Bantu knots aren’t the most common hairstyle you would encounter. Its scarcity makes it more pleasing and it can be a good fit for you if you want your hair to stand out. These knots can be your go-to choice if you aren’t ready for your next styling session and want to experiment with something for a short time.

History of Bantu Knots

We know that Bantu knots are one of the protective styles Black people use for their hair. Just like braids, cornrows, and twists; these knots protect hair from friction and breakage because of its rubbing. Plus, they absolve you of another task of styling your hair every day.

It is claimed that the style is ancient and has been in use since 2000 BCE. It remained in trend between 2000 and 1500 BCE and kept re-emerging after that. We can see that the emergence of this style co-occurred with the famous Bunto Migration in the fifteenth century BCE.

The creators of this style were Bantu- speaking tribes in Southern West Africa. Nowadays, the descendants of these tribes reside in different African regions including Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa.

In Jamaica, these knots are also known as Nubian knots or Chiny bumps.

Bantu Knots Inspirations

Here are some Bantu knots inspirations for your next hairstyle. Don’t forget to check out the FAQs section at the end of this post to know if this style is good for you or not. Plus, we shall explain the right method of doing this style.

1. Jumbo Bantu Knots

Jumbo Bantu Knots

You will need braiding hair to achieve the volume. Start with making large hair divisions. Then, add thick strands of synthetic hair for each knot. Thicker braids or twists will give you bigger knots. But you will also need longer braiding hair to do the trick.

2. Extra Large Bantu Knots

Extra Large Bantu Knots

These knots use lots of hair to complete. You get big knots that look attractive and cute. Mostly, these knots are combined with large partitions on your scalp but that’s not a necessity and you can do well with the medium part just as well.

3. Tall Bantu Knots

Tall Bantu Knots

These knots are tied higher than others and are usually thinner. You can get them with small to large hair divisions. Also, if you want to add sophistication to it, complete the style with cornrows and knotless braids on the side.

4. Large Part Bantu Hair

Large Part Bantu Hair

You can choose to keep the style light and easy to carry with Bantu knots that aren’t too big and are farther apart. Start with a large partition and add only a small strand of braiding hair for each part.

5. Medium Part Knots

Medium Part Knots

Or you may want to make the style a little bit more sophisticated than the large part Bantu knots style. Get it with medium partitions. You make them as big as you made the last ones or you can choose to play this style small.

6. Small Part Knots

Small Part Knots

You get the style and glamor oozing off this hairstyle. You can keep the Bantu knots small or large and keep them near each other covering the whole scalp.

7. Extra Small Part Bantu Knots

Extra Small Part Bantu Knots

If you can spare some time to do your hair and want a sophisticated look, you should get Bantu knots on your hair with small partitions. You can make the knots smaller so the style remains easier to carry and allows you to sleep in it for days.

8. Extra Small Bantu Knots with Cornrows

Extra Small Bantu Knots with Cornrows

This style uses natural hair only. You start with cornrows that run to the top and use these braids to get several small knots on the top of your head.

9. Knots on the Front Only

Knots on the Front Only

This chill and lazy style is for those who want to let their hair relax for some time before trying a new style.

Getting the style is easy. You start with parting the front hair in three square parts and proceed to make a knot on each part. After that, you let other hair on your scalp as they are.

10. Braided and Accessorized

Braided and Accessorized

This style uses braided hair to form the knot. But before you make the knots accessorize these braids with beads and cuffs. Do it at random lengths for each hair division.

11. Knots with Cornrows

Knots with Cornrows

If you have some extra time to do your hair, you should check out this style. It requires you to part your hair in large squares. Then from every corner and side of each square, you take hair to braid feed-in cornrows that move towards the center of this square. Once all braids have reached the center, you can tie the knot.

12. Cornrows and Knots Wheel

Cornrows and Knots Wheel

This style is bold and sophisticated and uses triangles emerging out of the top center of your head. Interestingly, it is categorized by the cornrows dividing the hair. You can complete the style with four more cornrows – two from each side of your head.

13. Knots with Spiral Cornrows

Knots with Spiral Cornrows

These knots will start from the center of your head and move spirally to each corner. On every corner, you would tie the knot to get this sophisticated style.

14. Bantu Knots with Loose Braids

Bantu Knots with Loose Braids

Most Bantu knots we see nowadays are styled from braids. You tie the braid around its base until a knot is formed. But this style is different. In this style, you have to create knots on the front and top part of your head leaving other braided hair loose and flowing.

15. Knots with Loose Hair

Knots with Loose Hair

This style is similar to the previous one. Here, you will braid or twist your hair to create Bantu knots at the front and top of your head. Let the black hair relax. You will let them lose on your shoulders.

16. Knots with Single Braid

Knots with Single Braid

You can also choose to leave one strand of braided hair to flow freely from the front of your head. Angle it sideways to make it easier to wear. Or you can get one loose braid on each side of your head in addition to Bantu knots. Accessorize these braids with beads.

17. Knots with 2 Strand Twist

Knots with 2 Strand Twist

You may love the look of 2 strand twist more than braided hair. If that is you, you can get your Bantu knots on twisted hair. You can use this style for every partition size and knot size.

18. Messy Knots

Messy Knots

These knots appear like messy low buns instead of knots. How do you achieve them? You create them without gel so the hair appears loose and messy. You can also let two braids loose from the sides of your head to complete the look.

19. Space Buns

Space Buns

With excessively large partitions, these knots look more like space buns than like knots. The only difference between famous space buns and space bun-like knots is that you get four knots to qualify as space bun-inspired knots.

20. Heart Shape Parts

Heart Shape Parts

If you have decided on large parts to do your knots, have you thought about the shape of these parts for you? You can choose the easiest of all these styles and go with square parts. But other parts may look sexier. For special occasions, I would recommend the heart part in the middle of your head surrounded by triangle parts.

21. Triangle Part Knots

Triangle Part Knots

Triangle is the most common partition style for Bantu knots. You can use this shape for short to medium, to large parts. And you can combine it with other shapes such as square and heart-shaped parts to get a versatile look.

22. Braided Triangle Knots

Braided Triangle Knots

This exquisite style will need your sophisticated hairstyling skills. The first step is easy – you have to part your hair in triangles. Then, you should take a small portion of hair from each part and style two tribal braids from it. Use the remaining hair to create the Bantu knot and wrap the braids around it.

23. Bantu Knots with Locs

Bantu Knots with Locs

Dreadlocks are another hair type that can be used to build these knots. So, if you have locs and you want to try these knots, you don’t have to wait until you remove the locs. If your dreads are thick enough, use them to tie the knots. And if you want to add volume, you can always get suitable faux locs extensions.

24. Knots with Free Locs

Knots with Free Locs

When you are creating your knots from dreadlocks, you have the choice to let one or two locs fall freely on your forehead. Or you can let them fall on your shoulders to get a more relaxed look.

25. Large Bantu Knots with Natural Hair

Large Bantu Knots with Natural Hair

No one says that you cannot style Bantu knots if you don’t use braiding hair. But if you do, you must compromise on the volume of these knots. If your hair is thick and long, skip the synthetic strands and stick to your natural hair to create the hairstyle you like. You would want to start with large parts if you want large knots.

26. Medium Bantu Knots with Natural Hair

Medium Bantu Knots with Natural Hair

You can get medium knots with your long and thick natural mane. Start with medium parts and follow the normal procedure.

27. Bantu Knots on Wig

Bantu Knots on Wig

You can also achieve this sophisticated look with a wig. Interestingly, when you use a wig, there is no shortage of ideas to style your knots. You can get jumbo to extra-large knots, large and small parts, and different part shapes for the wig. Also, you wouldn’t feel the need to add more hair making the process easier.

28. Freestyle Partition Bantu Knots

Freestyle Partition Bantu Knots

Use a flowery style or a random pattern to partition your hair for the knots. You have to be careful if you do – it’s easy for this style to turn from freestyle to messy partitions. This random style suits large parts perfectly.

29. Blonde Bantu Knots

Blonde Bantu Knots

These knots don’t have to be jet black. You can include other colors as well. These knots with blonde dyed hair will look unique and bold.

30. Dye Them Red

Dye Them Red

If you want to make a bold statement, you can also go with red-dyed Bantu knots. Only dye the strands and braided hair and let your black hair roots shine through this color. Or get pure black hair and have fun.

How to Style Bantu Knots

  • You need the following tools to accomplish the style:
  • Pre-stretched braiding hair
  • Braiding gel
  • Rubber bands
  • One at tail comb
  • One edge control brush
  • Crochet needle
  • You will want to start with dry and straightened hair. Choose between small and large partitions.
  • Now, apply gel to the roots of your hair and use a bristle brush to comb down these strands. Tie oiled rubber bands to secure these hair partitions.
  • The next step is to insert braiding hair into your strands. There are three methods to do so and using a crochet needle is the easiest of these methods. Alternatively, you can use the rubber band and keep it in the middle of braiding hair, tie it around your natural hair. You can also simply braid the synthetic strand around your hair section.
  • Once the braiding hair is secured on natural strands, braid or twist them to your desired length. Now use this braided or twisted hair to wrap around the base. You have to tuck the remaining hair under the base to complete the style.
  • You can choose to forgo adding braiding hair for your style if your natural hair is long and super thick. Note that Bantu knots need lots of hair so you wouldn’t get them without adding synthetic hair if your hair isn’t dense.


Do Bantu Knots Damage Your Hair?

When done appropriately, these knots will protect your hair from damage from excessive friction. You have to ensure not to put extra pressure when doing these knots.

Also, tie the rubber bands lightly. You may leave the curls produced by these knots afterward to get the famous knot-out style. But if you choose to straighten these locks, make sure to apply heat protectant before using a straightener.

Can I Get Bantu Knots on My Hair?

You can wear Bantu knots on relaxed hair as well as on braided hair and locs.

Can You Sleep in Bantu Knots?

Note that the style is mostly easy to carry. But they aren’t sleep-friendly. You have to plan these knots in detail to adjust for your sleep posture.

Take Away

This post discusses the origin of Bantu knots and how you can incorporate them into your style. We have covered 30 styles to inspire your next hairstyle. Which one of these appears suitable to you? Have you chosen one to use for your next styling session?

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