bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (2023)

Pair of chickens:

Swinging Bantu knots are a time-honored tradition for African women, and now this culturally significant protective hairstyle has reached a new level of popularity. Learn about Bantu knots and how to design them below.

Taking into account that we are Bantu?

Bantu knots are one of the most recognizable protective hairstyles and are becoming increasingly popular as women seek natural hairstyles that won't damage or break their hair.

These tribal knots are not to be missed: they are twisted spirals that rise from the head like the tips of a crown.

These "we" are not really us, even if they appear to be. Instead, Bantu knots are tightly twisted sections of hair that use the natural grip and thick texture of African hair types as the anchor that holds the style in place.

TheyCan IIt can be done on finer textured hair, but some adjustment is needed to help the style hold without the stickiness of curly or frizzy natural hair.

Whether you know them as Bantu knots, Zulu knots, Nubian knots, or bump knots (if you happen to be in Jamaica), they all refer to this traditional protective hairstyle for women. And that's what our style guide for today is all about: the beauty and versatility of Bantu knots!

Read below: types of braids

types of bantu knots

Let's start by taking a look at some examples of Zulu knots on different types of hair and some unique ways to style them. We'll show you how to style each one, and then address some of the most frequently asked questions about this hairstyle. Finally, we will share the most useful expert tips for creating beautiful Bantu knots that secure.

curly natural bantu knots

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (1)

Estudio Wayhome/Shutterstock

When you take the time to create clean parting lines and properly moisturize your hair, the result is perfectly polished Bantu knots. Taking into account the areas where your hair is thickest will help you create balanced, symmetrical knots that don't vary too much in size.

Keep things natural by using just enough curling gel or cream to sculpt and secure hair in knots. A little frizz is fine!

how to style

Style natural-looking knots by starting with a good moisturizer and a product with a little hold (gel or curl cream). Some women find that applying moisturizing products in the shower works better and is better absorbed by the hair.

Try it with a good leave-in conditioner, curling cream, and even shine your hair after shampooing. Let it air dry for a few minutes to make sure it doesn't get soggy.

Use a rat tail comb to create precise parting lines on the head in the desired pattern and temporarily secure with small bobby pins. Here, the part begins with a horizontal line down the center of the head.

(Video) How To 👉Bantu Knots //Complete Style Guide

Then draw angled lines with the tail of the comb from the center line to the front hairline. This simple parting is perfect if you don't like the look of a traditional middle parting.

Loosen the center front section first. Dip your fingers into the curling cream to make each section easier to manipulate and work with.

Twist the section in one direction until it forms a coil. Continue turning until the coil wraps around itself and forms a tight spiral.Use the tip of the comb to carefully tuck the ends of the knot into the base.

You can add a hairpin to better secure it, especially if you plan to wear the knots for a few days.Repeat this process for each cut and split section to create a natural and protective Bantu knot style!

Bantu-inspired double top knots

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (2)

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Here is a fun twist on this traditional tribal hairstyle! For a quicker option that doesn't require a lot of time to style, try Bantu-inspired double top knots.

These knots are wound and twisted in the same way, but here they are held in place with elastic bands and safety pins. Framed braids make this style more flattering for many face shapes.

how to style

To create these Zulu top knots, create a middle part with a rat tail comb for precision. He uses the tip of the comb to draw another parting line about an inch or two from the front hairline to just behind the ears. Twist this section and secure it in place with a small hair clip for now.

This front section will become the face-framing braids.Apply the medium hold gel or curling cream of your choice to the rest of the hair. Add some gloss or serum if you want a bit of shine to your finished hairstyle. Brush one side up and gather it into a ponytail.

Make sure the hair is straight, free of tangles or tangles before securing it with an elastic band. Repeat on the other side.Start by twisting a ponytail into a bob and start twisting around the base of the ponytail.

Continue twisting until the ponytail is wrapped into a spiral knot. Secure with another elastic band at the base and bobby pins if you need more stability. Repeat on the other side.

Finish the style by letting the smaller front section fall. Divide the section in half, make a quick 3-strand braid or 2-strand twist, and secure with a small elastic band. Repeat on the other half of the front section. You finished!

Traditional Bantu Knots

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (3)

Estudio Wayhome/Shutterstock

Traditional Bantu, Zulu or Nubian knots are made of thick, textured natural hair. The texture and volume of thick hair is what holds the style together and gives it fullness.

In this basic version of the traditional style, the knots are created with evenly sized sections created with precise parts throughout the head. The resulting look is similar to a crown when viewed from the front - you'll feel like royalty wearing these tribal knots!

(Video) BANTU KNOTS TUTORIAL ON NATURAL HAIR | Protective Style (Braiding Hair) | Chev B.

how to style

Comb traditional Bantu or Zulu knots starting with clean, moisturized hair. Apply the curl cream of your choice to help set the style, define curls and minimize frizz. Use the tail of a rat tail comb to create neat sections and sections on your head.

Here, a horizontal line is drawn across the head instead of a vertical middle part.Draw straight lines from the horizontal center line towards the front hairline. Cut each new section as you go.

Repeat the parting process on the back, drawing straight lines from the center to the neckline. You should have even sections all cut into place when you're done.

Dip your fingers into some of your curl cream and start twisting a loose front section.Rotate in one direction until the section becomes a spiral that rotates on itself.

Twist it until it's tightly coiled, then tuck the ends under the knot and secure with a bobby pin, if desired.Repeat the twisting and pinning process for each section. Finish off with a shine spray for a bit of sparkle and voila!

Shiny bantu knots for fine hair

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (4)


Women with fine hair may want to avoid styles like Bantu or Zulu knots because these styles are designed for thicker hair with lots of texture and volume.

And the internet was talking about white women wearing Bantu knots back in the day, calling itcultural appropriationof a traditionally African hairstyle. But Bantu knots can be a beautiful and protective style for fine-haired women to wear or overnight for morning-after curls.

Here, Bantu knots are wound up to create small, thin coils that create a nice height.

The tight loops are also perfect for creating heat-free curls the next day. This is a great style for women with round or square faces as it gives the face a longer look.

how to style

You can definitely style bantu knots on fine hair with a few touch ups. The key is to minimize frizz and introduce a little more grip and hold with some products. For fine hair, the gel can be too heavy and weigh down the hair.

Start with clean, damp hair and work a small amount of curl-enhancing mousse, about the size of a silver dollar, through hair from roots to ends.

things with a littlehair serumto eliminate frizz and give your hair a beautiful shine. Use a rattail comb to create a triangle part pattern throughout the head. Start with a horizontal line down the center of the head and secure the back.

Use the tip of the comb to draw triangular shapes from the horizontal line to the front hairline. Secure each section of the triangle with a small hair clip as you go.Release the back and repeat the process, cutting each triangular section as you work.

Now you are ready to animate!Starting with one of the front sections, comb it up and start twisting it in one direction until it forms a bob.Continue turning the coil until it wraps around the base to form a knot. When you reach the end of the roll, bring it towards the bottom and tuck the ends under.

Use the end of the comb to help secure the ends securely.Since fine hair doesn't hold as well as thick, textured hair, you'll need to use a bobby pin or two to secure each knot.

Repeat for each section, twisting, rolling and pinning in place. If you're styling curls without heat, remove pins in the morning (or when hair is completely dry) and detangle curls to reveal big, voluminous curls.

(Video) 4C ONLY style guide: how to get the perfect bantu-knot out (BEGINNER friendly sis 😘)

We are Bantu up to half

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (5)

Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock

For a cool twist on the traditional look, try styling just the top half in Bantu knots! This fun version of the style leaves the bottom half loose and loose.

So you can create the texture of your choice to frame the look – straight hair is shown here, but we think it would look amazing with soft waves or voluminous curls on the bottom half.

how to style

Tie mid-length Bantu knots on fine hair as shown, using a little light mousse on hair while damp. Then separate the top half from the bottom and pin or pin the bottom half together. Split the top section into as many sections/nodes as you like (3 are shown here).

Use a rat tail comb to keep the parting lines clean and precise. Use your little finger to create irregular, informal lines. Fasten each section, leaving the last one loose.

Start by twisting the section hair in one direction until it starts to curl in on itself. He continues to twist and wind the roll tightly until it feels secure, then tucks the ends under the knot.

Repeat for the remaining sections. Spray with some hairspray and attach some bobby pins to better hold the style. Loosen the bottom section and use your natural texture or blow dry and use a flat iron, curling iron, or flat iron to create a bit of texture on the bottom half.

frequent questions

If you have burning questions, we have the answers. These are some of the most common questions people have about Bantu, Zulu, or Nubian knots.

Are bantu knots bad for your hair?

Bantu or Zulu knots are a protective hairstyle, meaning they will protect, not damage, your hair when done correctly. It is possible to damage hair with Bantu knots if you twist them too tightly.

So make sure that you twist until the hair starts to curl when doing this hairstyle.If you feel the knots are pulling on your scalp or creating too much tension, loosen them and wait a few days before twisting the knots back a little looser than before.

What do Bantu knots mean?

Bantu, Zulu or Nubian knots are traditional African tribal hairstyles for women. These styles were originally used to indicate that a woman belonged to a certain community or group: they were a symbol of sisterhood and community.

The first reports of Bantu knots date back to the Middle Bronze Age, 2000 BC. The Bantu-speaking tribes of West Africa were the original wearers of this protective hairstyle. As the tribe migrated, the style spread across Africa. Today, we see the style all over the world.

How long do Bantu knots last?

Bantu or Zulu knots last up to 2 weeks, depending on how tightly they are twisted and what products you use to keep the knots in place. With a curl cream or gel with the right hold and frizz-minimizing power, you can get 2 full weeks of wear out of that style.

Some women prefer to wear this hairstyle for a shorter period of time, at least overnight, as a way to create knot-free or heat-free curls. It's up to you, so leave your knots in overnight or up to 2 weeks!

Can anyone wear bantu knots?

This hairstyle can be rocked by anyone, including people with dangling braids or thin dreadlocks. You cannot wear Bantu knots with flat braids (braids that are attached to the head instead of hanging down). Thick dreadlocks can also prevent the proper curling technique to create these knots.

In terms of cultural appropriation, the decision to wear Bantu knots as a non-African person is entirely up to you.

If you are not of African descent and plan to wear this style, do some research on the tribal history of this style and what it means to descendants. For many, this hairstyle is more than just a hairstyle – it is a time-honored tradition. Make your decision based on your research.

(Video) NATURAL HAIR | BACK TO THE BASICS part twelve (hanging bantu knot)

Expert Tips for Perfect Bantu Knots

bantu knot | 2022 Complete Style Guide and Tips (6)


Do you want to design the perfect Bantu or Zulu knots? Knot a problem! You'll love your results so much more when you include these tips in your routine.

  • Keep a spray bottle nearby while styling the Bantu knots.This will help you make sure your hair doesn't get dry while you work. A continuous spray will ensure that you keep sections evenly moist without soaking one part while the other remains dry.
  • Use the tail of a rat tail comb for perfectly curled ends.Finishing Bantu or Zulu knots is often one of the areas where beginners get stuck. Finishing off knots is easy when you use the end of a rat tail comb to secure the ends! While pinching the ends of the knot after wrapping, hold them at the base of the knot and push them under the base with the tip of the comb.
  • Apply your hair products in the shower for better absorption.Natural hair experts recommend experimenting with applying the product in the shower to improve hair absorption. Defined and hydrated hair creates the best Bantu knots! Try to wash and condition as usual, then apply a leave-in conditioner followed by your curl cream of choice. You can even top it off with a bit of glitter to seal the ends, all in the shower!
  • Have some bobby pins handy.Your hair can hold the Zulu knots without a problem, but if you plan on wearing the style for a long time (up to 2 weeks), you may need to supplement the stability with some bobby pins. Putting a pin through the bottom will keep it from coming undone before you're ready to undo the knots.

Creating Bantu, Zulu or Nubian knots is easy! All you need is the correct twisting technique and the right products to create hold, definition and eliminate frizz. With this protective styling, your locks will be gently smoothed, protected from damage, and styled without heat or chemical processing.

By undoing the knots, you will have a full knot (similar to an out knot) with beautiful, even, voluminous curls. And since you can wear this style for up to 2 weeks, we anticipate your hair routine will get a boost.mucheasier once you master this style.

Click for FAQ

What do Bantu knots mean?

Bantu knots signify a sense of pride in the community of African women in wearing this hairstyle that has been passed down through the generations.

Are Bantu knots harmful?

No. Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle, which means they do not damage the hair. However, you should not twist it too much and you should also make sure that your hair is well hydrated before tying it up.

Can anyone wear bantu knots?

Yes, Bantu knots can be worn by anyone. This includes women with braided hair and dreadlocks.

Can you wear bantu knots in public?

Yes! You can use bantu knots anywhere. They are a great way to show how proud you are of your heritage and culture. Also, they are very good for your hair because they are a protective hairstyle.

(Video) How To: Perfect Bantu Knot Out On Natural Hair w. Take Down + Styling

Who invented the Bantu knot?

The Zulu people of South Africa invented the Bantu knot as a way to protect their hair and bring the community together. In many African cultures, women are united by their hair, which has a lot of meaning and pride.

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