Bantu knots are not for everyone. There is nothing worse than standing hours in front of the mirror installing the knots, enduring a painful restless sleep only to take the knots down to reveal a frizzy, curly mess in the morning. Of course, that’s when you bust out your bobby pins for a chic updo or Mohawk! But you never have to experience failed Bantu knot-outs again. After years of wearing Bantu knot-outs, I’ve learned a few things that guarantee me success each time:
1) Start on stretched dry hair. A blow out will often give you the best bouncy bantu knot out curls but a well-detangled old twist/braid out will work as well. Never set your knots on wet or damp hair because chances are they will not dry and you will be left with big frizzy hair the following morning.
2) Go for non-water based products. My favorite is whipped nut butter such as shea butter. If using a water-based product, be light handed. You will want to reduce the amount of moisture added to the hair while setting the knots to ensure complete dryness the following day. This will minimize any chances of frizz. To the butter you may add a little gel for some added hold. Some gels have water so remember to be light-handed as well. Smooth the product through your hair focusing especially on the ends so that the ends are well moisturized.
3) Start twisting the section of hair for the bantu knot at least an inch away from your roots. This will prevent you from putting too much tension on your scalp, making your bantu knots too tight and painful to sleep on.
4) While most people wrap their bantu knots by winding each revolution underneath the previous one, I find that, that technique makes the knots too tight. I therefore, focus on wrapping only the last couple of revolutions underneath the previous ones to tuck away the ends and secure the bantu knot. If your hair is shorter you may need to use a bobby pin to hold your knots in place. Wrapping in this ways gives the knots more wiggle room, reduces tension and is pain-free to sleep.