, your hair appears and feels to be softer and much easier to manage during washing and styling – and will surely save you some precious time spent on detangling. The formula is free from sulfates and parabens and is definitely curls-friendly.
Though recommended for curly hair types, this can also work on basically any hair type, even straight hair strands to provide detangling benefits. A quick reminder though that some users have noticed how this can weigh down hair that’s on the thinner and finer side, so make sure to include that in your decision process. There is also a scent to this detangler that while it may be okay for some, can be a little bit too strong for other users.
- Eliminates stubborn knots and tangles
- Maximum manageability for curly, wavy, and coily hair
- Tames and controls unruly frizzy hair
- Softens hair and helps restore healthy moisture balance
- Gives perfect slip for easy combing and brushing through hair
- Minimizes damage from hair breakage
- Doesn’t weigh hair down and no oily or greasy finish
- Softer and deeply-moisturized hair
- Works on any hair type – even detangling straight hair
- Free from sulfates and parabens
- Scent is not for everyone
- Can weigh down finer and thinner hair
5. Cantu Coil Calm Detangler
Our last favorite detangler for African American hair is the Cantu Coil Calm Detangler! With this detangler in your hair care regimen, you are sure to achieve softer and conditioned natural hair strands that are tangle-free for easy brushing and styling. This one aims to restore and revitalize dry hair and uncovers your hair’s natural beauty. This provides your hair with its much-needed slip for tangleless and painless washing and styling every single time you whip this out for use.
A formula infused with pure shea butter, you are sure to achieve shine and moisture on your strands within seconds of contact. This promises to work on your tresses as soon as it makes contact – talk about fast-acting! With its nourishing oil-enriched formula, you can achieve maximum shine and moisture that will encourage you to embrace your hair’s natural and beautiful texture.
Formulated without sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, and mineral oil, this ensures that your hair is never harmed by potentially toxic and harmful preservatives and artificial ingredients that can cause permanent damage on your hair. This detangler does not only easily detangle with much ease but also calm down and minimizes unruly frizz. Packed in a convenient spray bottle, this is very easy to apply with much less wasted product. The bottle is also very convenient to carry with you wherever and whenever you need it.
- Softer and well-conditioned hair
- Tangle-free washing and styling
- Restores and revitalizes natural hair and texture
- Gives hair slip for easy styling
- Gives hair shine and moisture
- Works as soon as it touches the hair
- No parabens, sulfates, silicones, and other potentially harmful ingredients
- Minimizes unruly frizz
- Packed in a convenient spray bottle
Detangling 101 – How to Detangle Your Natural Hair
When it comes to detangling and making sure you do it the right way to prevent hair breakage, it might seem easy and straightforward but we let you know below some tips and tricks on just how to do it.
Detangle only when hair is wet
When it comes to coarse, thick, and dry natural hair, it’s very important to keep in mind that you only detangle when your hair is wet. Detangling hair when it is dry will only cause more hair breakage, and trust us, that is something you don’t want, ever. When it’s time to detangle your hair, make sure it is wet before applying your detangler and proceeding with the process.
Use a wide-tooth comb
If you would prefer to use a comb instead of just your finders, make sure you use a wide-tooth comb instead of a fine-tooth one. Using a fine-tooth comb will only break your hair even more and will cause more damage. Opt to use one with wide gaps in between to detangle while ensuring there is no or at least minimized hair breakage.
Section your hair
When detangling hair, you should split your hair into smaller sections, especially if your hair and strands are thicker. Doing so will allow you to work through your hair with much ease and comfort.
Strands to roots
While your instinct will tell you to start detangling from your roots going to the strands, many people and experts will tell you otherwise. To ensure minimized and reduced hair damage due to breakage, you should always start detangling from the end of your strands and work your way up to the roots.
To ensure that you get the best results you possibly can during your detangling process, it’s convenient to equip yourselves with a few detangling tools:
- A wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush
- Sectioning clips
- Your new favorite detangler
How to Choose the Best Detangler for African American Hair
With so many detangler options available for anyone at any time, it’s understandable how it can cause confusion when it’s time to choose one for your needs. We have below some important buying factors you should consider to make sure you get your hands on the perfect detangler for your needs.
Type and application
Detanglers can come in different types of hair products – it can be a shampoo, a conditioner, a cream, or a detangling spray. A different type of detangler also entails a different type of application. Keep in mind how you would want to be applying your detangler and the texture and type of product you will be applying on your hair.
A good detangler provides you with the slippage you need to easily and comfortably untangle the knots and tangles in your strands. Make sure you get on that provides the slippage your type of hair and texture needs. Remember, different hair types and textures would require varying degrees and amounts of slippage. And make sure you get one according to what your hair needs.
When it comes to detanglers, your natural hair type also plays an important role. Detanglers are often formulated for certain hair types. No matter if your hair is type 1 or type 4, you are likely to find a detangler specifically formulated for you so make sure to keep an eye out on that.
Detanglers are the perfect hair products to help you easily comb and brush through your natural hair and eliminate stubborn knots and tangles.
Our number one pick for the best African American hair detangler is the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla 4-in-1 Combing Creme thanks to its formula that deeply moisturizes and helps restore dull and dry hair back to its health! It also helps add and enhance hair’s natural shine so they appear much healthier. If what you’re looking for is a detangler for extremely damaged hair, you might want to check out the SheaMoisture Extra Moisture Detangler! This one deeply moisturizes as it strengthens the hair’s weakened follicles due to chemicals and heat. And The Honest Company Conditioning Detangler is our top pick for the best gentle and kid-friendly formula! This is gentle enough for everyday use on both kids and adults alike while softening and nourishing your tresses.
We hope our review and guide above was of great help in looking for your new favorite detangler and here’s to your healthy and beautiful hair!