I ended my long-term transition to natural at 17 months post relaxer; this was back in June 2014. I would be lying if I said that it was a challenge to deal with my natural hair immediately because it was not. My biggest challenge was Knots and tangles! I had these bad guys literally everywhere! There were hundreds of them all over my hair and it was just frustrating. Seeing that this was an issue for me I shared a post explaining my ordeal with knots and you ladies were so awesome in giving me tips which really helped me to reduce those knots. With the tips I got as well as my own research and experiences I managed to reduce the knots by 90%.
1. Wash and go´s
Before going natural I always dreamt of wearing a wash and go and of course after going natural this was the first hairstyle I tried out and truly loved, however I came to realise that with this hairstyle my hair also developed countless knots. Due to the serious shrinkage that occurs as the hair dries up, kinky hair tends to curl up in itself and loop around itself causing knots.
I decided to avoid this hairstyle until recently when I discovered that a wash and go could be kept knot and tangle free by doing conditioner washes every other day and properly detangling the hair. The only problem with this is that the process is time consuming and because of this I will continue to avoid wash and go´s.
2. Split ends.
Stubborn knots should be cut with a pair of scissors and not pulled out or snapped at simply because this will lead to split ends. I had to learn this the hard way.
3. Detangling, moisturizing and sealing
Moisturized hair keeps the hair soft and manageable which makes it easier to detangle. Detangled hair is less like to knot.
4. Stretching natural hair.
Keeping natural hair stretched will keep knots away and will definitely help with length retention because you will not need to trim your hair often. There are several ways to get stretched hair which include, twisting, African threading, braid outs, all sorts of rod sets and blow drying. My technique of choice is twisting. After washing and conditioning my hair I keep my hair in twists and eventually moisturize, seal in the moisture with an oil then I proceed to finger detangle my hair carefully smoothing it out and stretching out the curls with my finger. If you would like a video tutorial on this technique please leave a comment below.
5. Sectioning hair.
I don’t always section my hair but I know that working in smaller sections make detangling much easier than working with a huge section at once.
Combing or finger detangling your hair from the roots towards the ends is a sure way of creating tangles and knots. Avoid this at all costs.
7. Protective styling and low manipulation
Protective styles that keep your hair stretched are a great way to avoid knots and tangles. Braids and cornrows are great for this but you need to make sure that they are done correctly and not too tight.