Bantu Knots: What Are They And How To Style Them

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Bantu Knots: What Are They And How To Style Them

31 July 2018
Braided Bantu Knots
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Associate Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Hair.com. Before joining the Hair.com team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

Bantu knots have been around for centuries, but the style has recently regained popularity as celebrities and models have been wearing them on red carpets and runways. While the style was created for wearers who were looking for a low maintenance, long lasting ‘do, the style has received some major upgrades over the years. If you’re thinking about bantu knots as your next ‘do, check out some of our favorite styles for inspiration.

 

How To Create A Basic Bantu Knot

Begin by parting your hair, forming enough sections for your desired amount of knots. To make sure your look is as uniform as possible, keep the sections relatively the same size (but feel free to get creative with the way your part your hair). You can add a cool visual element to your style by parting your hair so the base of your knot is in a geometric shapes. Once your hair has been sectioned off, coil each section around itself until it forms a tight twist. Then, wrap that twist around itself to form a “knot” and secure with bobby pins or a small, clear elastic.

 

Bantu knots can also be used to create heat free curls. To ensure you have a flawless “knot out,” bantu knot your hair while is it damp and apply a light hold styling pomade to each twist. After your hair is completely dried and you’ve slayed your bantu knot look, your heat free curls will look absolutely perfect.

Braided Bantu Knots

To begin, section off your hair into your desired number of bantu knots. Once you’ve parted your whole head, create a basic braid in each section. After you’ve braided each section of hair, wrap each braid around itself to create the knot and secure the style with a small clear rubber band. Repeat until you’ve completed your entire head.

Embellished Bantu Knots

If you love classic bantu knots but want to take your style to the next level, consider embellishing your look with a few hair accessories. Gold braiding beads will add the perfect amount of glamour to your already killer style. After you’ve twisted and knotted your whole head, attach a few gold braiding beads to some of your bantu knots and your style will be ready for a girls night out.

Bantu Knot Crown

For this look, you’ll need to part four or more sections of hair near your hairline. After your hair has been sectioned off, twist each segment tightly. Then wrap the twisted hair around itself until it forms a knot. Secure the knot with a small, clear rubber band. After you’ve knotted the entire crown, use a pick to fluff your hair for a final touch.

Bantu Knot Faux Hawk

If your hair is very long, you’ll want to begin by parting your hair horizontally into several sections. As you part your hair, secure each section into a small ponytail that aligns with the center of your hair. After your hair has been parted and secured, twist each section of hair and wrap it around itself to form a knot. Secure each knot with a small, clear elastic.

If your hair is on the shorter side, begin by parting a 2-inch section down the center of your head from front to back. Secure the hair on the sides of your head with a small elastic. Then part the middle section of your hair horizontally into several segments. As you part your hair, secure each section into a small ponytail making sure it aligns with the center of your hair.

After your hair has been parted and secured, twist each section of hair and wrap it around itself to form a knot. Secure each knot with a small, clear elastic. After you’ve completed all of your bantu knots, remove the elastics from the side sections of your hair and cornrow both sides to give the illusion of a shaved head.

Oversized Bantu Knots

For this style, begin by parting your hair into three or four sections. If your hair is thin or if you are going for a full look, backcomb each section to create more volume and texture. Next, lightly twist each section and gently wrap the twist around itself to form a knot. It’s important not to twist the hair too tightly, because the goal is to keep the twist slightly fluffy and achieve an oversized look.

As you gently wrap the twist around itself to form the knot, secure the it with a few U-shaped bobby pins. Repeat until you’ve completed your entire head.

Half Up

To begin, part your hair from one ear to the other and secure the bottom half of your hair with an elastic to keep it out of the way. Next, begin to section off the front half of your hair into your desired number of bantu knots. One by one, twist the hair tightly and wrap the twisted hair around itself until it forms a knot.

Secure the knot with a small, clear rubber band. Repeat the steps until you’ve knotted all of the sections in the front half of your head. Once you’ve completed all of your bantu knots, remove the elastic from the bottom half of your hair.

Micro Bantu Knots

For this style, it’s all about the way you part your hair. To create micro bantu knots, begin by parting your hair into several small sections—the smaller, the better. After applying your hair product, twist each section and wrap the twist around itself to form a knot. Secure each micro bantu knot with a small, clear rubber band. Repeat until you’ve completed your entire head.

Elongated Bantu Knots

To begin, section off your hair into your desired number of bantu knots. Once you’ve parted your entire head, section by section twist the hair tightly. After twisting your strands, loop the hair and wrap the remaining twist at the base of the loop so that the bantu knot stands straight up. Repeat until you’ve completed your entire head.

Deconstructed Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are typically all about tight twists and clean parts, but they don’t have to be. If you love the look of bantu knots but are looking for a style that’s a bit less structured and more carefree, deconstructed bantu knots are perfect for you.

Because this style is a bit more laid-back, we suggest using your fingers instead of a comb to part your hair and create several sections. Once you’ve separated your hair into your desired number of sections, loosely twist each section around itself to form a knot and secure it with a bobby pin. Continue twisting and securing your bantu knots until you’ve completed your entire head. For a finishing touch, pull a few loose strands from the bantu knots to artfully frame your face.

Cornrowed Bantu Knots

If you’re looking to upgrade your plain bantu knots with a much more intricate style, we’ve got just the look for you: cornrowed bantu knots. This ‘do combines two styles for a final look that it’s bound to turn heads wherever you go. While regular bantu knots are easy to pull off at home, we suggest heading to a professional for cornrowed bantu knots as they require a bit of planning.

You and your stylist will first decide where you’d like your bantu knots to be on your head, then he or she will begin to map out the perfect placement for the cornrows. After cornrowing your entire head, your stylist will take the leave out from your braids and twist them into bantu knots before securing them with a bobby pin or hair elastic. Your stylist will finish your look with a spritz of shine spray like Mizani’s HD Shyne Lightweight Spray.

Half Head Bantu Knots

Can’t decide between bantu knots and a wash-and-go? Don’t choose one, when you can have both! By creating bantu knots on only one side of your hair, you can slay the trendy bantu knot look while still showing off your killer curls.

For this look, begin by creating a part on the left or right side of our head. Secure the larger section of hair with a hair elastic so it stays out of your way while you create your bantu knots. Section the remaining hair into three or four segments. Working with one segment at a time, craft your bantu knots and secure them with a bobby pin. Once you’ve created all of your bantu knots, release the rest of your hair.

Interested in trying wearing bantu knots for your next big event? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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