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How To Detangle Your Hair After It's Been In A Bun All Day, No Pain Or Breakage

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October 6, 2021
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Textured buns: They're easy, they're (supposedly) effortless, they help secure long hair away from the face. You know what's not easy or effortless? Detangling the strands after the fact. You know when you stash a pair of wired headphones into a bag, only to pull out a web of cords at the end of the day? That's how we feel after letting our hair down: Pile your lengths on top of your head, leave them alone for hours, and chances are you'll face some knots as you untie. 

Detangling methods do vary depending on your hair type, but there is one tip that transcends all tresses: If you twist your hair in a bun all day long, simply running a brush through the strands is a recipe for disaster. Think broken hairs, a tender scalp, and some serious snags. 

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Rather, check out this TikTok tutorial from NYC-based hairstylist Matt Newman. Whether you're partial to a bunned style or your hair just tangles easily, here's a solid plan. 

How to detangle your hair after it's been in a bun all day. 

"Start by adding something for slip," Newman says—he's partial to Trader Joe's 100% organic argan oil. Any sort of hair oil or leave-in will do, but you do need some physical barrier to soften the strands while you work through any knots.

Next, grab your hairbrush (find our picks for every hair type here), and separate your hair into small- to medium-size sections. Detangle from the bottom, Newman says, and work your way up, repeating the process section by section until your hair is finally snag-free. Patience is key—don't hack your way through the strands, or it may still result in shed hairs. 

At this point, some of you—namely curly girls—may raise a brow in defiance. Understandable: Curly hair types are more prone to tangles, dryness, and breakage, and experts declare the best plan of action is to detangle while the hair is wet (ideally under globs of conditioner). The thought of taking a comb to bone-dry ringlets may sound utterly painful, even if you lather on an oil for some slip. 

So let's give this tip a slight edit: If you normally detangle your hair when it's wet, hop in the shower and follow Newman's same steps. Instead of argan oil, you may use conditioner or a hair mask, which is perfectly fine; still, remember to separate the hair into sections and start from your ends, working your way up. And to keep the knots at bay in the first place, you might want to keep the bun loose (which also helps prevent breakage at the hairline). 

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The takeaway. 

We repeat: If you twist your hair on top of your head, do not just run a brush through the strands and call it a day—it's a recipe for shedding, splits, and scalp pain. Whether you detangle wet or dry, make sure you have a physical barrier to add some slip (like a leave-in, hair oil, or conditioner) and gently work the snarls in sections.