Start by shampooing and conditioning, to make sure you start out with clean hair – since a large part of the scalp remains exposed when hair is tied up in Bantu knots, it is best to do everything possible to prevent grime and build-up. Use your regular shampoo and make sure you follow up with conditioner, to get rid of any frizz and ensure your Bantu knots look healthy, shiny, and moisturized.
Detangle your hair after washing, and apply a serum to keep it tangle-free. Then, proceed to dry your hair partially – you can either use a towel, or let it air dry (do not rub vigorously if using a towel). Do not dry all the way – hair needs to remain damp in order to create Bantu knots.
Once your hair is slightly damp, you can begin forming the knots. Begin by using a rattail comb to divide your hair into lots of neat, even, clearly defined sections. If you have short or fine hair, create multiple small sections, and if your hair is long and/or thick, divide your hair into larger sections. Keep in mind that each section will form a single Bantu knot.
Once the sections have been formed, start dealing with one section at a time. Grasp one section, apply a curling crème, spray, or gel, and start twisting the strand into a rope with your fingers, starting from the roots and working your way towards the tips.
Once the strand has been twisted into a tight rope, curl/wind a bit of it into a small coil flat against your head (use the part of the strand that is nearest to your roots), and then wrap the remaining strand around this, creating a small bun that stands upright on your scalp.
Finally, to hold the knot in place, use a hair pin or an elastic ponytail holder to secure it. Repeat the same procedure with all the sections of hair, and once all your hair has been formed into Bantu knots, spray it all over with hairspray. Your Bantu knots are now ready.
- If your hair starts to dry during the process of creating the knots, use a spray bottle filled with water to keep it damp.
-If you want to create a Bantu knot-out, wear a shower cap over your Bantu knots overnight. In the morning, remove the shower cap, carefully unwrap each hair coil, shake them out gently with your hands, and spritz with hairspray for extra hold.