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Thread: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

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    Question Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    I really need advice from anyone with expertise in this area please.
    I was sick for awhile and neglected my hair and when I went to wash my hair, voila, there was a big matted section in the back of my head that I couldn't get through. I have tried everything, shampoo, conditioner, oil, detangler, treatments, used different combs, brushes etc and I can't make any progress with this. It will loosen up for awhile and then it will harden and tighten up and has the consistency of a hard rock right now. It's hard to get underneath some of the pieces they are matted so tight together. Is there a trick to this? A special tool that exists? It seems to be looser on the bottom but the ends have all mushed together at the top so I can't get any hair out. Cutting it is the last resort although I would be willing to snip strategic pieces to loosen it a little...I have alot of hair...it is fine but there is alot so it wouldn't make a big difference. I am desperate for advice...and yes I have learned my lesson and will take better care of my hair...I just need to resolve this first. Thanks a bunch!

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    Member trillcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleur01 View Post
    I really need advice from anyone with expertise in this area please.
    I was sick for awhile and neglected my hair and when I went to wash my hair, voila, there was a big matted section in the back of my head that I couldn't get through. I have tried everything, shampoo, conditioner, oil, detangler, treatments, used different combs, brushes etc and I can't make any progress with this. It will loosen up for awhile and then it will harden and tighten up and has the consistency of a hard rock right now. It's hard to get underneath some of the pieces they are matted so tight together. Is there a trick to this? A special tool that exists? It seems to be looser on the bottom but the ends have all mushed together at the top so I can't get any hair out. Cutting it is the last resort although I would be willing to snip strategic pieces to loosen it a little...I have alot of hair...it is fine but there is alot so it wouldn't make a big difference. I am desperate for advice...and yes I have learned my lesson and will take better care of my hair...I just need to resolve this first. Thanks a bunch!
    Are you talking about that big back of the nape of neck ball that happens?
    OOoh if so, that is nasty. There is no trick to it I have found, just lots of conditioner and fingers, not combs or brushes, to free the hair. And lots of patience.
    One bad one I had that resulted from a week long bought of just could nto get out of bed to function flu took longer than the flu recovery to untangle. I had to cut some out, it was not fun. I got most out, but, it took a long time, and weird looking hair.

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    Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    I backcombed all of my hair because I wanted to start my dreadlock journey, and a month in I decided I didn't quite yet have what it takes. My head is almost all detangled, and I've just been trying to detangle with my fingers from the bottom up, very gently clawing at it to loosen bits up. As slippery as conditioner is, I've found it's only helped a little bit in the beginning stages.

    I know it makes your hair weaker, but give detangling a try when your hair's wet, if you haven't already. Either way, you're going to get a lot of broken hairs.

    Just keep at it, it should all come out eventually, especially since I doubt you neglected it for a whole month.
    I'm a long-haired-loony-dom convert!
    Dreadlocks began: Dec. 13, 2010 (in the process of combing them out)
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    Member error's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    That is by far the worst dilemma ever it actually has happened to me before I have stick straight tangly hair . About two years back i got into an accident and spent a week in the hospital tossing and turning in pain. This resulted in the godzilla of knots my boyfriend actually picked the knot apart gently with his hands while I was sleeping! So cat is def. right use your hands and lots of conditioner because knots tend to make hair dry and brittle ! aww good luck! let us know what happens!
    hmm i think my next goal is mid thigh :>

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    Easily Enabled pepperminttea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    I get this too, normally if I've been neglectful left my hair in the same braid for a week. Keep at it with conditioner and fingers, maybe some extra virgin olive oil too; put on a movie and work on the knots while you're watching it, something that'll keep you calm so you won't lose patience. You'll get it eventually.

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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    do you have one of those metal teaser picks, something like this, and use the metal part? sometimes you can use them to help loosen up the hairs, or even a toothpick can work. a couple of times I had those type of knots, I tried to loosen out as much hair as possible, and then seem to get to the base....and I usually cut it at that point. Once it looks like most of the hair is just breaking instead of coming lose, it might be best to cut it since having broken hairs will just cause split ends. I know not the best answer, and hopefully others have better ideas, but mines seemed impossible. usually when I'm sick and need to rest in bed for a few days I try to get my hair oiled and buned, it seems to help prevent them.

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    Hiding in plain sight spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    Get a friend or family member to help. It's easier to deal with matts if you can see what you're doing.

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    Doomed to Repeat History Nae's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    Yes, I second having a friend or loved one (preferably a gentle one) help you out so that they can see what they are doing. Tons of condtioner, oil and lots of gentle loosening will hopefully work eventually. Best of luck, keep us updated.
    Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.~Ovid~
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    sorry to hear about your problem. I managed to get a major (fist size) knot on my crown that eventually required cutting it out. before cutting, I gently tugged/pulled strands from the root above the matted ball - since nothing in and below the knot could be saved. I shudder to think back on it. took days to go hair by hair but I was able to save a good portion. best of luck.

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    The Enablinator! GRU's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! I have a big matted knotted ball of hair!

    I'm going to ditto the gals above.

    Use something for lubrication -- a slippery conditioner or oil.

    Use a thin item to try to work little bits out at a time (the tail from a rattail comb works, as does a straightened-out paperclip).

    Most of all, BE PATIENT! That matted area didn't get there in an hour, it's going to take more than an hour to get it all out!

    A friend of mine was on bedrest for premature labor several years ago, and I went to the hospital and got one of those snarled masses out for her (then I braided her hair in pigtails so her hair was pulled to the side for the rest of her hospitalization).

    If you can get someone else to work on it for you, that would be best. If not, just try to do SMALL areas, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Do it while you're watching tv or listening to music, and give yourself breaks on a regular basis.

    Just celebrate your small successes... enough small ones added together make for one big success!

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