The Best Detangling Conditioners in 2023
No matter your hair type, I’m sure everyone has struggled with knots and tangles at some point. Whether you’ve had to carefully pick apart knots for hours on end in your room, or a grandparent who had to impatiently tug a hairbrush through your hair before a family event, we can all agree that a good detangler would help immeasurably.
With that in mind, we should look to the most important step for everyday tangle control, working with a good detangling conditioner. A good detangling conditioner can help reduce breakage and frizz for all hair types, especially after your hair has become a bit knottier than usual.
With everyday tangles being dealt with easily, detangling conditioners help your hair to remain strong and healthy, so the strands are less likely to experience damage or break when truly huge tangly messes occur, reducing the pain and inconvenience for you.
However, sometimes a truly excellent detangling conditioner can be hard to find. Thus, we have created this list of the best detangling conditioners available in 2023, so you don’t have to spend your well-earned free time trawling through reviews.
1. Blu Atlas Conditioner
Blu Atlas is a premium male skin-care brand, but its products are suitable for all genders. An absolutely stand-out product from this brand is its restoring and moisturizing conditioner, which can be used on all hair types.
This conditioner is specifically formulated to be moisturizing without being too heavy, meaning that it is suitable for hair ranging from straight to curly, and won’t cause limp and lifeless hair.
It is also excellent at helping to restore damaged hair that is dull, dry, or frizzy. It does this through an outstanding range of ingredients that serve to make it an excellent detangling conditioner, and definitely one of the best detangling conditioners in 2023.
One of the core ingredients in this formula is argan oil. Argan oil repairs damage while also restoring shine and reducing frizz. It has several essential components, such as vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants for hair health.
Another ingredient in this conditioner is white tea extract. This ingredient is anti-inflammatory and can moisturize and condition the hair. It does this because it is a humectant, which means it is able to draw moisture to the hair from both the environment, and from within the scalp or hair follicle. It is also antimicrobial.
Finally, barley protein is the key detangling ingredient in this shampoo. It provides proteins to allow the hair to remain strong, even when under duress like with a comb. Barley protein also has thiamin and niacin, which are known for creating hair that is soft, easy to comb, and shiny.
2. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner
It may not be surprising, but the hair that is most likely to become tangled is damaged hair. Whether the damage arises from chemical treatments (like hair dye), physical damage such as ripping or pulling, or is just chronically dry and damaged because of a lack of good care practices, damaged hair can have some of the most painfully complicated knots.
Thus, a detangling conditioner that is specifically well-suited for damaged hair must make the list for the best detangling conditioners in 2023.
This shampoo uses Eco Chic technology and Eco Chic hair care to have a moisturizing effect on damaged hair. Vegetable proteins are used to great effect to soothe and tame dry hair, which helps to control frizz and add shine for that healthy look.
3. Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner
Dove is a well-known health and beauty brand, and their oxygen moisture detangling conditioner definitely warrants a mention on this list. Developed in 2020, the conditioner uses a cream formulation to create an intensely moisturizing conditioner specifically for fine hair.
Unfortunately for those with fine hair, conditioners that are moisturizing can also be really heavy, and weigh down your hair. Not everyone knows this, but the moisture-holding capabilities of your hair aren’t actually defined by thickness, but rather by how porous your hair is.
For people with low or high-porosity hair, maintaining hair moisture levels can be difficult. Particularly for low porosity hair, as the moisture simply can’t penetrate into the hair strand to begin with.
This means that people with hair that has porosity levels on either end of the spectrum, maintaining moisture can be a very difficult part of hair care. This is especially true for those with fine hair, where the hair is very easy to weigh down.
Most other detangling products are very heavy and full of moisturizing ingredients that would weigh down fine hair. Thus, the oxyfusion technology employed by Dove in this conditioner is an essential way to moisturize fine, dry hair. Moisturized hair is much less likely to tangle, making this conditioner an excellent detangler without weighing down your hair.
4. Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray
Detangling conditioners come in many different forms, including leave-in conditioner sprays. This conditioner comes in a lightweight, leave-in conditioner spray, so you can get the detangling when you need it most.
Targeted detangling conditioners such as this one can be used during styling to help decrease frizz as the hair dries, and throughout the day afterwards. This particular conditioner uses 98% natural ingredients to help lock humidity out of the hair, meaning that it can’t swell and frizz as moisture enters dry, styled hair.
This conditioner is especially great for people who have dry and damaged hair, which is particularly in need of targeted detangling. It uses a blend of oils including rosehip, argan, and coconut to create healthy, strong, and shiny hair.
In addition to being an excellent detangling conditioner for all hair types, this product is also safe for color-treated hair, as well as chemically relaxed or keratin-treated hair, which makes it an extremely versatile styling product.
It is also a vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free product, with no silicones, sulfates, parabens, or artificial colors.
5. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-1 Multi-benefit Conditioner
Shea Moisture is another extremely well-established brand in the health and beauty industry and has come out with a number of products within the superfruit complex range. Their conditioner is suitable for all hair types, but is especially good at hydration, which makes it best for wavy and curly hair.
This company is also one you can feel good buying from, as they have never tested products on animals. Instead, products are tested on members of the Shea Moisture family, and have been since the company started in 1912.
The 10-in-1 system is full of antioxidants, which helps to detangle, as well as give anti-aging effects, color protection, strength, and manageability. The feature ingredient superfruit complex is able to nourish the scalp, and the added marula oil and biotin help to give hydrating and moisturizing effects to the hair.
This shampoo is named as a 10-in-one system because it claims to have 10 effects in one shampoo, including anti-aging, nourishment, anti-stress, giving body, and volume, protecting hair coloring, making hair shiny, hydration, strength, softness, and manageability. The reviews would support this claim.
6. La Biosthetique Long Hair Detangler
Another detangling conditioner spray, this long hair detangling serum from La Biosthetique is formulated so you can use it after a shower, with wet hair, dry hair, or in conjunction with another conditioner! The versatility of this product is why it has made our list of the best detangling conditioners in 2023.
A spectacularly lightweight product, this conditioner uses naturally extracted glucose polyphenol to give hair all the nutrients it needs to thrive and shine. This natural extract helps to coat the hair in a smooth oil which can help with detangling.
One issue that causes tangles is when hair has different structures all packed in closely together. For instance, the tops of your hair are more prone to tangles because they are more prone to breakage and dryness, which changes the physical structure of the surface of the hair and makes it more likely to interlock with the other strands of hair.
By coating the hair in sugar cane, oak apple, and rapeseed oil glycerides, these structural differences can be minimized, allowing the hair the ability to slip past neighboring strands, and detangle with ease.
This conditioner boasts an increase in the combability of the hair by 80% in wet hair, and up to 30% in dry hair. It also contains erythritol for a moisture boost and damage minimization. Wheat bran is also included to help protect the hair from the outside environment while you are out and about.
7. Belita Vitex Baobeauty Detangler Balm
A creamy balm formula, this product is an excellent detangling product and is actually a specially formed detangling conditioner. It is, however, also suited for daily use if your hair struggles to stay knot-free. However, the product is suitable for ages 14 and above.
This conditioning agent is designed to be gently massaged into damp hair, and then rinsed off with no difficult combing necessary. It thus makes an excellent conditioning option for those who don’t enjoy having their conditioners still require a brush or comb.
Some of the active ingredients in this conditioner include baobab oil, shea butter, mango, and peach extracts, as well as panthenol. These ingredients work together to help moisturize the hair, and give protection against chemical, heat, and ultraviolet rays.
The moisturizing activity of the conditioner is able to give the hair a healthy shine and elasticity, allowing the restoration of the hair structure. This helps to reduce hair breakage, and stopping the formation of little annoyances such as split ends.
This conditioner is able to protect the hair by smoothing down hair scales, which can help the hair to stop friction and frizz when it interacts with nearby strands.
8. Lucid Detangling Leave-In Conditioner
This is an excellent leave-in conditioner product that is different from most of the others on our list. It’s notonly a 2-1 leave-in conditioner, but it is a conditioner that you can use without needing to rinse out afterwards. This is excellent when you need to untangle your hair, but you don’t want to get it wet afterwards.
It is also suitable for children and has been specifically designed to be used by combing through gently with fingers. This makes it very easy for use with children who have grown to hate the brush, as well as for those who find finger combing to produce the best hairstyles.
Ingredients in this conditioner make this product well-suited for people with dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. This is also the kind of hair that commonly produces tangles, which makes it an excellent detangling conditioner, as it will tackle the problem from the root.
While this product is suitable for all hair types, it is particularly recommended for those with curly hair, as it can combat chronic dryness issues that tend to plague curly hair.
9. Untangled Detangling Solid Conditioner Bar
This solid conditioner bar from Ethique is formulated for children and babies specifically, so you have a product that you can use when their hair gets in trouble from all their daily activities. This extremely gentle conditioner is also useable as a non-foaming wash, which promises not to irritate the skin of small children.
The core ingredients in this conditioner include cacao butter, coconut oil, glycerine, and mandarin oil. These ingredients help the strands to slide apart, allowing knots to be combed through with ease. The simple ingredients can maintain the healthy young hair of children, without causing them to experience an overload of product.
In addition to being a special formula for children, Ethique conditioner bars are unique to other products on this list because they are solid. You might think that a conditioner would struggle to detangle hair if it was solid, but you would be surprised. The reviews show that this product has no issues causing lasting changes in the hair of children.
As well as being just an overall helpful product, the solid bars from Ethique can help you to feel good about the impact you are having on the environment. The solid bars come in compostable packaging, with no plastic involved. The solid bars are also good for saving water, compared to traditional liquid product alternatives.
Finally, this product is carbon neutral, with one tree planted for each order. This makes it an attractive option for environmentally conscious or waste-free consumers who still want the best for their little ones.
10. Justice Professional Protein Spray Detangler
The last on our list is a spray-through, leave-in conditioner that you don’t have to wash out. This conditioner is designed to help the hair instantly detangle, so you can style, and simply be on your way.
It does this by using a mix of proteins and silicone. The proteins help to improve the texture of the hair from the inside out over time, making the hair softer, and providing nourishment to the cuticle of the hair.
The silicone works as an instant detangler by adding a smooth layer over damaged sections of the hair once it has been applied. The silicone can then act as a filmy layer, which can not only help the hair to avoid contact and friction, but also provides protection from additional damage for long-lasting tangle protection.
Finally, this spray in detangling conditioner has a solar filter, which means that it kind of acts as a sunscreen for the hair. Ultraviolet rays can be extremely damaging for hair, because the sun is extremely drying.
In addition to causing immediate damage in terms of drying out hair and promoting tangles, frizz, and breakage, the sun can also age hair through the effects of its rays. To prevent premature aging of the hair, use a UV filter like the one in this detangler.
Because of its protective effect, this detangler would be an acceptable substitute to protect the hair if you were planning on spending a long time outdoors but didn’t want to wear a hat.
Frequently asked questions
How do you detangle severely tangled hair?
Regardless of whether you are in the market for a good detangling conditioner, it’s pretty likely that at some point you have had your hair stuck in a terrible knot. Some people even have their hair condensed into what is known as matted hair, when their hair is chronically tangled, and shed hair gets in to form a literal mat of hair.
At those times, even the regular conditioner simply can’t cope, and you need to come in with a detangling product. However, being sure to stay on top of your regular hair care, and keeping your hair hydrated and regularly detangled can help to prevent the formation of mats.
The best thing to do with matted hair is to detangle it as quickly as possible so that there is no continued build-up of hair causing an extension of the problem. But knowing how to do this without causing breakage, tension, and crying is a difficult problem to solve.
We would recommend following the below steps.
To begin with, make sure to shampoo your hair and clean it without trying to detangle it to begin with. Because mats are made out of old hair, there is often a considerable amount of dirt and grime holding the mats together, so shampooing is a great way to break the hair out of the pattern it is stuck in.
Next, make sure to wet all of the hair in the mat. Water can help to reduce friction, which is very important for detangling, but water alone isn’t enough to moisturize and saturate your hair. Using detangling conditioners allows products such as natural oils to coat your hair strands, and helps in protecting the hair and letting it slide out of the matted state.
You should also make sure to wait the recommended amount of time on the detangling product for optimal efficiency. It would be terrible to apply all this excellent product, just to wash it away before it has time to work.
The first step in actually tacking the mat head-on involves using the widest possible comb- aka, your hands. Use your fingers to gently massage apart the tangles in the mat, so it becomes a series of separate tangles. This makes it easier to deal with, so long as you are careful not to rip the hair. Breakage at this stage will just make future mats more likely.
Next, an actual wide-tooth comb can be used to detangle the hair. This gives more precision than just your fingers, but also isn’t pulling all the hair at once. It will make the whole process less painful. However, using too wide of a comb will also let all the tangles pass through without making any progress.
For combing out mats, it’s important to start from the bottom and work your way up. This is a tried and true method of getting out knots, since it allows the hair to slowly separate without running into a knot slightly further down the strand. You will have to comb over the same strands of hair multiple times, so make sure to be gentle. There is nothing worse than losing patience towards the end and hurting your hair.
If you find yourself running out of detangler, just reapply it. You can follow up with a smaller comb, or just rinse your hair out if it feels untangled enough for your liking. It is important to protect the hair with a hairstyle that won’t encourage tangles while it is drying, so you can avoid getting the problem restarted all over again immediately.
Is conditioner good for detangling?
The short answer is yes! Conditioner works by working its way into your hair and helping to provide nourishment and softness to the strands. However, it can also act as a gentle lubricant to help you take knots out of your hair.
If you find that you are constantly running into knots in your hair, it may be time to consider changing something about your hair care routine. Whether this means changing the way you style, or using another conditioning agent is up to you.
The use of a detangling conditioner like the ones listed above will help you to remove knots more easily than a regular conditioner will, because the ingredients are designed to help provide a frictionless surface for the hair to move against.
Normal conditioners will also help to remove knots in the short term, but a detangling conditioner can help to repair damage, and prevent future damage by limiting the number of times you need to wrestle with your hair.
Which ingredients are best for detangling hair?
There are about four categories of ingredients that help to promote hair being able to slip past itself and detangle.
The first are fatty alcohols. Although you may instantly be wary of anything with alcohol in the name (especially if you have curly hair) due to the drying effects of some alcohols, you should know that fatty alcohols are chemically different and don’t have the same drying effect.
In essence, these molecules are too large to evaporate and cause that dry feeling. Because they are so large, they give your skin a slippery feeling, and they can help soften your hair and skin.
The next group of ingredients to be on the lookout to include in your detanglers are vegetable oils or butters. This is because these can spread easily over the hair, taking other products along with them, and reducing friction as hair slides around.
Think of these butters as the same as dairy butter. It is used as an ingredient to provide moisture and to help the rest of the ingredients work cohesively. Vegetable butters can do the same for your conditioner.
Hydrolyzed proteins are some of the most interesting ingredients because they are actually able to have a temporary effect at filling in sections of the damaged hair. These broken-up (hydrolyzed) proteins are able to slip into the gaps in the cuticle in the hair, and smooth it out. This means that there are fewer obvious opportunities for tangles to begin in your hair.
Finally, the last ingredient to look out for is detangling herbs. These are known as detangling herbs because they are so slippery. These herbs are a natural way of getting the same thick, slippery feeling that allows tangles to be easily brushed out.
Some of the most common detangling herbs are slippery elm, marshmallow root, and flaxseed. In addition to reducing friction between hair strands, these herbs can be added to conditioners to add moisture, soften the hair, and soothe the scalp.