How To Do Bantu Knots On Natural Hair | Hair Motive Hair Motive
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How To Do Bantu Knots On Natural Hair | Hair Motive

Previously used primarily as a protective hairstyle worn at night away from the eyes of the public, bantu knots are no longer being hidden away. This 90s look is making a comeback, and it’s been seen everywhere, from on your favorite celebrities to your neighbor's 5-year-old. Although this bold look may seem daunting to wear, it definitely pushes the wearer's confidence to astronomical levels. It may look intimidating, but creating the bantu knots hairstyle is not as difficult as it looks.

 

What Are Bantu Knots?

Bantu Knots
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Bantu knots are a hairstyle that originated with African women. It is worn as a protective style for women with curly hair as a way for them to style their hair with little manipulation. As a bonus, once you have gotten your wear out of the knots, they can be undone to create a beautiful curly hair look, often called a bantu knot out. So really, it’s two hairstyles for the price of one.

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How To Prep The Hair

Tools Needed

  • Shampoo, deep conditioning hair mask, and conditioner
  • Coconut, jojoba, or virgin olive oil (oil of choice)
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Mousse, setting lotion, or curl defining cream
  • Edge control
  • A wide-tooth comb
  • A rat tail comb
  • A wooden boar bristle brush
  • Hair pins/bobby pins
  • Ouchless hair ties

Step 1:

Wash and condition your hair thoroughly.  You will not need any special hair care products. You can use the regular shampoo and conditioner you use all the time for washing your hair.

 

Step 2:

After washing your hair, detangle it. To detangle your hair, saturate your hair with leave in conditioner. This gives your hair slip and will prevent any hair breakage while you are detangling your hair, also making it easier to style. Separate your hair into small sections to make the detangling process easier and prevent tangles and breakage.

 

Then take your fingers, a detangling brush, or a wide-tooth comb, and gently brush through your hair, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Do this to all of your hair. After detangling, apply whatever hair products your normally apply to your hair.

 

Step 3:

Allow your hair to air dry to about 80% dry. You don’t want soaking wet hair because it will take the hair forever to dry after styling. You also do not want to do this on dry hair, because dry hair is more prone to breakage and it may not hold the style well. Having your hair damp also helps with the bantu knot out style, because if the hair dries in the bantu knot style, it will hold the curly shape when it is taken down.

 

How To Do Bantu Knots

Natural Hair


Natural Hair


Step 1

Use a rattail comb to separate your hair into sections. The width of these sections depends on the length of your hair and the look you are aiming for.

 

Step 2

Apply your hair cream to the section you are working on. This is helpful with creating knots and having them hold their shape. Only use a small amount of hair cream, because this also adds moisture to the hair, and can cause it to take longer to dry or cause unnecessary product buildup.

 

Step 3

Take the section of hair that you are working on and hold it as close to the roosts as you can. Twist the hair moving up the length as you go.

 

Step 4

Continue twisting the section. Once it begins to feel like a tight coil, you can then begin wrapping it around itself or keep twisting it, and the hair will coil around itself on its own.

 

Step 5

Once the small coiled bun has begun to form, keep going until you come to the ends of your hair.

 

Step 6

Wrap the ends of your hair around the base of the bantu knot to hold it in place. If you find that the knot is too loose or your hair will not stay, use a bobby pin and push it through the base of the bantu knot to hold it in place. If you don’t like bobby pins, you can use ouchless hair ties to hold them.

 

Step​​​​ 7

Repeat steps 2 through 6 on all of the sections in your hair.

 

Step 8

Use oil on your parts to keep your exposed scalp moisturized.

 

Step 9

Put edge control or hair gel on your edges and use the boar bristle brush to smooth down and style your edges.

 

Short Hair



Short Hair

Step1

Start with a clean head of hair and spray in leave in conditioner.

 

Step 2

Next, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb.

 

Step 3

Your hair should be damp, not soaked, with leave in conditioner or water.

 

Step 4

Part your short hair in small sections with the rat tail comb.

 

Step 5

Use the rat tail comb to create designer or simple parts.

 

Step 6

Apply mousse or setting lotion to the hair.

 

Step 7

Roll or twist your hair with your fingers and form a circle.

 

Step 8

At the end of the rolled section, apply more products, tuck your rolled hair and hold tightly.

 

Step 9

Place a bobby pin directly in the middle of the knot.

 

Step 10

Repeat and create small Bantu knots.

 

Naturally Straight Or Wavy Hair


woman with curly hair


Step 1

Your hair should be clean to start.

 

Step 2

Apply leave in conditioner.

 

Step 3

Comb through your hair to remove tangles and smooth it out.

 

Step4

Make sections in your hair using a rat tail comb.

 

Step 5

Slowly put your hair in large bantu knots. The larger size will prevent tangling, and the style will last longer.

 

Step 6

Apply mousse to your hair to help the bantu knots to remain in place. Your hair should be soft and smooth to the touch.

 

Step 7

Section off and repeat this process with the rest of your hair.

 

Step 8

Use a bobby pin or rubber bands to keep the hair secured.

 

Step 9

Sit under a hooded dryer to dry your hair in place. You can air dry but because straighter hair can have difficulty holding styles it is better to dry your hair in place.

 

Transitioning Hair


woman with Transitioning Hair


Step 1

Because transitioning hair has two different textures, instead of allowing your hair to dry to 80%, only let it get to about 60%-70% dry. This is because the straighter relaxed ends will dry faster than your natural curly roots and you don’t want to twist hair that dry half way down. That can cause breakage at the stress point (The area where your hair transitions from curly to straight). So in order for all the hair to be wet, only let it get to about 70% dry.

 

Step 2

Part and create designer or simple parts.

 

Step 3

Section your hair into medium to large pieces.

 

Step 4

Use curl defining cream or setting lotion on each section of hair to help set the bantu knots.

 

Step 5

Take one section of hair and twist it with your fingers.

 

Step 6

Twist each section of hair with your fingers until it coils on itself and a bantu knot forms.

 

Step 7

Instead of wrapping the ends around the base of the knot use a hairpin or bobby pin because the hair is curly at the root. You do not want to wrap the ends around the base in this case because the ends are relaxed and fragile. The tension of wrapping them around the base of the bantu knot can cause them to break off.

 

Step 8

Air dry your hair or use a hooded dryer to finish.

 

Bantu Twist Out


Bantu Knots


Step 1

Make sure your hair is completely dry. Because it can take natural hair a long time to dry, and twisting them into the knots can make it take longer (part of the reason your hair should be mostly dry before you do this style), you want to check each knot individually before taking them out to ensure they are completely dry. If you feel that some of the knots are not fully dry, you can keep the hairstyle in until they are dry, or sit under a hooded dryer to dry them faster.

 

Step 2

Once the hair is dry, you want to remove any hairpins or hair ties you may have in your hair holding the knots together.

 

Step 3

Lightly coat your hands with a hair oil or serum of your choice. This is to protect and moisturize the hair and to prevent frizziness as you take it down.

 

Step 4

Lightly grab a knot in the middle and gently twist in the opposite direction of the hair. As if you were unscrewing the top of a jar.

 

Step 5

The hair will loosen and for a small tight curl as you undo the knot. Do this for all the bantu knots on your head.

 

Step 6

If there is no more oil on your hands apply another light layer otherwise, now that your hair is out of the twists, gently separate each curl with your fingertips to prevent frizziness. Do this for your whole head.

 

Step 7

Finish by doing your baby hairs.

 

Conclusion

Bantu knots are a trendy hairstyle that protects your hair and looks good when you take them down. Although they look intimidating and difficult to do, following the steps above will make you a bantu knot master in no time.

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