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Curly Nikki

How to Bantu Knot Out: Natural Hair Basics

By August 6th, 202119 Comments
How to Bantu Knot Out: Natural Hair Basics


Bantu knots and the resulting bantu knot out
are my favorite hairstyle! Any hair type or texture can do bantu knots –
for some, it’ll create looser waves, and for others it will have a cute
“curly q” effect with a head of tight, springy curls. Since it totally
changes the look and curl of your hair, it’s perfect to do on multiple
day hair to change up your look mid-week. To do this style, follow these
step-by-step instructions:

Read More!!>>>
Setting the Style – Creating the Knots

  • Divide into manageable sections. Those with longer
    hair need fewer sections. Also, the curlier you want the bantu knot out
    to be, the more sections you want. It’ll take some trial and error, but
    to start, use the same number of sections you usually use to apply gels
    or do twist outs.
  • Moisturize. Whether it’s a simple spritz of water
    and yummy oils or a complete co-wash, hydrate your coils! It makes it
    more pliable and it will hold the shape of the bantu knot better.
  • Detangle or smooth out your hair. This is optional,
    as some naturally curlies don’t use hair tools, or your hair may simple
    be very stretched or tangle-free already. This step is just to ensure
    you get a smooth, shiny curl and that your ends look neat. Hair should
    just be damp, not sopping wet. Otherwise, it will take forever to dry!
  • Apply a styler or curl cream. I suggest something
    with medium hold, because crunchy bantu knots are a pain to fluff out
    the next day! Here are some styler suggestions. Smooth the product down
    from root to tip.
  • Roll-twist each section of hair and wind it on top of itself.
    The goal is to create tiny buns (they’re not really “knots”) on top of
    your head a la Lauryn Hill or Scary Spice from the Spice Girls. Once you
    get to the end of the rolled section, you can tuck it under the bantu
    knot and the pressure should keep it in place. If not, use a bobby pin
    or hair pin to keep it from unraveling.
How to Bantu Knot Out: Natural Hair Basics

Do You Blow Dry or Air Dry? 

At this point, you have a choice. You can wear the bantu knots as a
style themselves or you can blow dry or sit under a dryer to set the
style immediately. I usually do this style at night, and by morning it’s

The Take Down – The Bantu Knot Out

  • Lightly lubricate your hands with your favorite oil or anti-humidity serum. This will prevent frizz if you’re a bit rough taking down the bantu knots.
  • Gently unravel each bantu knot.
  • Gently separate each section and fluff. Try not to
    cause frizz by constantly pulling apart each section, but manipulate the
    hair enough to cover the parts in your hair. Some people use an afro
    pick to lift the roots and hide the parts. If you have a looser texture,
    just run your hands through your roots and stop when you get to the
    curl formation.
  • You’re done! Enjoy your new ‘do!


For those who need visuals:


What’s your Bantu Knot or Knot-Out routine? 

This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.


  • Derika says:

    Yeah I only go out in twists if I have to. I prefer twist outs. I have headbands but I need to get my scarf game up. 🙂

  • Alwina Oyewoleturner says:

    Great results on Evelyn! I'm still trying to figure it out. One day…

  • CurvyCurly says:

    Twists either but sometimes I do only if pinned up nicely with a headband or scarf. I have a serious accessory collection now! Luv me some headbands, scarves, and even Loc Socs to deal with bad hair days, damp twists or twists I don't want to take down just yet cause I'm just running errands ;-).

  • Shashou says:

    I have to try a bantu knot out. But if its any thing like the braid and curl out I'm sure I will love. This will be going to my Friday to do.

  • Desireé Battiste Watkins says:

    I love the way Bantu knot out looks on my hair! As a matter of fact, I wore my hair like that all last week. It had been several months since I last did Bantu knots and I loved seeing the length I've gotten since the winter. Your hair looks great Evelyn and I can't wait till I get home from work to watch your tutorial!

  • Keisha says:

    I could NEVER just roll my hair in preperation for a bantu knot out! My hair would be a tangeled mess. I two strand twist then create the bantu knot. Fine haired natural tweeking at it's finest!

  • Des says:

    Haven't tried it since my transitioning days but may revisit. It takes like 2 days for my hair to dry though, so this may be something to try on a Friday night and let it dry over the weekend.

  • Derika says:

    I did a Bantu Knot out once and hated my results. I may try again one day. I just prefer twists and twist outs.

  • Derika says:

    I don't like to wear the style out and about either. Just a personal preference. 🙂

  • 'Chone says:

    Bantu knot outs are my fave style 🙂 I moisturize and detangle my hair first using a spritz of water,As I am leave in and seal with grapeseed oil. I wait an hour to make sure my hair is slightly damp but not totally wet and then I use 3 pumps of lotta body setting lotion before I do each bantu knot. I divide my hair into 3 sections: front right, front left, and the back and then Iusually do 4 rows on each section. I have to use rubberbands in order for my hair to stay. I start at night and I make sure I wait 8hrs (or sometimes 6hrs if Im rushing) before I take the bantu knots down. The style usually last me 4 days if I do a version of the pinapple method.

  • Miss Anne says:

    Bantu knot outs are my go-to transitioning style. I simply loooove them!

    I've watched your tutorial several times before. As my hair has grown, I'm loving the volume they create for me and most of all.. they blend my two textures!

  • Dilane Mitchell says:

    I love bantu knot-outs. It's my go to when it gets too cold for wash and gos.

  • Smallfro says:

    I love your tutorial on YouTube for this style. Looks great!

  • ss says:

    Thanks for posting this vid – we sometimes don't use tutorials from other countries or cultures

  • CurvyCurly says:

    Luv your results Evelyn!

  • CurvyCurly says:

    Me either. I did them a few times when I had short hair but no more since my hair grew to APL. They take so long to dry and I don't personally prefer to wear the style out and about.

  • Megan M. says:

    I have not done Bantu knots in along time because they take to long to dry, it takes about 2-3 days to dry.

  • Tonia says:

    Mine always comes out wonky….this may encourage me to try it again.

  • Davina916 says:

    I need to try this!

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