Bantu Knot Hairstyles: The Top Ideas for 2024

Joanna Elizabeth


Updated April 17, 2024

Bantu Knot Hairstyles
Discover beautiful Bantu knot hairstyles.

Embracing heritage and modernity, Bantu knot hairstyles offer a bold and versatile way to style natural hair. Bantu knots are a traditional African hairstyle where the hair is sectioned, twisted, and wrapped in such a way that the hair stacks in knots close to the scalp.

As a protective style for Black hair, there are various ways for women to style the look.  From accessorizing with vibrant-colored bands to opting for big knots, the style has an option for just about every aesthetic.

Popular Bantu Knot Hairstyles

Bantu Knots with Beaded Braids

Bantu Knots Beaded Braids
Twisted Bantu knots and beaded braids create a statement-making look. Photo: Fame of God Studios / Pexels

Embrace Bantu Knots with Beaded Braids for a hairstyle that mixes two different styles. Adding beads at the end of the braids brings a sense of playfulness to the look.

To achieve this, section your hair evenly, twist it into tight coils, and secure them at the scalp. For the braids, select a portion of hair at the side, braid tightly, and secure the ends with your beads of choice.

Bantu Knots with Colorful Bands

Bantu Knots Colorful Bands
Vibrant-colored rubber bands add a playful pop to the classic Bantu knot look. Photo: iStock

A delightful twist on the classic style, Bantu Knots with Colorful bands add a fun visual element and help keep the knots secure. Ensure the bands match your hair’s strength to avoid breakage.

Big Bantu Knots

Big Bantu Knots Kiki Layne
Big Bantu knots make a bold statement, showcasing volume and texture, as Kiki Layne shows. Photo: Kathy Hutchins /

Embrace the grandeur of Big Bantu Knots for an impactful and stylish look. Using a firm yet gentle wrapping technique for this style is important.

After twisting the hair into the desired coil, tuck the ends underneath the knot or use large bobby pins to discreetly fasten the knot without straining your hair.

Bantu Knots with Baby Hair

Bantu Knots Baby Hair
Show off your Bantu knots with delicate baby hair styled near your temples. Photo: iStock

Crafting Bantu Knots with Baby Hair transforms the style into a work of art. After forming your knots, use a soft brush and edge control gel to coax the baby hairs into gentle waves or swirls that complement your face.

This adds a personalized touch and helps blend the hairstyle with your natural hairline.

Bantu Knots with Braids

Bantu Knots Braids
Braids intertwine with classic Bantu knots, offering a twist to the iconic style. Photo: Emre Ezer / Pexels

Adding braids to traditional Bantu knots infuses the style with an extra layer of texture and intricacy. To make sure the braids remain sleek, part the sections first to make braiding easier. You can also use gel to keep the roots sleek. This combination highlights the hairstyle’s versatility.

Small Bantu Knots

Small Bantu Knots Tinashe
As Tinashe shows, small Bantu knots offer a detailed aesthetic, perfect for showcasing precision in styling. Photo: Tinseltown /

Small Bantu knots are a chic style that’s excellent for those with short to medium-length hair. The smaller the section, the more knots you’ll create, resulting in a striking pattern across the scalp. Maintenance involves regular scalp oiling to keep the hair healthy and hydrated.

Bantu Knots with Brown Highlights

Bantu Knots Brown Highlights
Strategic brown highlights weave through Bantu knots, offering a dimensional twist. Photo:

Bantu Knots with Brown Highlights are a chic way to accentuate texture and add depth. When creating your knots, intersperse highlighted sections to ensure they are visible and add contrast.

To protect the vibrancy of the highlights, use color-safe hair products and minimize washing to prevent fading.

Bantu Knots on Natural Hair

Bantu Knots Natural Hair
Natural hair forms the perfect canvas for Bantu knots, showcasing the beauty of texture and form. Photo: ante / Pexels

Bantu Knots on Natural Hair celebrates the versatility and strength of unprocessed hair. This style maintains its shape best when kept hydrated with a light oil or hair butter. A bonus is that once unraveled, the knots can provide a curly set, giving you two styles in one.

Medium Bantu Knots

Medium Bantu Knots
Striking a balance between bold and subtle, medium Bantu knots are a versatile option. Photo: DFree /

Medium Bantu Knots provide a perfect middle ground, offering a prominent look without overwhelming the face. The size allows for a more manageable maintenance routine.

They work well for medium-length hair, ensuring each knot has enough volume to stand out while maintaining a uniform appearance.

Creating a Bantu Knot Out

Bantu Knot Out Curly Hair
Turn the protective style into voluminous curls. Photo:

When wearing Bantu Knots, they go beyond a protective style. A Bantu knot-out involves unwrapping each bun to reveal textured curls. Begin by gently unwinding each knot, tease apart the curls with your fingertips, and be impressed by the resulting hairstyle.

Tips for a Flawless Knot-Out

Moisturize Before Unraveling: Properly moisturize your hair before crafting your knots. When unraveling, lightly coat your fingers with oil to minimize frizz and boost the sheen.

Unwind Gently: Take your time when loosening the knots to preserve the defined curls. Be especially delicate when undoing the ends.

No Rush in Separation: Only part the curls at their natural separation points to retain their shape and minimize frizz.

Root Fluffing: If you’re craving more volume, gently lift the roots with a pick comb, avoiding disruption of the curls.

Maintaining the Resulting Curls

After undoing your Bantu knots and arranging your curls, it’s crucial to sustain their shape. At night, a satin or silk scarf can work wonders in keeping them intact.

To refresh the curls, you can rewrap them into knots overnight using a mist of water mixed with a leave-in conditioner.

When you wake up, unravel the curls that have wilted overnight, helping you keep that rich, frizz-free, full-bodied look for the days ahead.

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