View Full Version : The Case of the Mysterious Tangles

August 26th, 2014, 07:07 PM
For the last week or so, when I comb my hair, I run into tangles in the last inch or two of my ends - as many as three separate tangles each time I comb, that I have to detangle with my fingers. Normally, I run into a snag like once a week and the brush runs through it like butter, so this is very unusual for my hair. :confused: I have recently (in the last week) made the switch from a brush to exclusively using a wide-tooth comb, fine-tooth comb, and a BBB, so at first I thought maybe the combs just couldn't detangle what my old brush could, but I've tried brushing through them, and even the brush gets stuck! So I've come to the conclusion that maybe my hair is lacking something or has too much of something?

I co-wash every day/every other day (depending on the weather :p) with Wen, which contains hydrolyzed wheat protein and amodimethicone (have been using Wen since mid-May). I had a 1/2 inch trim in Mid-July, and have few split ends. In the last week, I have returned to college and the water is harder here than it is at home, which might contribute to tangles, I think? I have a hard-water shampoo I plan to use once a week, though.

Any ideas? I'm puzzled.

August 26th, 2014, 07:17 PM
Whenever my ends get snarly and velcro-y I clarify and it solves the problem! Could be buildup from co-washing.

August 26th, 2014, 07:27 PM
Yes, it sounds like the co-washing could be the culprit. Could you possibly limit that to once a week? I agree with MsPharoahMoan..clarifying is great in getting rid of residue on hair. Be sure to follow up with a conditioning treatment afterwards!

August 26th, 2014, 08:27 PM
Yes, it sounds like the co-washing could be the culprit. Could you possibly limit that to once a week? I agree with MsPharoahMoan..clarifying is great in getting rid of residue on hair. Be sure to follow up with a conditioning treatment afterwards!

I definitely can't stretch it to once a week; by the end of the day on the second day after washing, my hair is no longer presentable. But I will buy a clarifying shampoo and see if that solves the problem, thank you!

August 26th, 2014, 08:31 PM
Hard water is so tough on hair tangles. The WEN does need clarified off occasionally but with the hard water I would make sure the shampoo also chelates. Hopefully things settle back down after a clarify/chelate and deep condition. If it doesn't then you can start troubleshooting other causes.

When I moved back to Florida I had to add chelating to my routine monthly. I also add in acidic rinses weekly. Our water is ridiculous. I really need a shower filter.

August 26th, 2014, 08:40 PM
Erin, I have already tried chelating (I have Malibu C's hard water shampoo) and it made no difference; I imagine that a week wasn't long enough to get mineral buildup. It takes a year or so to get enough mineral build-up to discolor my hair, so I don't think the water is quite hard enough to be a huge problem. :)

August 26th, 2014, 09:03 PM
Ive been getting the same recently. I'm a micro trimmer though and due for my bi-monthly trim this weekend. I think that may be the case for me.

August 27th, 2014, 07:47 AM
look at the hairs - do they strengthen out after you detangle them? mine used to stay like that, bent at the point where they tangled with other hairs. sometimes I had fairy knots - I cut them off. the bent hairs could cause more tangles in the future but I did not cut those off (maybe I should have, but then I'd have to cut too much...). any way, I think that it's mechanical damage of some sort. look out for that, maybe try to locate the source and eliminate it
best of luck xx your hair is beautiful ♥

August 27th, 2014, 07:53 AM
Hard water is so tough on hair tangles
Erin, you. are. a. genius! Finally!! I have found the answer to my tangling hair issue! I forgot that water in my region is SUPER hard. Acidic rinses you say? I'll be searching for some remedies now, thank you so much for this reminder ♥

August 27th, 2014, 12:28 PM
If chelating and clarifying don't do it (and do try those first, making sure to target the ends), I want to suggest that you try an SMT or similar moisture treatment that's heavy on humectants, preferably using a conditioner that doesn't have protein in it. Not everyone has to fight with this, but I know I have trouble with protein overload making my hair dry and tangly if I regularly use a product that contains it. For me, it tends to manifest first at the ends of my hair, and if I run my fingers down the length, those ends feel grabby and almost sticky. They tend to get kinked easily too, which just adds to the tangles. When I let it get bad, I get new tangles even in the detangling process. IF the problem is protein, the solution is water-based moisturizing and reducing or eliminating the constant use of products containing proteins that give you problems.

August 28th, 2014, 09:08 AM
I recommend a coconut milk (not oil) treatment and a chamomile tea rinse, leaves my hair with absolutely no snags.

August 28th, 2014, 11:45 AM
I definitely second the clarifying. I've been CO'ing for a while as well and it sounds exactly like build-up.