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Single Strand Knots In Natural Hair 7 Tips To Help Prevent Them

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If you have natural hair you are probably in love with it in all its glory.  I have good news for you, the more you get to know about your hair the more you will fall in love with it.  That’s the good side of natural hair

As with anything, there is always a balance, a good and a bad or in this case annoying.

Have you ever sat down and put your hands in your hair only to feel what can be described as a ball on the ends of your hair or anywhere on the hair strand for that matter?

Well, that my friend is a single strand knot.

They are the most annoying thing ever.

I used to think it only happened to me.  Well back then I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of natural hair.  When I would find these single strand knots I would sometimes just break them off because I found it fun. Facepalm!

It didn’t really occur to me that I was actually breaking my own hair.  I know, it even pains me to say such a thing.  ‘Thankfully that was many many years ago when I had my first attempt at being natural.


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What Exactly Are Single Strand Knots in Natural Hair?

Single strand knots are unfortunately an incredibly normal part of your natural hair journey.  They are also sometimes referred to as fairy knots because they are so small that it had to be a fairy that tied them.

Single strand knots are knots that can appear on a single strand of your hair. They sometimes feel like a little ball when you run your fingers down a single strand of hair.


How Do Fairy Knots Form?

Usually, as a hair begins to grow out of the follicle it can sometimes bend and loop around itself or other hairs.

Natural hair is very curly and kinky because of this the strands of hair can sometimes get caught around each other.  A single strand of hair can twist and loop around itself and form into a knot many times over on the same strand of hair.

As you go about your daily stying you can easily pull these knots making them get even tighter.


How Can I Get Single Strand Knots Out of My Hair?

By all means, you can try to untie a single strand knot by hand but my guess is that you won’t want to or that it will prove impossible to do.

Personally speaking, it would be a waste of time trying.  Those knots can be so small that it can even be difficult to see by eye but you can definitely feel them.

Once you get a fairy knot that’s pretty much it.  Your time would be better spent trying to prevent it from happening as much as you can in the future.



Why Should Single Stand Knots Bother You?

You should do your best to try and reduce your single strand knots because they can cause hair breakage unnecessarily.

Some people like to cut them out but I’m not sure if there is any real benefit in doing this.

I think regular trimming of your hair should be sufficient.

Try to keep your hair as healthy as possible.


How Do I Prevent My Hair From Getting Single Strand Knots?

You can never fully prevent single strand knots in your natural hair but you can reduce the number that you get by following a few of the tips I’m about to give you below.


1. Avoid Wash and Go’s

Wash and go’s are a beautiful hairstyle and very easy to do but they are notorious for giving you single strand knots.

A wash and go requires you to leave your hair in a shrunken state and free to do its own thing.  Well, you know what that means?

The hairs will naturally be attracted to each other meaning that you will get lots more single strand knots and tangles in your hair too.

Even if you use a really good hair gel you are still likely to experience a lot of knots.

Keep your use of wash and go’s to a minimum.


2. Keep Your Hair Well Moisturised

Moisture for natural hair is a must but there are more advantages to moisturising your hair than just keeping it soft.

When your hair is well moistured it is less likely to get single strand knots.  Always keep your hair moisturised with regular conditioning and deep conditioning.


3. Keep Your Hair Stretched

Stretched hairstyles are perfect for keeping single strand knots at bay.  When your hair is stretched the hairs are less likely to wrap around each other.  This is why people with type 1 or 2 hair don’t really experience single strand knots.

Twist outs and braid outs are great for this reason.


4. Wash Your Hair in Small Sections

Trying to wash your hair all as one can cause you to get a lot more single strand knots because you have no control over which hairs are going where.

It’s much better to wash your hair in smaller sections.  I like to wash mine in 6 sections but you can gauge what works best for you depending on how thick your hair is.

Some people even prefer to wash their hair in twists.  


5. Sleep The Right Way

When you sleep it can cause a lot of friction on the strands of your hair which can cause them to twist and loop around each other.

You can avoid this by sleeping with either a  satin pillowcase or a satin headscarf.  Get into the habit of doing this every night and even if you take a nap during the day too.


6. Use The LOC Method

The LOC method is when you moisturise your hair by using a liquid then oil and then cream in your hair.

This is great for keeping your ends nicely lubricated.  Hair that is dry will very easily tangle around itself whereas if your hair is well moisturised it is a lot less likely to happen.


7. Detangle

Detangling is a major contributor to reducing single strand knots.  The more tangles that you have in your hair the more chances there are of other hairs getting caught up in it and the situation getting worse.

Regular detangling can help you to avoid this.  I would suggest that you use your fingers to detangle your hair as this is much more gentle on your strands.

Try to make detangling a part of your natural hair regimen.


Why Does 4c Hair Tangle So Easily?

If you have 4c hair type or short hair then you might have noticed a lot of single strand knots.

This is because your coils are much tighter making it much easier for hair to wrap around itself.

Generally speaking the looser your hair type is the fewer single strand knots that you will get.

Don’t worry just follow the tips laid out above and it should help you to reduce the problem.


Final Thoughts on Single Strand Knots in Natural Hair

One of the biggest misconceptions that I have heard in the natural hair community is that looking after natural hair is much easier than relaxed.  That’s a lie.

It takes a lot of care and attention to grow natural hair that is healthy and long.  It needs a lot more care than it would if your hair was relaxed.

Single strand knots or fairy knots if you prefer is just one of those things that you need to be on the lookout for as part of your natural hair journey.

It might seem like a lot now but as time goes on it gets easier to deal with and maintain your natural hair.


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Single strand knots in natural hair