40 Bantu Knots Hairstyles You’re Not Going to Want to Miss

If you can create a classic bun, then basic bantu knots should be no problem. And the best part is, they’re a great protective style to get you closer to your hair goals.

Is it better to do bantu knots on wet or dry hair?

Starting on dry, stretched hair is recommended, since it can take forever for wet hair to dry thoroughly when it’s wound so tightly. A leave-in conditioner that provides a light hold can then be applied to ensure hair is properly hydrated and moisturized before styling.

How to Create Beginner Bantu Knots

After parting your hair in the desired size and design, simply twist each section, until it starts to wrap around itself. Then, continue until the ends are secured at the base to protect them.

Another easy approach is to use an oiled rubber band to hold the the root of each section and then twist or braid it before winding.

40 Bantu Knot Hairstyles for Natural Hair Beyond the Basic

If you’re feeling brave and want to go a little bolder with your bantu knots hairstyles, you can play around with your parts and shapes, explore braiding hair and beads, colors and cornrows, even twists and tendrils.

So scroll down for all of the inspiration and images you need to take your bantu knots up a notch.

1. Bantu Knots with Tendrils

Braided bantu knots hairstyle with tendrils on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @the.melanin.monroeee

Part of the beauty of bantu knots is that they can be as exact or carefree as you like. Loosely wrapped, with curly tendrils, and messy parts are precisely why we love this perfectly imperfect look.

2. Bantu Knots with Accent Cornrows

Braided bantu knots hairstyle with cornrows on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sabrinasbeauty

While her braided bantu knots would have still been fire by themselves, adding small cornrows as accents took this look to a whole other level.

3. Bantu Knots with Box Braids and Beads

Bantu knots hairstyle with box braids on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @queensess_lynn

A long box braid with beads flanks each side, bringing regal realness to this bantu knot hairstyle.

4. Rounded Bantu Knots

Rounded bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @danishrolls

While bantu knots are typically tighter and taller, this rounded approach is a simple, but delightful way to switch things up.

5. Classic Bantu Knots

Black woman wearing a bantu knots hairstyle

Between the perfect parts, laid edges and impeccable twists, bantu knots don’t get better than this.

6. Bantu Knots with a Pop Of Color

Twisted bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair

Grown out color on the tips of your natural hair can be made to appear more stylish wrapped the base of your bantu knots.

7. Mixed Size Bantu Knots

Mixed size bantu knots hairstyle on natural hair

Mix things up, by having a main bantu knot surrounded by minis to create a must-do mismatched hairdo.

8. Half-Up Half-Down Tribal Cornrows in Bantu Knots

Black woman with natural hair wearing a half-up half-down bantu knots hairstyle on tribal braids with beads
IG: @lelliessantiago

Beyond the length and beads, tribal cornrows get added flair by opting for bantu knots instead of a bun, in this head-turning half-up half-down hairstyle.

9. Jumbo Bantu Knot Locs

Jumbo bantu knot locs hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sunshine.locd

For a sleeker look, don’t skip the fresh retwist. Otherwise, you can just start by misting your locs with moisturizing spray to make them more pliable and dividing them into sections with an equal number in each.

Apply oil and gel cream to the roots, before brushing and securing with an elastic band. Then, two strand twist each section, wrap it around itself and bobby pin it into place.

Feel free to lay your edges if you like, but your bantu knot locs can be lit without it.

10. Mini Blonde Bantu Knots

Mini blonde bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @thenotoriouskia

The good sis calls this style the two-for-one special for good reason. Nothing beats being able to rock your bantu knots one day, and then unravel them another, for an equally appealing look, like below.

11. Blonde Bantu Knot Out

Bantu knot out hairstyle on Black woman with natural hair
IG: @thenotoriouskia

12. Mixed Blonde Bantu Knots

Mixed blonde bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @redifine_beauty_studios

Super easy to replicate, if you dare to DIY, these mixed blonde bantu knots are basically just jumbo box braids that are wrapped around themselves to create this cute and colorful look.

13. Ginger Peach Bantu Knots

Ginger peach bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @prinscessa_curls

If you’re a huge fan of color, but don’t want to risk the potential damage from permanent dye, try out temporary options like Hair Paint Wax or bright braiding hair to get the bold bantu knots of your dreams, without the drawbacks.

14. Burgundy Bantu Knots

Black woman with natural hair wearing a burgundy bantu knots hairstyle
IG: @tetemariee

15. Sleek Braided Bantu Knots

Black woman with natural hair wearing a sleek braided bantu knots hairstyle
IG: @justaandeme28

Get into the laid edges of this sleek and sexy, braided bantu knots look.

16. Twist Out with Side Bantu Knots

Black woman with natural hair wearing a twist out hairstyle with bantu knots on the side
IG: @doreseb

Adding a few small bantu knots on the side, gives this pretty twist out a retro look, reminiscent of a frohawk.

If your interest is piqued, head this way for even more twist out hairstyles and tips on how to perfect your technique.

17. Basic Bantu Knot with Weave

Black woman with 4C natural hair wearing a protective bantu knots hairstyle using braiding hair
IG: @tupo1

The skills needed for this pretty protective style are minimal and thankfully all of the tips are in the bantu knot tutorial below.

18. Half-Up Half-Down Bantu Knots and Flat Twists

Black woman with natural hair wearing a half-up half-down bantu knots hairstyle with flat twists, gold cord, cuffs and beads
IG: @_harrisjanae_

From the bantu knots wrapped with gold cord at her crown, to the flat twists with beads, cuffs and bangs at the front, there’s a lot going on with this look, and it all works together wonderfully.

19. Medium Bantu Knots

Black woman with natural hair wearing medium sized bantu knots
IG: @vanlenore

These medium bantu knots are the ideal size to show off your facial features and maintain the density that’s so appealing with this style.

20. Bantu Knots with Cornrows

Black woman with natural hair wearing a cornrowed bantu knots hairstyle
IG: @pronto.trancei

Reminiscent of a spider’s web, we’re caught up by these super cute, cornrowed bantu knots.

21. Bantu Knots with Circular Parts and Cornrows

Black woman with natural hair wearing a circular bantu knots hairstyle with cornrows
IG: @naturallycrownedhairstudio

Continuing with the creativity, this beautiful bantu knots hairstyle, features circular cornrows that would be hard to copy without professional help.

22. Top Knot Box Braided Bantu Knots with Tendrils

Black woman wearing box braided bantu knots with tendrils as a protective hairstyle on her natural hair
IG: @iamnovibrown

Although both styles feature box braids in bantu knots, the one above explores a tighter shape making them more like top knots with tendrils, while the look below experiments with multiple shades of blonde. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

23. Blonde Box Braided Bantu Knots

Mixed blonde box braided bantu knots protective hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair

24. Bantu Knots with Tribal Cornrows

Black woman with natural hair wearing a bantu knots hairstyle with tribal cornrows
Pinterest

Simple slanted cornrows mixed with triangle parts and laid baby hair, all lend character to this lovely tribal look.

25. Pipe Cleaner Bantu Knots

Yara Shahidi wearing a bantu knots hairstyle with pipe cleaners in her natural hair
IG: @yarashahidi

We can’t get enough of this bantu knot-ish look by our girl Yara. Braiding hair would have been safe, but using pipe cleaners push the perfectly imperfect limits of this style.

26. Blonde Bantu Knot Locs

Blonde bantu knot locs hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @westindieray

While we absolutely adore these vibrant blonde bantu knot locs, the next style shows how you can push this look even farther.

27. Half-Up Half-Down Pumpkin Bantu Knot Locs

Half-up half-down pumpkin bantu knot locs hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @tylerbriannah

This bold pumpkin spice color combined with half-up bantu knots proves there’s truly no limit to what’s possible with locs.

Not quite committed to dreadlocks or even color? No problem. A similar, sexy style is made possible below with wavy box braids.

28. Half-Up Half-Down Copper Box Braided Bantu Knots

Black woman wearing a half-up half-down ginger box braided bantu knots hairstyle
IG: @tatyanaalii_

29. Zig-Zag Bantu Knots with Cornrows

Zig-Zag bantu knots hairstyle with cornrows on a Black woman with natural hair

This standout style is the perfect example of when they zig, you zag. While everybody else is rocking boxes and triangles, set yourself apart with your parts.

Though a bit challenging, you can definitely DIY with a little time and a rattail comb. Edgy and unexpected, these zig-zag bantu knots are worth the extra effort.

30. Twaid Out with Bantu Knots

Twaid out hairstyle with bantu knots on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @danielaapryl_

There’s no need to choose between a twist out and braid out, when a twaid out will give you the best of both worlds.

Start each section with a braid and switch to a twist half-way down. When unraveled, you get the stretch of a braid out with the spiral curl of a twist out. Then just add two bantu knots on the side to finish this lovely look.

31. Messy Bantu Knots

Yara Shahidi wearing a messy bantu knots hairstyle on her natural hair
IG: @yarashahidi

Forget all of the “rules” and opt for this edgy, yet ethereal, messy bun-like version of bantu knots instead.

32. Bantu Knots on Stretched Natural Hair

Bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with stretched natural hair
IG: @slimreshae

Simple but stunning, starting with stretched natural hair, makes the process and the results so much smoother.

33. Chunky Bantu Knot Locs

Chunky bantu knot locs hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @game_of_fros

We love everything about this bantu knots style, from the size and shape to the density and dope dreadlocks.

34. Half-Up Half-Down Flat Twists into Bantu Knots

Black woman wearing a half-up half-down flat twists hairstyle with bantu knots on her natural hair
Pinterest

Flat twists with bantu knots make up the front of this half-up half-down hairstyle. And while you could easily opt for a wash and go, or even braid out in the back, crocheting gives you a similar look in a pretty, protective style.

35. Half Up Bantu Knots and Headband Wig

Black woman with natural hair wearing a half-up half-down headband wig with bantu knots
IG: @pie.face8

A human hair headband wig was seamlessly blended with bantu knots on her natural hair to create this stunning half-up half-down hairstyle.

36. Half-Up Half-Down Red Bantu Knot Locs

Black woman wearing red bantu knot locs in a half-up half-down hairstyle
IG: @cypashore

Fierce and fiery, this red half-up half-down bantu knot locs hairstyle is lit.

37. Half-Up Bantu Knots, Cornrows and Pigtails

Black woman with natural hair wearing a half-up half-down hairstyle with bantu knots, cornrows and pigtails
IG: @neffyfrofro

This creative 90’s-inspired half-up hairstyle with pigtails, bantu knots and cornrows might be a throwback, but it’s just as appealing today.

38. Sparse Bantu Knots

Bantu knots hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @caressatearla

A little more on the sparse side, this style is proof that it doesn’t take a lot of bantu knots to actually look hot.

39. Bantu Knots with Heart Design

Bantu knots hairstyle with a heart design on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kailin.j

A single heart graces the center of this simple, but stylish, bantu knots look and needless to say we love it.

40. Jumbo Bantu Knots with Heart Design and Beads

Jumbo bantu knots hairstyle with a heart design, cornrows and beads on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kersti.pitre

Similar to the previous style, this heart design is a little more elaborate thanks to cornrows, beads and much bigger bantu knots.

How do you keep bantu knots from getting frizzy?

Applying a few drops of nourishing oil and covering them with a silk or satin scarf will help keep your bantu knot hairstyle soft and smooth. While a bonnet is suitable for preserving many other styles, it would not be appropriate in this case, giving your hair too much space and the ability to move.

How long will bantu knots last?

When properly maintained, bantu knots can last up to two weeks. They can then be released to reveal a beautiful bantu knot out hairstyle.

So there you have it. Bantu knots are easy, absolutely adorable, protective and now, hopefully much higher on your list of go-to natural hairstyles.