Why Is My Hair So Knotty All Of A Sudden? Pro Hacks To Getting Them Out
Tangled, knotty hair can make hairstyling totally unmanageable and leave you wondering how to get the knots out of your hair fast. Whilst it’s a solvable problem, it helps to understand what’s causing the knots first.
The main reason - Dryness
The main reason for knotted hair is typically dryness. Matted tresses occur when the hair doesn’t have enough moisture.
Your hair will need washing and conditioning more frequently to deal with this. Using a detangling product is a great way to support your hair care regime. Factors that cause hair dryness range from: harsh, chemical based haircare products to styling with heat and the hardness of your shower water, even lifestyle choices such as poor diet and a decreased water intake can affect your luscious locks! Keep reading to get to the crux of what's causing your hair to become dry and knotted.
Why Is My Hair So Tangled After Washing?
Hair is at its weakest when wet, making it more prone to entanglements. 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. These can result from issues like your hair being tangled during the washing process if you are using sulfate based shampoos and conditioners, there is a lack of brushing whilst washing and if you are in a hard water area.
Here is a quick deep dive into each one of these knotty booby traps you should look out for when washing your hair.
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.
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 knots and minimises the risk of breakages. Once the bigger knots are tackled, gently work through with a wide toothed comb for a smooth finish post shower.
What Lifestyle Factors Cause 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.
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!
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!
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 Hair Detangler to the scalp and massage it with finger pads. Repeat for all sections.
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!
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Knotty Hair FAQs
What ingredients should I look to avoid when selecting products for knotty hair?
Equi Botanics firmly believes that natural hair products are best when it comes to maintaining healthy looking hair.
Anything sulfate based is going to strip the hair of essential moisture leaving it far more susceptible to dryness and matting. We replace these damaging chemicals with botanical oils. For example our Hair Detangler & Cleanser has a coconut derived formula with Sweet Almond and Lavender which not only stimulates hair growth but also provides a far more relaxing shower experience!
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!
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!