How To Get Smooth Hair: Nice, Not Knotty!

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We all want beautiful, silky-smooth hair. Unfortunately for most of us, though, knots and tangles are an inevitable part of life. But you don’t have to give up on your dreams of Disney princess hair! Well, maybe that’s a tad unrealistic. Still, you can have gorgeous, knot-free hair! All it takes is some TLC to get those pesky knots out. And with a few tips on how to prevent them altogether, your hair will be looking better than ever.

What Causes Knots In Hair?   

Girl with strand of hair falling.

Hydrate your hair for knot-free living.

You may have noticed that certain types of hair seem to be more prone to knots and tangles than others. But what is it that actually causes your hair to knot?

Tangles are caused by the exterior layer of your hair, which is known as the cuticle, getting damaged. This means that instead of laying flat and closed, your cuticles are open and get caught on each other, causing knots.

Another way that tangles are caused is by your hair not being sufficiently hydrated. Always make sure to keep your hair properly hydrated by using the right shampoos, conditioners and hair care products for your specific type of hair.

Top 3 Ways To Undo Knots In Hair

1. Undoing Knots While Brushing

Woman brushing hair while looking in the mirror.

Brushing your hair the right way can help keep it smooth.

My friend, whose hair is even curlier than mine, once sent me a picture of a person with frizzy hair sticking out for miles. The caption for the picture was something along the lines of “When people ask me why I don’t brush my hair….this is why.”

I laughed at that, because I could totally relate. If you have hair that is prone to knotting, you might be hesitant about brushing it. And understandably so. But it is important to brush your hair on a regular basis in order to remove all kinds of nasty stuff that would otherwise take up residence on your scalp.

If you have knots in your hair and you don’t want to end up looking like a frizz-ball, try applying a small amount of silicone-based serum to your hair before brushing it. This will help the brush go through your hair more easily, which will help detangle your tresses. Otherwise, you can opt to use a regular detangler. Start from the ends of your hair and work your way up, then brush out your hair gently.

2. Undoing Knots Caused By Products

Olive oil being poured into glass bowl.

Olive oil can help smooth your hair.

Yes, you use products to make your hair better. Sometimes, though, you may have applied more product than intended, especially when it comes to hairspray. It’s so easy to spray too much or to spray too close to your hair. This can often lead to unwanted tangles.

If that’s the case, your best bet is probably a bit of oil. Use a natural oil, such as argan oil or olive oil, or a serum, and apply it around halfway down your hair. You don’t want your roots to look like an oil bath. Work the oil through your hair until the tips, and then brush it gently. The oil will break down the product and help add moisture to your hair, making it softer and more manageable.

3. Undoing Knots In Wet Hair

Woman adjusting wet hair.

Wet hair doesn’t have to be knotty.

I love swimming. It’s one of the most enjoyable and effective forms of exercise, and almost nothing beats a cold pool on a boiling hot day. Or a warm, indoor, heated pool on a chilly winter night, for that matter. Unfortunately, though, I really struggle after I’ve been swimming. And my struggles come in the form of completely unmanageable, knotty hair. Forget trying to brush through my chlorine-infused tangles – you’d probably just end up breaking either the brush or your wrist.

But obviously, I can’t just walk around with knotted hair for the rest of the summer every time I go swimming, right? If wet, knotty hair is your struggle, apply a good conditioner and use a wide-toothed comb to work it through your tangles. When drying your hair, blot or squeeze it dry rather than rubbing it. Rubbing your hair dry can cause it to tangle, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid here.

How To Prevent Knots In Hair

But as the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This rings true when it comes to knots in your hair as well. I mean, rather than having to deal with knots, it’s even better to prevent them in the first place, right?

Change Your Hairstyle

Back of girl with her hair in a bun.

Shake up your hairstyle to reduce knotting.

As a teenager, I was always known as “the girl with the bun on top of her head”.  My hair was (well, is) curly, thick, and super frizzy, so the easiest way to keep it off of my face and neck and not have to worry about knots was to stuff it into a bun and forget about it. (Actually, when people whom I met as a teenager see me now, they almost always say to me, “Hey, I remember you! You were the one with the big bun on top of your head!” Yup, that was me, folks.)

I’ve since learned, though, that having the same hairdo day in, day out, was actually contributing to my knots and tangles. When you tie your hair in the same place all the time, it causes stress to your hair. Over time, this can build up and cause hair damage – which you might recognize as knots. So, do yourself a favor and have a few different hairstyles for every day. It’s also best to use a scrunchie that’s covered in material, as these types are softer on your hair than elastic hair ties.

Sleep With Your Hair In Mind

If your hair is anything like mine, then you have probably realized by now that sleeping with your hair tied up rather than all out makes for less knots in the morning. To avoid ‘pony marks’, tie your hair literally on top of your head – right near your forehead. You might look a little weird in your sleep, but it’s worth it for gorgeous hair the next day.

Also, while cotton may be cheaper, silk pillowcases are best for hair that is prone to tangling. You may just find it to be a worthwhile investment if it saves you half an hour in the morning brushing out those tangles.   

Condition, Condition, Condition!

Back of woman running fingers through the back of her hair.

A good conditioner is important for your hair.

Yes, knotty hair is all about conditioner, people. Make sure you’re using a good quality conditioner, and use it regularly (at least every time you shampoo) to keep the knots at bay. Take care to condition the ends of your hair to keep them healthy and strong. A leave-in or deep conditioning once a week is also a great idea for keeping moisture in your hair and preventing tangles.

Use A Hair Mask

Besides helping to detangle your hair, a weekly hair mask will also help it become shiny and silky and even help it to grow faster. It’s not a huge amount of effort, and it’ll give you some downtime to relax while your hair soaks in all the goodness.

Why not try our Avocado Oil Natural Hair Mask? After you apply it to your hair, leave it under a shower cap to sit. Run yourself a hot bath, turn on some soft music, and just let yourself be. Besides helping to condition your hair and prevent knots, you’re also unwinding and releasing your stress. Win-win!

Brush Those Locks

If your hair is super prone to frizzing (which generally comes along with knotty hair, unfortunately), you may be tempted to skip brushing. Don’t, though! Use a wide-toothed comb to get rid of knots, and brush gently and regularly to achieve (almost) tangle-free hair.

Go Easy On The Heat

Girl sitting at beach and raising hand.

Let your hair dry naturally.

Consistent heat is one of the main causes of hair damage – and one of the ways hair damage manifests itself is in the form of dry, knotty hair. When you come out the shower, be sure to squeeze and blot out (don’t rub) as much water as you can from your hair. Your hair will be less wet and will therefore need less time under your blow dryer. If you have the time, it’s better to let your hair air-dry, rather than subjecting it to direct heat so often. Also, try lowering the heat settings on your appliances, so your hair isn’t getting literally fried.


Knots are knot a life sentence! True, you might have to get used to some new hairstyles or pillowcases, or find ways to style your hair without subjecting it to heat all the time. But in the end, you only stand to gain. Because healthier, shinier hair is not something that just happens. With a little effort on your part, your knotty struggle can become a thing of the past.