Fairy Knot Problems & Updated Product List

Transitioning part 2 and the curse of fairy knots...

If you follow me on Instagram you may know I’ve had a bit of a hair struggle the past couple of months. Just when I thought my natural hair journey was coming to a blissful and healthy end I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I didn’t know that even though I was following all the right steps to grow a healthy head of curls there could still be damage done so easily and the natural hair journey going wrong which made me feel like I was going backwards after coming so far from my stringy, dry blonde days!

Just after last Summer I felt like I didn’t know my hair anymore after finding a major amount of knots (which I now know are known as fairy knots), my hair just looked dry and looked and felt different.

Naturally I thought a trim would solve all of my problems, get rid of the dry ends and knots and give my curls their bounce back. Unfortunately I ended up a little worse off and unhappier after, after transitioning for so long I ended up not even feeling like it was my own hair on my head anymore, it felt so unfamiliar with a weird shape, curl pattern and all over unhealthy feel to it.

(After the hair cut in November)

After some extensive research into single strand/fairy knots I discovered they’re quite unavoidable on curly/afro hair and don’t necessarily mean your hair is unhealthy.

The problem is, I'm not sure there's a way to fully get rid of these knots as they knot up on really curly and coily hair. For me personally when my hair is healthier it springs and coils up a lot, I thought this was a good thing so when I see the knots it's super frustrating and doesn't make sense. The blessing and curse of curly hair!

Following my research it's been said that quite a bit that wash and go's can assist in the creation of fairy knots as the hair is free and prone to getting caught in/rubbing on things causing frictions which in turn causes the knots. I am definitely guilty of wearing a wash and go 247. Just when I thought my days of curly hair problems were over...

Tips for fairy knot problems:

Luckily, my hair is now on the mend after finding quite a few tips to combat single strand knots, so I thought it only right to come and share.

I've noticed quite a considerable difference the past few months of how many knots have popped up in my hair after noticing basically an epidemic around a year ago. And having millions of them is not cute, it can affect your hair growth and make you feel so insecure like others can see or feel them too. 

I'm still a self confessed hand-in-hair addict, the fairy knots just making this 10000x worse as I developed a nasty habit of pulling them out when I see them because they irritated me that much. Please do not do this! Easier said than done, I know, I am speaking from experience though this breaks the hair shaft and in the long run you end up with more damage, split ends and broken hair which really isn't necessary or worth it. 

The best tip I can give for really getting rid is buying yourself a good pair of hair scissors and carrying these with you. Every time you see or feel one just snip above it. Yes, it may be very awkward to be at work or with friends and just pulling out your scissors to snip here and there but then you gotta do what you gotta do. 

I would sit there for 15/20 minutes every couple of days and go through my hair in 4 sections very quickly finding knots and snipping them out. I found this has helped the most. 

Alternatively you may want to nip in the bud completely the craving to touch your hair and pull them out by wearing protective styles or finding alternatives to a wash and go. For around 2 months I wore my hair in a bun constantly as well as having braids to just avoid me thinking about the knots or touching them. It's a temporary fix but can help a lot in the long run. 

Protect your ends. I've also found applying a light oil (coconut, avocado) to my ends at night before I sleep allows for more slip and therefore the hair doesn't have a chance to knot up so much because of the oil. Kind of like a sealant.

Wearing more stretched styles. Stretched styles leads to less knotting up. Straighter ends have a harder time coiling up, but do not think you have to straighten your hair to achieve this. There are styles that can be achieved that do not require heat like roller sets, braid outs, and twist outs that control the coils and keep them manageable.

Get regular trims

Detangle your hair especially ends properly

Properly moisturise and seal. Hydrated hair is less likely to tangle. Keep your ends hydrated, soft, and smooth as jagged edges almost always find a way to wind around themselves or neighboring hairs. This includes wash day deep conditioning and sealing your ends with a butter or oil to keep them smooth, tangle-free, and moisturised.

It's still a work in progress when it comes to these curly hair problems, I thought transitioning, getting my curls and back up health were my biggest problems! But I'm so happy to share my journey so I can hopefully help others and I always love learning more tips from fellow curlies, so if you have any tips on how to battle the fairy knots, I'd love to hear them.

A few people have asked me for a list of products I'm currently using so here it is:

Co-wash and condition: 

For the past month and a half I have been using the Curl Smith Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash. This stuff is LIFE! Not only is the smell so fruity and amazing, it cleanses my hair and scalp and is thick enough for me to use as a conditioner and detangle with, it also makes my hair have a really nice shine. Literally two-in-one for me. You can just use it as a cleanser (which I think is how it's supposed to be used) but it works amazingly for me using it for both.

Deep conditioner:

I deep condition minimum once a week (when I have time) and try to use the soft hood and do a really good deep condition at least once a month.

I love trying different deep conditioners and have a couple that are my staples because they make my hair soft and curls defined as well as smelling amazing. My favourites are the Shea Moisutre JBCO treatment masque, Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner and the Camille Rose Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment.

Leave in conditioner:

As soon as I've washed out my conditioner with cold water I apply either Curl Smith Oil In Creamor sometimes Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner. I more use the Curl Smith leave in now as I like to use products from the same line together as I feel like this has a nicer result. 

Sealant:

I like to use a little bit of gel after putting in my leave-in but have laid off this a bit lately (used to use the Devacurl light defining gel). I sometimes put a little bit of Kinky Curly Knot Today once my hair is 3/4 dry if I'm wearing my wash and go out straight away. Otherwise I will apply a little of the Curl Smith oil in serum once basically dry.

Styling creams:

I vary with my day to day styling, I tend to use less products one/two days after wash day in comparison to day five. The past month or so I've gone back to using my transitioning fave which is Kinky Curly Knot Today, I forgot how much I love this stuff. Not a lot needs to be used and even though it looks kind of like a gel it's not and doesn't leave the hair sticky or hard. It leaves my curls bouncy and defined and smells like mango!

I also use Cantu to style, usually after day three hair. My favourites are the Coconut Curling Cream and Curl Activator Cream.