Bantu Knots are a fun and gorgeous hairstyle that works well on every type of hair but they are particularly popular on short natural African-American hair. The first thing to know is that they are not actually knots but rather coiled buns that resemble stacked tires. When you remove the coiled buns you will have gorgeous and springy corkscrew rope style buns that can easily be separated and styled with your fingers. This is a great way to style your short hair without damaging it with heat. Bantu knots are ideal for ladies who are transitioning back to their natural hair and need to blend their roots with relaxed ends.
Things You Need
- First you will need to collect your supplies including:
- Hair Water Spray Bottle (optional)
- Shampoo and Conditioner (leave-in or wash-out)
- Hair clips
- Oil (olive, coconut, argan, etc.) or Anti-frizz serum
- Afro Pick or Rattail comb
1. Wash Your Hair
It’s important that you have a clean scalp before you start because the Bantu knots will leave your scalp exposed for a period of time. If there is build up, dandruff or dirt on your scalp than it can take away from the volume and glam of the Bantu knot curls. You don’t need a special shampoo, your regular hair care products are fine but a cleansing shampoo could get you more volume and shine. Don’t forget to use conditioner, either leave-in or wash out, especially if your hair is prone to frizz.
You want to start with detangled and moisturized hair when you start the knots. You definitely don’t want tangled or dry hair for this look.
3. Dry vs. Damp
There are different opinions on which is best for Bantu knots: dry or damp. The main problem with wet hair is that it can take 2-3 days to dry. However, dry hair tends to be more difficult to set the knots and may not hold well, particularly if you have naturally kinky hair.
Therefore, you can decide for yourself based on your time and hair texture, which is best for you. Generally speaking it’s best to have dry hair that is well-moisturized or lightly damp hair.
Video tutorial for very lightly damp bantu knots
4. Create Bantu Knots
Choose width based on the length and texture of your hair. If you want large curls then create 6-8 sections but if you want tight springy curls than 10+ sections are required. Generally speaking, ladies with short hair should use small sections (about ½ inch).
Tip: Do not over twist the knots. Twisting can damage your hair by causing stress and breakage. Wrap it two or three times around itself.
- Grab a rattail or Afro comb. Use the comb to separate your hair into sections.
- Twist a small coup at your scalp. Twist each section a few times between your fingertips as if you were turning a doorknob. Only twist your hair a few times like this to prevent that damage.
- Gradually wind the rest of the hair around the base coil at the scalp.
- Set the knots by using small hairpins or elastics to hold the end of the knots in place.
- Repeat the knots in the rest of your hair.
- Let your Bantu knots dry. Generally people let their knots set overnight. Place a shower cap over your Bantu knots overnight and then leave it on while you take a shower the next day. This will create the ‘greenhouse effect’, which will help your knots retain moisture.
- Remove the shower cap and let your hair air-dry for another 15-20 minutes.
5. Carefully Remove Bantu Knots
Now that you have completed the knots and let them take form overnight, it’s time to remove them to reveal flawless curls. When you take out the Bantu knots you should be as careful as possible to prevent damage and frizz.
- Unpin and unwrap each knot as if you are unscrewing a bottle.
- As you are taking out your knots you can apply oils or anti-frizz serum to your hands to help prevent frizz from the friction from your hands.
- Do not pull apart the knots.
6. Loosen and Style Bantu Knots
Separate each curl with your fingers or gently with a finger-comb. Avoid pulling apart sections or playing with them too much. Lightly fluff your hair to cover your scalp and to make the curls look natural.
7. Night Protection
Once you’ve spent the day showing off your natural curls it’s time to mind them before you sleep. Pin (or use an elastic) to keep your hair on the top of your head and wrap the sides with a hair scarf. In the morning once you release this ponytail and scarf your curls will still be in tact.
Check out this informative youtube video from Howtoblackhair.com on how to create bantu knots.