Bantu knots are one of the prettiest, easiest, and most versatile hairstyles out there for Black and African women. This is why they are so popularly worn all over the world. You probably see one or two people rocking this hairstyle gloriously every day. If you’ve always wanted to try Bantu knots but you think your hair is too short to achieve the style, this blog post is for you. This is a step-by-step guide to getting Bantu knots done on your short hair without having to go to the hairstylist.
What are Bantu Knots?
Bantu knots are a traditional African hairstyle that has been worn for over 100 years, according to Naturally Curly. It is achieved by sectioning the hair into parts that form a knot-like appearance after the hair has been twisted and wrapped around the base.
Bantu knots have a long-standing history and relevance in the Black and African cultures. This is because the hairstyle originates from the Bantu-speaking community from Southern West Africa and Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa during the 2nd Millennium BCE.
It has been reinvented and reimagined in several ways by black women over the past 20 or so years. They are still worn by people of African descent from different cultural groups for different reasons. One of such reasons includes wearing them in reference to their African roots. Celebrities like Rihanna, Yara Shahidi, Beyonce, and Lauryn Hill have worn Bantu knots.
How to Do Bantu Knots on Short Hair
There are quite a number of ways to achieve Bantu knots. If you have short hair, for you to be able to wrap your hair perfectly around the base to form the knots, you can add hair extensions to the hair. This helps add to the length of the hair and produces big and bold knots. But if your hair is at least 6 inches long, you can do without the hair extensions.
Things you Need for Bantu Knots:
- A rat-tail comb
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Water-based moisturizer and oil
- Hair extensions
- Elastic bands
Here are the steps required:
- Shampoo and condition your hair. This is important for Bantu knots styling. Since the style involves showing a lot of scalp, you must ensure that your scalp is free of product build-up or dirt of any kind.
- Moisturize your hair to avoid dryness and frizz. You can moisturize using a leave-in conditioner or any water-based moisturizer. Seal the moisture with oils like coconut oil or carrot oil.
- Detangle your hair gently but thoroughly. Make sure you get all the knots out of your hair before getting your knots done. (Pun intended!)
- Use a rat-tail comb to part the hair into sections. How big your knots will depend on how big you part your hair.
- Use a hair styling gel to smoothen out the roots to get a better grip and cleaner knots. Use an elastic band to hold it at the roots. Make sure to moisturize the elastic bands with oil so that they don’t break your hair.
- Cut your hair extension into the preferred length and make the tip pointy. This is because you will need to wrap the pointy tip around your knots to hold them in place later on.
- Attach some of the hair extension to one of your parted hair sections and braid it halfway down, leaving the pointy tip unbraided.
- Twist the braided hair and wrap it around the base of your hair. You can hold the base with one hand while wrapping up the knot with another to ensure that you have a firm knot.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 for all parted sections and you’re good to go!
Are Bantu knots bad for natural hair?
No, Bantu knots are not bad for natural hair. They are a great protective hairstyle for type 3 and 4 hairs.
What hair types can wear Bantu knots?
All hair types are capable of achieving Bantu knots. One of the greatest features of the hairstyle is its versatility.
Can you sleep in Bantu knots?
Although it may be a little difficult to sleep in Bantu knots, you can find a way around it. Try not to make the knots tight to make sleeping easier. Also, sleep with a satin hair bonnet or scarf to keep the moisture in and avoid frizz. You can get beautiful satin hair bonnet and cap designs here.