8 Hair Care Tips: How to Avoid Knots & Tangles
By Sumetra Reed
Being natural is amazing. There's so much versatility with styling, shapes, colors and lengths. On the other side of this amazing journey are the evil single strand knots, tangles and split ends. So many naturals want to know "how can I get my hair to grow". Honestly, hair growth is more than likely not the issue. I discovered that retaining length was a problem I was having and it was due to not doing some essential hair care steps within my regimen. Not adding these steps caused me to have these annoying single strand knots and on top of that, my hair would tend to tangle and cause split ends.
Here are some key essential hair care steps that every natural should include in their hair care regimen. These steps will help you (1) limit the amount of single strand knots, (2) avoid excessive tangles and split ends & (3) RETAIN LENGTH leading to longer, healthier hair.
Essential Hair Care Tips:
1. NEVER wash or style your hair when you're tired or in a rush. When you're in a rush or tired, you're not thinking about taking care of your health, you're thinking about getting done as quickly as possible. This can lead to pulling and tugging on your hair thus adding stress to it which can lead to tangles and knots that you would either need to cut, comb or brush out.
2. Wash your hair in sections. I noticed that as my hair became longer, it tangled more easily while I was washing. By washing in sections, it allowed me to careful massage the product through and made it easier to style after washing and conditioning my hair.
3. Detangle and separate hair during your wash regimen. This is a life saver for me! I tend to get more slippage when my hair is coated with conditioned. While the conditioner is in my hair, I simply finger detangle to ensure that I have no knots and can easily run my fingers through the section I am working with. Then I install chunky twists or braids then precede to rinsing out the conditioner. This also helps stretch the hair to prepare for styling.
4. Use product with good slippage. The most frustrating thing is feeling like your hair is tangled, rough & lacks moisture after you've spent hours washing and conditioning your hair. Product with good slippage makes it so easy to detangle and generally add tons of moisture to your hair. When your hair is dry and lacks moisture, you have to work extra hard to detangle and style your hair which can lead to more tension being applied to the hair causing breakage.
5. Step away from the tools. I love my denman brush but I use it after I've already detangled in the shower. Finger detangling is always recommended. You're able to feel the hair and carefully address any knots and tangles that are there. When using combs and/or, you can tend to be a little rougher and aren't allowed to gently care for your hair as you would if you used your fingers.
6. Always moisturize your hair. Lack of moisture can really cause breakage and split ends. Since your ends are the oldest part of your hair, you want to be gentle with your ends and keep them highly moisturized. This helps to avoid split ends and breakage and helps to retain length.
7. Find a good sealant. Several have heard of the L.O.C method. Well, essentially a sealant is a really good oil that you use to coat the hair which seals in the moisture, helping to prevent moisture from escaping the hair shaft and allowing your hair to retain moisture longer and avoid dry, brittle hair.
8. Trim hair when needed. Lack of trimming is a huge contributor to those unwanted knots and tangles. Lets say you have a split end or a single strand knot, well the healthy hairs can get caught in the slit end or knot causing tangles and add additional knots & split ends. Often we try to hold on to hair even if it's not healthy for the sake of having length. The best way to retain length is to trim when needed so that unhealthy ends won't damage the healthy hair. And on a side note, the split end repair creams and serums do not work. They are temporary. The long term fix for damaged ends is to trim them.
These tips are great overall hair care tips that have proven to work for me and lead to a healthy head of hair and helps to retain length.
By Sumetra Reed