Why Are My Hair Extensions So Knotty and Matted?

Tangled hair is not only unattractive, but it’s a huge hassle. Trust me; I’ve been there. I went to brush and style my lovely locks, only to be met with absolute conflict. That got me wondering – why do hair extensions end up knotty and mangled, and what’s the best way to put an end to tangled nightmares?

Knotty and matted extensions can be caused by several issues, from dried-out extensions to low-quality hair. Pinpointing what went wrong is the first step in eliminating tangles for good. From there, you can decide if you need to buy new hair, stick to a better hair care routine, or use another remedy.

If you’ve found your extensions have become a tangled nightmare, you’re not alone. Plenty of women (including myself) have dealt with the dreaded knotted extensions, whether you’re working with clip-ins, K-tips, or any other kind of extension.

Keep reading to discover why your extensions have become matted and what you can do to stop the tangles in their tracks.

Why Extensions Get Knotty and Matted – 7 Reasons

Did you know that there are seven potential causes of knotty and matted extensions? No wonder why they end up getting tangled so regularly. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Using the Wrong Products

You should treat your hair extensions like they’re the most expensive and beautiful jewels in the world. I know, I know, that seems a little excessive. But if you want to keep your extensions in tip-top shape, you must do this. If you’re using the wrong products in your mane, you’ll have a tangly, unsightly mess.

2. Using Heat Tools Too Often

Most people are well aware that hot tools aren’t great for their natural strands. Well, hair extensions are all the more delicate, especially if you’re not using 100% Remy human hair. That said, they’re more prone to brittleness from hot styling, leading to tangles.

3. Hair is Dried-Out

Dryness can come from using hot tools too often. However, dried-out manes are more likely to occur from environmental factors. For example, did you enjoy a whole week of swimming under the sunny skies? Are you in a climate where it’s blistering, cold, and windy? Both conditions can cause dryness, leading to an influx of tangles.

4. Not Brushing Often Enough

Your hair should be brushed three times a day. If you’re not brushing often enough or not using the right brush, you will be left with knots and mats. Keep in mind that you may need to brush more if you’re outside for extended periods in windy conditions, as this can leave hair a-muck.

5. Low-Quality Hair Extensions

High-quality hair extensions aren’t cheap. However, everyone (including me) will share that they’re entirely worth the price. Low-quality hair extensions aren’t like your natural locks and will be prone to tangles and mats.

6. Hair is Too Long

While long hair is gorgeous, it’s not always feasible. If you have extra-long hair that seems to end up in tangles by the end of the day, length may play a role in your tangled-up situation.

7. Friction at Bedtime

Lastly, friction caused at bedtime may lead to knots and mats. How? Well, if you leave your hair down at bedtime and have a cotton pillowcase, your strands will be pulled and placed all over the place, which can easily lead to a matted mess by the morning.

How to Get Rid of Knotty and Matted Extensions

Okay, so now we know the main reasons why hair extensions get knotted and matted. Now, we need to know how to say goodbye to tangles for good. Here are some of the best tips and tricks for success.

1. Use the Right Products

The easiest way to ensure your hair extensions are given the royal treatment is to use the right products. Focus on purchasing shampoos and conditioners designed to clean, nourish, and moisturize. 

2. Ditch the Hot Tools

In a perfect world, we would be able to get the hair of our dreams without the need for hot tools. Unfortunately, this is somewhat unrealistic. I highly recommend ditching your hot tools as much as possible. When you need to use them, always apply a heat protectant and work from mid-shaft down.

3. Moisturize Your Mane

Who wants dry hair, especially when they have extensions? Not me. To ensure your hair extensions and natural strands are luscious, glossy, and hydrated, moisturize them regularly. You can use deep conditioners, hair masks or make a DIY treatment with coconut and jojoba oil.

4. Brush Your Hair More Often

Ideally, you should brush your hair three times a day – in the morning, afternoon, and before bed. Always brush your hair before showering and wait until your mane is entirely dry before brushing. Brushing while wet can cause tangles to worsen. 

5. Buy High-Quality Extensions

Yes, 100% Remy human hair extensions will be pricier than other options. But they’re more than worth it. These hair extensions not only look better but are less prone to knots and mats.

6. Get a Haircut

While I love long hair as much as the next person, I also know how tricky it can be to manage long locks. If your hair is very long and seemingly “out of control” with tangles – especially near the ends – it may be time to get a haircut.

7. Braid Hair at Bedtime

Your hair can easily become tangled throughout the night. Avoid waking up to a tangled nightmare by brushing and putting your hair into a loose braid before bedtime. If you can, purchase silk pillowcases, as they cause less friction, ensuring fewer knots and mats.


Okay, chicas! Your days of knotted and matty messes are over. If you want to learn a little more about tangly hair extensions, I’ve selected a few frequently asked questions you might want to take a peek at.

How do you detangle matted hair extensions?

If you need to get rid of mats in your hair extensions, the best way to do it is by showering with a detangling shampoo and conditioner. Then, spray the hair with a detangler. Use your fingers to gently “brush” the mane, removing tangles. You can also use a wide-toothed comb.

Why are my new hair extensions dry and frizzy?

Many factors can cause dry and frizzy extensions, but dryness tends to be the main culprit. Ensure you’re using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Leave-in deep conditioners work great. You can also apply a hair mask once or twice a week until hydration is restored.

Can you use a leave-in conditioner on hair extensions?

You can definitely use a leave-in conditioner on hair extensions! In fact, it’s highly recommended to fend off potential dryness, frizziness, and matting.

Hair Extensions Can Get Tangled, But Fixing the Problem is Easy!

Although it’s not uncommon for hair extensions to end up in knots and mats, there are many ways to fend off tangles and restore hair to tip-top shape. Always ensure you’re using the right hair products, moisturizing and brushing often, and using high-quality hair extensions.

Have you ever struggled with hair extensions that were knotty and matted? How did you fix the problem? Comment below!

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