Past discovering the right curly cocktail, most naturals have skilled tiny, mysterious tangles that simply gained’t stop. No, they don’t seem to be in your creativeness, these nuisances even have a reputation — “fairy knots,” aka trichonodosis.

“These are single strands of hair that knot inside themselves to create larger knots often known as ‘fairies,’” explains hairstylist Nai’vasha Johnson who works with Yara Shahidi, Sasha Lane, and Uzo Aduba. “Sadly, curly and kinky hair are extra inclined [to these] as a result of they’re produced by a flat and curvy hair follicle, which permits these smaller tangles.”

Proprietor of Capella Salon, Shai Amiel (finest often known as “The Curl Physician”) explains a bit extra in-depth. “Hair sheds day by day however sadly for curly ladies, it’s extra of a difficulty than for somebody with straight hair. Straight hair will slide simply off the pinnacle as a result of there isn’t any resistance just like the coils of our curls. Unfastened curls are inclined to get wrapped round one another.”

Fret not. Whereas the annoyance might not precisely disappear fully, there are just a few steps you may take to minimizing their unwelcome prevalence. The specialists behind the crowns of Logan Browning, Tracee Ellis Ross, and extra supply perception.

Plan your assault from the beginning

Whereas it’s not fairly science, there’s a little bit of rationale as to why sure textures are extra affected by tangles than others. Hairstylist Chuck Amos, who works with Alicia Keys, Solange, and Lion Babe, breaks it down for us: “Fairy knots are inclined to happen in curly or coily hair as a result of the follicle of curly hair is an oval form, inflicting the hair to develop out of the scalp in a twisting, coiling nature. And, when the cuticles are raised on these strands, it causes the fairy knots to occur [more frequently].

Knots normally occur at evening while you’re sleeping or throughout/after your washing course of, particularly when your cuticles are raised. “Raised cuticles trigger strands to intertwine with different strands or onto themselves, inflicting these micro-knots to occur. These single-strand knots can intertwine with different strands of hair inflicting extra knots to occur, so you will need to do away with them [early].”

Deal with knots within the bathe solely

Women, again away from the rattail comb. “Detangling hair ought to solely be accomplished within the bathe whereas the conditioner is on the hair to make it extra slippery,” explains Amiel. “It’s best to make use of your fingers as a result of they will really feel the tangle and are far more light than a tough comb or brush.”

He acknowledges this course of will take longer than conventional strategies, however is far more delicate on fragile strands. “Please keep away from utilizing exhausting bristles like a comb and do not accept a tough brush just like the Denman brush, [which can] tear your hair, inflicting breakage. That is how so many ladies lose their size. You would use the Moist Brush — however very gently, taking your time to separate [your hair].”

Michael Loccisano

Wash otherwise

Amos has a hack that won’t solely elevate your expertise, but in addition minimize down on extra tangles as nicely. “When washing your hair, there are two issues that you are able to do prior to make sure the least quantity of fairy knots to happen,” he explains. “My favourite is to braid your hair in medium-size sections all the way in which all the way down to the ends, ensuring that your ends are throughout the braid. Then, wash your hair gently with extra emphasis in your scalp then ends. Subsequent, let the shampoo rinse out. Re-braid undone ends and repeat course of together with your conditioner or masks.”

The second factor you are able to do is add some pure oil to your hair previous to washing — suppose coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and so forth. “This can maintain your cuticles laying flat through the cleaning course of and can decrease your possibilities of getting tangles through the washing course of.” When you aren’t fairly into the DIY expertise, Amos suggests a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that get to the core of your strands, like these from the Pantene Gold Collection (Amos is an envoy for the model).

Bonus tip: “When washing /conditioning /rinsing your hair, ensure you are stretching the ends together with your fingers, inflicting the strands to maneuver all in the identical path in a smoothing movement,” provides Amos. “While you apply your moisturizing hair merchandise, do the identical factor. It’s best to work together with your fingers and never a brush or comb when coping with curly or coily hair, particularly throughout and after your washing and conditioning course of.”

Observe these three golden guidelines

We weren’t shocked to listen to that fairy knots can’t be averted, however in accordance with hairstylist Nai’vasha Johnson, they are often managed. Listed here are her three most important suggestions:

  1. Shield your hair at evening with a satin pillowcase or bonnet.
  2. Detangle your hair totally previous to shampooing or wetting.
  3. Deep situation your hair usually, ideally as soon as per week.

“Moisture is the principle issue within the well being and the manageability of your hair whatever the texture,” she says. “The moisture from conditioning creates a slippery barrier that aids in controlling tangles.”

woman pulling afro hair

Brad Wilson

Stretch it out

In response to Amos, braided types and double-strand twists are one of the simplest ways to keep away from fairy knots. “Hairstyles that stretch the hair strands all the way in which to the ends are key,” he explains. “Ensure you are utilizing merchandise that hydrate hair to the core, like Pantene Gold Collection curl defining pudding or detangling milk.”

Get common trims

You’ve heard it one million occasions — trims make an enormous distinction. “Naturally our ends will develop into frayed — that’s what break up ends are, “ explains Amiel. “However, the extra time we wait in between cuts, the upper up the shaft these break up ends will journey.” Don’t get caught up in your hair size, fear extra about hair well being. “Neglecting common trims will trigger your ends to be extra frayed, leading to size loss. When the ends are frayed, they’ll break a lot sooner, [leading you to lose] your size. Trims are so vital each three to 4 months. Preserve these blissful, blunt ends that will not get tangled as a lot.”

Don’t attain for scissors simply but

When you have a knot that simply gained’t stop, keep away from the urge to shampoo — go straight to conditioning as an alternative. “When a fairy knot does happen, it’s best to use conditioner on to the fairy knot and rub gently till you’ll find a loop opening. Then, get it out with a rattail tip comb or a small needle,” explains Amos. “Watch out about jabbing knots with needles as a result of you may injury strands by doing this.”

If all else fails (and the hair strand isn’t salvageable), Amos explains the best technique to resolve: “It’s finest to chop simply above the knot, which can maintain the tip of that strand bluntly sealed off with out inflicting any extra break up ends.”

Extra suggestions for naturals:

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