Mixing and mingling are some of curls' favorite activities. They love to get personal with each other, but their friendliness can be unfriendly to our hair's health and retention. Too much of their "relating" can result in the oh-so dreaded single-strand knots. SSKs, as they are usually called, are tiny knots that form along the hair strand. They are common in curly and coily hair, but there are ways to reduce their occurrence. Here's how:
1. Keep your hair moisturized. Dry hair is more prone to single-strand knots due to its lack of hydration. Pair that with manipulation, and your hair is virtually an SSK-nesting bed. Consistently and thoroughly moisturize your hair (especially those ends) with nourishing conditioners and creams to keep those knots away. Be sure to lock all that moisture in with an oil, butter, or pomade for ultra-happy hair.
2. Keep your hair stretched. Stretching the hair is a great way to reduce tangles, which are precursors to single-strand knots. Twists, twist outs, braids, braid outs, blow outs, buns, roller sets, and ponytails are just a few ways to stretch the hair. Also, be sure to detangle fully to keep single-strand knots at bay.
3. Keep your hair protected. Single-strand knots often appear near the ends of the hair. Those pesky knots put extra tension on strands and can lead to breakage. Hanging hairstyles that brush against clothes are invitations for SSKs. Take preventative measures against knots by pinning hair up during the day and covering it with a silk or satin bonnet at night. For some naturals, wash and gos also cause single-strand knots. This may or may not be the case for you.
Wishing you a head full of happy, knot-free hair!