If someone asks you if your natural hair can do magic tricks, tell them yes and then show them the little knots that magically appear at the ends of your hair. (Hence the nickname fairy knots)
Single strand knots are the most hated little things in any curly girls life, they form when the strand curls on itself and creates a little knot at the end of the strand. It can even occur in the middle of the strand which can be quite annoying.
In my more reckless days I would pop them right off my hair without batting an eye, these days I have a pair or shears nearby so that I can remove them responsibly with less violence.
Over the years I have also found ways to reduce the amount I get significantly and because we are friends I want to share 5 of them with you now, let’s go!
1. Smooth your ends
Single strand knots occur mostly at the ends so if you smooth the ends “straight” during styling you can virtually eliminate them.
This means if you do stretch styles like braid outs or twist outs, add a bit of moisture and styler to the ends of your hair and smooth the ends over a flexi rod or perm rod. This keeps the strands flat and less prone to curl on itself.
2. Practice stretch styles
This goes hand in hand with point one! As much as we love our wash and goes, shrunken fros or big puffs, single strand knots flourish in those styles.
Braid outs, twist outs, roller sets, flexi rod sets stretch the hair and distorts your natural curl pattern, helping your hair to stay stretched.
If you find that your hair has a ton of single strand knots, more than normal, it is a great indicator that it is time to trim your hair. Trimming gives the hairless chance to tangle and helps you to get rid of excessive knots, splits, and disrespectful tangles.
4. Avoid dry hair and tangles
Dry hair will eventually lead to tangled hair and tangles mean knots. Keep your hair moisturized so that the strands have enough slip to remain ‘knot-less’. The fewer tangles and snags your hair has the less opportunity it will have to curl on itself and create that pesky little knot.
5. Avoid cleansing in circular motions
Want to create a magic knot, apply shampoo to your hair and then rub your hair in circular motions all over your head. This is one of the worst ways to cleanse your hair when you are trying to avoid tangles. Focus on your scalp when cleansing and use praying hands to wash the length of your hair.
I absolutely recommend using a shampoo brush, when cleansing because it helps to keep the focus and attention on your scalp and not on your hair.
Become a straight haired natural! This isn’t my favourite tip, as a matter of fact, it isn’t a tip at all but if you must get rid of single strand knots all together the only way to do it is to rock straight hair. This might not be an option for most of us, but it is an option none the less.
At the end of the day, single strand knots come with the territory of naturally curly hair so get to know your tolerance level for them, because the truth is you will never get rid of them all.
I can only take a few here and there before I start getting rid of them it just depends on you and the state of your hair.
Update: Watch this video: