With so many curly hair routines, products and methods, being a coily, curly or kinky haired beauty can take some getting used to, with its fair share of frustrations. One of those frustrations are those tiny coiled tangles, known as fairy knots or single strand knots, that can be absolutely burdensome. To be so small, those tiny tangles can wreak havoc on coily, curly and kinky hair. 


Fairy Knots or Single Strand Knots are single strands of hair that wrap around and intertwine within themselves creating bigger knots. This is an extremely common occurrence in coily, curly and kinky hair types. Throughout my natural hair journey, I have experienced my fair share of single strand knots and wanted to share some tips that I found helpful for minimizing and many times, preventing them.


Hair sheds every single day. We normally shed anywhere between 75 to 150 hairs per day. With straight hair, shed hair glides away easily because there is no resistance to prevent this such as with the curves and bends of curly or coily hair. Single Strand Knots tend to occur in coily, curly and kinky hair because the follicle is oval shaped, causing the hair to grow out of the scalp in a twisting, coily state.

Single strand knots can be caused by a few things:

Manipulation during shampooing. When shampooing, the cuticles tend to lift, causing strands to intertwine with other strands of hair or onto themselves, which causes the micro knots.

Friction from hair rubbing against clothing or uncovered hair from pillows.


Pre Poo:

If you've read my previous blog post regarding Pre Pooing, you may remember just how important a step this is. During Pre Pooing, detangling of the hair occurs prior to shampooing. It's a great practice to place hair in sections while Pre Pooing and detangling. During this process of detangling, wet brushes are best as hard bristle brushes such as Denman brushes can rip the knots and tear the hair causing breakage. Taking your time, be very gentle when detangling. Detangling In Sections is one of the most gentle ways to loosen and remove single strand knots to minimize breakage is by detangling in the shower or detangling under running water with conditioner, like our Leave In Conditioner, on the hair, while the hair is in sections. Placing the hair in sections minimizes retangling. 

Shampoo the hair while in sections (placing in twists or braids is best):

Once the conditioner is rinsed away, working one section at a time, gently focus on shampooing the scalp, unravel the twisted or braided section and allow the shampoo to rinse away. Retwist or rebraid section. TIP: Be sure to stretch ends with your fingers to encourage the strands to move all in the same direction in a smoothing motion. When detangling, using your fingers is the most gentle and helps minimize breakage. 

Deep Condition:

Moisture is an extremely important factor for all hair types. It is especially important for minimizing fairy knots or single strand knots. Regular deep conditioning (preferably once a week or at least after each shampooing) helps strengthen the hair and improve the elasticity. Deep Conditioners with organic ingredients such as plant based oils like our Cupuacu + Rhassoul Deep Conditioner, help to keep the hair lubricated as well as improving the overall strength and health of the hair. 


Be sure to moisturize the hair with a great natural product like our Leave In Conditioner or ACV Hair + Scalp Mist. Because conditioners and most moisturizers are water based, be sure to apply an oil or butter to lock/seal/trap in the moisture. TIP: Just as mentioned before, it is best to moisturize  and seal the hair while in twisted or braided sections.

Stretching The Hair:

One of the most effective ways that I've found that helps minimize single strand knots is to twist or braid the hair after applying a leave in, cream or spray and then sealing in the moisture with a butter or oil prior to twisting or braiding. These are hair styles that help stretch the hair as well as keep it protected. There are other methods of stretching such as the 'banding method' or applying low temperature heat to stretch the hair, but I've always love the simplicity of applying twists or braids. but all methods work to help minimize knots.

Protect At Night:

Since the friction from the fabric in cotton pillow cases can cause the hair to tangle, it is extremely important to protect the hair by covering it with a satin bonnet or at least a satin pillowcase. 

Trim Hair Regularly:

If you are confident to trim your own hair, by all means, go for it with care. As part of the lifestyle of hair, naturally our hair's ends will become frayed. They are the oldest part of the hair and are the most exposed to rubbing against the clothing that we wear. The friction that our ends suffer can cause breakage which leads to losing length. Trims are an extremely important step in the healthy hair care process. To view how I trimmed my ends, check out this post. Now, if you do not feel confident trimming yourself, I highly recommend visiting a stylist that is experienced with natural hair.