9 Best Detangling Shampoos for Black Hair

Written by Kayla Davis

Updated on

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best detangler shampoo for black hair

Tangles, knots, crunchy curls, matted hair, Spaghetti junctions …

These are the nightmare post-shower problems every naturalista has to grapple with on the daily.

But did you know?

Switching your shampoo to one that is sulfate-free and has plenty of slip can make a huge difference!

We’ve put our tangled curls to the test to find out which shampoo can unravel the most stubborn knots and tangles, and here are the top products we highly recommend:

1. Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Shampoo

The Shea Moisture Coconut & hibiscus set comes with an excellent detangler shampoo for African American hair. It has everything you need to tame and unravel your curls.

raw shea butter extra-moisture with coconut oil

Best Shampoo for Detangling Black African American Hair


Packed with top of the range organic and botanical ingredients like:

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Hibiscus flower extracts
  • Rosemary
  • and Aloe oils

… it has a creamy formula that moisturizes, protects, and improves your hair’s elasticity to prevent breakage and split ends.

To make it even better, this shampoo is sulfate-free!

Even though it won’t lather as much as your usual shampoos, it will magically renew your dry curls and give them their natural spring.

Pair it with the Shea Moisture curl and shine conditioner, it becomes a perfect combination for boosting afro damaged hair that’s been permed, colored, and chemically treated.

A great addition to your everyday hair care routine with the perfect amount of slip to help you get rid of those stubborn knots and tangles.

Shea Moisture’s curl conditioner is also perfect for those with 3A to 4C hair types.

Use it on dry or wet hair, it does an excellent job.

We also found this product to be:

  • The best detangling conditioner for thick curly hair
  • The best detangler for transitioning hair

It will literally make your curls pop!

So if you’re on a natural hair discovery journey, and need a silicone-free conditioner, get your mitts on this Shea Moisture hibiscus pack.

2. Shea Moisture Red Palm Oil Shampoo

how to detangle black hair after washing

Available now on Amazon.com


Some types of natural hair can shrink after shampooing, which can compromise on length and growth.

If you’re someone who wants to keep and flaunt that length, Shea Moisture’s red palm oil & cocoa butter detangling shampoo is perfect for you.

It combines:

  • Raw Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Red palm oil
  • and flaxseed oil

to create an anti-shrinking formula that allows you to enjoy more elongated locks.

And the best part, it also has plenty of slip that makes detangling black hair a breeze.

Much like most of the brand’s products, this shampoo is also sulfate and paraben-free. And works for 3A to 4C hair types.

3. Design Essentials Sulfate-Free Shampoo

how to untangle knotted black hair

Sulfate-free and compatible for every curl type.


The key ingredients of this detangler are avocados and almonds, which not only sound delicious but are also fantastic for your curls.

They strengthen your hair shaft, prevent breakage, provides intense moisture, and leave your hair with a luminous shine.

Oh, and this shampoo will also save you 30 minutes of detangling time!

Design Essential’s detangling shampoo is sulfate, paraben, and paraffin-free, which makes it compatible for all hair types.

4. Paul Mitchell Detangler Shampoo

Paul mitchell anti knot shampoo for curly hair

Knot-free shampoo with plenty of slip.


Who doesn’t love two-in-ones?

This salon-quality shampoo made especially for detangling, will help you release your curls and prevent them from sticking together.

The Grapeseed oil it contains gives instant conditioning, shine, and detangling. Meanwhile, its carrot extract protects your locks from UV ray damage.

It works better for those with medium to coarse hair.

5. African Pride Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo

knot detangler shampoo

The African Pride knot detangler shampoo, conditioner, and mask set.


African Pride’s moisture miracle shampoo is the perfect pre-shower product to leave your curls tangle-free in the shower and after.

It blends the natural benefits of aloe vera and coconut water.

The creamy formula protects and conditions your natural black hair while efficiently removing tangles.

Before showering, simply put on a generous amount on your dry hair and spread evenly. You can use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to detangle then rinse thoroughly.

If your hair is very dry and tangled, leave the product in for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then follow it up with your usual hair care routine.

With this, you’ll have an easier time cleansing and styling your hair.

6. ORS Curls Unleashed Detangle Shampoo

tangle taming moisturizing shampoo

ORS Tangle taming shampoo. Also ideal for kids.


Oh, kids! It’s hard enough to get your own tangles out. But, when it comes to them, it’s another struggle altogether.

Thankfully, the ORS Unleashed curl detangling shampoo can make the jobs for a lot of mommies out there a lot easier.

This sulfate-free detangling shampoo contains a blend of nourishing mango, refreshing cucumber, and other natural ingredients.

The shampoo cleanses your little one’s curls without stripping natural moisture. This way, you can get the kinks out and prevent breakage without either of you screaming in pain and frustration.

7. The Mane Choice Shampoo

best slip shampoo for natural hair

Non-stripping shampoo with emollients that provide plenty of slip.


Cut your wash days in half.

With the Mane Choice’s detangling & hydration shampoo, you can finally look forward to cleansing and growing your curls without the knots and tangles.

This product washes away build-up and impurities without stripping your locks. Moreover, it’s infused with Biotin and Vitamin E, which promote healthier, longer, and thicker hair.

So, if you’re looking to grow those locks without any pain or hassle, this one’s for you.

8. Naturalicious Hello Gorgeous

conditioning shampoo for curls

Curl cleansing and moisturizing system.


What more do you need if you have the ultimate hair care system in your hands?

This product’s 3-step system is infused with Rhassoul Clay from Morroco. It includes a 5-in-1 Clay treatment that serves as your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler, and leave-in conditioner.

The second product is a Divine Shine Moisture Lock + Frizz Fighter, and the third product is a styling creme.

With Naturalicious’ Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System, you have one of the best detanglers for natural hair that has 3 products doing the job of 12. Your wash days can be cut down by 80%.

9. Just For Me Curls Combo

detangling spray for curls

Natural curls conditioning system with good detangling spray for styling.


The base ingredients of this product are marshmallow root extract, cocoa butter, and raw honey.

All of these potent ingredients work together to give you just enough slip nourishment and hydration for effortless detangling and soft, luscious curls. The 5-in-1 wonder spray in the set contains flaxseed, castor oil, and avocado oil.

And it’s an amazing non-drying leave-in product that conditions and refreshes curls, kinks, and coils.

Detangling Curly Hair Tips And Tricks

Now that you have products in your arsenal, it’s time for you to know the tips and tricks to detangle your locks painlessly and without breakage. Remember, the more you avoid it, the more you might end up with tangles and matted hair that is almost impossible to detangle.

But, also, remember that there is a right way to do it and there is a wrong way to do it.

When it comes to detangling your curls, one thing you should always remember is to do no harm.

Simply put, that means be gentle on your hair and scalp. Being too rough like pulling and stretching too much can damage the cuticle of your hair. And damaged cuticles make your natural hair more prone to breakage and knots.

Here are some other things worth remembering.

1. Detangle When Wet

Wet hair is more comfortable to untangle. So, wet your hair thoroughly and coat it with a conditioner. This will make your hair slippery and much easier to detangle. The more slippery your hair is, the easier it is for your fingers or a comb to run through and undo your knots.

2. Detangle Before You Shampoo

If your curls are prone to tangling in the shower, it’s better if you detangle before you shampoo.

This way, you won’t be creating much more of a bigger knot. And you’ll be able to lather up and cleanse a lot easier. Be careful, though, because wet hair is fragile and can break easily. Remember, being gentle and patient is the key.

3. Divide and Conquer

Working by sections makes the work a hell of a lot easier for detangling black hair.

Focusing on one section at a time is a lot less stressful than tackling all that volume at once. And it ensures that you get to all parts of your hair. It also helps you separate strands which are also detangled and those that are not.

4. Work Your Way Up

Detangling from your roots or even the middle of your curls is a big no-no. This will lead to nothing but breakage, more tangles, and a lot more pain. Instead, begin detangling from the tips of your hair. Then, slowly work your way up to your scalp.

5. Try Finger Detangling

When detangling, you should be using every right tool at your disposal. And your fingers are excellent for getting those knots and tangles out gently. You can find significant knots and tangles and pull them apart gently. This would then make it a lot smoother for a comb to go through.

6. Use The Right Tools (Wide-Tooth Comb)

Let’s face it.

Brushes and curls rarely go together.

While a Boar Bristle Brush can help stimulate your scalp and loosen your hair, the tiny soft bristles can snag and break your delicate curls.

If you still want to give it a go, however, go for brushes that have wide teeth. These won’t catch on your hair and are great for removing shed hairs.

The best detangler brush for natural hair is the modest wide-toothed comb.

Guaranteed, you won’t suffer from any snags, and you’ll be able to prevent more breakage.

7. Keep Your Curls Tangle Free

Detangling keeps your curls fresh, frizz-free, and springy. The best way to stop continually going through the same vicious cycle is to keep your curls tangle-free.

After cleaning and conditioning, keep your curls moisturized with a primer for styling.

You can also use a detangling oil and detangling spray to protect your curls from knots and tangles over time. In addition to that, you can also add in a weekly mask to improve your tangles over time. And when you sleep, you can put a silk bonnet over your head to protect your hair from friction and keep its moisture sealed in as you sleep.

After all, a little extra prevention never hurt.

Oliology Curl Loosening Spray

hair loosening spray

Releases knots and tangles instantly.



Detangling natural hair can be a vicious cycle.

But, it doesn’t always have to be. The key to that is giving proper love and care to your locks. Having the right tools and products in your arsenal that will make stretching your hair Ouch-Less.

Take your pick from our best detangling shampoos for curly hair and get your curls under control today!

About the Author

Kayla DavisKayla Davis

Kayla Davis is a self-proclaimed skincare and haircare junkie who loves testing out new products and writing about her experiences. Her bathroom shelves are always overflowing with beauty products. You name it - it's there.