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35 Bantu Knots Hairstyles for the Stylish Black Woman

Last year, the black American community dragged American artiste, Adele when she posted an Instagram photo of herself in a Bantu knots hairstyle. 

The same happened to Khloe Kardashian in 2016 when she rocked Bantu knots. She even had to delete the original photo and upload a slightly different one.

Those and many other instances are proof that Bantu knots hairstyles mean a lot to the Black community. Perhaps, that is why they flare up when Whites wear the hairstyle without giving credit to the African race.

Victoria Willie wearing bantu knots

Bantu knots aren’t only beautiful and easy to install. They also protect your natural hair too.

On this note, we decided to inspire you with the most beautiful Bantu knots hairstyles that extol our African heritage.

But before we check them all out, let’s have a little discussion about Bantu knots.

What are Bantu Knots Hairstyles 

lady rocking Bantu knots with dark shades

Bantu knots are traditional African hairstyles worn by black women of different cultural groups. To achieve this coiffure, you section your hair into different parts. Afterwards, you twist and wrap each section to form a spiralled knot on your head that resembles a stack of tyres.

Victoria Willie wearing bantu knots - side view

Once you’re done, you’ll have something like a line of pretty little buns around your head.

If you’re a naturalista, Bantu knots is one protective natural hairstyle you should rock. And if your hair is relaxed, this style is a protective hairstyle for you too.

back view of elaborate bantu knots hairstyle

This style can last up to two weeks or more, depending on how you maintain the knots. And you can also switch up the style by loosening the knots to create streaks of curly hair. 

That goes without saying that Bantu knots hairstyles are versatile. For instance, you can either have the humps on your head or loosen them after some time to create curls.

front view of bantu knots hairstyle

In addition, you can also transform your box braids or twist to bantu knots by gathering a few braids and twisting and wrapping them to form knots.

History of Bantu Knots

African lady rocking Bantu knots hairstyle

Bantu knots are also known as Zulu knots. This is because the Zulu people of South Africa (a Bantu ethnic group) are the originators of this style. 

back view of bantu knots

Furthermore, in many African languages, ‘Bantu’ means people. It is the plural version of the word ‘umuntu’ which means person. The style has been existing for more than 100 years. 

Initially, the word was called Abantu while colonial masters pronounced it as Bantu. The term is used to describe the 300 to 600 ethnic groups that spoke the Bantu language.

African lady wearing cowries and Bantu knots

The name ‘Bantu’ has evoked many meanings in the past. It was even used during the period of apartheid such that many South Africans hated the term. Eventually, it returned to its initial meaning in Bantu languages.

Bantu Knots Today

Rihanna rocking Bantu knots hairstyle

Bantu knots have evolved from being a traditional hairstyle to an internationally adopted one. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Valentino have had white models grace this hairstyle while strutting on the runway.

Marc Jacob's models wearing Bantu knots during his SS15 runway exhibition
Marc Jacob’s models wearing Bantu knots during his SS15 runway exhibition

This style is more than a hairstyle to the Black community. It is a representation of our pride and cultural heritage passed down from generation to generation.

Despite the fact that many black Americans don’t know their exact roots, they see this style as something that reflects their African ancestry.

lady wearing big glasses and earrings with African hairstyle

Moreso, this coiffure represents the love and acceptance of the coloured race. It stands for our pride as true Africans. As Ebony Magazine puts it,

“Many of us wear them like a crown, as if each knot contains a small ounce of the fearlessness and beauty that is Black girl magic.”

Ebony Magazine

 How to Maintain Bantu Knots Hairstyles

lady wearing Bantu knots hairstyle

1. Sleep with Your Satin Bonnet on

This will help to keep the knots in place and retain moisture in your hair.

2. Use Hair Pins 

Bobby pins and other hair pins can also keep your knots in place. This way, they stay up to two weeks before you loosen them to form curls.

Just make sure the pins don’t scar your scalp.

3. Don’t Use Rubber Bands

Don’t use rubber bands to keep your knots in place. They can break your hair. Instead, use bobby pins.

4. Don’t Twist Every Day

Avoid twisting your knots every day because you want to keep them in place. This can break your hair.

In addition, when creating your Bantu knots hairstyles, moisturise your hair. You can as well apply leave-in conditioner to seal in moisture.

To learn how to do these knots, watch the video below.

That aside, do you feel like rocking this hairstyle already? Here are the best Bantu knots

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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