Managing long hair is not a child’s play and its important to keep it tangle-free as much as possible.
You go on a long drive and because of the strong blowing wind and dust; you end up with tangled hair. After getting back home, you try to detangle your hair using comb, however you yelp in pain as detangling pulls your hair and hurts badly. It is natural for the hair to get tangled but what is important is to detangle them without breaking them. Detangling the hair can be quite a pain and tedious too. That is when hair detanglers come to your rescue. However, have you ever wondered how does this stuff work?
What are hair detanglers?
Before knowing what are hair detanglers and how do they work, let us first know what exactly is this stuff?
As the name goes, hair detanglers help in detangling your hair in a non-painful manner which otherwise could have been quite painful. It is a type of hair conditioner that smoothens your hair and prevents a static feel to the hair that can further tangle your hair.
Hair detanglers have ingredients that help in smoothing your hair and make it soft to help them stay tangle-free till the next wash.
Find out what is hidden inside these hair detanglers?
Before getting into how this hair detanglers work, let us first find out what are these stuff made of. Hair detanglers are made of ingredients like silicone in the form of polymer which helps in adding gloss to your hair by binding your hair shaft to the surface.
Hair detangler also has an acidifier that brings down the pH level of the silicone polymer and strengthens the hydrogen bonds between the keratin molecules in the hair and helps in tightening the hair strand.
Hair detanglers also contain hydrolyzed protein that helps in repairing damaged hair and Cationic surfactants that help in smoothing the surface of the hair. Also, it has essential oils that help in making your hair soft and make them less vulnerable to tangles.
If you do not have hair detanglers, you can prepare your own at home by diluting regular hair conditioner with water and sprinkling it on your hair.
Hair detanglers are nothing but work of chemistry between different ingredients. Wrong chemicals can definitely affect the quality and interfere with the texture of your hair. Hence it is always better to go for known and reputed hair detanglers as at the end of the day, we do wish to have long, beautiful and well-maintained hair.
Common Chemicals in Hair Detanglers
If you check the ingredients list of a hair detangler, you’ll likely see one or more of these ingredients:
Silicone (e.g., dimethicone or cyclomethicone) – polymer that adds gloss to hair by binding to its surface.
Acidifier – chemical that lowers the pH of the detangler, strengthening the hydrogen bonds between keratin molecules in hair, smoothing and tightening each strand.
Hydrolyzed Protein – helps to repair damaged keratin, smoothing the broken edges so strands of hair don’t catch on each other as much.
Cationic Surfactants – Bind to the negatively-charged keratin, becoming the new smoother surface of the hair.
Oil – Oils fill in the pores of dry or damaged hair, making it softer, more pliable, and less likely to tangle.
Homemade Hair Detangler
If you don’t have detangler on hand, you can mix up some yourself. There are several options:
Dilute regular hair conditioner. Spritz a mixture of 2 tablespoons conditioner in 16 ounces of water onto damp hair.
Fill a spray bottle with the following herbal hair detangler mixture:
8 ounces distilled water
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
10-15 drops grapefruit seed extract
1-2 drops glycerin
1-2 drops essential oil (e.g., lavender, jojoba, chamomile)