How to Untangle Long Hair

The movie “Tangled” is one of our favorites around here (floating lanterns, anyone?) but that long head o’ hair on Rapunzel can just about give me nightmares- can you envision having to comb that out? Well I have long  hair, and my daughters also have long hair (though not quite that long!) and finally, after 8 years of being a girl mom, I have some tips on how to untangle long hair. Because believe me, it happens. A lot.

how to untangle long hair- tips and tricks gleaned over 35 years of having long hair myself!

(Yeah, this really happened to Allie at church camp. I wasn’t there. Thankfully the camp nurse (a dad!) was able to fix it relatively painlessly.)

1.) Brush their hair before they wash it. 

Starting off with untangled hair definitely helps the post-shower combing, which has been proven to take approximately 2 years off a mom’s life, per girl child she has. No lie.

2.) Comb their hair with conditioner in it.

This is one of my favorite tricks, one that I even use on myself. This is currently my favorite conditioner. You can also add a smidge of conditioner (doesn’t even have to be the leave-in kind) for combing after the washing.

3.) Always, ALWAYS start at the ends of the hair and work your way up.

It seems the natural inclination is to start at the top of the head, but if you begin at the bottom things go much better. You’re working on one tangle at a time rather than tangling all the tangles together. :)

4.) Get this brush. No, seriously. Get it.

wet brush

I had heard rumors of the awesomeness of the Wet Brush and I have to admit, I was quite skeptical. I was in Target, one day, though, and found one and decided to let my daughter try it. She didn’t want it- she wanted a “cuter” one, but I’m pretty sure we both heard angels singing when she used it the first time! Rumor is they also have them at Justice, or you can order one here and have it shipped straight to you! I used it on my own coarse hair it worked really well. (Oh, and take note, it really is a “wet” brush. You’ll want to hang on to your old one for dry hair.)

5.) Keep the ends trimmed.

I have to admit I’m not the best at this, but I’ve noticed that Allie’s (thick) hair combs much easier if it’s been trimmed. Evie’s only had one trim ever (she’s 4.5) but her hair is so fine it doesn’t get too tangled yet, and when it does, it’s pretty easy to comb.

6.) Sleep in a pony tail or top knot. 

I don’t advocate this for every night because it can break off hair, but it’s good for mornings you know you’ll be busy and will keep hair tangle free for the night.

Do you have any tips for untangling long hair? The more tips, the better!

originally posted 7-21-2015

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. Ingeborg says:

    Hi Kelli,

    Love this post. My daughter also has long hair, and a lot of it. It takes me a long time to untangle it every morning.
    I like your tips, some of them I already use. But instead of the topknot I braid her hair at night. Less chance of breaking and if there’s any breakage it happens at the ends of her hair, the part that gets cut once in a while.
    The trimming of the ends was a eye-opener for me some time ago, it makes such a difference!

    Thanks for you wonderfull post!


    Ingeborg (Netherlands)

    • Kelli Hays says:

      The braid is a great idea! I’ll definitely have to try that!
      Thanks so much for reading and your kind words :)

  2. Virginia Nutt says:

    This picture looks like it was taken on the porch of the “office” at Camp Ta-Ku-La. :-)