Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

Preventing Fairy Knots 🧚🏾‍♂️

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Are you familiar with single strand knots? These are the tiny little knots or beads you might find near the ends of your hair. Sometimes called fairy knots because they’re so small, only a fairy could have tied them!

What causes them? Curly, coily, and kinky hair types have an oval-shapes follicle that causes hair strands to weave and loop around each other. Sometimes individual hairs curl in such a way that they tie themselves into knots. This problem isn’t the result of bad haircare, but it can damage your hair. The knots easily catch on each other, causing more tangles and breakage.

What can I do about them? My hair is short now, but when I wore it longer, I always kept a “good” pair of trimmers on my shelf and simply cut them. You can try untying them… but I think there are  better (less frustrating) ways to spend your time. If you have a lot of single strand knots, you can either trim them off, or just deal with them. Don’t yank or pluck them! If you trim them off, use sharp hair clippers. Dull household scissors will damage your ends.

How do I prevent them? Some people are more prone than others to single strand knots, depending on curl pattern and how you style your hair. However, you can take precautions to limit single strand knots! I have 8 tips for preventing single strand knots.

1. Avoid wash n go’s. When your hair dries in a loose, free state, it naturally shrinks up and gets tied in knots. You don’t have to stop doing wash n go’s completely, but if you frequently get single strand knots, do this style less often.

2. Seal ends with an oil or butter.This will tame the curliness of your ends, and keep your ends smooth and slippery, making them less likely to get caught in knots.

3. Stretch your ends using rollers or your preferred stretching method to prevent your ends from coiling into knots.

4. Protect hair in buns, braids, or twists that will hold your ends in place and keep them from getting tied up in knots.

5. You can catch knots before they tighten by detangling your hair more often. Detangle thoroughly but gently, with a wide tooth comb (other combs can tighten existing knots and make them harder to detangle.)

6. Braid or twist your hair up before bed, and avoid leaving your hair loose while you’re sleeping. Friction with your pillowcase and other hairs often leads to single strand knots.

7. Humidity and heat open the hair cuticle, making it more rough and prone to snagging. Wind also causes your hair strands to move around more freely, encouraging knots as well. Protect your hair in these conditions using scarves, hats, or protective styles.

8. Healthy hair is softer, more moisturized, less prone to tangles, and less prone to single strand knots! Keep your natural hair in its healthiest state by deep conditioning your hair regularly. 

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