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knotty back hair

Why Is My Hair So Knotty & Get's Tangled So Easily? Pro Hacks

Key Summary

  • The main cause of tangled, knotted hair is dryness. This can be as a result of styling with heat, environmental causes, poor diet, hard shower water, and even chemical based products. 
  • Incorporating more vitamins and nutrients, such as Omega-3, using silk pillowcases and scrunchies, and incorporating a detangling spray in between washes are all great ways to reduce knots. 
  • Consider switching to naturally-derived hair care products that won’t strip the hair of moisture like chemical based alternatives.

What Is The Main Cause of Tangled, Knotty Hair?

When you’ve got tangled, knotty hair it can leave your locks feeling totally unmanageable. You’ll want to get rid of those knots in your hair sharpish, but before you can solve the issue, you need to look at the cause of your tangles.

Usually, the main reason for knotted hair is dryness. When your hair is lacking in moisture, matting and tangles can occur.

To deal with this, your hair will require an increase in the frequency of washing and conditioning. Introducing a detangling product is another great way to support your hair care regime.

Other factors that can cause hair dryness include:

  • The use of harsh, chemical based products
  • Styling with heat
  • Hard water 
  • Poor diet
  • Low water intake

Why Is My Hair So Tangled After Washing?

tangled hair after washing

Hair is at its weakest when wet, making it more prone to tangles. If you don’t have the correct hair washing routine, then you can expect to see poor results when you’ve finished drying and styling it, as well as hair getting matted when wet. These can result from issues like your hair being tangled during the washing process if you are using sulphate based shampoos and conditioners, there is a lack of brushing whilst washing and if you are in a hard water area.


Let’s dive into what causes matted hair and tangles:

Chemical based shampoos

Sulfates are an aggressive chemical that strip the hair of essential moisture needed to keep your mane tamed, knot free and shiny. Replacing your toxic shampoo with a naturally derived formula will be hugely beneficial to restoring the condition of your hair. 

Water hardness

A trickier issue to get around, but one that could be causing your hair to mat, is water hardness. Hard water contains a build up of minerals, like calcium and magnesium, leaving a coating on the hair that is hard for moisture to break through. Installing a filter or using a water softener will improve your water quality and also help reduce hair dehydration. 


Brushing hair whilst wet can lead to breakages so the best time to brush out any matting is after applying a conditioner, treatment or our Baobab Detangler & Cleanser to allow for the brush to glide through the hair more freely. Using fingers is best to untangle large hair knots and minimise the risk of breakages. Once the bigger knots are tackled, gently work through with a wide toothed comb for a smooth finish post shower.

Why is my hair so knotty and falling out?

If you find that you are suffering with your locks tangling even when they aren’t being washed, there might be other causes. Some common causes when you have knotty hair that is falling out include:

Incorrect use or removal of hair ties and accessories

If your hair is prone to knots and tangles, the temptation is simply to put it up with a hair tie, but sometimes these elastics can cause hair to get tangled around the band. Also, if you simply pull the hair tie out you may find some of your locks come out with it. To avoid this, you could apply a small amount of hair oil to the elastic before putting it in your hair as this should help with an easier removal.

Poor weather

You may not think it but come rain or shine, weather can have an impact on your locks. Sunshine, showers, and even wind can contribute to hair tangles as they can wear the hair cuticle away which decreases moisture and shine, meaning when your hair rubs together there is more friction which results in knots.


When you head off to the land of nod each night, your hair strands rub against each other as you toss and turn in your sleep which leads to knots. The rough fibres of cotton pillowcases mean that your hair is less able to move about which is another cause of tangles.

Heat damage

If you are a fan of heated styling tools, these could be behind your knotty locks. Regular heat application can dry your hair out as well as damage the hair cuticle which means that hair is more prone to matting.

What Lifestyle Factors Cause Knotty Hair?

combing a knotty hair

We all know how important it is, for our body, to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water but this is just as vital to keeping hair healthy and hydrated and therefore, knot free! It also has a big impact on hair growth as well. Other (non diet) lifestyle factors that impact hair condition can include pollution damage and sun exposure, again affecting hair hydration leading to a higher risk of tangles and matting.


Eating the correct balance of nutrients is key to keeping hair from getting dry and preventing it from tangling so easily. A diet rich in protein and omega 3 will actively aid hair health. A lack of protein in your diet could lead hair to become dry and brittle, so try consuming foods such as chicken, nuts, eggs, dairy and legumes. 


Omega-3 is another nutrient that’s important to maintaining the success of healthy, hydrated locks. Found in the cells that line the scalp, it provides oils to keep the scalp and hair hydrated. Incorporating oily fish such as salmon as well as avocado, walnuts and chia seeds into your diet are all great sources of omega-3.

Water Intake

The amount of water you drink is going to affect your hair. Not drinking enough causes dehydration which will adversely affect the hair follicle and its ability to provide moisture to hair meaning your tresses are likely to become dry and therefore more prone to knots. 

A low water intake can even cause frizziness, split ends and hair loss in some cases. Invest in a water bottle with a tracker to make sure you're hitting your daily h2o target! 

Pollution damage

If you work in a large town or city, your hair will be exposed to pollution from unavoidable sources such as traffic. Pollution damage can cause your hair to become dry and damaged. Simply stepping outside your front door instantly exposes your hair to this grime that then settles on your tresses and builds up, causing it to become brittle. Introducing a clarifying treatment for a deep cleanse or wearing items such as hair wraps can help. Using a hair oil will rehydrate hair and leave it nourished, keeping knots at bay!

Sun exposure

If your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun or UVA and UVB rays then it is likely to become damaged. The warm rays of sunshine can hurt the outside cover on hair strands which leaves hair dry and brittle. 


To help prevent damage from sun exposure, use an SPF on your hair, drink water and  use a conditioning mask treatment such as our Babassu Deep Treatment Hair Masque to replenish and nourish dehydrated locks. 

How To Get Knots Out Of Hair: A Step-By-Step Guide

1. Section hair into parts, use clamps if you have short hair. Apply a shampoo that focuses on detangling locks, such as the Baobab Hair Detangler & Cleanser, to the scalp and massage it with finger pads. Repeat for all sections.

Baobab Hair Detangler & Cleanser

We prefer to avoid calling this a detangling shampoo. Instead, we call ours a detangling cleanser because it’s softening and moisturising while cleansing thoroughly. It also acts as your pre-poo detangler before you wash. Are you tired of that stripped feeling after you’ve just washed your hair? Wash your hair not strip it of its natural oils.

2. Once applied, begin to focus on each section by detangling hair gently to relieve any knots as well as removing shed hair and product build up. Using a wide toothed comb or wet brush will help avoid exciting or damaging the cuticle of the hair, which could cause more frizz and in turn more tangles.


3. Rinse thoroughly with water. As the water flows down, it will also cleanse the lengths of the hair. Massage the hair in a downwards motion whilst rinsing- no scrubbing required!


4. Gently squeeze away excess water. Avoid rubbing hair!


5. Apply a deep conditioning treatment, such as the Babassu Oil Treatment Hair Mask and finish with a conditioning product, such as the Marula Oil Leave In Conditioner, for an extra dose of nourishment!

Babassu Oil Treatment Hair Masque

The Babassu Deep Treatment Hair Masque is an intensive protein-moisture balanced treatment that applies a restorative formula to the hair, using steam to encourage absorption into the hair shaft. It is jam-packed with Brazilian butter, Tucuma and Murumuru seed butters and revitalising oils to nourish your hair. It’s so rich and gets to work for longer, you only need to apply it once or twice a month.

Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner

The Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner is jam-packed with natural high performing goodness, it can be used on its own without extra oils or butters. Say good-bye to the hassle of LOC or LCO method of conditioning. The Marula oil leave-in is a 3-in-1 as it works as a leave-in, is based on an oil and it’s a cream, saving you time and money.

Post Wash After-Care

Once you’ve washed and de-knotted your hair, it’s time to think about the drying process. From natural, air drying techniques to a diffuser or full blow dry, there are plenty of things to consider if you want to avoid your hair getting so tangled.

Air drying 

  • Firstly, avoid any rough towel drying of your locks as this can cause the hair to become entangled once more and ruin all your previous hard work! 

  • Section hair, then use a microfibre towel and work from root to tip gently squeeze the water out, repeating again. 

  • Wrap hair with a dry microfibre towel or even a cotton T-shirt after this process to absorb excess moisture and then let your tresses air dry. 

Heat drying

If you plan to dry off your do with a hair dryer, firstly invest in one with ionic technology which is much better suited to hair prone to dryness as it is able to lock in moisture resulting in a softer, smoother, knot-free finish.

For a straight style, follow these simple steps, for blow dried, tangle free perfection:


  • Apply a liberal amount of heat protectant spray, and gently brush through with a wide toothed comb.

  • Rough dry the hair on a low heat, by keeping the dryer at least 12 inches from your head, using your fingers to keep hair smooth. Introducing a brush at this stage could cause damage to sensitive wet hair which could lead to broken strands and dryness and encourage knots to reappear.

  • Once hair is 80% dry, start to use a brush. Keep heat low and point the nozzle down as the airflow will ensure hair cuticles lie flat, making your finished style appear shinier and healthier.


For curly hair that isn’t being air dried, use a diffuser attachment to give volume and definition. Start with the base of your hair rather than the ends so as not to dry them out. Use a medium heat and work to get every inch of moisture out to avoid dehydrated, frizzy locks.

Change Up Your Bed Routine

Once you’ve got your tresses dried and styled and it’s time for bed, the last thing you want is your beauty sleep to leave your hair so knotty that you are back to square one! Consider investing in a silk or satin pillowcase, a hair wrap, tying hair with silk scrunchies or even plaiting to ensure that any movement in the land of nod doesn’t re-tangle your soft and shiny mane.

In-between Hair Washes

For a quick hair refresh that ensures your locks stay soft and tangle free in between washes, introduce a mist or spritz into your hair care routine. We love the Rice Water & Green Tea Detangler as it is packed full of nutrients and botanicals to keep your locks hydrated and less prone to knots.

Rice Water and Green Tea Hair Tonic and Detangler

The Rice Water and Green Tea Hair tonic is jam-packed with natural, detangling and hydrating botanicals for refreshing hair daily. It is very effective on gym days when the hair is dried out from sweat so you can feel confident after a workout. The Rice Water and Green Tea hair tonic is also effective when used for detangling hair on wash days to save hours before applying the cleanser. 

Knotty Hair FAQs

What ingredients should I look to avoid when selecting products for knotty hair?

Switching to natural hair products is best when it comes to maintaining healthy looking hair.


Chemical based products that contain ingredients such as sulphates will strip the hair of essential moisture, making it more susceptible to dryness and matting. Look for products with botanical oils such as Sweet Almond Oil, Marula, Black Seed Oil, or Jojoba.

I’ve found a knot developing in my hair! How do I get it out quickly?

Section the hair so that the knot is revealed, spritz with either detangling spray or some water and then use your trusty, wide toothed comb to gently detangle the section in question. Start at the ends and work your way up to the root. 


This method may take some time so patience is necessary but it’s totally worth it to avoid any further, less manageable matting.

How often should I use treatments?

Keep that mane pampered with the right routine and aim to use a hair mask once a week, any more than that and you run the risk of product build up which might in turn cause more knots. 

My hair only gets knotty at the ends, how can I avoid this?

It might be time for a trim! Getting rid of dead ends with a trip to the hairdresser will definitely help reduce knotting as well as give your do a new lease of life!

Final Words

Staying knot free isn’t without some work but by keeping hair hydrated and in good condition, once you adopt these game changing ways, your locks will be transformed and much easier to maintain. Invest in the right tools and products as well as following the steps above to lead you on your way to your soon-to-be, knot-free life!