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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hair Tips | How To Reduce Single Strand Knots (Fairy Knots)

Image Credit: Curly Nikki

Single-strand knots (fairy knots) come with the territory of having natural hair. Plain and simple.

These knots will weave and loop around itself and possibly other hair strands, which will become knotted together. They are caused by lots of hair manipulation, using your comb or Denman brush for detangling/styling, and sleeping without a satin scarf (bonnet, pillowcase) at night. They occur more as the hair begins to get longer and the hair tangles around itself. If the knot snaps from combing or finger detangling above itself, it will create rough edges and potentially become split ends.
Single Strand Knots - These little knots are going to be the dead of me!!!!

How To Reduce Single Strand Knots (Fairy Knots)

Pre-Poo And Detangle Your Hair Before Washing
Hair Tips | Pre-Poo Treatments For Natural Hair
This treatment helps to detangle and condition your hair before thoroughly washing your hair. This is a NEEDED treatment for those who have trouble with detangling and lose way too much hair during the washing process or styling. Your shed hair needs to come out of your hair before washing so 1). the shed hair won't tangle with the hair on your hair and 2). so your hair won't mat during the washing/styling process. This will keep the knots from forming or from tangling on other hair strands when caught before washing.

Wash In Sections
A Complete Regimen For Fine, Natural Hair 
Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You? 

When your hair gets around 5 inches, try to wash your hair in sections while in loose twists. This will keep your hair stretched and reduces tangling. You will also be able to concentrate one section at a time, instead of tackle your entire head of hair. Also, be sure to cleanse the SCALP and not the HAIR (intentionally). When you rinse your hair with water, the shampoo will rinse down the length of your hair cleansing the product buildup and not stripping your hair.

Be sure to use cleansers that will remove excess dirt and product buildup from your hair strands. However, make sure to use a conditioner, protein treatment, hair masque that will return the hair's natural pH to normal to lay the cuticle back flat. If the cuticles are raised, they will get tangled with other hair strands before you've had time to add your leave-in conditioner.

Leave-In Conditioner and Oil After Washing
Aloe Vera Juice and Hair And Body Oil
After washing your hair, be sure to add a leave-in and oil right when your hair is damp and stretched. I love to use pure and COLD Aloe Vera Juice or Kimmaytube pH-Balanced Leave-In Conditioner to moisturize and close my hair cuticles to lay flat with my Hair And Body Oil to seal in the moisture before styling my hair. This will keep the single strand knots at bay and from causing friction around each other.

If you would like to try oil rinsing (soaking hair in oil before or after washing), this would be a GOLDMINE to help with preventing single strand knots. The extra slip will help the hair strands glide past each other instead of tangling into knots.

I have tried this method before and after washing and I absolutely love both methods. Just depending on the timeframe I'm working with.

Do More Protective Styles
Whether you love long term styles (4-8 weeks) or weekly styling, these styles will keep your hair stretched and will lower the tendency to manipulate your hair daily. This will also keep your ends protected and your hair out of the way.

When your hair is out, choose stretched styles like twist outs or roller sets to keep the knots at bay and to reduce friction on the hair shaft. Wash n gos and Afros may be the most beautiful and awesome styles to show off your curly, coily, kinky mane, but try to wear these styles

More Tips To Reduce Single Strand Knots
  • Deep condition/masque weekly to keep the ends healthy and less likely to tangle
  • No towels for drying your hair...either air dry in bantu knots/twists or use a T-shirt
  • Be sure to moisturize and seal hair affectively BEFORE styling products
  • Protect your hair while you sleep! Silk/satin bonnets, scarves, pillowcase, ANYTHING!
When All Else Fails...
How To Reduce Single Strand Knots (Fairy Knots)

...then it's definitely time to trim! You can either 'search and destroy,' trim while in twists, or stretch your hair with banding, threading, or flat iron your hair. Trimming directly above the knot is the easiest option and as knots tend to fray the edges of the hair strand as they form, it is also the most effective method of preventing further damage to the hair strand.

For those who need a visual presentation:

More tips:

Kinky Kurly Sistas | Single Strand Knots (UGH)
Curly Nikki | Knots!!!
Curly Nikki | Preventing Fairy Knots- The Science of Single Strand Knots
Hairducation | Single Strand Knots

Natural hair says: single-strand knots come with the territory of being a naturalista. However, there are many ways to keep them at bay. Try these tips to help you to overcome them...or simply ignore them.

Always Desire Your Natural,

Christina J

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