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blackgothicdoll
November 15th, 2018, 06:29 PM
I get ssks on my ends, in the middle of my strands, on my strands around the perimeter of my hair that are only a couple of inches long, all the way up to an inch or so from the roots *takes a deep breath*

Why am I getting so many ssks? I would ignore them but they create week points where the hairs eventually snap. Most of the time that I see broken hairs, there is a knot at the top of the hair. I also see knots with splits, where a hair broke off and fractured.

I do not ever wear wash and goes. The closest I do is put my wet hair in a bun with a donut. Other than that, my hair is never left to air dry loose, only ever in braids, in a bun or in flat twists. I detangle my hair in the shower with a detangling brush and conditioner. When my hair is dry, I may go through it again with a denman or a wooden brush to put it in a different style.

I search and destroy, blink, and they're back. So many. Everywhere. Please help.

lucid
November 15th, 2018, 06:49 PM
What does ssks stand for?

Maybe you need more slip? The only times I've gotten fairy knots were windy days when I wore my hair loose and especially if I hadn't used a coney conditioner.

It sounds super frustrating what you're dealing with. I hope you find something that helps!

Edit: Single strand knots right? Just had a lightbulb moment trying to sleep :p

lithostoic
November 15th, 2018, 08:36 PM
I would say it's the dry brushing. I dislike brushing my hair dry for this reason. The strand might snag slightly because of the angle and bounce back up, where it entwines itself. In my experience anyway!

Larke
November 15th, 2018, 09:55 PM
I'm sorry you're having this problem. :( I've started finding some in my hair lately too. I dry brush a lot, maybe that's a contributing factor?

YvetteVarie
November 16th, 2018, 02:12 AM
Have you ever tried to use shea butter? EVer since I started using shea butter my ssks have been reduced, and I have less knotting. My hair has always loved heavy oils/butters and thrives when I use those

lapushka
November 16th, 2018, 04:58 AM
lucid, ssk = single strand knots.

Maybe more moisture will solve a lot of your issues! I think it is your hair crying out for moisture.

What's your routine like?

blackgothicdoll
November 16th, 2018, 08:11 AM
Have you ever tried to use shea butter? EVer since I started using shea butter my ssks have been reduced, and I have less knotting. My hair has always loved heavy oils/butters and thrives when I use those

I do use shea butter, I just put a little bit on the last few inches of my hair. How do you usually use it?


lucid, ssk = single strand knots.

Maybe more moisture will solve a lot of your issues! I think it is your hair crying out for moisture.

What's your routine like?

I'm still working on my routine. I wash once or twice a week. Once a week I do a hot oil treatment, followed by a shampoo and a hair mask. After rising out the hair mask, I apply a leave in or a detangler first, use the denman to detangle in sections and add an oil after detangling. I'll either braid up the sections and let it dry overnight, or just stick my hair in a bun. When I wash in the middle of the week I either just cowash or use a light shampoo and conditioner, skip the hair mask and apply product the same way as stated before.

I think that's pretty much it.

ETA: In between washes, I either brush dry hair with a denman or a wooden brush, or spray it with water and then use a brush just as needed to restyle it. That could be a problem too, as lithostoic mentioned.

lapushka
November 16th, 2018, 09:34 AM
I'm still working on my routine. I wash once or twice a week. Once a week I do a hot oil treatment, followed by a shampoo and a hair mask. After rising out the hair mask, I apply a leave in or a detangler first, use the denman to detangle in sections and add an oil after detangling. I'll either braid up the sections and let it dry overnight, or just stick my hair in a bun. When I wash in the middle of the week I either just cowash or use a light shampoo and conditioner, skip the hair mask and apply product the same way as stated before.

I think that's pretty much it.

ETA: In between washes, I either brush dry hair with a denman or a wooden brush, or spray it with water and then use a brush just as needed to restyle it. That could be a problem too, as lithostoic mentioned.

I think you could use more moisture than that. Maybe try and up the oil and DC (deep conditioner) to twice a week. Maybe try the LOC/LCO method (see signature) to seal in moisture after the wash. It might work. And try and refresh as little as possible; if you can pineapple that would be awesome to keep your style.

blackgothicdoll
November 16th, 2018, 11:12 AM
I think you could use more moisture than that. Maybe try and up the oil and DC (deep conditioner) to twice a week. Maybe try the LOC/LCO method (see signature) to seal in moisture after the wash. It might work. And try and refresh as little as possible; if you can pineapple that would be awesome to keep your style.

I think I have been using LOC/LCO - detangler is usually liquid, then a creamy type styler, then an oil, and a bit of shea butter on the ends. I'll try DCing twice instead of once.

So I don't wear my hair curly at all, so pineapples aren't something that I can do. It is in a bun or in dutch braids, in both these styles I brush my hair down before styling and that mostly removed the curls. I find that I have to redo either of these styles every day, as it gets frizzy by the end of the day or overnight. I still haven't figured out a lasting style that doesn't need to be redone the next morning.

lapushka
November 16th, 2018, 12:57 PM
I think I have been using LOC/LCO - detangler is usually liquid, then a creamy type styler, then an oil, and a bit of shea butter on the ends. I'll try DCing twice instead of once.

So I don't wear my hair curly at all, so pineapples aren't something that I can do. It is in a bun or in dutch braids, in both these styles I brush my hair down before styling and that mostly removed the curls. I find that I have to redo either of these styles every day, as it gets frizzy by the end of the day or overnight. I still haven't figured out a lasting style that doesn't need to be redone the next morning.

Oh OK, must have read over that then, I'm sorry. :)

Oh I had no idea you didn't wear it curly. Yeah, I guess then the pineapple is out.

JennGalt
November 16th, 2018, 03:40 PM
I found that a light protective coating like YvetteVarie described is very helpful. An uptick in SSKs for me usually means that my protein-moisture balance is off somehow. I noticed a sharp increase after I began deep conditioning more often and using store bought products designed to moisturize; for me, this means either I have to use coconut milk or I need something with a decent amount of protein in it. Keeping my hair in a stretched state helps too, and I also think dry brushing is asking for trouble.

I know my hair type is mostly 3ish, but I tend to benefit more from haircare products and techniques generally meant for type 4s.

AutobotsAttack
November 16th, 2018, 04:44 PM
I made a post about having the same issues not too long ago.

Do you know if itís shed hairs that are causing the issue? You and I have the same hair type so Iím wondering if perhaps youíre not catching all the shed hairs and theyíre just tangling any and everywhere

blackgothicdoll
November 17th, 2018, 05:55 PM
I found that a light protective coating like YvetteVarie described is very helpful. An uptick in SSKs for me usually means that my protein-moisture balance is off somehow. I noticed a sharp increase after I began deep conditioning more often and using store bought products designed to moisturize; for me, this means either I have to use coconut milk or I need something with a decent amount of protein in it. Keeping my hair in a stretched state helps too, and I also think dry brushing is asking for trouble.

I know my hair type is mostly 3ish, but I tend to benefit more from haircare products and techniques generally meant for type 4s.


Hmm, I basically never use protein, it tends to make my hair very dry. That's another on the dry brushing, so I'm going to try to stop doing this and thinking of some other ways to stretch my hair.


I made a post about having the same issues not too long ago.

Do you know if it’s shed hairs that are causing the issue? You and I have the same hair type so I’m wondering if perhaps you’re not catching all the shed hairs and they’re just tangling any and everywhere

Only a small percentage of the knots involve shed hairs. Every here and again I'll see them catching on their way down, but the larger percentage occur on my ends and around the perimeter of my hair.

YvetteVarie
November 18th, 2018, 02:33 AM
I do use shea butter, I just put a little bit on the last few inches of my hair. How do you usually use it?


I use it quite heavily compared to you, I think. I use it to seal in moisture after washing my hair or when I moisturize and seal mid week. I also use it when styling my hair, it helps with taming flyaways

blackgothicdoll
November 10th, 2019, 08:26 PM
I've had a huge increase in knots. I had May be a couple of weeks that I experimented with new products and styles and now it's just..so many knots. I think at least 1/4 of my strands have knots. I've been s&ding like crazy but they aren't just at the ends, they happen in the middle of the strands too. I feel like a little bit of fun shouldn't completely ruin my hair, but that seems to be the case.

It feels like Velcro towards the ends with all the knots. I can't imagine how much I would need to cut to get them all out. I don't know what to do!?

CuteCrow
November 11th, 2019, 12:41 AM
If I remember correctly you were still transitioning? That's a big factor, the two textures probably are causing most of the trouble as the cuticles are probably different porosity, velcro hair is a high indicator of high porosity, have you tried applying protein just to your ends? That may help close the cuticle and lease the knots. Also, do you finger detangle before using the comb? Using a comb straight away can tighten the knots that could otherwise have been unknotted. I would try detangling before and after shampooing too, most knots happen while sleeping or washing. Hope it helps

BerrySara
November 11th, 2019, 10:00 AM
I will say for me (not 4a hair though) I generally get more fairy knots after strengthening treatments when my moisture balance is off. I get them around the neck line the worst but I do get them randomly at various places, typically knotted at the ends.

I noticed when I was experimenting with henna and other Ayurvedic treatments (Sedr, Amla, Bhringraj, cassia etc) I was getting a lot more of them. It was driving me a little nuts. Since I took an extended break from those treatments (~1.5 months) and went heavy on moisture treatments it seems to have helped as I haven't had nearly as many since. Truly. I just avoided any conditioners with protein in them (harder than I thought) and just did moisture rich treatments like SMT for weeks on end until it came back to a softer state.

Do you use Ayurvedic treatments still like henna and indigo? Might be it needs a break and lots of moisture focused treatments for a while.

Another thing I do when my hair is too dry (and I cant wash my hair just yet), I will add Nightblooming's Panacea's Hair Salve on the strands that typically knot more (neck line) and that carries me through for a few days until I can wash again.

Can I completely avoid them? Nope...

I also remember reading from the Curl Doctor (https://www.instagram.com/shaiamiel/?hl=en) that it is typically a sign that your ends are getting too grabby and its time for a trim. But I take that with a grain of salt as he cuts hair for a living..:shrug:

blackgothicdoll
November 11th, 2019, 11:02 AM
I will say for me (not 4a hair though) I generally get more fairy knots after strengthening treatments when my moisture balance is off. I get them around the neck line the worst but I do get them randomly at various places, typically knotted at the ends.

I noticed when I was experimenting with henna and other Ayurvedic treatments (Sedr, Amla, Bhringraj, cassia etc) I was getting a lot more of them. It was driving me a little nuts. Since I took an extended break from those treatments (~1.5 months) and went heavy on moisture treatments it seems to have helped as I haven't had nearly as many since. Truly. I just avoided any conditioners with protein in them (harder than I thought) and just did moisture rich treatments like SMT for weeks on end until it came back to a softer state.

Do you use Ayurvedic treatments still like henna and indigo? Might be it needs a break and lots of moisture focused treatments for a while.

Another thing I do when my hair is too dry (and I cant wash my hair just yet), I will add Nightblooming's Panacea's Hair Salve on the strands that typically knot more (neck line) and that carries me through for a few days until I can wash again.

Can I completely avoid them? Nope...

I also remember reading from the Curl Doctor (https://www.instagram.com/shaiamiel/?hl=en) that it is typically a sign that your ends are getting too grabby and its time for a trim. But I take that with a grain of salt as he cuts hair for a living..:shrug:

Ahh, yes I had been using henna and indigo. I only did one two step followed by a solo indigo application, but I think that was all within the month. In addition, some of my routine masks have hydrolyzed wheat protein. I never considered them protein treatments since it is toward the end of the ingredient list, but it might not be helping with moisture.

I microtrim every three months, my last trim was 1.5 months ago and it was a full trim of almost 3 inches. I only got the longest layer there, but that's part of the reason I don't want to trim again so soon. I'm definitely going to end up stuck at this length if I do. At the same time, I'm seeing an increase in splits as well so I might not have a choice.

Does that mean I should avoid ayurvedic treatments after trimming to prevent this from happening again?

BerrySara
November 11th, 2019, 04:54 PM
Ahh, yes I had been using henna and indigo. I only did one two step followed by a solo indigo application, but I think that was all within the month. In addition, some of my routine masks have hydrolyzed wheat protein. I never considered them protein treatments since it is toward the end of the ingredient list, but it might not be helping with moisture.

I microtrim every three months, my last trim was 1.5 months ago and it was a full trim of almost 3 inches. I only got the longest layer there, but that's part of the reason I don't want to trim again so soon. I'm definitely going to end up stuck at this length if I do. At the same time, I'm seeing an increase in splits as well so I might not have a choice.

Does that mean I should avoid ayurvedic treatments after trimming to prevent this from happening again?

I really don't know the answer to that, its really hard to say as things really do vary from one person to the next. Personally I do not plan to stop Ayurveda treatments - I just plan to space the treatments out more with months in between. Followed by weeks of moisture treatments to balance out the dryness I tend to experience from those treatments. For me, the dryness I was experiencing from the treatments were causing an increase in fairy knots.

blackgothicdoll
January 21st, 2020, 01:03 PM
If I remember correctly you were still transitioning? That's a big factor, the two textures probably are causing most of the trouble as the cuticles are probably different porosity, velcro hair is a high indicator of high porosity, have you tried applying protein just to your ends? That may help close the cuticle and lease the knots. Also, do you finger detangle before using the comb? Using a comb straight away can tighten the knots that could otherwise have been unknotted. I would try detangling before and after shampooing too, most knots happen while sleeping or washing. Hope it helps

I forgot to reply here for some reason. I am not transitioning per say (the term typically used for growing out a relaxer). I am growing out heat and chemical damage from dyes, which emulates transitioning because I have parts of hair that are not all the same texture, or even thickness. I'll update on how that's coming along in a separate thread, but in essence I have inches of hair that are straight, wavy, or spirally in comparison to my natural texture which is super tight wave/curls.

That being said, I definitely notice differences in porosity, color, behavior, and so on. I haven't tried protein on just my ends, I'm not sure what that would do for knots? But I have a ton of splitting lately so maybe it can help with that...

Lately, I've been finger detangling with conditioner prior to shampoo (CWC). It is a PITA because I wash once a week and so much shed hair comes out, but I really can't tell if it's helping or not. All I've noticed lately is my knots are now being accompanied by splits, which seems way worse. :( I wonder if my damaged hair has just given up. I want to gradually trim it off but maybe it's time to actually chop it? God I hope not.

YvetteVarie
January 21st, 2020, 11:58 PM
I had replied on your other thread, but will just state what I said there again. There is a point where damaged ends just give up on life and either disintegrate or become a bloody nuisance. The only solution at such a point is to trim. That is the most annoying part about transitioning unfortunately. But the silver lining is you'll be left with extremely healthy ends that can survive wear and tear for ages