I should note: Those who detangle their hair in the shower under globs of conditioner likely won’t have this issue. Some sort of physical barrier is crucial before taking a brush to your strands, and a hydrating conditioner works just fine. But for those who detangle their strands pre-shower, you’ll want to add some slip: Comb through snarls without some sort of detangler, and you’re on the fast track to shedding, scalp irritation, and split ends.
However! Argan oil can quickly save the day: “Detangling your hair with argan oil is great for adding slip,” notes Newman, as its lipid-rich nutrient profile helps it form a protective barrier around the strands. As Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an American Board Family Medicine physician and mbg Collective member, says regarding argan oil for hair: “It’s great for many conditions, especially dry, damaged hair, because its trove of fatty acids lock moisture into the hair follicle.” That barrier of moisture helps buffer the hair against physical stress (like, say, from harsh brushing).
Simply separate your hair into sections and drop a quarter-size dollop of argan oil into your palm–Newman swears by this 100% Organic Argan Oil from Trader Joes. You can either apply the oil straight onto your locks, or feel free to warm it up in your palms before saturating each section from root to tip. Repeat until all your strands are slick, then work a few drops into your scalp for a tension-relieving, pre-shampoo scalp massage (you know, for good measure). “It’s like a nourishing treatment,” Newman adds. “I’ll try to let this sit for about 30 minutes before I shampoo it out.”
Feel free to let the oil absorb into your strands for longer–some even swear by an overnight argan oil hair mask for extra-soft strands. If you are sleeping on oil-soaked strands, just make sure to wrap them in a microfiber towel or cap (no one wants a greasy pillow), and give your scalp a good rinse in the a.m.