Matted hair

Matted hair. Matted hair solution requires combing regularly, using a scarf at night to protect your hair, and use of detangling products. Matted hair is bad news. Like traditional knots and tangles, matted hair occurs when shed strands of your hair twist together to form a clump. Anyone can suffer from this pain; luckily matted hair problem comes with its solutions too.
matted hair

Solutions that work for Matted hair

Solutions Good to go
Combing dry hair No
Washing with shampoo and conditioner Yes
Using oil Yes
Wearing scarf while going to bed Yes
Protective hair styling No

Forms of matted hair

Matted hair has two forms, one is known as detangled hair or felted hair, while the other one is known as acute matted hair. First, discover the matted hair problem that you have and then we will move towards its solution.

Felted hair or Jata

In Indian and African cultures, a less extreme form of hair matting occurs, and this is known as Felted hair. Though these cultures have their reasons for having this type of matted hair.

These reasons include ethnic pride and their religious convictions and sometimes they have a political purpose too. Felted hair has other names like deadlocks or Jata.

Acute hair matting (Plica Polonica)

Plica Polonica or Acute hair matting is a rare condition that occurs when permanent matting of the scalp creates a solid mass on the vertex.

This process is similar to adjacent wool fibers that compact due to surface scratching and abrasion.

In this type of hair matting, the twists are severely entangled and form a stiff mass of keratin over the head.

This mass contains dirt and exudates. Acute hair matting, plica Polonica, plica neuropathies, and bird’s nest hair, all refer to the same condition.

Causes of matted hair

The main reason for matted hair is not detangling your hair in the right way. Loose hair strands knot around other hairs and these knots when not detangled properly lead to matted hair. Some other reasons include

1: Styling your hair without detangling them properly

2: Going to sleep without wearing a scarf or a cap

3: Not trimming your hair regularly

Matted hair is a problem that anyone could suffer from. There are two types of matted hair. The causes of matted hair are also described above.

Solutions for Felted hair mats

In the section below we will discuss the solution to detangle both types of hair mats. First, we will talk about a problem that is very common and can happen to anyone i.e., felted hair matting.

1: Soak your hair

We suggest you not try combing through your matted hair without washing them. Combing dry matted hair will make them worse. First, wash the shampoo and then apply a good conditioner.

This will make your hair soft and somewhat smooth to comb through. After you rinse off the conditioner, apply a hair moisturizer. You can apply a little amount of moisturizer to your lightly wet hair.

2: Comb your matted hair

Once you have applied the moisturizer. Loosen your hair strands with a wide-tooth comb. Start by detangling the bottom of your hair first and then moving towards the roots of your hair. While combing your matted hair, keep two things in mind that

1: Hair shedding is normal when you comb your matted hair. There are some strands of your hair that have already been shed and will come off when you detangle them. So do not misinterpret them as hair loss.

2: This process will take time, so be patient while you detangle your hair.

Solutions for Acute hair matting

Acute matted hair needs a solution that is a bit different from a simple one. To remove cemented debris and strands of your hair you will need more time to soak them, more amount of shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer.

You may also need to ask for a helping hand to get your hair to detangle.

Soak in warm water

Take a warm water shower or rinse your hair by putting them in warm water under the faucet. Use a hydrating shampoo and gently massage your hair. This massage is not to detangle your hair, but to clean and hydrate.

As we stated above detangling needs you to wash and clean your hair first. If you start combing your dry hair, it will be more painful and will damage your delicate hair.

Apply detangling conditioner

With your hair still wet, apply a conditioner that is specifically for detangling hair. Use jojoba, argan, or coconut oil too.

Put any of this oil in a spray bottle and apply it to your wet and conditioned hair. This step will work like a magic to lock moisture and will smooth your hair.


Once you have applied oil to your conditioned hair, let it sit for at least 30 mins. You can also wait but not more than 2 hours.

This wait becomes fruitful as it will allow your hair to take the nutrients and moisture in and smoothing hair.

Comb your hair

1: Take a high-quality brush or a wide-tooth comb. Wide-toothed combs are best as they meet less resistance and make the process less painful.

2: Divide your hair into sections and start combing one section at a time. Start combing your hair from downward to upward direction.

3: If hair is severely tangled then use your finger to detangle that section first and then start combing.

4: Again, it is natural to have a good amount of hair fall out. As in acute matted hair, the amount of broken hair strands is more than that felted hair.

Rinse your hair

Once you have combed all sections of your hair, rinse the conditioner and oil off your hair. Now comb again and your acute matted hair problem is solved.

Steps to avoid matted hair

Once you have detangled your matted hair, it is necessary to know the preventions to avoid the same problem in the future. Given below are some steps that you can follow to prevent hair matting.

1: Cover them at night

Before you put your head on your pillow and snooze off, don’t forget to cover your hair. As when you sleep with your hair uncovered, the strands of your hair twist together leading to hair mats.

That is why cover your hair with a silk scarf or a cap to lock their moisture. This step also brings healthy-looking hair.

2: Trim your hair

Split ends give your hair a raggedy look and also cause hair matting. So, the best solution to keep your hair healthy and mat-free are to trim the after every eight weeks.

3: Detangle them every day

Nothing works better than combing your hair every day. Once you start detangling the hair knots, your matted hair problem is already gone.

4: Avoid protective styling

Getting a protective style and then leaving it for too long leads to hair matting. With this type of hairstyling, you are unable to comb your hair.

The shed of broken hair and debris starts accumulating into your hair and leads to matted hair.

But if you still want to have a protective styling, don’t go longer than 3 weeks.

5: Use a Pineapple method

This method is one of the best to avoid matted hair. In this method, twist your hair and cover them with a silk scarf. Now tie a knot around the top of your head. This method is also applicable when you go to sleep.

6: Apply oil regularly

Try to apply a good nourishing oil like coconut or jojoba oil, 30 mins before washing your hair. The step will do wonders to your hair.

It will not only nourish your scalp, but will also smooth out your tangled hair. Oiling your hair regularly will also come with less hair fall which means fewer hair shreds.

Use a homemade hair mask

Take a ripped Banana, peel it, and mash it to a fine paste. Add one egg white, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and a few drops of essential oil.

After you have washed and detangled your hair as mentioned in the above articles, apply this mask to slightly wet hair. Leave for 20 mins and rinse off.

This mask will nourish your hair and will leave them tangled-free for at least one week.

Apply detangling products

As we stated above to use a conditioner, hair oil, and mask to get mat-free hair, you can also use detangling products available online and in markets.

These products smooth out individual hair, thus reducing the chance of friction and matting.

You can use the products like Argan oil, Shea moisturizer Detangler, or Hibiscus water Detangler-based products for that purpose.

These products contain hydrating and nourishing vitamins for your hair.

Care for your hair extensions

Sometimes your real hair gets entwined with your hair extension. That is why taking good care of your hair extensions. To keep your extensions in a good condition and avoid hair matting, follow these steps:

Do not sleep with untied hair.

Do not go to bed with damp hair.

Visit your professional stylist every 6-8 weeks to keep up with your hair extensions.

In the above section, we have described the steps to detangle felted hair and acute matted hair. You can also follow the given instructions to avoid hair matting in the future.

Some common FAQs about matted hair

1: How do you get rid of matted hair?

Take a pair of scissors and grip your hair tightly with your other hand. Run the blade of the scissors lengthwise on the underside of the mat, then gently pull at your hair to remove loose strands.

Grab a wide-toothed comb and keep combing until you severe mats and tangles have been straightened out.

2: Why is my hair so matted?

Hair becomes tangled when it is not getting combed as required to allow natural shedding.

3: What home remedy can I use to untangle my hair?

Take one part of baking soda and mix it with three parts of the conditioner. Make a well-blended mixture. Split your hair into sections so that you can put on the mixture of all the parts of your hair and scalp.

Once you’ve applied it, massage it thoroughly into your scalp for a few minutes, and then let it be for half an hour.

4: How do you untangle matted hair without cutting it?

Take a small section of your matted hair, and spray some water on it. Apply a conditioner and leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes.

Use your fingers to gently start detangling your hair knots. Get a detangling comb and brush from the tips of the roots

5: Why is my hair matted and falling out?

When you don’t regularly comb your hair to remove shed strands , you could end up with matted hair. Matting can also be the fault of bad combing methods, long stretches without a trim, or even failing to protect your hair at night.

6: Does coconut oil help matted hair?

Yes, you can detangle your matted hair with coconut oil without the need to cut it! Simply massage some coconut oil on your matted hair to softly loosen the tangles and mats.

Putting on coconut oil will immediately make your hair softer and smoother, letting you remove the mats quickly and painlessly.

7: How long does it take to detangle matted hair?

Usually, it takes up to 30 to 45 minutes to work through every tangle, particularly if you have severely matted hair.

Just take a deep breath and think that while it will take time, you will eventually reach the end

8: Does olive oil detangle hair?

To some extent, yes, but oils are conditioning agents that help to decrease friction on hair, and detangle the hair , but you will still need to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

9: Can matted hair be saved?

Yes, they can be saved by proper washing, conditioning, oiling, and above all combing.

10: Why do I have so many single strand knots?

If you have shorter curly hair and tightly coiled hair you must know that they are most prone to single-strand knots.

Some other causes of single-strand knots include mishandling of the hair during shampooing and styling or friction from pillows, scarves, etc


Matted hair is an annoying problem, we know that! But you can avoid it by following the above-explained steps. You just have to be patient and look after your hair well. You can also talk to professionals to get their tips for matted hair removal.

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