How to Remove Mats and Tangles from Afro-Textured Hair
It is inevitable at times. Sometimes due to life's pressures, lack of time or just freak occurrences you get really bad tangles or you end up with matted afro-textured hair. I am going to talk about how to remove mats from your afro-textured hair.
Don't Panic: If you get a bad tangle or end up with matted hair do not panic. That means don't cut the hair, don't tear it out and do not place a greasy or gummy product on it. Any one of these steps could make the situation worse.
Make Time for Your Hair: The time to address matted hair is not 15 minutes before your date arrives or 5 minutes before you have to leave for church. Address the matt when you have no other plans for the next 2-4 hours. The question is not, "How long do I need to remove a mat from my hair?" The question is, "How much time are you willing to spend to save your precious length?"
Find the Heart and Core of the Knot: Sit down with your hair and begin to section your hair with your fingers. You are not going for perfect parts. Your goal is to try to remove as much hair as you can, without breaking it, from the tangle. Sometimes you may be working with single hairs at a time. That's okay and that's why you need the time to focus on de-matting your hair.
Identify What Is at the Core of the Knot: Try to determine what is at the heart of the knot. Is it hair that has shed? Is it an entire curl? Is it gummy product? Is it dry product buildup? If it is hair that has shed and loosened from the scalp, try to gently pull the hair apart and away from the tangle. If it is a curl or hair that is healthy, try to pull the hair apart from the ends up, then gently pull at the tangle and repeat. If it is a gummy product causing the tangle, try to press and squeeze the knot to free the hair from the gummy buildup. If the product has hardened on the hair, try to moisten the section to loosen up the product.
Cut Out the Knot as a Last Resort: Sometimes, no matter what you do, the knot or tangle or matted hair will not be removed. After you have exhausted all the above steps, you may find that you have to cut the hair. Try to remove as much hair from around the matted section as possible. Then, remove the knot from your hair.