A: With less extreme cases of knots and tangles in ethnic hair types, you can usually use a wide tooth comb on hair that has been plied
liberally with hair oils and work out the knots and tangles from the ends toward the scalp. Go in small increments, but make sure to be
gentle with the hair. With some patience and persistence, you can usually work out the knots.
Unfortunately, in some cases the hair is beyond hope of being able to simply work it out. In these
cases, it is time to bring out the scissors, However, before you shear the hair off the head to remove the matted regions, try this technique:
Take the matted section in hand and direct the scissors with the point toward the scalp and snip
the matted hair approximately halfway through the mat. Use the wide tooth comb and hair oil to work the matted hair and see if you can
loosen the tangle. Sometimes this is sufficient to release the matted hair. You may need to go ahead and snip all the way through the
matted segment to loosen the knotted hair.
When this technique works it generally allows you to free the hair from the matting without
sacrificing the entire length of the hair. The hair will be somewhat thinned by the process, but can still be styled in such a way as
to cope with the thinning while the hair grows back.
You may find in the worst cases that this will not work and that your only option is to cut the
matted hair out and try to create a style that can cope with this. This step should only be a last resort.