If you've ever gotten into an arm wrestle with your hairbrush, we feel your pain. Before you resort to yanking through your knots, remember that “a tangle happens when the hair cuticles get locked together, and you’ll only damage your hair if you don’t remove it carefully,” says N.Y.C. stylist Rebekah Forecast. She recommends brushing strands with a soft-bristle tool to remove loose hairs and then hop into the shower. “The water streaming from overhead will actually help release tangles from the hair,” she says. Then apply a dollop of conditioner (try Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Cream Treatment, $3; target.com). Allow it to soak into the hair shaft for a few minutes and then gently rake a wide toothed comb through strands, says Forecast. The conditioner will loosen knots and create enough slip so that a wide toothed comb can glide through.
Outside of the shower, be sure to brush from the tips, upward (and not from roots to ends). Start at the bottom and work your way up a quarter of an inch at a time, says L.A. hairstylist Kylee Heath, who loves the Sheila Stotts hair brush
($28; sheilastotts.com), which can be used on wet or dry hair. You’ll yank out far fewer strands this way!