19 Amazing Ways to Wear Bantu Knots

Bantu knots on relaxed hair

Bantu knots are a traditional African hairstyle that describes the 300+ ethnic groups within southern Africa that speak the Bantu language. Bantu “Zulu” knots are small coiled buns that work best on medium to long hair lengths. The shorter your hair is, the harder it will be to separate the sections.

The other benefit of doing Bantu knots is that it’s cheap to pull off. Here are the products you’ll need:

  • Wide tooth comb
  • Bristle Brush
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair ties
  • Coconut oil
  • Moisturizing Mist
  • Leave-in conditioner

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Bantu Knots On Natural Hair

Bantu hairstyle on natural hair
Instagram @salonnoa

Bantu knots is a hairstyle that magically leads into a more gorgeous hairstyle. Knots done on naturally curly hair usually crush the look especially when the hair is well moisturized and taken care of. The natural curl of the hair just flows with the Bantu style.

Bantu With Cornrows

Bantu hairstyle with cornrows
Instagram @mzshidab

If your hair is still short for other protective styles like braids then these stylish Bantu knots can do the magic. For added style and dimension, you can add cornrows and accessorized braids in between those knots.

On Relaxed Hair

Bantu hairstyle on relaxed hair
Instagram @shanillia26

For all of you who want to achieve Bantu knots on your relaxed natural hair, don’t be afraid to try it! Just remember that it’s super important to have your hair completely dry before you coil them. You can leave them for a few days and add some pretty braids and cute accessories to spice up your look!

Burgundy Hair

Burgundy Bantu hairstyle
Instagram @stylesb._

Think again if you’re scared to try high maintenance fashion colors for your natural kinky hair! This vibrant red will absolutely look flattering on dark skin as it has a brightening effect. Try them on any protective style like these thick braided Bantu knots and you’ll be surprised.

On Wet Hair

Bantu hairstyle on wet hair
Instagram @trini4true

It’s so amazing when you combine two top-notch hairstyles like these locs and knots at the same time! Try doing your knots on wet hair for a nice and slippery perfectly curled twist outs. Always remember to have deep conditioning before doing it. The curl is amazing here.

Bantu On 4C Hair

Bantu hairstyle on 4C hair
Instagram @jaynellenicole

Embrace the versatility of natural hair by trying these classic Bantu knots out! These knots are actually and perfectly ideal for 4C hair as they create more defined curls when twisted out.

Twisted Bantu Knot Out

Twist outs Bantu knots
Instagram @jolieluvlee

This impossibly perfect twist Bantu knot-out wouldn’t come out right if not done with the right products. If you’re looking for definition for your natural hair, this is absolutely one of the top hairstyles to try and you can do it in just under an hour!

On a Weave

Bantu hairstyle on a weave
Instagram @mandi_luv24

These huge knots are more attainable by using trendy crochet braids. Still super easy to do yet gives you the loveliest outcome you could have.

With Straight Hair

Bantu hairstyle with straight hair
Instagram @gabriela_clesca

Straight or curly, long or short, Bantu knots will never fail to be the cutest and flirtiest African hairstyle anyone can try by themselves! You can wear them for a few days then remove them and rock those twisty curls after!

Bantu Knots Short Hair

Short hair in Bantu knots
Instagram @mosdefhair

Though tricky, it’s not impossible to do Bantu knots on short hair. A trick is to apply more mousse or setting lotion to your natural hair for more control and ease in twisting and styling.

Transitioning Hair

Transitioning hair in Bantu knots
Instagram @curlyzizi

Make sure to create larger partitions if you’re doing Bantu knots on transitioning hair after conditioning well. You can also opt for extensions if you want a more stylish and versatile look.

On Dry Hair

Bantu hairstyle on dry hair
Instagram @mosdefhair

The most important thing to remember when doing these fabulous knots on dry hair is to be careful especially when detangling as dry hair can be coarse and brittle. Moisturize, be gentle, and take your time, and it’ll be all worth it!

On Afro Hair

Bantu hairstyle on afro hair
Instagram @mosdefhair

These marvelous coils are particularly trendy on short natural African-American hair. This is an impressive way to style your hair without damaging it with heat.

For Little Girls

Bantu hairstyle for little girls
Instagram @bellamanestudio

Get playful and imaginative with your little girl’s hair by doing these creative hairstyle. Combine cornrows and cute beads together and finish with a crown of knots for a fresh look that’s perfect for the most active kids.

On Locs

Bantu hairstyle on locs
Instagram @locsbyroxie

Locs are already a striking hairstyle on their own but that shouldn’t stop you from doing a more gorgeous one! There is really not much difference in doing Bantu knots on dreadlocked hair than on loose strands. Just keep your favorite moisturizing product besides you at all times while doing it and you’re good to go!

Small Bantu Knots

Small Bantu Knots
Instagram @blacknaps

You can get perky with small knots that can be styled whichever way you want.

Bantu Knots With Braids

Bantu hairstyle with braids
Instagram @signed_byelle

Q&A with style creator, Elle Bee
Master Cosmetologist / Stylist @ Hair Signed by Elle in Atlanta, GA

How would you describe this look?

Bantu knots is an out of the box hairstyle and deserves someone who is confident, a person who can be the nucleus of a room without trying.

What I love about this style is that it doesn’t take long to do yet it’s so unique and chic.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Know that your hair only needs to be long enough to put into ponytails and the rest can be done with extensions if you don’t have the length. Also, you won’t need too many products for upkeep, only oil for the scalp and a satin wrap or bonnet to cover your hair while sleeping.

This style is for those who don’t have styling restrictions at their place of work or for those who don’t put restrictions on themselves. Be natural and free!

Bantu Knot Twist

Bantu Knot Twist
Instagram @nurtured.tresses

Larger mounds on your head create a larger statement that is also very easy to do, maintain, and keep.

With Triangle Patterns

Q&A with style creator, Desireé Ward
Head Hairstylist @ The Hair Blessings Salon in Austin, TX

How would you describe this look?

Bantu knots are great for protecting your hair. In the black culture/community, it’s important to keep our hair moisturized to prevent it from breakage. It’s a unique look that the Zulu and Bantu people in Africa tend to rock.

It’s a strong look for women that typically have a lot to do and care for. It’s seemingly a carefree stress-free style. I love the Bantu look because it gives people a chance to look outside the box, most importantly, look beyond the look and of the person. It creates a conversation for sure!

There’s no one hair type for this style. A lot of people nowadays get their hair done this way for fashion purposes, but in reality, it’s a sign of strength & unity for the Bantu/African culture. It’s mainly used for protective styling.

Any advice for someone considering it?

Before getting this style, shampoo with moisturizing products and detangle with a leave-in conditioner or light oil. It’s best to do this style while damped but some stylists or hair lovers do it dry before bed for a nice beach wave. In the morning just take them down with light oil and finer then apart.

If you are getting them done while they are damped, they do not require shampoo. This style can last up to two weeks. Light on the scalp with tea tree oil. This will help with the itch (if you have any) and moisture.

Gently wrap them at night with a silk scarf!