10 Tips for Preventing One Strand Knots

10 Tips for Preventing One Strand Knots

By: ManeandChic

Trichonodosis also known as One Strand Knots, Single Strand Knots, Fairy Knots, Pixie Knots and Peppercorn Knots are one of the most annoying things about having naturally curly to kinky hair. I’ve rarely ever heard them referred to as endearing (and only if the person was being sarcastic). Most women either hate or ignore them. They charge them as just a necessary evil of being natural. When I first cut off my relaxed ends, I became all too familiar with these little nasties. Over time, I learned a few ways to manage these vexatious diminutive tangles. So before you sentence yourself to countless hours of your life staring at your strands through a magnifying glass — needle and scissors in tow — here are a couple of ideas on how to prevent single strand knots or reduce their occurrence.
  1. Moisturize at least twice a day with a nutritive moisturizer. Look for super moisturizing natural ingredients. Remember that oil is not a moisturizer. Make sure the strands are moisturized before you seal with an oil. Moisturized hair is less likely to knot up.
  2. 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. This may be difficult to swallow if you’re a ‘wash-n-go’ type of girl, but if the knots are really getting on your nerves, you will have to decide whether you love your ‘fro more or hate the knots.
  3. Protect your hair while you sleep. Wear silk/satin bonnets or scarves to bed. Braid, twist, bun or place your hair so that it’s comfortable for you to sleep, but in a way that it won’t coil up on it’s own ends. Friction from cotton bedding can damage the hair over time if it’s not being protected.
  4. Deep condition or use deep treatments on your hair weekly and really focus on taking care of those ends. Healthy hair is less likely to tangle, mat and knot.
  5. Employ the use of oiling well-conditioned wet hair (also) known as oil rinsing to seal to make your hair easier to detangle. One way is to deep condition, apply oil and use a heat cap or wear the treatment overnight. Another way is to shampoo, oil, condition and rinse the hair. This makes the hair easier to detangle and prevents knots and matting.
  6. Do thorough, but careful detangling. Use a seamless fine tooth comb after detangling with a wide tooth comb or your fingers (and perhaps a Denman brush). Always start and the ends and work your way up. This is not something you’d want to do everyday because using a comb in a hurry is tantamount to using a pair of scissors if you aren’t careful. A careful detangling should take A LOT of time. Divide your hair into sections and detangle each section before moving on to another section.
  7. If you must shampoo, only apply the shampoo to your scalp. I shampoo once a month or less. I find that applying shampoo to my scalp on dry hair before any water ever touches my hair is a far superior method than the traditional way of shampooing. I section my hair and apply to my scalp as if I’m greasing my scalp and then rinse out in the shower, making sure to really massage all of the shampoo out. Sometimes I also apply shampoo to my scalp , diluted with water, with an applicator bottle. With both methods, my hair never mats up, it’s far easier to detangle and that means I loose less hair when I wash. Shampoo can strip old fragile ends — a breeding ground for fairy knots.
  8. Stay away from towels and cotton. I never ever use towels or cotton on my hair. They can snag on curly and kinky hair, causing split ends and those dreaded knots. Would you wipe down a Bentley with a cotton bath towel? Treat your hair the same.
  9. Smooth your hair. Before styling or setting your hair, run your fingers down sections of your hair as if you are flat ironing your hair between your fingers. This will reduce frizz, stretch, smooth and lessen the chances of getting knots.
  10. Keep your hands out of your hair. Too much manipulation will scratch the cuticle, wreak havoc and can lead to split or splitting ends and pixie knots. Would you claw at antique cotton drapes or a fabulous silk dress? Think of your hair that way.

6 thoughts on “10 Tips for Preventing One Strand Knots

    1. naturalhairrules

      Ring out excess water with hands, allow to drip dry or a hooded dryer/blow dryer with a diffuser can be used in moderation. If you must use a cloth a t-shirt or some type of microfiber will do.

  1. You CancallMe First

    Really, twisting your hair while its wet works better. It stays in longer and frizzes less. Also, retains more moisture. Your twists will shrink (b/c they’re drying in place) but still a better deal. I always 2strand twist while wet. Just make sure you detangle your dry hair before you wash. Will make your life easier!!

  2. Lillian Mae

    I just mentioned my SSKs and doing what I can to curb them! In my case, I noticed that the more I wear my hair out the more SSKs I get. Since I’ve colored my hair and it’s more dry, I’ve also noticed and increase in SSKs. I will attack the problem by being diligent in moisturizing my hair.
    I will definitely use this as a reference so others can do what they can to prevent them.

  3. charlotte

    I have fine loose curls so I am not extremely prone to knots. However, my daughter (whose hair is almost straight) and I both get a few. Braid out’s are not good for me because my hair can break easily if repeatedly braided tightly enough to form any nice pattern. However not doing wash and go’s is the best policy. I completely detangle once a week with a wooden comb (I finger detangle daily) and then just wear two loose braids when my hair is damp. For my daughter her hair is too fine and would not stay but I found that careful smoothing with a real boar bristle brush after finger detangling works great. Contrary to what ppl might think I do braid her hair at night when fully dry and actually tie her braids with cotton bands so that they stay. Sleeping on protected hair has been my secrer to her perfectly healthy length. I did not used to do this because everyone says tying the ends damages your hair. But after seeing what sleeping on her hair does to her hair even witha satin pillow case, I reasoned that ends can be trimmed, but if you damage your entire shaft you have a serious problem. Do not sleep on your hair, even with pineapples, that is an absolute no go.


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