I Tried It: Bantu Knot Out


(photo: iD Magazine)


‘d like to say my signature style would consist of a classic two strand twist out. It works every time, and I pretty much have the technique down to a science. But, occasionally I do get bored with this style and want to achieve a different type of curl. Enter stage left, the Bantu Knot Out, a style I’ve been eager to try for quite some time.


Now, what are Bantu Knots you ask? Bantu Knots result in the style of springy “curly q” curls or a pretty loose wave. I’ve noticed they are springy on girls with shorter natural hair (think ears and up) and more of the wave or loose curl on girls with longer natural hair (think mid-neck/shoulder length down). They can be done on any hair texture or type, and will totally change the look and curl of your hair.


This was my experience. Excuse me in advance for the low resolution, these photos were taken with my iPhone and not my camera.


What you will need:
-A spray bottle filled with water and part leave-in conditioner of your choice
-Bobby pins or pin curl clips
-A comb or Denman brush (I used my fingers to separate into sections, and detangled with the brush.)
-Styling product of your choice (I used a light mixture of Lottabody Curl Milk and Curls Blueberry bliss Control Jelly)
-A styling serum or oil for the take down (I used Castor Oil)

-Patience and a lot of drying time 🙂


Step 1: I started with dry, semi dirty hair. Probably a little over a week old.



Step 2: I parted my hair into sections and took a spray bottle filled with water and part leave-in conditioner, sprayed each section as I got to it and applied a little curl milk and control jelly, section by section. Because my hair was dry, after spraying, I detangled with my Denman brush before applying additional product. NOTE: The sections should be damp, NOT soaking wet, this will save you a lot of extra drying time.



Step 3: After separating, twist the hair around in a circular motion until it’s in a coil. Almost like twisting a wet towel into a coil before you smack someone with it (or am I the only one who’s done that? lol). Tuck the ends of your hair in the coil and use a bobby pin or pin curl clip to hold them in place so they don’t unravel as they dry. Repeat this step all over.



I would say I had a total of maybe 25 knots once I was done. I made the back and sides a little smaller so my curl pattern would be a little tighter around that area, because that’s just how I like it. It’s important to allot plenty of time and patience and to keep your coils neat because this will determine how they dry in the end style.


Step 4: You have two options once your knots are finished. You can sit under the dry for a couple of hours or you can let your knots air dry for 24-48 hours. Remember, your hair will be tightly knotted up, so air will take longer to get in to actually dry your hair. If you take them out before they are dry, you will not get the desired look you want.



Step 5: My first time finished results are picture above! I took them down similar to how I take out my twist out. I applied a little Castor Oil onto my fingertips and gently took them out and separated them one by one. I don’t have the photo of how they looked before I fluffed them out. But I used my fingers again to fluff from the roots and be sure no sectioned parts were visable.


Learning Lessons:

1. Although I thought my hair was completely dry after sitting under the dryer, it wasn’t. What resulted was frizzy curls around the crown of my head. I’ll probably devote a whole day to this look next time or sit under the dryer a tad bit longer. So please allow ample drying time!!

2. Honestly I felt like a little baby doll with this style. I already look younger than my age, so that’s not exactly the look I’m going for.

3. The style lasted 3 days for me then I was over it. There wasn’t an easy way for me to maintain the look at night, and like my twist out, it just didn’t get better at 3 day “old old” hair.

I’m glad I finally did this look and tried something different, but it’s just not for me. I might give it one more shot considering this was my first time doing this style. Who knows, maybe a longer length or knotting on clean hair will make a difference.


Better yet, next time maybe I’ll leave my hair in the knots and rock it Rihanna style.


I would love to hear your suggestions, comments, products, and feedback from when you tried this style and how it worked for you! Did you use any different products you think I should try next time, or a different technique that you found to work better? How do you think I did on my first attempt?




6 Responses
  • T'erra McDougal
    March 9, 2015

    looks so cute, i tried it once but had a hard time sleeping lol.

    • admin
      March 10, 2015

      Lol I slept “carefully” as well.

  • Kiana
    March 10, 2015

    Bantu Knot Outs are my go-to style! I don’t have a very tight curl pattern so my hair doesn’t really hold two strand twists. I’ve been using the same product combination you mentioned in this post and I’ve actually had the best results with that product combo. I usually use bobby pins to hold the style and keep my knots very tight and sleep with it overnight. My best results have been on dry, stretched hair and I just lightly spritz each section with water (I spritz a water spray bottle once in my hand and then run my fingers through my hair) then add my moisturizer and gel, brush the section to smooth the hair, then twist and secure with a bobby pin. I think it came out really cute on you! I do agree that the downside of this style is that it’s not that easy to maintain. I still haven’t found a maintenance method that really works for me other than re-knotting in larger sections.

    • admin
      March 10, 2015

      Thanks for your feedback Kiana! Yea, I wish it lasted a little longer, but like I said, I’ll give it one more shot lol. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Rashida
    June 22, 2015

    I don’t like the way regular bantu knots look on me,so I two stand twist first then bantu knots the twists on damp moisturizerd hair. The curls come out a lot more defined, but still achieve the desired look. My apologizes for the delayed response.

    • admin
      June 30, 2015

      Ahh ok, I’ll have to try that technique out next time I do this style

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