22 Best Bantu Knots Hairstyles For All Hair Types To Try

Learn different ways to sport this protective hairstyle without losing your style quotient.

Reviewed by Quarita Futrell, Licensed Master Cosmetologist Quarita Futrell Quarita FutrellLicensed Master Cosmetologist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Bhumika Daga MA (English) Experience: 2.5 years

Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle. They look like mini twisted buns. Bantu knots come to us from South Africa. The hairstyles that hail from there are truly magnificent. Those African women really know how to style their hair without compromising haircare! A twisted (or braided) portion of hair wrapped around itself to form a bun is called a Bantu knot. Bantu knots are also used to coil or curl hair. The partitioning of hair plays quite an important role when styling Bantu knots.

protip_icon Before You Get Started
  • Those experienced with styling natural hair make the knots on wet hair to retain moisture. However, for beginners, it is ideal to let your freshly washed hair dry for at least 40 minutes before making the knots. If you are not gentle or careful enough, styling wet hair may lead to breakage.
  • Section the hair depending on how you want the hair to look. Bigger and fewer knots will give wave-like coils, while more knots will create tighter curls.
  • Never use a rubber band to secure the knots. It may cause breakage.
  • Avoid re-twisting your hair, as it may cause hair breakage and scalp damage.

How to do Bantu knots
Image: Shutterstock

How To Do Bantu Knots

  • Make sure your hair is washed and conditioned. Don’t forget to detangle your hair.
  • For best results, make sure your hair is damp, not wet or dry.
  • Create partitions by sectioning off the hair.
  • Take the first section and apply oil, cream, mousse, or gel to it. Do not use any heavy cream, oil, or butter to your hair as this might lead to hair breakage.
  • Twist or braid all the hair in that section. You can add in extensions or colorful ribbons if desired.
  • Then, twist and tightly wrap the hair around itself to form a bun. You can twist and wrap simultaneously; it depends on what you’re comfortable with.
  • Keep coiling the hair around until you reach the end. Tuck the end off inside the bun and secure it in place with a pin. If your Bantu knots are tight, then your hair might stay in place without a pin.
  • Wrap the coiled Bantu knots in a silk or satin head scarf. The next day, when you remove the Bantu knots, your hair will be in perfect curls. This hairstyle is called the Bantu knot-out.

Richelle, a blogger, shared her experience of doing Bantu knots on her hair for the first time. After uncoiling the knots, she was happy with the resulting curls. She wrote, “I was really impressed with the way it turned out. It was very easy to do and a safer alternative to heat curling (i).”

protip_icon Did You Know?
Bantu knot hairstyles can be traced back to the 2nd millennium BCE when the Bantu-speaking community spread through Africa.

22 Best Bantu Knot Hairstyles

1. Half Up Half Down Braided Bantu Knots

Half Up Half Down Braided Bantu Knots
Image: Shutterstock

Get creative with the traditional Bantu knots and try the half up half down look. You can recreate this look with fewer Bantu knots – two at the front and two at the back of the head. You can let your natural fall free or twist them at the sides and the back. Voila!!! You are ready with an easy breezy, and bold look. 

2. Jumbo Bantu Knot Crown

Image: Photo By Chidimma peace On Pexels

Photo by: Chidimma peace

Wear your Bantu knots like a crown! Channel your inner goddess, who you are, with these big Bantu knots by placing them diagonally instead of straight parts.

3. Braided Triangular Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram

Braids, Bantu knots, and triangle partings come together to make this stunning hairdo. Split your hair into triangular sections. Take small portions of hair and braid two stitches, then separate that braid into two braids. Do this randomly on different parts of the hair. Twist the rest of the hair into Bantu knots and wrap the braids around them. Accessorize for effect!

4. Faux Tri Bantu Knot Mohawk

Image: Instagram @fiercemane

This hairstyle is a gorgeous three-line faux Bantu knot mohawk with baby hair on the sides. The red color makes this hairdo look fiery. You can achieve this hairstyle with the help of hair extensions if you do not want to commit to locs. Wrap the extensions around your natural hair, twisting them as you go, and make three columns (from the hairline to the nape of the neck) of Bantu knots.

5. Twists And Braids

Image: IStock

Blend twists and braids to get this killer Bantu knots hairstyle. The braid going from the top to the bottom knot and the color adds pizzazz to it. Part your hair in square sections with a rat-tailed comb. In one square section, braid feed-in cornrows in such a way that all the braids point towards the center of the square. Braid your hair only a little in the beginning. To make the Bantu knot, twist and wrap your hair around itself. Towards the end, braid some of the hair in the Bantu knot.

6. Basic Bantu Knots

Image: pexels.com

These basic Bantu knots hairdo look terrific. Take a small portion of hair and twist it. Repeat the same with three or four other small sections, then merge those twists to form one Bantu knot. Repeat the same with all your hair to mimic this look.

7. Braided And Accessorized Bantu Knots

Image: Shutterstock

Braided and accessorized Bantu knots only add to the beauty of this hairstyle! Part your hair in triangular sections and braid each section of hair. Wrap each braid into a Bantu knot. You can accessorize these Bantu knots with clip on beads and trinkets of jewelry.

8. Cornrow And Bantu Knot Wheel

Image: IStock

This wheel of down-to-up cornrows and braided Bantu knots looks so fierce! Part your hair in triangular sections and take a bit of hair from the sides of each section. These side sections of hair will make up the ten braids (two each on the sides and six making the wheel). Braid the rest of the parts and make Bantu knots, merging them with the six-wheel braids.

9. Frontal Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram

Bantu knots just on the front look laidback and chill. Part your front hair in three sections, making the middle section a triangle. In the middle section only, twist the hair into a Bantu knot. On the side sections, make smaller Bantu knots, how many is up to you.

10. Small Bantu Knots

Image: Shutterstock

Multi-colored small Bantu knots look uber cool. The half updo is sure to stun! Make a middle parting. Near the parting, braid two angular Dutch braids that will end in twisted Bantu knots. With the remaining hair in the middle section, twist a few smaller Bantu knots to complete the look.

11. Tall Bantu Knots

Image: Shutterstock

Tall Bantu knots look gorgeous. And we know how awesome braids and Bantu knots look together. Let me tell you how this random combination of braids and twists come together to form this chill hairdo. Make random partings all around your head while taking about an inch of hair on either side to make braids that will drop down. Twist the rest of your hair, leaving some sections. Braid the rest. Wrap all the twisted and braided parts together to form blended Bantu knots.

12. Small Braided Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram

Small Bantu knots look amazing!! Braid cornrows upward only half way. Twist the remaining part of the braids, merging three or four cornrows together to form one Bantu knot at the top. Repeat the same for all the other sections of hair.

protip_icon Trivia
Bantu knots are a symbol of pro-blackness, pride, and self-love.

13. Side Bantu Knots

Side Bantu knots
Image: Instagram @radianceofchelsea

These side Bantu knots are epic! Make a triangular partition on one side of your head. Divide that part into three sub-triangles. Twist and wrap the hair in each section to form three Bantu knots on the side. Fluff up the rest of your hair, and you are ready to win the world.

14. Mini Flat Bantu Knots

Image: Shutterstock

Mini flat Bantu knots are just stunning. Part all of your hair into mini sections and then twist each section into a Bantu knot.

15. Micro Bantu Knots

Micro Bantu knots all over the head look amazing. Section your hair in small diamond partitions, then twist and wrap each partition of hair into little Bantu knots. You can also braid your hair into Bantu knots. Once you remove these knots, you will have perfect curls to flaunt.

16. Loc Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram @locdndreads

This style is a combination of locs and Bantu knots and it looks incredible. You can either get your dreadlocks first and twist each loc into a Bantu knot; or you could section your hair and try a combination of braids and Bantu knots. Please note that this style is a process over several months as dreads take a lot of time to lock.

17. Halo Braids And Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram @kinkscouture

Cornrows, halo braids, and Bantu are a brilliant combination. Cornrow your hair towards the center of your head. Once the cornrows are a few centimeters away from the center, merge them two-by-two or three-by-three and braid them. Section off the braids in such a way that the most significant braid is left out while the others are wrapped around into three Bantu knots at the center. Now, wrap the big braid around the three Bantu knots to form a halo.

18. Spirally Braided Bantu Knots

Image: Instagram @twostrandsalon

Spiral braids ending in Bantu knots look amazing. Part small sections of hair spirally and cornrow them. Wrap the cornrows around themselves to form Bantu knots.

19. Blended Bantu Knots

Image: pexels.com

Small and long Bantu knots in rectangular parts are here to dazzle! This hairdo is absolutely marvelous!

20. Four Bantu Knotted Mohawk

Image: Photo by Jedidiah Jordan on pexels

Stun with this Bantu knot mohawk. To mimic this badass hairstyle, section your hair into four parts. Twist and wrap each section into Bantu knots while adding in extensions.

21. Bantu Knots With Braided Ends

Image: pexels.com

Braids left at the end to be twisted into Bantu knots are terrific. Part your hair into triangular sections. Braid each section and wrap it around itself to make Bantu knots. Leave a hanging braid on each side to add to the style.

22. Reverse Braided Bantu Knots

Image: Shutterstock

Take the front half of your hair and make two Bantu knots. Then, braid two down-to-up braids and twist the ends around the Bantu knots. Very chic, wouldn’t you say?

It is indeed awe-inspiring to see that traditions of old Africa are still being followed by the descendants. There were a lot of questions regarding Bantu knots. So, I’ve answered them down below to help you get some clarity.

Infographic: Cool Facts About Bantu Knots

We understand if you can’t wait to try out some Bantu knots. After all, they are cool and fashionable. But before you begin, wouldn’t it be great to learn a little about the history of these knots?

To get you started, we have collected some facts about Bantu knots. Find them in the infographic below.

cool facts about bantu knots (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The key to achieving Bantu knots without much hassle is washing and detangling your hair. Yes, although all your hair will be rolled into mini buns, you cannot let your hair strands remain tangled. If you do, you may experience hair damage. So, gently detangle them and then put them in buns. You have a wide range of options to choose from. Now, without further delay, follow our tutorial and say hello to some fun hairstyles because it is time for you to grab your shine!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you keep Bantu knots in?

Bantu knots ideally last up to one week with scalp care and nourishing touch ups.

What products to use for Bantu knots?

Use a cream, gel, mousse, oil or edge control cream to help smooth out your hair near the edges. Make sure not to overuse these products; you don’t want your hair to be slippery.  Don’t use heavy oils, pomades or butter on your hair as they will make it heavy.

Can Bantu knots damage hair?

Twisting your hair too tight while wrapping a Bantu knot can lead to hair breakage.

Is it wrong to tie Bantu knots every day?

Tying Bantu knots on a daily basis can cause hair breakage.

Can I do Bantu knots with natural hair?

Yes! Bantu knots can be done on natural or straight hair as well to make them textured. Just make sure your hair isn’t dry as that will make your hair look frizzy rather than curly after you take the Bantu knots out.

Can I still do Bantu knots on hair that is not naturally curly?

Yes! Bantu knots are used to manipulate hair into being curly or wavy.

Do Bantu knots do a certain thing to your hair or is it just a style?

Bantu knots are not only terrific to look at but also a protective hairstyle. Bantu knots are also used to make hair curly or wavy.

What is Bantu hair?

Bantu hair or Bantu knot-out is how your hair appears after leaving a Bantu knot overnight.

Can I try Bantu Knots with wet hair?

Tying Bantu knots with wet hair can lead to hair breakage if you have fine or damaged hair. Make sure your hair is damp while tying a Bantu knot.

What about transitioning hair?

If you want your hair curly, Bantu knots are perfect as they don’t use heat to curl or wave the hair.

Is it safe to tie my hair with an elastic band when wrapping a Bantu knot?

Tying your hair with an elastic band might lead to hair breakage. It’s better to secure your hair in place with a pin.

Image: Instagram

Banner Image Credits: Instagram

Key Takeaways

  • Bantu knots are a versatile protective hairstyle that can enhance your appearance and maintain hair health.
  • These knots originated in South Africa, hold a great cultural significance, and symbolize pride and self love.
  • There are many hairstyles you can try with Bantu knots like half-up half-down braids, jumbo crowns, braided and accessorized knots.
Bantu Knots_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Wondering how to create beautiful, bouncy curls without using any heat? Watch this video as it explores ways to achieve the perfect Bantu Knots.

Personal Experience: Source

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