What are Bantu Knots?
Bantu knots are defined as a protective hairstyle. This cute hair design appears to be somewhat like mini buns that are twisted. As this hairstyle comes from the proud country of South Africa, Bantu knots are mostly fashioned by African women and black women. But, white women are certainly welcome to try this hairstyle, and many have looked really good with their Bantu knots.
This hair pattern is done through wrapping a braided or twisted portion of hair around itself in order to create a small bun. Aside from forming mini buns, Bantu knots are also used to curl or coil hair. In styling the hair with Bantu knots, it is vital to provide keen attention to the even and proportioned partitioning of the hair. This is to make sure that the portions of the hair for the Bantu knots design are equal in sizes, so the mini buns are of the same sizes as well.
The process of Bantu knots
Firstly, before you start the process of creating Bantu knots, you need to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner. Make sure that you de-tangle your whole hair, and no strands are tangled. This is very important so you will not hurt yourself when you partition your hair.
Secondly, make it a point to work on your hair while it is still damp. You will achieve remarkable results when your hair is not dry or wet, but is damp. And of course, you want better results, so make sure you have damp hair when you start the process.
The third thing you need to do is to partition your hair through the process of creating sections from your hair. You can design your own sectioning pattern, as there are no rules in how you partition your hair. You have the option to create triangle forms, or square designs. Experimenting on designs for the partitioning you want, depending on your taste and preference.
Forth to next processes:
The next thing you need to focus on is the application of oil, mousse, cream, or gel. Gather the first section of your hair and put on your preferred moisturizer to it. But always stay clear from heavy oil, cream, or butter. The heavy stuff can cause breakage to your hair, so make sure to use only the mild solutions of oil, mousse, cream, or gel.
After you have put on hair moisturizer, the next thing you need to do is braid or twist that portion of your hair. You have the option to add hair extension or fancy bright colorful ribbons to enhance the beauty of your hairstyle. Hair extension is certainly suitable especially if you have short hair, and you want to create an illusion that you have full, long hair. The ribbons are of course the highlights for your Bantu hair. They will make you look and feel very young and girly.
And then, twist your partitioned hair and wrap your hair tightly around itself, then artfully create a small bun. You have the option to twist all the sections of your hair first then wrap to each other, or you can twist and wrap at the same time in each section. This part of the process depends on your skill to do Bantu knots. You must do what makes you more comfortable.
You need to keep on coiling your hair until you have reached the tips of your sectioned hair. Then to make a clean bun, make sure to tuck the tips into the bun, or you can use hair pins to the trick. However, if you have created very tight buns, then you are saved from using pins to secure your Bantu knots.
Conditioning at night
Once you’re done with all the sectioned hair, you must wrap your whole hair with a satin or silky head scarf for the whole day. And on the next day, you can take off the head covering, and allow your hair to freely sashay in your head with all its curl glory after you have removed the buns. This technique for amazingly curly and magnificent hairstyle is most commonly known as “Bantu knot-out”.
Important things to remember:
- Bantu knots is a hairstyle that speaks volume of one’s personality. When you have decided to wear this design on your head, make sure that you have the full confidence to pull it off. This hairstyle is typically for those women with strong personalities ad high regard with life. If your self-esteem is quite low, work on it first before you show off your new attitude with your newfound hairstyle.
- It wouldn’t hurt to be ready for the outcome of your chosen hairstyle. If it’s your first time to wear your curls through the method of Bantu knots, then take the time to research about the different styles of this hairstyle. Browse through the various pages of Bantu knots images on the internet, and choose the one style that you believe will convey your personality. And of course, ensure that you are comfortable with the design.
- When you partition your hair, put in mind that the sections will determine how your final hair will look. SO make sure that you section your hair according to the appearance that you want to achieve.
- It is vital that you do not over-twist your hair. You can twist your hair for about two to three times only then wrap it around to form the bun. Over-twisting your hair can lead to hair breakage, which is definitely not a good thing for your hair. And Bantu knots that are twisted hard and very tight does not result in perfect curls.
- Do not use hair moisturizer products that have a strong hold, because your curls will not fall naturally when they are applied with strong hold moisturizers. Use products that have a light hold instead, like pomades and butter.
- If you have tried Bantu knots before and your curls did not last for the whole day, then you need to use what is called the greenhouse effect technique. This method suggests that you use a shower cap during the night in order to somehow “steam” your hair and set it for the next day. In the morning, you will notice that your hair is damp, but do not touch or disturb your hair until you can see that t is already dry. You may need to wait for 15 minutes for this to happen after the removal of the shower cap. This technique provides a long-lasting effect that you want to have.
- When your hair is dry, make sure that you don’t pull on your buns. Take the time to carefully unscrew the knots as you are taking off a cap. Then you can separate your curls after unscrewing the knots.
- After the whole day of showing off your beautiful perfect curls, you can actually preserve your hairstyle by clipping your hair on top of your head, or by using a huge ponytail holder. And then wrap a silky scarf on the sides of your head. Sleep with a silky pillowcase to help in the preservation of your wonderful curls. In the next day, you not only able to maintain the cuteness of your curls, but you have made your hairstyle more charming.
The following images can be followed to learn how to go through the process of Bantu Hawk:
Materials needed for Bantu knots:
You need to have the following items before you start your Bantu knots hairstyle:
- Deep conditioning/moisturizing hair mask
- Virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, or Jojoba oil
- Leave in conditioner
- Setting lotion, mousse, or curl defining cream
- wide tooth comb
- Edge control
- Rat tail comb
- Wooden boar bristle brush
- Smooth hair ties
- 20-30 pieces hair pins or bobby pins
Bantu knots for very short hair
Typically, Bantu knots are ideal for hair that is at least three to four inches in length. However, if you happen to have short hair with the length of one to two inches only, there’s no need to despair. You can still create this famous hairstyle by following certain instructions.
With your very short hair, you need to spend more time and energy with the partitioning and sectioning of your hair. You need to exercise more patience and allocate more than enough time for this task. But don’t worry, since the result will be worth all your troubles. Not to mention the fun you will have in the process.
Short hair process:
- Make sure that your hair is completely washed and clean. Then apply a leave in conditioner.
- Using the wide tooth comb, comb you short hair gently.
- Check your hair for dampness. Ensure that the leave in conditioner did not soak your hair, or there is no water wetting your hair. Your hair needs to be exactly damp only for the purpose of the Bantu knots technique. Your hair must not be thoroughly dry or soaked. It needs to be simply damp.
- Create the desired sections of your hair with the use of the rat tail comb. Remember to partition your hair as you want your hairstyle to look after the process.
- Then you need to put on setting lotion or mousse to your sectioned hair. You can apply to only one section, or to all sections, depending on your convenience and comfort in doing this process.
- Now you can twist or roll your hair using your fingers and turn your sectioned hair into a circle to form a small bun. This may not be easy since you have very short hair, but you’ll get the hang of it after the third or next sections.
- Grace the tips of your sectioned hair with additional product application. And then carefully tuck the ends and tightly hold the knots.
- With the use of bobby pins, secure your small bun in the center of the knot.
- When you’re done with your first bun, then you can now go ahead and repeat the process with the other sectioned hair.
How long is the installation process?
Normally, Bantu knots will take around a minimum of forty-five minutes up to an hour to install. This process is from the start of the shampooing up to the end of the last section turned into a bun. But this time is the ideal route for women who are already used to creating this hairstyle.
For first timers, the process could take more than an hour, even two or three, especially when you dealing with very short hair. Which is why it is essential that you make time for the Bantu knots process. Clear your schedule ahead of time, and allocate at least two to four hours for the Bantu knots method to complete. After all, perfection of your curls is priceless.
It is ideal to create your Bantu knots hours before your sleeping cycle time. This is because you will have to sleep with your creation overnight for the perfect result. Make sure to wrap your hair with a silky scarf or better yet a shower cap.
However, if you do not have the luxury of time and you need to flaunt your curly hair right after you’re done with the Bantu knots, then you can certainly do so. What you need to do is sit under a hooded dryer for about thirty to forty-five minutes. But if your hair is quite long, then give it at least an hour under the hooded heat of the hair dryer. Though the results may not be as immaculate as sleeping on your hair for the whole night, the heat dryer will definitely do the trick.
There are different ways to wear Bantu knots, depending on your taste and preference. You can leave the buns as they are and go out in public, or you can untangle the knots and show off your curls. You can even add accessories to your hairstyle to enhance your appearance.
Bantu knots usually lasts for days and even a week. What is important is to cover your hair with something silky when you sleep to preserve the texture of your hair. And make sure to apply setting lotion to keep your Bantu knots in place for days.
Factors to consider in Bantu knots:
Be smart about style
What looks good on others may not look good on you. When you are considering the Bantu knot style that you want to achieve for your hair, think very carefully if your facial features can carry that look. If you are in doubt, consult a hair stylist. Or ask your friends who have more hair fashion sense than you. It is better to be cautious than to appear like a hair fashion victim afterwards.
- Choose your products wisely
Always make it your priority to take care of your hair. There are many hair products that you need to apply to your Bantu knots for this method to be successful. And so you need to choose only the brands of products that the market and the buyers trusts. Remember that using low quality hair products can potentially damage your hair. So be very cautious in choosing your items. Though branded and known products are indeed expensive, but they are worth every penny since they can protect your hair from breakage or dryness.
Whether you opt for Bantu knots or Bantu knot-outs, you need to highly consider the event that you will go to with your preferred hairstyle. If you plan to go to a formal party or corporate event, will your hairstyle be appropriate to wear there? However, if you are off to the office, will your work clothes compliment your hairstyle, or will your Bantu knots contradict your appearance? If you are going for a night out and partying with friends, then Bantu knots can definitely add chic to your style, since this hairstyle gives off too much attitude and personality. Remember to always put consideration to the places or crowd you will get into when you wear your Bantu knots.
When you sport Bantu knots, you can be sure to catch the attention of the people around you. You don’t need to don on your jewelries in this matter. You can wear your clothes only and your hairstyle can charm the crowd without much effort. Of course, it is your personal choice to go out complete with jewelries. But sometimes too many accessories with Bantu knots conveys too much vanity. Keep it simple.
Here’s a Bantu Crown tutorial that you can learn from for a different style of Bantu knots:
The following images are a couple of examples of the Bantu knots hairstyle:
Young or old, no matter your age, Bantu knots are great for you. It takes high self-confidence to carry this hairstyle. It is time for you to show the world what you are capable of.
Never be afraid to try something new once in a while. Most of all, never doubt yourself. You can achieve what you want when you put your will into it.