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Dealing with Single Strand Knots

Hi there,
   So like I whined about in my last post I have been having lots and lots of Single Strand Knots. They are so annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought trimming my hair would get rid of them but I was wrong. They are back again. In light of this I have done some of research on this issue and here are my findings:

Dealing with Single strand knots(SSKs)

Single Strand Knots also known as fairy knots occur when a single strand of hair ties a knot in itself or gets adjacent hairs all tied up forming a ball or knot that is sometimes impossible to unravel. Single strand knots are a hallmark of kinky coily hair(I cannot tell you how pained I was to  learn that my natural hair will always be plagued by these little devils) In spite of the fact that they are inevitable they can also be dealt with some success with these tips:

Avoid wash and go styles(say whaaat?!?!?! no more 'fro?)
Unfortunately shrinkage encourages SSks. As your hair shrinks the strands take it upon themselves to curl upon themselves or neighbouring hairs forming knots. When you wash your hair twist it, braid it, bun it or band it to dry rather than letting it dry  on its own.

Keep your hair stretched
When your hair (especially the ends)  is stretched it will be hard for it to curl upon itself  and form knots. The best way to keep your hair stretched is to put it in protective styles like twists, braids, buns and the like. You can also stretch your ends with rollers or flexi rods. Another tip is not to twist or braid your hair to the end as this could cause knots when you are trying to unravel them. Its best to stop braiding/twisting almost at the end and use a light touch of oil to twirl the end around your finger to  form a coil.

Moisturise your hair
When your hair is properly moisturised and sealed it is hard for single knot strands to form. This is because the strands are smoother and silkier which means they can glide against each other easily reducing single strand knots. This is a very important step. Dry hair is knotty hair. Invest in a good leave in conditioner/moisturiser and try to moisturise daily. Conditioning is important too because it restores  moisture to your hair.

Detangle properly
Gently taking the strands apart with your fingers and removing shed hair which can entangle surrounding hair is a sure way to reduce SSks. Using your fingers is best because you can carefully feel around to remove shed hair and if you encounter a loose knot you can gently pull it apart. Add oil to dry hair, hold the middle of the hair and gently start from the ends to avoid breakage. Its best to detangle first before you wash your hair.

Work in sections
Whether you are shampooing, conditioning or detangling it is better to separate your hair into manageable sections with a clip or in twists or braids. when you are done with each section put them back into your preferred method of sectioning to avoid the hairs tangling with one another. This is most important when you shampoo. Shampooing with hair loose will cause SSks without fail.(Talking from experience here)

Deep Condition frequently
This will greatly improve the condition of the hair and will keep dryness and roughness at bay which will in turn reduce the tendency of the hair to form knots.

Take care of your ends
Pay special attention to your ends. They are the oldest part of your hair so they need more care. Start moisturising, sealing, conditioning or deep conditioning from your ends before you travel upwards to your roots .SSks happen mostly at the ends of hair. Keeping the ends well moisturised and sealed will help the ends stay on their own. You can also dip your ends in water and seal with an oil, gently smooth the oil in with downward motions.

Protect your hair while you sleep
Never go to bed with dry loose hair. Before you go to bed moisturise and seal and put your hair in braids or twists and then put on a satin/silk bonnet/scarf  this will keep the hair strands from intertwining and knotting up while you dream about your knight in shining armour ;-)

Avoid over shampooing
Its best to shampoo only your scalp because shampoo can be extremely drying for your hair especially your ends. The drier your ends the more likely they are to knot up. Shampooing this way is really easy. Put the shampoo on your dry scalp and then run your head under water while you gently massage your scalp. The soapy water will run down your hair cleaning it but not drying it out (I love this tip!)

Cure your hands in hair syndrome
Touching your hair often will damage the cuticle and cause split ends and SSks. Try to resist the urge to keep touching your hair(its hard I know!)

Trim them
If you are unable to unravel a knot try to cut them off with a sharp pair of scissors. Some people choose to ignore them but I think its best to cut them off so they don't cause unnecessary breakage.  

I know that some of these tips might  sound repetitive but they really aren't. They just highlight various aspects to consider. I have already started putting these tips to good use and I have noticed less SSks. However I just cannot believe  that I have to let go of my afro and afro puff! How? That one na bad market! That means I have to start paying more attention to those hair tutorials on You tube (which wont be so difficult as I am already addicted to YouTube!)
I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did.




  1. Hi, I love this blog! So many tips on hair care. Need to begin payin more attention to mine

  2. i have so many knots. lemme try ur methods and see...

  3. seeing ur blog is like an assurance that am not the only new person trying to grow healthier and natural hair every other person seems to have either reached their goal or midway, its like am the only one left that just found about better ways of growing our kind of hair. then i stumbled on your blog and i can see u are also new in this journey. so pls let encourage each other and we can be each other support system cos i knw wat it feels like going alone on this hair journey. pls check it out i also have a very new blog to kip account as i grow longer natural hair. waiting to hear from u.

    1. Hiya,nice to meet are not alone dear.keep doing ur best and you will definitely reach ur goal :-)

  4. Those are very good tips. Stretching, especially combats SSKs. My daughter and I have them but I have come to terms with the fact that they are a part of my hair's "life". Stretching, moisturizing and sealing are very good tools to fight those things.

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