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I know you all have either heard of or experienced them throughout this hair journey.
Those were one of my biggest fears about being fully natural, but to my pleasant surprise, I have not seen/felt/found not one single strand knot in my hair.
I believe it has a lot to do with my hair care practices and because of my thick/coarse strands. But mostly because of my hair care practices which I will highlight in this post.
So, what is a SSK? It’s basically what the above picture illustrates. When a strand of hair tangles within itself forming a knot in the hair. Us kinky, curly, coily girls are very prone to them. There are some ways you can avoid them, but for some, they can be inevitable. I do not believe SSK’s can make or break your hair’s health and length goals. But having a BUNCH of them can cause some issues.
Here are some tips to minimize them.
1.) Keep hair moisturized at ALL times, preferably with a thick product(if your hair can handle that).
2.) DO NOT dry your hair loose. Do so in a way to slightly stretch your hair(braids, twists, cornrows, curlformers, bantu-knots, rollers, you get the point).
3.) Oil! Oil will keep your hair very much lubricated and silky which most definitely minimizes SSK’s. You can do oil rinses as your final rinse, hot oil treatments/prepooing with an oil or seal your hair with an oil on a normal basis. You don’t need to use thick oils such as Castor and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can use light ones such as grape seed, jojoba and almond oil.
4.) Do NOT over manipulate your hair when worn out. I mean no touching, twirling and playing around with it. Save that for wash day.
5.) Be sure to detangle your hair thouroughly and remove ALL shed hair.
6.) Be wary of how you wash your hair. Do so in a downward motion making sure not to scrunch up your hair. If all else fails, wash detangled hair in braids or twists.
If anyone has any tips on avoided SSK’s, please feel free to note them in the comment section.
Now, what to do when you actually have some? I’ll tell what NOT to do! Please do not rip them out. Wait until you have a pair of sheers readily available and snip them out(search and destroy style). Some people actually pick them apart with a needle and if you have time for that, give it a try.
Some ladies just leave them there(which is less harmful than not cutting split ends). Do whatever you think is best for your hair.
Don’t let SSK’s get you down. They are not a clear indicator of unhealthy hair. Like I said above, for some, they’re just part of the game.