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. In this guide, we will show you what to do about them.
What causes single strand knots?
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 my single strand knots?
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 put up with them. We recommend trimming your hair every 3 to 6 months as general hair upkeep, and this will keep both single strand knots and split ends in check.
Don’t yank or pluck single strand knots! If you trim them off, use sharp hair clippers. Dull household scissors will damage your ends.
How do I prevent single strand knots?
Some individuals 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! We 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. We recommend this lightweight avocado oil blend, which keeps ends smooth without weighing down your hair or being too oily.
3. Stretch your ends.
Stretching your ends reduces the tightness of your curls and coils, which can help prevent your ends from getting tied in knots. However, we don't recommend using heat to stretch your ends! This often causes even more damage, which defeats the purpose. Using rollers or your preferred stretching method to prevent your ends from coiling into knots. If you've never tried this before, learn more about heat-free hair stretching techniques.
4. Protect hair in buns, braids, or twists.
Buns, braids, twists, and other low maintenance hairstyles will hold your ends in place and keep them from getting tied up in knots. This is a great option to prevent tangles and single strand knots if you're going to be doing an activity or out and about all day. Keep your hair from moving around!
5. You can catch knots before they tighten by detangling your hair more often.
Once a single strand knot is tightened or stretched, you can't do much but cut it off. However, if you detangle often, you'll find hairs in the process of getting knotted, and have a chance to detangle them. Detangle thoroughly but gently, with a wide tooth comb (other combs can tighten existing knots and make them harder to detangle.) Use a product with a lot of slip to help, such as an Avocado Deep Conditioner.
6. 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. Check out this guide to learn more about how to protect your hair at night.
7. Protect your hair in wind and heat 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 single strand knots as well. If it's a windy or hot day, protect your hair by wrapping it in a silk or satin scarf.
8. Keep your natural hair in its healthiest state by deep conditioning your hair regularly.
Healthy hair is softer, more moisturized, less prone to tangles, and less prone to single strand knots! We recommend these Fresh Frozé Treatment Deep Conditioner for best results.