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Matted Hair After Braids

It takes us at least 2 hours to detangle our matted hair.


Why Does It Take So Long?


It’s like untangling a rope, shoe string or cord, but the strand is much smaller, finer and attached to someone’s head. Plus you have to work the knot down the length of the hair.

In our home...

  • we leave her braids in for 4-6 weeks at a time.

  • her hair is super long (it reaches down to her butt)

  • she’s also tenderheaded, and

  • we have a one year old who needs my attention throughout the process


This all means I really have to take my time.

Why Does The Hair Keep Matting?


Our curls were made to kiss. Couple that with the dirt and shed hair that collects the longer the braids stay in. After a months time, the strands have really created this strong bond.


If I only left her hair in for 1-2 weeks, this would not happen. But in our home, we love our monthly (instead of weekly) hair routine.


Is It Unhealthy To Have Matted Hair?

As long as the hair is not damaged or breaking, I think matting is a natural process for our hair.


Every time I take down her braids, they are slightly matted at the start of the braid. But her scalp is healthy, her strands are thick and long, which are all signs of healthy growth and maintenance.


What Are The Best Products For Matted Hair?


Conditioner, oil, a spray bottle filled with water (and maybe a little essential oil). Use as much lubrication as needed to loosen the hair without damaging it. Then comb the hair.


Fine tooth combs are the best tools for untangling matted sections. Remember to start at the bottom and work your way up.


What Do You Do With The Shed Hair?


Burn it.

Any Tips For Tenderheads?


Be even more gentle. This post has 20 tips we use if you’re interested.

Are There Areas That Mat More Easily?


As a teen, the hair at the nape of my neck used to mat. I think it was a combination of it being dry, me being a wild sleeper and not wearing a night scarf.


Mats that form from braids are definitely easier to manage because they are in small sections instead of free form.


What Happens If The Hair Is Severly Matted?


If there is a huge knot or multiple matted sections throughout the head and you do not want to cut the hair, it can take even longer to untangle.


I did a little girl’s hair who had a knot the size of a golf ball. It took several weeks for me to fully detangle her entire head. I would gently detangle small sections at a time using tons of conditioner. Between our sessions I would disguise the matted section with a cute style.


I share this story to say, don’t get discouraged if the hair is matted. Tenderly care for it and nurse it back to health.



Have you dealt with matted hair? What techniques helped you? Need to schedule a one-on-one? Use code: HEART2HEART.


Until next time...


Love The Journey,