Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types!

Bantu knotes tutorialCall it a bantu knot, a protective style, or a 90s look making a hardcore fashion comeback—it’s certainly making waves lately! I often wear bantu knots as a hairstyle leading up to an even better and curlier fro. Normally that means they’re worn late at night, covered with a scarf, and hidden from everyone except me. Up until recently I never even thought of wearing my knots out. I would see them on a passing stranger or two, but still, the style didn’t seem like it was one I would wear out and about. I’ll admit, I feel as though it takes a certain level of confidence to rock a bunch of knots in your hair. But once you do, it really becomes this threshold of style and hair confidence. It was something I had yet to reach… until now.  

Truthfully, it’s day four or so, and I am still in love with this look. It’s holding up well, and is so incredibly easy to create and to keep up…something I really look for when creating any style as a busy mom. 
Here’s how my sister created this look for me! 
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
-wide tooth comb
-almond and aloe oil
-bobby pins
-hair ties
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) Step One: After washing or co-washing your hair, separate it into four parts using a t part. Oil and then gently comb through each section with your Denman brush. After combing each section through and tying it back up, part each section according to the amount of bantu knots you’d like in each one. My sister created around four knots for each section. Four was great for me because I wanted larger knots, but also because of the thickness of my hair. If you happen to have thinner hair, you would probably like less knots for each section. 
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) Step Two: Using the “praying hands” technique, apply all of your products to each section one by one. After applying your products, comb through your smaller hair sections gently and thoroughly. 
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) Step Three: Using your hair tie, tightly tie one of your smaller sections creating a ponytail. Then separate that ponytail into two once it’s securely in the hair tie. Once you have your two pieces of hair in your hands, begin a two strand twist. (Some people create a braid for a different curl pattern. Personally, I prefer a two strand twist. You can choose whatever you like best.)
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) Step Four: After twisting the two strands together, take the whole twist and twist it in a knot clockwise. To secure your knot, you can use a bobby pin or tuck it under the knot. 
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) I really do love the way the parts came out as a whole. I love that they look clean, and also kind of weird and cool. 
Easy Bantu Knots for All Hair Types! (click through for tutorial) I have to say, despite it’s craziness, this style is one of my favorites! I think what I love most is that it’s actually doing a lot for my hair while it’s in. As a natural girl, it’s protecting my hair by keeping it twisted and tied during a long period of time. But also, this style can be worn by anybody! Straight hair, fine hair, blonde, brunette… you name it! It also gives most people a great curl once they’ve taken it out. Now that you know how to create this super easy look, will you give it a try? xo. LaTonya
Credits // Author: LaTonya Staubs. Photography: Nneka Salmon. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • I love this series on natural hair! Love seeing people with my same hair type proudly showing off their hair. Plus any time these posts come out, I think of how a few less people will ask me how I got my hair “like that”.

  • I remember when Janet wore these! I rely never considered wearing this as a style myself, but now that I have seen this I definitely will, especially this summer!

  • You could totally wear this as a regular style, I try these, but my hair is still really thin when I twist it out. Kinda jealous! You look awesome.

  • Love this! My mom used to do this to my hair all the time when I was younger. It’s basically like the black girl’s pig tails. 😉 Definitely excited to see the style coming back.

  • Great post–it was the perfect “snow day” activity for me to do with my daughter’s hair this morning!

  • This post could be greatly improved with more details for readers who may not be familiar with natural hair. For example, I’ve never heard of a Denman brush or the “praying hands technique”, so I felt a little lost while reading.

  • LaTonya – you have such a beautiful smile! Even though I’ve only seen it in photos, it lights up a room. And this hairstyle looks great on you!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  • Wow! Ok. I’m kind of shocked to see anything about natural hair on this site. That being said, great job! I personally don’t use Miss Jessie’s products because of some of the ingredients, but I have done this look with Wondercurl Butter and I love it. This style also looks great when you take the knots out! (It’s kind of a natural girl’s version of pin curls). The only thing I would note is to do this style on damp hair not wet. Otherwise those knots will never dry! 😉

  • A Denman Brush looks like this. It comes in different teeth sizes and widths, (and some girls even take some of the teeth out, if their hair is really thick). The “praying hands technique” is simple. When you apply product to a small section of hair and sandwich the hair between your palms and slide your plans down the length of the section. An alternative to this would be “raking” the product through your hair which you wouldn’t want to do here, because the object is to keep the hair as smooth as possible. HTH! 🙂

  • Thank you! I have tried these knots (without the bands) from watching YouTube videos and is was a total fail. I used to do my nieces hair like this (without the knots) when she was little and my mother did my hair the same. Thanks for bringing back those memories and making this easier. I also need to get the correct products. I only have coconut oil, and SheaMoisture shampoo and conditioner so basically none of what you mentioned. My hair is natural for about 2 1/2 years now and it is mostly wavy and curly at the ends after a good trim. Will these same products work on my hair? Do you have a post on tried and true products for different hair types?

  • Love the hair, but i also really love the jumpsuit, can you tell me where it is from?

  • What a nice surprise! Being a curly girl I love this post. 🙂 Rocking Bantu Knots is always a cute look & when you take them down it creates really beautiful waves. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  • I love it! You should do a follow up post showing the great curls/waves for wearing the next day. I love that we’re seeing different hair types represented, too. This is one of those great crossover styles, like you said, that is good on many different hair types. I have thin, straight hair, but I’ve been doing this to my hair for years. It’s kind of perfect for the summer to keep your hair away from your face, and end up with amazing waves the next day.

  • I used to do this all the tme to get that cute curly look when I was much younger. For some reason the products out now give me a curly look with much less work! Having relaxed hair these years makes me want to change it up to a more natuarl look.

    Thanks for the post!

  • My hairdresser did these on me for my wedding hair style. I’ll never forget when one of my husbands groomsmen dropped by to bring me an umbrella, saw my hair in the knots and looked at me terrified. I had him completely convinced that’s how I was wearing my hair for the wedding. The curls they create are absolutely fabulous. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  • Your knots look dope! I think the confidence you’re showing wearing them as a style makes them look even better 🙂

  • I’ve worn this style a few times, but I never knew it’s name. Last time, I got this comment, “It’s so non-corporate, but I really love it!” from a girl who was impressed that I had flouted custom and worn my hair like that to work.

    However, that was in Toronto where pretty much anything goes. I would never try this style for work in Japan, but it’s certainly a cute look for the weekend. 🙂

  • Love these. I’m blonde with short hair with an undercut and still love twirling my hair into bantu knots! It’s unpredictable and fun. It catches people off guard in a pleasing way. Great post. Love your writing style.

  • Hi Pam! I don’t have a post up about what products to use etc. I think with natural hair, it takes a lot of testing. I tried a lot of shea moisture products, before realizing that they’re products just did not go well with my hair. Next in line was miss jessies, and thankfully, I started using the products my hair likes automatically. I think just try some out, depending on what kind of natural hair you have.


  • Hi! Yes, totally! I didn’t mention not doing it on super wet hair, but I should have. If you look at the pictures, my hair is air dried a bit. I also kept mine in for about two weeks, so, it gave my hair time to really dry too.

    I also loved the way it came out after!


  • Hi Rachel,

    I totally get how it’s confusing. I actually had no idea what it was until i went natural and had to purchase one. As the commenter said below, a denman brush is actually almost like a wig brush. Just stronger, more defined. praying hands technique is just basically, how your hands move when you pray. together and fingers pointing up. after applying the product, you just want to close the hair between your hands and just continue with the praying hands style, running your hands down to the tips of your hair.


  • Silly question, but for those of us not lucky enough to have ethnic hair, would we use the same products? Would love to try this on my daughter – but as a half Mexican, half crazy mix of everything else, her hair definitely does not fall in the “natural” range. It is however, wavy and thick.

  • Hi LaTonya!!

    I have been a big fan of Gwen Stefani since forever and she has rocked that knots style several times!

    I’ve never thought about doing it myself, I feel like I would need someone to help me do it properly, so i’ll ask a friend next time, thank you for the post, you’re looking gorgeous as always!

  • Im cracking up at this a bit because this is honestly not a hairstyle us naturals wear out in public. It’s more of a setting style that is let out later when dried to produce a loser curl texture BUT props to you guys for showing some diversity in the hairstyle section.

    Also: This is exactly the hairstyle “Crazy Eyes” has in Orange is the New Black if anyone wants an awesome Halloween costume idea for next year! #thumbsup

  • I’m a white girl with ginger hair. I always admired African Americans beautiful hairstyles since childhood. I did these bantu knots and they are now my favorite hairstyle!!! I always remember who did it first though! : )

  • My daughter did her hair like this on Christmas. I loved it! I had never heard of Bantu knots before so she told me to look it up.. and here I am 😁. The knots made her hair look like it was curled in a salon.. until she decided to brush it. She called it her “white girl fro” lol. I found that it looks best on my hair if it’s wet when I start twisting. My hair gets pretty knotty, so I use some type of oil or conditioner. I blow-dry it completely dry, then go-to bed. When I wake up, I completely drench my hair again and wear a scarf over them. Then, I either let it dry on its own (6-12 hrs later) or I blow-dry it completely again. Sometimes I even flat iron them. Lastly, I untwist and finger in some gel or pomade and viola! I’m really glad my daughter showed me this because I was previously braiding my hair. Sometimes it looked like I was trying to bring back the 80’s with the “krimped up” popstar look. lol. Thank God for bantu knots! lol.
    P.s. I think you look adorable with the knots. Leave the scarf at home! 😁

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.