Many people go to a hair stylist to get their hair braided, and it is common for them to wear that style for weeks or months.
When the time comes to redo the braids or change the hairstyle altogether, removing the knots, straightening the hair, and cleaning it may take hours. It consumes a lot of time. (1)
According to researchers and experts, the process of knot removal from the braids requires a conditioner, stylist comb, braid removal tool, oil, and your fingertips.
Read below to know more about knot removal from the hair after braiding.
How to Remove Knots From the Hair After Braiding?
You can remove knots from your hair after braiding by using the following.
1. Using a conditioner
Conditioners are best for detangling hair, reducing friction, minimizing frizz, and improving combability. (2) Thus, they can be used for knot removal from braids as it makes the hair easier to untangle.
Use a conditioner designed particularly for knot removal after braiding as it makes the hair soft and slick for easy knot removal. (3)
- Wet your hair thoroughly.
- Apply conditioner to your hair and leave it on a tangled braid or knot for about 10 minutes to restore moisture to the hair, lock the cuticles, and de-stress the hair.
- Comb the strands out of the knot by using a pick or a wide-teeth comb. Start from the bottom of the knot. Gradually move up only after clearing the tangles from the bottom of the knot.
- Be patient; it may take some time, but the conditioner will lubricate the strands of the hair and efficiently open the knot.
- Repeat the process, this time with a fine-toothed comb, for the tangles and knots to be completely gone. (4)(5)
2. Using your fingers
A lot of people braid, unbraid, and remove hair knots by themselves. The fingertips are the most popular tool for doing so.
However, when using your fingertips to remove braids, you can work only on one braid at a time.
After the removal of braids, you need to comb out the remaining knots and tangles. (6)
- Unbraid your hair gently from the bottom and all the way up.
- Wet your hair with water by using either a spray bottle or your hands.
- With the help of your fingers, gently split the strands and loosen the knots.
- As you detangle the bottom section of the hair, move up the strands and continue removing knots until you’ve reached the peak of your hair.
- Repeat this process until there are no knots visible in your hair.
3. Using hair oils
Almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, fenugreek oil, sesame oil, and other hair oils are helpful in detangling your hair and removing knots from braids as they have moisturizing properties that close in the moisture.
According to researchers, coconut oil increases the slip between the hair strands, smoothens and flattens the surface of the cuticle, detangles the hair, improves the overall appearance and health of the strands, and removes knots from braided hair. (7)
- Apply oil to your tangled braids or knots in small amounts, and leave it on for 5–10 minutes to restore hair moisture, loosen the knots, and soften the hair.
- Starting from the bottom of the knot, comb out the strands and knots using a pick or wide-toothed comb. Move up after clearing out the tangles at the bottom.
- Using a fine-toothed comb, repeat the process until all the tangles or knots are completely gone.
4. Using a braid removal tool
A braid removal tool is a device used for the easy removal of knots from braids. It consists of a comb containing a tab, a hook, at least two prongs, and a strap.
The strap is used to attach the comb to your thumb. The pointed parts are used to detach the knots from the braids.
You can wear this tool on the thumb of your hand to hold the braids easily. It allows you to comb your hair with the other hand without hurting your head. (6)
- Hold a part of your unbraided hair with your index finger and a comb. Use the pointed parts of the braid removal tool to pull the knots out.
- Comb the knots at the end of the hair in a downward motion.
- Repeat the process to completely remove the knots from the braids. (6)
Drawbacks of Using a Styling Comb and Your Fingertips to Remove Knots From Braided Hair
- Using it is time consuming and can make you tired and lose control. It can cause injury and can lead to hair breakage.
- A comb that is not powerfully built can break.
- Sometimes, the braid is so tight, making it impossible for the comb to penetrate through. Then, you may need to use a toothpick, which is not meant to be used on the hair. (1)
- Numbness and cramps can develop in the fingers.
- The knot removal process can cause damage to long fingernails.
How to Look After Your Hair Following Braid Removal
Take care of your hair in the following ways:
- Use your fingertips to detangle your hair instead of a brush.
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo to gently wash and cleanse your hair and scalp after removing the braids as both hair and scalp can be rather oily and greasy after a braid removal.
- Conditioning your hair thoroughly is imperative and must be an important step in your hair care routine.
- Trim your tresses if needed.
Does braiding encourage hair growth?
Unfortunately, no, braiding your hair does not speed up the process of hair growth. The rate of hair growth depends on certain factors such as lifestyle, diet, genetics, and stress levels. Your hair growth is not determined by your hairstyle.
However, braiding can protect your hair from damage and breakage while strengthening its structure.
For how long can I leave my hair braided?
According to experts, braids can last between 2 and 8 weeks, depending on how you wear them and the kind of braid you have. You must cleanse them thoroughly every 2–3 weeks.
Braids act as a shield to protect your delicate hair from breakage and damage while keeping a stylish look. Hence, they are referred to as protective hairstyles.
Along with providing protection, they require low maintenance and are easy to manage. However, braid removal is a time consuming process and requires patience.
- US6095154A – tool for the removal of braids in hair. Google Patents. https://patents.google.com/patent/US6095154A/en.
- Gavazzoni Dias MFR. Hair cosmetics: An overview. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/. Published 2015.
- Core.ac.uk. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/145044658.pdf.
- Tanus A, Oliveira CCC, Villarreal DJV, Sanchez FAV, Dias MFRG. Black women’s hair: The main scalp dermatoses and aesthetic practices in women of African ethnicity. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4560533/. Published 2015.
- Mumcuoglu KY, Pollack RJ, Reed DL, et al. International recommendations for an effective control of head louse infestations. International journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7984059/. Published March 2021.
- US6021783A – Braid Removal Tool. Google Patents. https://patents.google.com/patent/US6021783A/en.
- Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisited. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9231528/. Published 2022.