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We’ve all been there- you’re minding your own business, going about your day, when you run your fingers through your hair and notice a single strand knot (or SSK) in your hair.
You try to ignore it, but it’s just so darn pesky. And the next thing you know, you’ve got a whole head full of them!
But fear not, there are ways to avoid getting single strand knots.
Anyone who has ever dealt with single strand knots knows the pain of trying to detangle them.
Those little buggers seem to appear out of nowhere, and they can quickly turn healthy hair into a rat’s nest.
Not to mention, they can be extremely frustrating to deal with.
So what exactly are single strand knots?
Technically, single strand knots are called trichonodosis. They are also known as fairy hair knots, and they occur when a single strand of hair wraps around itself, resulting in a small, tight knot that feels like little beads along the strand of hair.
They can vary in size, but they are typically small and can be very difficult to see, but you can definitely feel them when you run your fingers through your hair.
They can happen when your hair is wet, dry, or even when you’re sleeping. But regardless of how they form, single strand knots are a pain to deal with.
Not only are they hard to get rid of, but they can also lead to breakage.
There are a few different ways that single strand knots can form. While single strand knots can occur on any type of hair, they are most common in curly hair.
This is because curly hair is more likely to become tangled, and the curls can act as little hooks that catch on other strands of hair and lead to knots.
Also, when curly hair is softly tugged and released, it springs back into spirals. This recoiling may lead to the formation of single strand knots.
One of the most common ways for these knots to form is from damage to the hair shaft.
When the cuticle is damaged, it becomes raised, which makes the hair shaft more likely to catch on things and become tangled.
This can happen from using heat styling tools, combing/brushing hair, harsh chemicals, vigorous scratching, washing hair, or even from sleeping on wet hair.
Another way that single strand knots can form is from dryness.
When the hair shaft is dry, it is more likely to break, and the ends of the hair can become frayed.
This makes it more likely for single strand knots to form, because the hair is more likely to wrap around itself when it’s dry and brittle.
Finally, single strand knots can also form when the hair is wet.
This is because when hair is wet, it is more elastic and can stretch.
If the hair is stretched too much, it can break, and the ends can become frayed.
This makes it more likely for single strand knots to form.
Another factor that can contribute to single strand knots is strong wind.
When the hair is blown around in the wind, it can become tangled and knotted.
While single strand knots can be a pain to deal with, there are a few ways that you can get rid of them.
The best way to get rid of single strand knots is to avoid them in the first place.
If you already have single strand knots, try rubbing them gently with conditioner applied directly to the knot and searching for a loop opening. I’ve used a small needle (be careful not to stab yourself) to help loosen the knot before. You can also use the end of a rattail comb.
If the single strand knots are close to the tip of the hair, I usually use professional scissors (make sure they’re not dull) to snip them out.
If you’re struggling with single strand knots, there are a few things you can do to avoid them.
Now that we know how single strand knots form, let’s talk about how to prevent them.
Single strand knots do not stop hair growth, but they can cause breakage, which gives the appearance of stunted hair growth. Single strand knots can also make your hair appear thinner and weaker.
If you have single strand knots in your straight hair, the best way to remove them is by using a pair of sharp scissors. Cut as close to the knot as possible without cutting any of the surrounding hair.
Single strand knots are normal and can happen to anyone, regardless of hair type. However, if you find that you’re getting a lot of single strand knots, it could be a sign that your hair is damaged and in need of some extra care.
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