This post is dedicated to my curlfriend Brokey McPoverty, Queen of the Bantu Knots. I cannot post a picture of her without someone asking,”how did she do that to her hair?” well wait no further I have the scoop straight from the source.
Bantu knots are a traditional African style, named after the Bantu people (which is a general term for several ethnic groups living in Southern Africa) who wore their hair this way. Historically the way you arraigned and adorned your hair was a way to communicate, marital status, class, occupation or even feelings. This style is very simple to do but can also be carved into intricate complex designs. It can be done on all hair types from tightly coiled to stick straight to locs.
Basic Bantu Knots: To make a bantu knot grab a section of hair and begin twisting in one direction. The twist will begin to twist back upon itself at the root. Wrap the twist around itself to form a knot. Secure by wrapping the ends around the base. If the knot will not stay twisted secure with a hair pin or elastic.
Twisted Batu Knots: Same process as the basic except you two-strand twist the section of hair then you wrap around to create the knot.
Bantu knots can be worn as an ornate style on their own but can also be used as a way to set the hair and released for a knot-out look. Knot-outs result in large voluminous loosely curled style that can be made fuller by further separating. This is the look Brokey is known for.
This style can be done on wet or dry hair using hold gel or curl cream; it all depends on your hair type. Those with straighter hair may want to do this style on wet hair using gel to help hold the knots in place and set the style. Those with tightly curly hair may want to do this style on stretched or blowdried hair using a curl cream to help uniformly set the knots.
Knots can be done on any size plaits and twisted in any direction. Smaller knots will yield a tighter curl, while larger knots will produce a looser curl. You can also vary the size of the knots on your hair for a more textured look. The knots can be twisted in either direction however the direction they are twisted will determine the way it falls so be mindful of that.
1. Start with stretched hair. She stretches her hair by braiding it after washing/conditioning and allow it to dry.
2. Section off your hair. This just makes quick work of the knotting process if you section beforehand.
3. Detangle lightly with conditioner, if necessary.
4. Apply a shine serum (optional) like Natural Shine Polish by JustNatural Organics
5. Apply twisting or hold cream like darcy’s botanicals avocado and honey twisting cream.
6. Twist and knot.
7. Allow hair to dry completely. Tie hair with satin scarf if going to sleep.
8. When hair is COMPLETELY DRY, unknot and separate. If your hair is not completely dry it will result in puffy bushy hair. Use an oil or pomade on your fingers to smooth the hair like darcy’s botanicals coconut butter styling pomade.
9. Fluff the roots. This will help eliminate any odd parting. Insert a comb or pick at the roots and gently shake and lift.
10. Accessorize at will. Add a scarf, clip, headband or flower to give extra life to your style.
Bantu knot-out with scarf.
To read Brokey’s complete post go here: http://brokeymcpoverty.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/at-last-the-dry-bantu-knot-out-post/
Video instructions on bantu knots:
Bantu Knots on Short Natural Hair http://youtu.be/KT9J12bkHv0
Bantu Knots on Transitioning Hair http://youtu.be/V-H99ut2mLk
Bantu Knots on Straight Hair http://youtu.be/bHAqqbvySOg
Bantu Knots on Locs http://youtu.be/59rTerjbcp8