How To Get Rid Of Fairy Knots In Natural Hair

Using the right products and following some washing practices can work wonders!

Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Last Updated on

Finding fairy knots in natural hair is quite common. They may sound sweet and cute, but in reality, fairy knots are an absolute terror for wavy, curly, and kinky hair. If you are wondering what they are, let us explain. Fairy knots develop in a single hair strand. If you run your finger across the length of the strand, you may notice a snag or a tangle – as if the strand is looped around itself.

Fairy knots or trichonodosis can affect any hair type. However, it is prevalent in natural hair types and is mostly caused by improper combing or scratching. These single-strand knots can be annoying and, if ignored, may lead to bigger knots and tangles and cause hair breakage. You may feel the urge to trim the knots but wait. We have a better solution. Scroll down to learn hacks to get rid of fairy knots and ways to prevent them.

What Are Fairy Knots?

A fairy knot is also known as a single strand knot, is created when a single hair strand knots and tangles around itself. Fairy knots can appear in all hair types, but natural hair (type 3 and 4) is more prone to it. This becomes an annoyance when you have split ends. The knots often pull the surrounding strands, causing bigger knots, spelling trouble for your hair.

Your hair is more susceptible to knotting if it is dry and has weathered ends. In the following section, we have explored the causes of fair knots.

Causes Of Fairy Knots

There are several reasons to get fairy knots:

  • Kinky and coily hair is prone to tangles and gets fairy knots easily.
  • Hair shedding can be one possible reason. The loose strands may get tangled with another hair strand, creating tiny knots.
  • Raised hair cuticles cause moisture loss and dryness, making the hair prone to fairy knots and tangles.
  • Friction while sleeping and caused by hair manipulations and shampooing techniques may cause this kind of knots.
  • Using fine-toothed combs can pull the hair and cause friction and fairy knots.
  • Chemical-based hair products with drying ingredients may further dry out the hair and make it prone to knotting.

These single-strand knots can easily lead to bigger knots and tangles if other healthy strands of hair latch on to them. Hence, you need to act upon it as soon as you spot a fairy knot. Here is what to do.

What To Do If You Spot A Fairy Knot

You can:

  • Undo The Fairy Knots: Use a needle to pull out the trapped hair slowly.
  • Trim The Knot: Trim right above the knotted area. This is fairly an easier way. You can also go for regular trims to minimize knots.

A survey comprising 684 men and 925 women revealed that even though women get fewer haircuts than men, they still end up paying more than them. The average annual spending on haircuts is £135 for women, which is nearly twice the £70 for men. This disparity could be due to the complexity of women’s hairstyles and the choice of salons between the genders.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Consider detangling your hair with your fingers before using your comb as it gives you better control and helps you loosen those elusive fairy knots without causing damage.

When it is about managing fairy knots, prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few tips to start with.

How To Get Rid Of Fairy Knots In Natural Hair

These knots can be treated at home easily, ahead are some of the effective ways to prevent and treat those stubborn fairy knots.

1. Detangle Your Hair

The best way to prevent fairy knots is to detangle your hair in the shower. Apply a deep conditioner to your hair and then work by sections using a detangling brush. The conditioner provides a slip for easy detangling. Deep conditioners moisturize the strands and soften them, preventing tangles and Single-Strand Knots.

2. Use Protective Hairstyles

Protective styles keep the hair ends tucked away, preventing single strand knots. You can stretch the hair and then style it accordingly. If you are comfortable wearing a loose hairstyle, stick to styles that stretch your hair, such as braids or twist-outs. This minimizes the chance of getting Single-Strand Knots.

3. Protect Your Hair While Sleeping

Most of the time, Single-Strand Knots develop during your sleep. When you twist and turn, the pillowcase cause friction, causing Single-Strand Knots. To prevent that, braid or twist your hair before sleeping. If possible, cover your head with a satin scarf or use a satin pillowcase to minimize friction.

4. Oil Your Hair

Oil your hair ends regularly to prevent dryness. Lubricating the strands reduces friction between the hair fibers, minimizing the chance of hair looping around itself.

On another note, Tonya Lane, a cosmetic chemist, and YouTuber has tried various methods for fairy knot prevention like oil rinse, about which she says, “I highly recommend oil rinsing with either olive oil avocado sweet almond jojoba like those oils are very rich and great for our hair (i)”.

5. Use The Right Hair Care Products

Natural hair is dry and prone to damage. Use products that contain natural oils and herbal extracts. Avoid those that contain alcohol as it may dry out your hair. Use serums, heat protecting sprays, and hair masks to keep your locks nourished and hydrated.

6. Avoid The Wash-And-Go Technique

The wash-and-go technique defines and enhances your natural curl pattern without any styling and manipulation. However, it also increases the chances of single-strand knots.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner or detangling hair spray before detangling your hair. It smooths the hair, which reduces the risk of breakage and makes detangling easier.

7. Do Not Cleanse Your Hair In Circular Motions

While shampooing, do not move your hands in circular motions all over your hair. Instead, move the fingers to massage the scalp gently. Rinse your hair in a downward motion, allowing it to stretch out as much as possible and be tangle-free.

Fairy knots in natural hair are a common and annoying issue. While natural hair is prone to knots and tangling issues, it is a sign that your hair is screaming for attention if you notice fairy knots quite frequently. You can go for trimming every 2-3 months. This will help minimize knots, split ends and keep your hair healthy. Maintaining a proper hair care routine goes a long way in preventing knots. You may follow the tips discussed in the article to prevent fairy knots and keep your hair smooth, hydrated, and nourished.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called fairy knots?

Knots that develop on a single strand of hair are popularly referred to as fairy knots because of their tendency to appear out of nowhere, without a sign, as if by magic by a fairy.

Why do I have fairy knots?

Fairy knots are a sign that your hair lacks moisture and is not combed and maintained properly. These knots may appear in all hair types but are more common in curly hair with split ends (because curls coil around the strands and make them more susceptible to fairy knots).

Key Takeaways

  • A fairy knot or a single strand knot occurs when a single hair strand tangles around itself.
  • Curly or kinky hair is more susceptible to fairy knots.
  • Some people may experience it from frequently combing with fine-toothed combs or due to hair shedding.
  • You can eliminate fairy knots by detangling your hair, using oils, or employing proper hair care techniques.

This video unravels the mystery of fairy knots and single-strand knots. Learn expert techniques and tips to prevent and manage these pesky knots. Check out the video to keep your hair smooth and flowing.

Personal Experience: Source

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Ramona Sinha
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

Read full bio of Anjali Sayee
Monomita Chakraborty
Monomita ChakrabortyBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Monomita has a graduate degree in mass communication and video production from St. Anthony's College, Shillong, and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the Royal Global University, Guwahati. She is also a certified skincare coach with a keen interest in skin, hair, tattoos, nail art, and lifestyle trends.

Read full bio of Monomita Chakraborty