My hair has been natural for a while but I haven’t actually really been taking care of it because I’m notoriously lazy when it comes to any type of primping. I’ve started to change this slowly because I’ve gotten bored of wigging it up as of late. So I’ve been experimenting with braid outs, bantus and blow outs. Through all this experimentation I noticed tiny knots on individual strands of my hair. The more I kept noticing them, the more I wondered three things…
- Are they normal?
- Are they avoidable? And if so how?
A quick survey of some of the most popular natural hair gurus revealed that single strand knots (aka fairy knots) come with the territory of natural hair. The tighter your curl, the more likely it is to curl into itself and form a knot. They’re unavoidable but there are few things you can do to minimize them:
- Black Girl Long Hair Says: Refrain from wearing wash-n-gos once your hair reaches 6-8 inches in length. Protective style frequently. Detangle thoroughly AND regularly. Keep your hair moisturized.
- BGLH also says: Washing your hair while it is loose is highly discouraged. Instead, wash your hair in braided sections to minimize tangling.
- Curly Nikki advises: Seal ends with a butter or oil. Remember to use a water-based moisturizer first and then seal in the goodness with the oil. I find that the layer of oil really helps to smooth and calm my hyper-curly ends.
- She also suggests that you “Stretch ends. Straighter ends have a harder time coiling up on themselves, and thus a harder time forming fairy knots. I stretch my ends on rollers when I prep for styles.”
- Tamara from Natural Hair Rules reminds us to moisturize at least twice a day and cover our hair with a silk/satin bonnet while sleeping.
- And of course all gurus recommend protective styling. “Do not give your hair the opportunity to coil up on it’s own: wear protective styles, braids, braid outs, twist outs or roller sets. For extra protection against knots, set the ends on rollers,” says Tamara.