Where do I begin? Where do I begin? Fairy knots.
I have learned to accept fairy knots as an inevitable part of my life and the life of my natural hair.
So what exactly are fairy knots? Fairy knots are knots that occur along the single strands of hair and is mainly present in curly hair. Of course, the curlier your hair the more likely you are to experience fairy knots.
How do you deal with fairy knots? I have learned to accept that fairy knots will come. However, I do believe that it is possible to decrease the amount of fairy knots that you experience.
- Protective styles - Protective styles help to greatly reduce the amount of fairy knots. I have noticed that after taking my hair out of protective styles, I find little to no fairy knots. I feel this is due to the hair being tucked away, which makes it less prone to wrap around individual or single strands. The most effective protective hairstyles to battle fairy knots for me are two strand twists and individual braids.
- Decreasing the amount of Wash N' Gos - Wash N' Gos will increase your chance of experiencing these little knots. I think the main reason is that the hair has been rubbed (sometimes vigorously) and then just left to do its on thing. So, when the curls dry naturally they will wrap themselves around each other. I think the most effective way to battle the knots when doing a Wash N' Go is to put the hair in twists or braids (if your length allows for it) and then, rub the conditioner and/or shampoo gently (VERY GENTLY) through the hair. DatFunkyFro even suggests to wash the hair in sections. I think this is a great idea. It will allow for you to pay special attention to each section, which will promote a gentle hand and not allow for you to rush through washing your entire head of hair--which can lead to more unwanted fairy knots.
- Detangle Your Hair - We all have different detangling methods and routines. However, no matter what method you use just make sure you have a detangling routine that you adhere to consistently. For instance, I detangle my hair once a week with "out" styles and once every two weeks with protective styles. I can't even imagine the state my hair would be in if I didn't detangle it.
- Prepoo - Try a prepoo of oils as some naturals do. Some naturals say the tangle just slip out of their hair when they do prepoo treatments. I have not tried prepooing as of yet, however; since I have been wearing my hair out I will be soon adding this to my regimen.
- A GENTLE and PATIENT hand - Sometimes we can simply prevent fairy knots by having a gentle and patient hand. For instance, when my hair is out I sometimes notice that my hair will begin the tangling process. I simply take my time and very gently detangle my hair as I encounter these tangles to prevent them from becoming fairy knots. Also, when styling my hair in protective styles I also take my time in detangling any tangles I may run into. And during my detangling session, I ensure that I don't rush the session and may baby any tangles that need my special attention.
So, if you experience fairy knots, what should you do about them? I do one of two things.
- Ignore Them - I know some people would say this horrible but, I am being honest:-/ I sometimes run my hand along the length of my strands and I may come across one, or two, or three knots and I will simply do nothing. I figure they will take care of themselves.
- Cut Them Out - Now, if I have a fairy knot that has a shed piece of hair attached to it then, I will cut it out. I can usually spot these fairly quickly because they are usually abnormally long strands.
Are there certain hairsyles that will make you prone to more fairy knots? Most definitely. As I mentioned before, wash n' gos will have an increase in knots. Also, everytime I do "out" styles I experience them more often--twist outs, braid outs, textured afros, etc.
In the end, fairy knots will occur in our glorious natural heads. However, it is possible to decrease the amount and do preventative measures.