Found: The Legit *Best* Detanglers for Curly Hair

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Trust: If you’re attempting to finger-comb through your knots and tangles without a curl detangler, you’re doing. it. wrong. And I’m not just talking about those mists and sprays your mom used to aggressively rake through your hair after showering as a kid—I’m talkin’ about new (and very much improved) detanglers, like a multitasking formula you can add to your wash-day routine, a lightweight leave-in that clumps and defines your curls, and a hydrating treatment that rinses out without feeling sticky. The bottom line? Detanglers are nonnegotiable if you wanna comb through your curls without breakage or damage, so there’s no reason not to add one to your lineup. Do yourself a favor and keep scrolling for the absolute best detanglers for curly hair—along with a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of each formula.

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Best Co-Wash and Detangler for Curly Hair

Tgin Quench 3-In-1 Cleansing Co-Wash Conditioner and Detangler

The trick to detangling curls and coils without breakage? Start your detangling routine in the shower with this multitasking co-wash. The formula’s shea butter and sweet almond oil create the perfect amount of slip so you can gently detangle as you cleanse. Just don’t forget to follow with your favorite conditioner, k?


Best Curl-Defining Detangler

Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Detangler

After cleansing and conditioning, spritz this detangler through your damp curls to coat your hair with hydrating and shine-enhancing ingredients (think: mango butter and gardenia extract). And since it’s nice and lightweight, you don’t need to worry about it leaving behind any greasy residue.


Best Detangler for Type 4 Hair

Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy

This pick is loved for its creamy, rich formula (‘sup, olive oil and shea butter) that gently detangles type 4 curls and coils. You can use this bb on wet or dry hair—start with a generous dollop and carefully comb through your tangles from your ends up to your roots. Use a light hand and minimal tension to avoid any breakage.


Best Silicone-Free Detangler for Curly Hair

Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler

Looking for a Curly Girl Method-approved detangler? You can’t go wrong with this silicone-free pick, which is spiked with mango fruit and marshmallow root extracts to smooth knots and tangles with tons of slip. Use it as a leave-in or as a rinse-out conditioner—you have a lot of room for customization with this one.


Best Multi-Use Detangler for Curly Hair

Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Softening Leave In Conditioner

TBH, there’s not a whole lot this leave-in conditioner can’t do. Smooth it through your damp hair and it’ll help detangle, soften, and even strengthen your curls with a blend of vitamin B5, amino acids, chamomile, and hydrating oils (see: argan and jojoba). P.S. This formula also moonlights as an excellent pre-poo treatment.


Best Drugstore Detangler for Curly Hair

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable detangler, you’ll love this drugstore option from SheaMoisture. The hero ingredient is rich and creamy shea butter, which gives your hair plenty of slip and shine for easy detangling (yes, even if you’re working with damaged or dry curls). Comb it through your damp hair before or after cleansing and you’ll get the hype.


Best Fragrance-Free Detangler for Curly Hair

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Fragrance-Free Detangler

Not only is this fragrance-free detangler a godsend for folks with sensitive scalps, but it’s also great for hydrating and soothing your curls, thanks to ingredients like aloe vera, oat milk, and green tea extract. Spritz it through clean, damp hair, focusing on any knots through your mid-lengths and ends.


Best Detangler for High-Porosity Curls and Coils

Soultanicals Knot Sauce Coil Detangler

It’s always a good idea to keep your hair’s porosity (aka its ability to absorb and retain moisture) top of mind when finding the best curly hair products. High-porosity curls and coils do especially well with this detangler, since it’s rich, thick, and loaded with hydrating oils like coconut and olive. 


Best Lightweight Detangler for Curly Hair

Flora & Curl Organic Rose & Honey Leave-In Detangler

Need a detangler that’s a bit lighter weight? Go for this leave-in formula that’s spiked with honey, rose water, and vitamin B to help hydrate and soften your curls without any buildup. And since it’s a cream rather than a spray, you also get a lot more control in how—and where—you apply it (i.e., It’s easy to smooth it through knots without coating your entire head).


Best Detangler and Heat Protectant for Curly Hair

Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

PSA: Heat protectant is nonnegotiable for any heat styling (that includes blow-drying and diffusing, y’all!). That’s what makes this multi-tasking detangler so great—all you need is a few spritzes and the hydrating formula will help you easily comb through knots and tangles while also prepping your curls for hot tools. A true win-win.


Best Detangler for Wavy Hair

Sun Bum Curls and Waves Detangler

Perfect for finer curls or waves, this detangler smoothes, hydrates, and conditions your hair without weighing it down. And since it’s got a hefty dose of UV-ray protection, it’s also great for maintaining your dye job or highlights during the warmer months.


Best Detangling Treatment for Curly Hair

Naturalicious Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment

K, prepare to be impressed: This formula does everything from cleansing and conditioning to detangling and styling (!). The formula’s rhassoul clay works to gently clarify your scalp while avocado, olive, and grapseed oils deeply condition. Just work it through damp hair, massage it into your scalp, and gently detangle any knots before rinsing it allll the way out.


Best Detangler for Curly Hair and Frizz

Ouai Detangling and Frizz Fighting Leave in Conditioner

Excellent for detangling knots and smoothing unwanted frizz and flyaways, this leave-in conditioner coats your curls with vitamin E (to hydrate) and hydrolyzed proteins (to strengthen). And as an added bonus, it’s also free of stripping sulfates, parabens, and other harsh ingredients.


Best Detangling Comb for Curly Hair

Pattern Wide Tooth Comb

If your fingers aren’t quite cutting it, try detangling your curls with this gentle wide-tooth comb from Pattern. It glides through your hair easily (like, no tugging or pulling required) and it pairs nicely with the rest of your in-shower routine.


Best Detangling Brush for Curly Hair

Tangle Teezer The Ultimate Detangler

Even though the majority of detangling brushes are a bit too harsh for curly hair, this cult-favorite pick is surprisingly gentle. Use it to distribute your detanglers, conditioners, and leave-ins through wet hair and you’ll notice how easily it smoothes out your knots and tangles. Start from your ends and work your way up to keep breakage at a minimum.

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