One day in my biology class, I decided to look at my hair under a microscope (when I was probably supposed to be looking at the amyloplast of a potato… or the chloroplast in Elodea lol). I looked at the root of my hair, the split ends… and then a single strand knot. And what I found was that my hair was literally was in a knot; a hair that had wrapped around itself like a headphone cord after it’s been in your pocket for two seconds!
Single strand knots are not the result of damage… they are a fact of life for tightly curly hair. It is literally just a tight knot that forms in the hair. However, single strand knots can be a problem. When it comes to the detangling process, hairs can get caught onto single strand knots which can cause the hair to snag creating more tangles. These knots can also be rough to the touch. How do you get rid of them? Simply by cutting them off… there is really no other way. And try to not pull them off as this can actually lead to damage and rough ends.
So now, how to prevent these pesky little knots? Here are my FOUR tips on how to prevent single strand knots!
When your hair is neat and tucked away, your hair doesn’t even have a chance to tangle up. Imagine the difference in knots if you threw your headphones into your purse versus neatly wrapping them around a heaphone cord organizer (yes, these actually exist and sound like the best invention ever)! You would expect to have a lot more knots in the cord that was just thrown into your purse. If you have your hair neatly tucked away (e.g. in a braid, bun, or twist), the strand does not have a chance to wrap around itself and to create a knot.
Keep your hair moisturized!
Dry hair=frizzy hair. As much as we all love big and crazy hair, this craziness can lead to crazy amounts of single strand knots. When your hair is moisturized, sections of your hair clump together to create a unit of curls. When our hair is dried out, the hair strands become antisocial and separate from the unit of curls to stand alone… our curly hair is such the independent diva! (Look at your moisturized curls versus your frizzy curls… your frizzy curls are usually separated into single strands that create a poof ball effect). When your single strands are alone (dry and frizzy), they have more of a chance of wrapping around themselves than moisturized and clumped together curls.
Replace your Wash and Go’s for Braid-Outs or Twist-Outs
This may be more of an issue for people with longer hair that shrinks a lot…pretty much my hair. When I do braid-outs or twist-outs, my hair has dried into an organized clump that has set into the shape of the twists or the braids. When I do Wash & Go’s, my hair dries into whatever shape and sets however it wants. My Wash & Go’s lead to much less defined hair and my strands (from different sections) usually dry in an unorganized way (my strands cross over and become wayyy too social with other clumps of hair that they aren’t supposed to specialize with). This can make the detangling process HELL!! And when I try to detangle, that strand is now more likely to wrap around itself because my hair has dried in a tangled and unorganized way. As much as I love the appearance of my wash and go’s, it makes it a lot less easier to manage and leads to a lot more single strand knots.
Playing in your hair
Hello my name is Jewellianna and I am addicted to playing in my hair. If you have hand-in-the-hair-disease please confess so that I don’t feel alone. Lol This is probably one of the BIGGEST causes of my single strand knots. I play in my hair constantly; pulling strands of hair apart from its neat unit of curls can lead to the hair wrapping around itself. Hair that is wrapped around itself has only one fate–to form a single strand knot. After I am done, I am left with at least 10 additional single strand knots of hair…. Pull. Your. Hand. Away. From. The. Strand!
Don’t stress over single strand knots if you have them; they truly come with the territory of having wild, curly hair. If you notice that you have a ton of single strand knots or that they are just becoming annoying, it may be time to change your hair routine and incorporate some of these tips.