A fairy knot or a single strand knot is essentially a tangle on only one strand of hair. These knots usually are an indication that your hair needs moisture and/or a trim. It can feel like a little bead or piece of sand when you run your fingers down your hair.
Dry, raggedy, jagged, and weathered ends are more susceptible to knotting. They can be formed by the application of too much friction. One fairy knot can catch other hairs and make a bigger knot.
How to Remove and Prevent Fairy Knots
A good rule of thumb is, don’t drive yourself crazy, simply divide your hair into manageable sections so you can start to detangle effectively and not become overwhelmed. Removing those big tangles keeps them from turning into knots and removing those shedded hairs keeps them from getting tangled into your healthy strands.
Also, the application of conditioner helps to release, some, if not all, the hairs in the knot; achieve this desired outcome by simply rubbing conditioner between your thumb and index finger and then apply it to the fairy knot. Even more importantly, removing them with your fingers is better, than trying to remove them with a comb or by brushing them out, as the excessive tension or pulling can remove the knot along with the perfectly healthy strands of hair in the process. The overall best way to deal with fairy knots is to prevent them all together.
Tips for Preventing or Decreasing Fairy Knots
Prevention starts with always detangling your hair before shampooing. When hair is not first detangled, the water causes your curls to tighten around any existing knots or build up in the hair. This makes combing the hair after shampooing more difficult and frustrating.
Next, While shampooing, do not pile the hair on top of the head. Instead, massage the shampoo directly into the scalp with the pads of your fingertips and gently finger comb the shampoo through the length of your hair in a downward motion to keep the hair free of tangles.
When drying the hair it is always best to blot the hair dry and squeeze excess water from the hair. Do not use harsh movements with the towel. Follow up by properly moisturizing and sealing your hair, making it less likely to tangle period. Incorporate reconstructing deep conditioners into your conditioning routine on a regular basis to keep the hair shaft strong.
Be sure to keep your hair well lubricated with the use of natural and essential oils. The oils coat the hair strand, which helps to reduce friction, tangling and knotting.
Have your stylist, Niza, trim your ends on a regular basis. On average, for women who wear their hair natural, that’s once every 3-4 months, but it may be more frequent for those who have tighter coils and experience knots on a regular basis. So, monitor your hair growth cycle and how your hair feels a month or two after a trim. If you start to notice that your hair tangles more during and after a shampoo and/or you feel knots in your hair that is a sign you need a trim.