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Curly Nikki

Easy 3rd Day Curls: Bantu Knot Out on Stretched Hair

By August 6th, 2021One Comment

curlynikki bantu knot out

Hey hey!

It’s 2009, again.  One, because I’m excited to post on (do you like the new lay out?!), and two, because I’m rocking a bantu knot out on stretched hair. It’s been a minute since I’ve revisited this style, and I fully remember why it had been a trusted go-to for years. Only on damp or dry hair, tho. Bantu knot-outs on wet hair are a BIG no-go. They never never ever dry.

The revisit was triggered for many reasons:

  1. I need a cut.  My shape is off because I haven’t been able to get to my stylist, Marie Simone, in St. Louis since late 2019! I’ve been trimming my own ends, but yeah, I miss my precision situation! I also miss my bob! My hair is at its fullest-looking when its sitting pretty between my chin and collar bone.
  2.  I am usually in NO mood to wash, detangle and re-style my hair.  If I get a moment to myself, I use it to meditate, read, or sleep. I’m actually never in the mood to wash, detangle, and re-style my hair. But here we are.
  3. When I MUST wash, detangle, and style, I need at least the styling portion of the session to be quick af. I usually opt for my 8 or 9 flat twists on damp hair (for a flat-twist out), but the shape and my ends have made it very difficult to get away with this go-to style.
  4. I want full looking curls without the hassle of hair rollers of any kind. Hair rollers take entirely too long to install, the drying time is disrespectful, and if I sleep wrong on the first or second night, the set is trashed and all of that hard work was for not.
  5. I require a style that will last through at least several nights of my kinda sleeping.

So yeah, with all that, here we are in 2009, where I am knotting my hair once a week! And when the set turns out lopsided or otherwise not-cute, I do what I did in these pics–bang it and pull up the rest.  Since I was on IG Live, with Lindsey of Crwn Mag (!!!) you can’t tell, but the hair in the back is anything but styled, lol. I pulled it back with a bunch of bobby pins and a banana clip and tried to remember to stay facing forward!

Let me quickly walk you through my bantu knot-out routine depending on where I am in my wash cycle!

bantu knot out on stretched natural hair

Easy 3rd Day Curls | Bantu Knot Out on Stretched Hair

Freshly washed hair

  1. I tie my naked, wet hair up in a t-shirt for about 20 minutes to rid myself of all the drippies.
  2. Apply Jane Carter Leave-in for a bit of moisture and heat protection.
  3. Tension stretch in sections with my blowdryer on warm/low heat (I do it in 4ths– 2 sections in the front and two in the back– I take each section and pull it taught while using the blow dryer angled down the hair shaft.  Since the hair is just barely damp, it dries quickly and gives it just enough stretch.  It never gets a full on Diana Ross look– Just bushy. There’s still quite a bit of texture.
  4. Create 10 knots using Nairobi Setting Foam. I’ve tried all of them. My second runner-up, especially if you want a more natural product would be Jane Carter’s Twist-out foam (the set doesn’t last as long for me), or Creme of Nature Style and Shine Foaming Mousse (excellent shine, decent staying power).  I use one or two pumps of product per knot. Make sure the ends are saturated. This is key.
  5. Sleep pretty.
  6. Take down and allow to air dry for a few minutes, if any parts are still holding moisture.
  7. Gently separate the curls with my fingers and fluff at the roots.  I then split the curls in equal halves and pull down into low pony tails using banana clips to secure near my nape.  This stretches the curls so they hang more naturally and add volume.
  8. Release the clips, and fluff some more to reveal bantu knot out perfection!

I can usually get 4 days out of my bantu knot out (on freshly washed hair), sometimes more! When it starts looking strange, I’ll fashion it into an I Love Lucy inspired updo!

Bantu Knot Out on Damp or Dry Natural HAir

Old Set

I do this when my hair was previously in a flat twist-out… around day 3 or 4.  

  1. Gently finger detangle as I go.
  2. Apply one to two pumps per knotted section. The Nairobi foam doesn’t flake at all, even on dry hair. Saturate the ends, while the length is just dampened by the product.
  3. Create 8-10 knots total.
  4. Sleep pretty.
  5. Repeat steps 6-8 from above!

I can usually get 2-3 days out of this style before I have to wash, detangle and style again.  Trying to re bantu knot-out on previously knotted hair will make for a detangling nightmare. I don’t recommend it.

At night I either pineapple using a satin scrunchie, or just pineapple the bang area and pull the other two sections (right side of my head and left side) down into two low ponies using small banana clips.

That’s all I got!

With you in and AS Love,


When was the last time you rocked a bantu knot out?

One Comment

  • Mimi d says:

    I tried a Bantu knot out a few months ago using a Glycerin based foam…disaster…never dried even on damp hair. I need to go back to the alcohol free chemically foams those never fail me lol

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