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How To Prevent And Manage Fairy Knots In Your Hair

Fairy knots don’t look as pleasant as they sound. Also known as single-strands knots, fairy knots feel like tiny beads along your hair shaft. They are those small stubborn tangles in single hair strands that may result in breakage and frizz when styling or combing.

Unfortunately, fairy knots are a fact of life you’ll experience from time to time, especially if your hair is curly. For most people, dealing with them is more annoying and frustrating than tackling traditional tangles and knots because they are so difficult to detangle. They appear without warning and cling to your hair shaft. But the good news is, there are many ways to prevent and manage these knots.

What You Need To Know About Fairy Knots

The technical term for fairy knots is trichonodosis, and they’re characterised by knotted hair on the hair shaft’s distal portion. These stubborn knots typically occur in kinky and curly hair types due to their oval-shaped hair follicles that encourage tangles in single hair strands. Loose curls can also quickly get wrapped around each other.

However, it doesn’t mean that those with straight hair won’t have to deal with these annoying knots. Sure, knots are less likely to form in straight hair than wavy locks, but they still happen.

Common Causes Of Fairy Knots

Fairy knots or pixie knots may sound fancy, but there’s nothing magical about them. They may appear without notice, but certain factors can cause them to form.

Styling And Colouring

A single-strand knot can form when your hair is manipulated through combing, colouring, tussling or applying heat. All of these can result in split ends, which occur when the ends of the hair become frayed, brittle and dry, looking like the end of an unravelled rope. When the split ends coil up, a knot will form.

Embracing Your Natural Curls

Keeping your curly hair down can cause those single hair strands to intertwine with each other or within themselves. It’s possible to have several knots on a single hair strand. Tiny knots can develop into larger ones, especially when drying or applying products without properly sectioning your hair. Knots can also result from constant rubbing, washing or tossing and turning when you’re asleep.

Five Ways to Prevent And Treat Fairy Knots

You can’t stop brushing, styling or washing your hair because you don’t want fairy knots to form. Here are some simple yet effective tips for dealing with tiny tangles and preventing them from happening all over again.

Start With A Pre-Shampoo Treatment

A pre-shampoo treatment adds extra nourishment to your locks, so your hair remains soft, healthy and tangle-free. It involves applying oil, balm or butter before washing with your regular shampoo to lock in hydration and moisture for smooth, shiny and strong strands.

Protect Your Hair While You Sleep

Friction between the pillow and your hair can cause fairy knots and tangles as cotton fibres rub against your strands. If you want to prevent knots from forming while you sleep, it’s best to sleep with a silk bonnet or a satin pillowcase. Silk and satin materials are gentle on the hair and effective in reducing friction. Plus, they can help evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils so that you can wake up without frizz or an unsightly bedhead.

Don’t Comb Through The Knot

It can be tempting to brush or comb through the knot to get rid of it, but you could just be making things worse. That’s because your action will only reinforce the knot and increase the tension rather than eliminate the problem. Instead, try detangling it by separating the hair strands in opposite directions. Very gently, take your time to separate your hair to avoid breakage.  Also, remember to pull one strand at a time and use oil to make the process easier.

Apply A Deep Conditioning Treatment

You probably know by now that moisture and hydration are vital to your hair’s overall health and manageability, regardless of its texture and type. So, if you haven’t yet added a deep conditioning treatment to your haircare routine, now’s a good time to start. Deep condition your hair at least once weekly, and it will create a slippery barrier that helps manage tangles and keeps your locks bouncy and full of life.

Get Regular Trims

A regular trim makes a significant difference in maintaining a silky, strong mane. Besides, getting regular trims is a great way to avoid drastic haircuts and eliminate split ends. Neglecting regular trimming can cause your hair ends to become frayed, more brittle and prone to tangles and knots.


Don’t immediately reach for a pair of scissors if you find fairy knots in your hair. Try these tips instead to see if you can restore your beautiful and manageable mane. It may require some effort and patience, but the result will be worth it.

Hairstyling and hair products can have an impact on hair health. Vinci Hair Clinic can offer advice on how to recover your hair from prolonged damage due to styling methods. Our experts will also explain the potential causes of hair loss and the hair restoration treatment options available. Get in touch and secure your free consultation today!