Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle that has been worn by African women for many years. Though they have knots in their name, bantu knots are essentially small, coiled buns that are achieved when you twist strands of hair together and secure them to make a ‘knot’. You might find that they are also known as ‘Zulu knots’ or ‘du Doubs’.
Intrigued? If you want to learn how to get this popular black hairstyle, keep on scrolling for our easy step-by-step guide.
How To Do Bantu Knots
1. Wash Hair
Wash your hair with a cleansing conditioner like the Love Beauty And Planet Happy & Hydrated Gentle Cleansing Conditioner to remove any product build-up on the scalp and hair and to condition and detangle your strands.
2. Detangle Your Hair
Creating a bantu knots hairstyle requires the hair to be parted all over, so it is best to get rid of any tangles now and prep your hair for the next step.
When creating bantu knots, it’s important to keep your tresses hydrated, so generously mist hair with the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist.
Tip: Know that you can create your bantu knots hairstyle with wet or dry hair, but generally damp hair is more manageable and easier to work with. Okay, now for the fun part…
3. Part Your Hair
You may often ask ‘how to part hair for bantu knots’ but there is no one answer. What it comes down to is how big your want your knots to be, so think about your finished look before you start.
If you want slightly smaller bantu knots, then you’ll need to create more sections; less knots and you’ll opt for bigger sections. Remember the more knots you have, the tighter the finished bantu curls will be, and the bigger the knots, the looser the waves once unravelled.
4. Twist Hair
Now let’s create bantu knots! Start at the front and begin to create equal sections, choosing between box or triangle shaped sections if you’re feeling more confident.
We suggest smoothing a few drops of an oil, like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Oil through your ends to give your locks a shimmering shine!
5. Secure Hair
You can choose to secure each section with a hairband or go straight into twisting your hair.
Once you begin twisting from the root down towards the tips, the hair will begin to curl into itself. When the hair is twisted into a ‘knot’, secure with a hairband or tucks the ends under your hair to hold the shape.
Repeat the process all over, keeping each section equal – et voila, you have a stunning bantu knots hairstyle!
7. Final Look
8 Inspiring Bantu Knots: Our Insta-Favourites
As a hair tribute to this versatile ‘do, we’ve taken the liberty of pulling together our favourite styles from Instagram. So, regardless of whether you’re a bantu newbie or a knotting pro, you can find plenty of #hairspiration down below. Enjoy!
Since nostalgia has hit an all-time high when it comes to hair, why not relive the ’90s by styling your baby hair? Just make sure you create little, subtle designs around your hairline, as opting for really big, bold patterns may distract from the main attraction – your bantu knots, of course! Credit: @real.saje
Who said that your partings had to be square (pun intended)? If you’re looking for a subtle way to spice up your bantus, playing around with your partings is a super simple way to add interest to this traditional hairstyle. So, you better start brushing up on your geometry, because you’re going to want to work with all the pretty geos for your next ‘do! Credit: @mbgittens
Small Bantu Knots
One of the main reasons we love bantu knots is because it works well on both long and short hair (yes, we’re not kidding). Believe it or not, with just a few inches of hair you can still achieve beautiful bantus. The secret? Just make your partings smaller – it might take longer, but trust us, little knots are perfect for short manes. Credit: @uneaveclanature
Bantu Knots With Locs
If you thought that bantu knots were a hairstyle just for those with natural hair, then you might want to rethink that notion. Just take a good long look at this variation created with dreadlocks – it just goes to prove how this versatile this updo really is!
Tip: Follow this Instagrammer’s innovative styling prowess and experiment with colour. Not only will this give masses of extra interest to your look, but you’ll look so insanely cool, people will be stopping you on the streets! Credit: @yaya.marley
Braid Bantu Knots
If you’re already a bantu knot veteran and are looking to switch up the look a little, why not start by braiding your tresses before you create your knots? It’s a great way to take your ‘basic’ bantus up a level and add a textural dimension to your hairstyle. Trust us, no one will be able to look away from these beautiful knots when you’re rocking them! Credit: @beatsbyberry
Bantu knots are casual, right? Well, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that – but contrary to popular to belief, you can rock this look for sophisticated soirees, prom or even weddings (yes, really!). Just dress your hair up with pretty hair accessories, like flowers (or a tiara) and it’s wedding bells all around. Easy peasy! Credit: @xaylibarclay
Remember what we said earlier about bantu knots working a treat for all hair length? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re also the ideal hairstyle for those with thick textured hair! By making bigger (and in our opinion, better) knots, you can speed up the styling process, while still gaining a bold and beautiful look! After all, creating small knots can become rather tiring. Credit: @sl_photostudio
Okay, we know that technically, these aren’t actually bantu knots, but we just love the bantu influence of these little puffs. It’s definitely a great option if you have thicker, type 4 hair or a short ‘fro. Credit: @chiandebs