Forget frizz management, I need detangling!
January 10, 2021 11:20 AM   Subscribe

My fine, curly (3a) hair gets SO TANGLED ALL THE TIME now that it's long. When I'm home in Toronto I use L.U.S. products, which are expensive but worth it, mostly because the conditioner effectively detangles my hair no matter how bad it's gotten. I'm in the UK now, I didn't bring enough L.U.S. conditioner, and nothing I can get at grocery stores seems designed to **actually detangle** the knots in my hair.

None of the conditioners on the shelves at Sainsbury's, Asda, Aldi, or Lidl (these are the stores I have access to) seems to advertise any detangling function, which I find weird and hard to believe. They have brands (e.g. Aussie, Herbal Essences) that I know make proper curl care lines, but they don't have those actual products. The closest they have is stuff that touts its smoothing/anti-frizz properties, but what I've tried so far was somehow even less effective than shampoo (shampoo!) in lubricating my hair enough to detangle with my fingers. I've already lost way too much hair to post-COVID hair loss this year and can't face the prospect of losing more to tangle-induced breakage.

Added difficulty level: I have a severe gluten intolerance and can't use anything with gluten/hydrolized wheat protein or any barley, wheat, rye, or spelt ingredients.

I really don't want to spend more than £3-4 on something just to try, but I'd go up to around £7 for something you, a tangle-haired mess of a human being, swear by. What products am I overlooking? There's got to be something, right?
posted by some_kind_of_toaster to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have access to Boots? A bigger one, not a little pharmacy-only one. That's where you'll find the full lines of products for curly hair. I like the whole Charles Worthington line and the Noughty leave in conditioners and sprays. Boots will also do all the Aussie and Frizz-ease product lines as well if you want something you're familiar with. SuperDrug will have all this stuff, too (I think Charles Worthington is only at Boots but SuperDrug will carry all the other stuff I've mentioned plus more).

All decent hair care products seem to be £5-£9 minimum, full price, but they regularly do discount offers (3 for 2, that sort of thing) so you can stock up when you find the products you like.
posted by cilantro at 11:33 AM on January 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have straight hair but it tangles if I look at it funny when longer and I got a brush specifically for tangles called a tangle teezer. It was about 10 USD on Amazon and it’s made a huge difference. It had a lot of very small plastic bristles and I lose a lot less hair and it’s less painful than with a regular brush.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 1:27 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I used brushes from WetBrush and it was a hair saver. Won't help you in the UK.
posted by Ferrari328 at 2:20 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Grocery stores do not sell good shampoo here. You definitely want to go to Boots, which will have a waaaay bigger range. Is there a reason you're only looking in supermarkets?
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:41 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The nearest Boots is too far for me to get to without taking transit, and I’m not comfortable doing that because of Covid.

I’m not looking for recommendations of brushes or shampoos—basic conditioner only, and all I need it to do is make my hair less tangled.
posted by some_kind_of_toaster at 2:51 PM on January 10, 2021

Look for products marketed towards curly hair. First ingredient should be something like cetyl alcohol which is really good at detangling hair.

I use thing and I have thick 4a kinky hair. Melts through my hair like a dream. Should be cheaper in person, but if anything, try to find something locally that has similar ingredients. The top 5 ingredients matter. That's what in the conditioner the most.

If your hair's extremely knotted, soak it in the shower and douse it in conditioner. Then break apart the tangles slowly with your fingers. If you need help, just memail me away!
posted by starlybri at 4:11 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

If TresSemme is available there, the dry/damaged hair version is really good for detangling curls. It's cheap here in the U.S., anyways.
posted by stormyteal at 7:55 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Boots do deliver (although the minimum spend for free delivery is quite high) and they specifically categorise products by curly hair type. If you have the cash to stock up on health and beauty products in general then it might be worth putting together an order, the cheapest stuff recommended for type 3 hair is around £4-£6.

If you want to experiment with what you can buy in person, here's the list of curly girl recommended products for the UK. The general conditioners include products like Asda Apple Conditioner, which you can buy at Asda obviously, and Johnson's No More Tangles Conditioner which is aimed at kids and might also be available in any supermarket. I've seen Alberto Balsalm, Garnier and Tresemme products in my local supermarkets but I couldn't tell you whether it was the specific products recommended here or whether they're any good. But hopefully that helps a bit.
posted by plonkee at 3:48 PM on January 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone with the specific product recs! Looks like I’ll be working out a pilgrimage to a Boots at some point...
posted by some_kind_of_toaster at 1:50 PM on January 12, 2021

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