8 Beautiful bantu knots: Our Insta-favourites

Jeanette | 15 September 2016

Bantu knots to make your heart race!

Ah, bantu knots. Let’s be honest, if you’re looking for a low maintenance protective hairstyle, it doesn’t get much better this ‘do! For those of you that are unfamiliar with this hair vernacular, bantu knots are inspired by the traditional hairstyles of the Bantu peoples of Africa. They are easily identifiable by its characteristic twisted ‘mini bun‘ look and in some circles, you might find that they are also known as ‘Zulu knots’ or ‘duuduubs’.

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!

8 Inspiring bantu knots: Our Insta-favourites


bantu knots with 90s baby hair
Bantu knots with ’90s baby hair. Credit: Instagram.com/real.saje

’90s hairspiration

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

Editor’s tip: Looking for baby hair inspiration? Take a look at FKA Twigs signature ‘dos, as well as the models from Givenchy’s autumn/winter 2015 catwalk show.

triangle parted bantu knots
Bantu knots with triangle partings. Credit: Instagram.com/mbgittens

Play with your partings

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 banut knots black hairstyles
Tiny bantu knots. Credit: Instagram.com/lillyanne_i

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: @lillyanne_i

coloured dreadlocks bantu knots
Dreadlock bantu knots. Credit: Instagram.com/yaya.marley

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 innvovative styling prowess and have your dreadlocks dyed before creating the knots. 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

Bantu knots: pretty plaited hairstyle
Plaited bantu knots. Credit: Instagram.com/beatsbyberry

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 rock them! Credit: @beatsbyberry

wedding style bantu knots
Bantu knots: Wedding inspiration. Credit: Instagram.com/thexaylishow

Formal inspiration

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: @thexaylishow

Chunky bantu knots
Chunky bantu knots. Credit: Instagram.com/sasa_loncaric

Chunky knots

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: @sasa_loncaric

Bantu knots: bantu puffs
Bantu knots: Bantu puffs. Credit: Instagram.com/chiandebs

Bantu puffs

Okay, we know that technically, these aren’t actually bantu knots, but we just love the bantu influence of these multiple puff ponytails. It’s definitely a great option if you have thicker, type 4 hair or a short ‘fro. Credit: @chiandebs

If you can’t get enough retro styling inspo for your natural hair, then you need to check out the ’80s-inspired Grace Jones hair trend! Also, don’t forget to take a look at our Black Hairstyles page – it’s got everything you need for working your curly mane to the max.