Why do we get tangles and knots in our hair? The curly hair strand that grows out of your hair follicle tends to weave and loop. This causes it to tie around other hair strands, which in turn causes the strands of hair to tangle and knot. This is very common for those with thick, curly hair.
Are you familiar with single strand knots? These are the tiny little knots or beads you might find near the ends of your hair. We sometimes call them fairy knots because they’re so small, only a fairy could have tied them! The technical term for these knots is trichonodosis.
Curly, coyly, 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?
You can try untying them... but we think you have 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.
You can prevent knots by avoiding a lot of manipulation of the hair, keeping your hair in protective styles, and keeping your hair moisturized. It also helps to sleep with your hair covered with a satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase. Also, whenever you comb out your hair, make sure to do so when it is wet with conditioner in it. Don't try to comb through dry hair. This causes breakage which can leads to knots in the frayed ends.
How do I stop my hair from knotting at night?
Spending a few minutes before bed preparing your hair can keep you tangle free through the night. Brush or comb your hair before bed. For straight or wavy hair, a brush will work best, but for those with curly hair, a wide-tooth comb may be a better option.
More tips to reduce knots and tangles
- 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.
- Condition Your Hair. Merely shampooing your hair is not good enough. Keep your natural hair in its healthiest state by deep conditioning your hair regularly. Rinse With Cold Water. Go Easy With The Towel.
- You can catch knots before they tighten by detangling your hair more often. Use A Wide-Toothed Comb. Detangle thoroughly but gently, with a wide tooth comb (other combs can tighten existing knots and make them harder to detangle.)
- Keep your hair (especially your ends) moisturized. Use Detangling Products. Apply Hair Masks. Oil Your Hair Regularly. Melt your hair creams properly in your hands before applying it to your hair. Then let the products absorb in your hair strands. 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.
- Stretch your ends. Using rollers or your preferred stretching method to prevent your ends from coiling into knots.
- Protect hair from wind and heat. Protect your hair in certain conditions using scarves, hats, or protective styles. 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 hair in buns, braids, or twists. This will hold your ends in place and keep them from getting tied up in knots. Braid or twist your hair up before bed. Avoid leaving your hair loose while you’re sleeping. Friction with your pillowcase and other hairs often leads to single strand knots.
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