Our sec­ond fea­ture is from Elle. Be sure to check out our first fea­ture from Chin­we.

When I had a TWA, I didn’t real­ly think too much about my ends knot­ting, tan­gling or break­ing. Detan­gling was a breeze and since my hair wasn’t rub­bing on any­thing, I didn’t think fric­tion was an issue. How­ev­er, when my hair start­ed to hang, I found my detan­gling ses­sions becom­ing more dif­fi­cult and my wash and gos seemed to tan­gle more eas­i­ly (I’ve main­ly worn wash and gos through­out my hair jour­ney). I attribute this to the fact that I didn’t apply my prod­uct in sec­tions (I was all about the quick and dirty wash and go) and a lack of hold from a lot of my prod­ucts — at the time, I real­ly liked con­di­tion­er-only wash and gos.
Some­thing had to change, because there was no way I was going to spend hours detan­gling my hair and I feared that my length reten­tion would be affect­ed. I thought of rea­sons my hair could be act­ing dif­fer­ent­ly, and well, at the end of the day, there was a lot more of it, giv­ing it the oppor­tu­ni­ty to knot and tan­gle around itself with­out prop­er care. Even though I have fair­ly coarse hair tan­gling was still an issue, espe­cial­ly due to the den­si­ty of my hair. If I applied prod­uct in two sec­tions only, it wasn’t reach­ing a large bulk of my mane. So, I start­ed wash­ing and styling my wash and go in sec­tions to help ensure that my prod­uct was dis­trib­uted even­ly, regard­less if it was my leave-in con­di­tion­er or gel. For more infor­ma­tion on min­i­miz­ing tan­gles when you wash and go, check out this vin­tage QFTPC video:

Addi­tion­al­ly, I start­ed using oils, or even bet­ter, heavy mois­tur­iz­ers on my ends to fin­ish off a styling ses­sion (wet hair with oil applied above). Since my hair is low poros­i­ty, I’ve nev­er been incred­i­bly wor­ried about seal­ing in mois­ture (which is a prin­ci­ple up for debate any­way), but hair rub­bing against all sorts of things, espe­cial­ly your clothes, will cause tan­gles, break­ing, and sin­gle strand knots. So the oil or mois­tur­iz­er (which is water-based but usu­al­ly also oil heavy) pro­vides a pro­tec­tive lay­er from fric­tion. Using a mois­tur­iz­er instead of an oil will also keep your hair soft and pli­able, which makes it less like­ly to knot around itself. If you want to take it a step fur­ther, you can mix an essen­tial oil that is said to strength­en ends, like rose­mary oil, with your prod­uct to ampli­fy the ben­e­fits.


But even today, I some­times mess up, main­ly with sleep­ing. I usu­al­ly wear a Sue Maes­ta (a braid cylin­der will also work) hood to bed, which keeps my hair from rub­bing against my pil­low­case every which way while I’m sleep­ing. If I fall asleep, espe­cial­ly with a light hold wash and go wild and free…in the morn­ing, I just want to cry when I feel my ends! Even putting it in a bun or pineap­ple (pic­tured above) is bet­ter than wear­ing it out. When I use a heav­ier gel with more hold, it’s not as bad, but I’d still pre­fer to pre­vent it alto­geth­er.

Even with these tips, it’s still nec­es­sary to trim your hair peri­od­i­cal­ly to pre­vent knot­ting. I don’t even mean every four months like clock­work, but if you start get­ting more knots or tan­gles, or have trou­ble keep­ing your ends mois­tur­ized, it may be time to let those cou­ple of inch­es go. Health­i­er hair will always tan­gle less than dry, dam­aged hair.

What are some of your tips for pre­vent­ing knots and tan­gles on your ends?


Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­ur­al hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

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5 Comments on "How I Keep My Ends from Tangling, Knotting and Breaking Pt. 2 Elle’s Advice"

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Natural Power of Her

This is so true when i would do my twist outs i use to won­der why the back of my hair would get into these huge knots that i would have to cut. Using but­ters with whipped shea but­ter or aloe vera gave my hair mois­ture and life. What kind of prod­ucts do peo­ple use to pre­vent detan­gles?


I use she­abut­ter as well. I would also wear 2 small twist or medi­um size braids at the nape areas if I plan on wear­ing my hair down dai­ly. This pre­vents those knots and tan­gles in the back and since my hair is thick it cov­ers the twist but I don’t mind if it’s notice­able.

Natural Power of Her

That is so smart than you. You just saved me from hav­ing to cut those hor­ri­ble knots. I use to get so frus­trat­ed .thanks her­lu­cid­sky

My biggest tip: find out what real­ly caus­es your knots and tan­gles in the first place. The culprit(s) might sur­prise you.  Here are my worst offend­ers: 1. Prod­ucts that lift my hair cuti­cle wide open.  My hair is medi­um to low poros­i­ty, with 2 small high-poros­i­ty patch­es. It’s also medi­um to fine tex­tured. I hadn’t expe­ri­enced lots of sin­gle-strand knots (not since I tran­si­tioned 10 years ago) until ear­li­er this year, when I tried SheaMoisture’s Manu­ka Hon­ey con­di­tion­er. It left my hair sooo soft—but SOOO tan­gled once it had dried. The next time I used it, I focused on lock­ing cuti­cles back… Read more »

I had a tan­gled mess this week­end. I took out some mini twist and I detan­gled every step of the way. It was so frus­trat­ing.