Single strand knots aka fairy knots are tiny stubborn knots formed in single strands of hair, commonly found in curly, coily and kinky hair types. Often perceived to be a bigger pain than traditional knots and tangles, fairy knots appear to be near impossible to detangle by curlies. Why are they called fairy knots? Because they suddenly appear without warning as if by some magical mystery.  If you’re suffering with these pesky beads of tangled hair that are clinging to your hair shaft and you want to get rid, you need to know why they appeared in the first place.


Fairy hair knots tend to occur in curly to kinky hair textures due to the hair follicles being oval like in shape, which encourages tangles with single strands of hair as when the hair grows it the twists, turns and loops to form the curl pattern. This causes hair to tie around other hair strands, which then forms tangles and the dreaded fairy knot knot.

Another contributing factor is that we all shed hair daily, (typically, 50-100 strands a day), when our strands fall out, they tend to lock up with each other. This happens even more when the cuticles on the strands of our hair are raised.


These fairy knots technically known as trichonodosis can cause a great deal of concern for those with curly hair, everyday styling becomes more difficult and hair health is harder to maintain. So here are several ways in which you can prevent the occurrence of the dreaded fairy knot.

  1. GO FOR REGULAR TRIMS- Are you trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks? If you want to get rid of split ends and damaged hair, then regular trims will reduce the potential of you experiencing fairy knots. The wear and tear that comes with everyday styling can not only hurt your ends but this damage can travel up the hair shaft, causing splits and tangles on the way. Dry hair is an invitation for knots. Don’t forget those trims, your hair will thank you.

  2. DETANGLE YOUR HAIR PROPERLY- Detangle your hair before you shampoo. It’s important to detangle before you fully immerse your curls under water. Knots tend to tighten when immersed in water making them more difficult to unravel. Hair should be divided into sections, so you can work through each section, so you are able to easily identify the knots. Either detangle using fingers as well as a pre-poo or detangler which will help you with slip to release the knots. Your pre-poo can be an oil or a pre-poo product such as African Pride Moisture Miracle pre-poo  or a conditioner.

  1. DEEP CONDITION- This is a critical part of your hair care routine. Not only does this hair staple provide your strands with extra nourishment and moisture, but it also works to improve your hair’s strength to reduce excess friction and tangling. Deep conditioners help to improve your hair’s strength and elasticity. Using products that contain natural oils will keep the hair lubricated, which reduces the excessive friction and tangling that cause single-strand knots.
  2. KEEP YOU STRANDS HYDRATED- It’s important that your strands are hydrated, thirsty curls can be an invitation to fairy knots. If you have low or high porosity hair moisture can be an issue. Hydrating mists can solve this problem, packed with varying combinations of herbs, minerals and natural oils, these mists will quench your dry curls. The water, herbs and minerals will penetrate the hair shaft providing nutrients and hydration and the oil will seal in the moisture,  reducing friction and the appearance of knots. As I Am JBCO Water is enriched with a nano blend of Jamaican Black Castor oil and ceramides. Powered by science the molecules have been condensed allowing for the oil to be absorbed into the hair shaft as well as water, providing both nutrients and hydration to thirsty dry curls.
    1. PROTECT YOUR HAIR AT NIGHT- Have you ever noticed that your fairy knots have appeared over night? If you haven’t slept on a silk pillowcase or protected your hair with silk or satin bonnet there’s a great chance that your curls experience friction during the night leaving your hair tangled, with knots and possible dry. Satin and silk helps to retain the hair’s moisture and also reduces friction. If you’re getting fairy knots and you’re not covering your hair at night, then make the change now. We recommend Luxebonnet for their large cap, which is elasticated at the back to stop the bonnet falling off at night. Keep hair conditioned and reduce the potential of knots by wearing one of these satin beauties.


      1. PROTECT YOUR ENDS- You can use protective styling as a strategy to tuck your ends away and avoid your hair knotting. Braids, cornrows are just some of the styles you can wear that will decrease the occurrence of fairy knots. However this alone will not be enough, normal friction caused by hair being in contact with shirts, jackets can result in these knots appearing.

      1. DRYING YOUR HAIR - If you haven’t already refrained from doing this, stop now. The terry towel a household staple, is a big no no for drying your hair. They cause frizz, snags and ultimately can encourage the forming of knots. Use a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt fabric and blot out the water instead of vigorously rubbing.

      Do not underestimate fairy knots. Dry curls and friction are not your friend.



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