"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Friday, February 25, 2011

Preventing Knotty Situations


If you have been a natural diva long enough, you'll know that avoiding knots is a very active part of a healthy natural hair regimen. I have not been natural for so long, but I have already had my share of "knotty situations", whether it be while styling, washing or while applying a product. The truth of the matter is also this, the more our hair grows, the more it is susceptible to getting into these knotty situations and I'm sure we all want to retain gained length so as a matter of fact, if we do not do all we can to avoid knots length retention could be slowed down tremendously.
You see, what happens is that since natural hair is so coily, kinky curly, whatever your particular case is, the strands easily get tangled up, that means, they like to coil and entwine around themselves and end up forming knots. The knots in reality are strands of hair that are totally coiled up, forming a sort of "ball". Failing to separate the these strands properly could lead to loss of some of the strands or all of them or part of them. The knots could form in the middle of the strands, or at the end. Most of the time, they occur at the end. 
Some knots are worse than others depending on how many strands are involved and where it is located; some are so bad the strands cannot be untwined. 

Here are a few things I've learnt as a natural that helps keep these "knotty situations" away:

1. While washing : 

This is where it starts. Proper detangling is the number one way to avoid any knotty situation. Whatever your hair regimen is and whatever method you practice, detangle your hair as well as you can. To ensure total detangling, I advice the use of a thick conditioner with some slip. 
But beware, you can get into a knotty situation while washing : detangle in parts!! Do not try to detangle everything at the same time, you'd just waste a lot of time, and energy doing less than what you think you are doing! You might not encounter knots while washing, but they could be created at this point and later cause major damage.

2. While styling :

Styling is where the knots start to appear.  After washing, it's best to stretch the hair before attempting to go any further because the more the hair is shrunken, the more chances there are for knots to form. Another thing is to style in parts. The more strands are in contact, the more knots come up. 

3. While applying products :

When applying products, such as a leave-in conditioner, a styling aid etc. our hands can push hair strands to stick together. The best thing to do is to stretch your hair before applying products. But if this cannot be done prior to application then be as gentle as you can. Another good habit to adopt is to part hair before any application whatsoever.

So imagine you still get a tricky knot, what do you do?

Well, here are what you certainly shouldn't do :

- do not pull at the knot! : this will only cause serious damage! What'll happen is, you'll pull about three strands out and maybe shorten two or three. You'll also be causing damage to hair structure this way.

- do not use a small tooth comb or any brush to take it out! : Wrong move number two. Please refer to the first point!

- do not ignore it : I've heard a natural say she ignores some of her knots but I cannot do this. This could worsen the situation because the knot could get bigger. Another thing is, it's impossible to style your hair (especially twists and co.) with a knot in it!

Now this is what you should do:

- Apply a thick conditioner with a lot of slip : I have tried this before and it has worked great, though it does depend on how bad the knot is. Most of the time, this works and save at least, most of the strands entwined.

- Use a detangler : there are loads of detanglers on the market, get a really good one, apply it should normally work as good as a conditioner.

- Use your fingers to try and undo the knot : do not use a comb or any tool whatsoever! It's best to use your fingers by gently massaging it and try to get the strands out with the conditioner in it.

- When the situation is hopeless, gently cut out the strand with scissors : only do this if you cannot do anything else! Cutting out a knot does not hurt your hair much (in fact, it teaches you to take greater care next time) and in fact helps stop anymore damage. Watch out not to cut unnecessary strands along with the knot.

What you should know : there are some knots we cannot prevent. For example, some shed strands can tangle up with other strands and end up creating knots, especially if you follow a "no-comb" regimen. All you can do is to be careful, gentle and observant with your hair!

Do you have any suggestions or anything else to share, please tell!


  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I'm glad you posted this, I realize the more my hair grows, the more tangled it becomes. Recently, I've been getting these single strand "knots" too, something I really never had an issue with before. I use the thick conditioner method and just work with it until it untangles and if not, I grab the scissors ;) Great post sis!

  3. Thank you sisters! Kiianah, I made a lot of mistakes concerning knots in the past and as my hair grows, I find they still reoccur so I figured it was time to address the issue! The conditioner method works great most of the time! Thanks again sis!

  4. This is such great info all in one spot - thanks!! I recently did a million (well, okay, about a hundred) 2-strand twists in JJ's hair, and I felt like I got to know her strands intimately. Her hair is 4B-ish, and shrinks very quickly. I detangled and styled small sections one at a time. I noticed that if I made sure to stretch her hair down before twisting I could easily coax out most tangles with my fingers quite easily. Just like you said - detangle in parts, style in parts, and stretch the hair!

  5. Thank you Mama M! I'm so glad it is of help!! Keep up the awesome work!

  6. Most of the knots I get is from hair shedding....I shed SO much I hate it! Thanks for this post!

  7. Hi Carmen! Yes that kind of knotty situation is more or less inevitable, the best thing you can do is try to stretch your hair before styling. Shedding is also inevitable but excess shedding could be tied to stress, an unhealthy diet etc. Don't hesitate to ask any questions if you have them!
    Thanks for passing by sis!


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