Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle where the hair is sectioned, twisted and wrapped around the base continuously to form a knot like appearance stacked on each other.
Bantu knots can be traced back to the 2nd millennium BCE throughout 1500 CE to what at the time was the Bantu speaking community that originated from Southern West Africa and spread out through Central, Eastern & Southern Africa during the Bantu migration.
The Bantu people are currently found in different parts across the Central, Eastern and Southern parts of Africa where 500+ different variations of the same language are spoken.
Bantu knots are also referred to as Chiny bumps in Jamaica.
Are Bantu knots bad for your hair?
Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle so no they are not bad for your hair. As long as you ensure the rubber bands aren’t too tight on your hair and you apply a heat protectant before applying heat on your hair(should you choose to straighten it), your hair will remain protected.
Can anyone wear Bantu knots?
If you’re referring to different natural hair types and or relaxed hair, then yes. Bantu knots can be worn by anyone including people with braided hair and locs.
How long should you leave Bantu knots in?
If the goal is to do a bantu knot out eventually, you can leave them in for upto 5 days depending on how long it usually takes your hair to form defined curls.
Can you sleep in Bantu knots?
Bantu knots are a little uncomfortable to sleep in but with a few adjustments you’ll be able to sleep somewhat comfortably in them.
Should you do Bantu knots on wet or dry hair?
Bantu knots look best on dry or straightened hair. Doing Bantu knots on wet hair will not produce the best results and will overall be rather difficult to do.
What should I use for Bantu knots?
Depending on the length of your hair and how thick you want the bantu knots to look, you’ll need a couple of things.
- Rubber bands.
- A rat tail comb.
- An edge control brush.
- Shine n Jam.
- Pre-stretched braiding hair.
- Crotchet needle.
How to do Bantu knots on short hair
Start by parting preferably straightened or stretched hair into however many sections you’d like to have.
Apply shine n jam on your roots and use a bristle brush to comb down all the fly aways.
Oil your rubber bands to prevent hair breakage and use the rubber bands on your parted sections.
There are 3 different methods that you can use in this next step.
1) Using a crotchet needle to loop the braiding hair in.
2) Using a rubber band to section the braiding hair into 2 halves then tying it around the roots of your parted natural/relaxed hair section.
3) Braiding the hair into the parted section.
For this step, we’ll use the second method.
Tie your braiding hair on your parted section and braid it or do 2 strand twists up to your desired length. Take the twisted/braided hair and start wrapping it around your base as you move upwards.
Tuck the remaining hair into your base securely and repeat the same method on all your sections.
Use you edge control and edge brush to lay your edges.
For a detailed visual, refer to the video below.
How to do Bantu knots on short 4c hair
Part you hair into as many sections as you’d like to have keeping the number of Bantu knots you want in total in mind.
Tie the parted sections using the rubber bands and use the braiding hair to braid your hair as you would with normal box braids.
After braiding your hair to your desired length, use got2b freeze spray on the rest of the braiding hair that’s left to tame the fly aways/seal it and start twisting it.
Take the braided/twisted extension and start wrapping it around your base in an upwards motion until your knot is formed.
Tuck the hair that’s left into your base and repeat the same method on all your sections.
Use your edge control and edge brush to lay your edges. For a detailed visual, refer to the video below.
How to do Bantu knots on locs
How to do Bantu knots on natural hair
If your hair is long, you can still choose to use braiding hair to give your Bantu knots a jumbo size look. Unless your hair is super thick, you won’t be able to achieve the jumbo Bantu knots look without adding extra hair.
For a detailed step by step visual, refer to the video below.
Bantu knots basics
As you’ve seen above, the Bantu knots process is pretty much the same regardless of your hair type or length.
With the exception of locs and braids (since you won’t need to add extra hair), the part, section, twist, wrap around the base & tuck the ends method is the same.
NB: You can opt to not use any extra hair if you like the much smaller Bantu knots. Braiding hair is only used to add volume to the Bantu knots.
Now that you’re up to speed on how to do bantu knots, let’s get into different bantu knots results and hairstyles on different natural hair textures, braids and locs.
20 Bantu knots hairstyles on natural hair, braids & locs
Check out more bantu knots hairstyles on our Pinterest board.