I am hooked on bantu knot-outs! A knot-out was my go-to style for New Year’s. On New Year’s eve, my mom treated my sister and I to our first full spa day for our birthdays, which included a full body massage, a facial, a manicure and a pedicure…by the way – I already said this on the Natural-ness facebook page, but I must say it again here- I recommend that every woman experience at least one full body spa day.
Anyway, my full body massage included a scalp message. I was wearing the bantu knot-out pictured below and I was thinking that my message therapist (who was black by the way) would skip the scalp massage part, but she didn’t. The whole time I’m thinking, please don’t get your hand stuck in a tangle. Luckily, the knot-out was pretty well detangled so she didn’t get her hand caught , but I wonder what she was thinking while messaging my scalp. Maybe, “Damn, I can’t believe I have to put my hand in this!” or “Hmm, not as nappy as I thought it would be.” Or maybe she wasn’t thinking anything and that’s just me being nutty. Anyway, here are the pictures:
Products used for this style includes coconut oil and …wow, I can’t remember what else I used. I need to write this stuff down. Sorry about that … *embarrassed*
Here’s the top. One thing I must note, I have not been able to wear a bantu knot-out without a headband or without brushing it back into a puff. The reason is that the front of the hair comes out too stretched so it doesn’t look right in an afro. I need to figure out a new technique to eliminate this problem.
You can see a video of my bantu knot technique here.
So what is my current hair routine? My own hair routine is not as defined as the routine I have for my daughter. With her routine, I’ve found a few products that I like and I’ve been sticking to them. For myself, I am still searching for products. I wash her hair once a week. I try to wash mine once a week, but I don’t always do it. I am going to do my best to share my routine while showing pictures of my last bantu knot out. Once again, I like to mention that I am not a hair care expert. I post my routine based on trial and error. Also, all hair is different, what works for me may not work for others. With that out of the way, here’s my routine & bantu knot-out pics:
My current product rotation includes Whole Foods 365 Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner for cleansing my hair. I recently purchased Shea Moisture Raw Shea Restorative Trauma Masque at Target. So far I like it, but I would like to try it a few more times before I review it. I am currently washing my hair once every one week or two. I plan on using the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment about once a month (we’ll see how that goes).
After washing my hair, I applyNutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to my hair and I usually like to stretch it or do bantu knots. If I decide to just do a wash n go, I rub the coconut oil into my wet hair. If I am doing the large braids or bantu-knots, then I like to apply the coconut oil directly to each section of hair, detangling the hair as I go, before braiding or knotting the section. I also apply either ORS Smooth & Hold Pudding, Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Rollor a new product that I recently purchased - Curls Goddess Curl Gel from Target (again, I will review this product after using it a few more times) to each section.
If I am wearing a wash n go, I will usually wash my hair with just conditioner the next morning. If I am wearing braids or knots, I allow them to dry for at least a day. If I need to leave the house, I tie my hair up with a satin scarf and put on a hat. (Now that it’s winter, I avoid leaving the house with wet hair). After the braids or knots have dried, I remove them. If I am removing braids, I comb the loosened sections of hair out and finger style into a stretched afro or big puff. If I am removing knots, I gently uncurl them and finger fluff them out (I do not use a comb). The result is a bantu knot-out like the one seen in these pictures.
Whether I am wearing a stretched afro or a knot-out, the style usually lasts for almost a week. I make sure to keep my hair moist by very lightly spritzing it with a oil and water mixture. I just take a spray bottle, add water and add oil to the water. I do not measure it. If I don’t have oil on hand, I mix the water with a great smelling conditioner. In the mornings, I maintain the style by finger styling and fluffing my hair.
Once the stretched afro or bantu knot-out begin to look bad, I usually rewash my hair and begin the process all over again. Other hair tips that I follow is keeping my hair tied up at night in a satin scarf or sleeping on a satin pillowcase (I do not tie a scarf on my head if I am wearing a stretched afro or bantu-knot out – a scarf would flatten the style). I also do not use direct heat on my hair. I confess that I have never been a big deep conditioning person. I bought the Shea Moisture Treatment to try to get into deep conditioning, but I can probably count on both my hands the number of times I have deep treated or deep conditioned my hair in my five years of being natural. Also, since my 2nd big chop, I have stopped trimming my hair as much as I did the first time around. I guess time will tell if less trimming with make a difference to my overall hair health or not. Alright, that’s about it…I hope I didn’t forget anything
A reader (dee) asked me about keeping bantu knot-outs fresh for multiple days. I promised to post pictures of my 3rd day hair (so sorry that I’m just getting to this dee). Here are the pictures that I promised:
To keep the hair looking decent for multiple days: I just make sure to sleep on a satin pillowcase, add coconut oil (if it’s beginning to feel dry), and I fluff out areas that are flat in the morning.
Some textures of hair may not hold a knot-out for more than a couple of days. My daughter’s knot-outs only last about a day and my sister Co can get about two days out of her knot-outs.
If you find that after a couple of days, you are losing the texture, you may have to re-knot the hair every other night or so.
By the fourth day, I usually have to wear a headband or scarf to hide the areas flattened by sleeping on it at night.
After my last bantu-knot out, I decided to redo the knots. This time I attempted to part my hair so that I could wear the knots out for a few days. Let’s just say that I still cannot part hair worth a darn, particularly my own, but I still enjoyed the style.
Parting my own hair was a pain. I tried using two mirrors but had a hard time getting the hand-eye coordination right. If anyone has tips on how to part your own hair, please let me know!
Here’s the back view. If I was better at parting I would definitely knot my hair into smaller sections; especially in the back.
I think I like this view the best.
I will be posting a video of my bantu-knot technique soon (hopefully tomorrow – I’m still working on it). I will also be posting pictures of the resulting knot-out. Be sure to check back!
I have been hooked on bantu knot-outs for two reasons: 1) because they are quick to do, and 2) because they are quick to do. Well, I guess I should say that I like the results as well. I always do my bantu knots on freshly washed, wet hair. Afterward, I divide my hair up into smaller sections, apply coconut oil and ORS Olive Oil Smooth & Hold Pudding to each section, two strand twist each section, grab the whole completed two strand twist and twist it upon itself until it is a bantu-knot. I actually filmed the process the last time I did it, so I will post a video as soon as I have time to put it together. After the knots have dried, I removed them and separate the hair for a bantu-knot out. Here are pics of my bantu-knot out:
This look almost gives my hair the appearance of a roller set, without the rollers.
I pinned one side of my hair back for a slightly different look.
This style is quick to do and it lasts for a few days.
I wrote about going to the Corinne Bailey Rae concert a few days ago (see that post here: Beautiful Voice, Great Performer, Gorgeous Hair). Well, I wanted to add a post about my look for the Corinne Bailey Rae concert. I was very excited to get a chance to see Corinne sing live, so I started thinking about what I wanted to do to my hair a few days ahead of time. I decided to try a new experiment. In August I posted about trying a Bantu Knot-out on my hair (see that post here: Bantu Knot-out). Well, I’ve always liked how my hair looks when I do a twist-out, so I decided to see what would happen to my hair if I combined two-strands twists with bantu-knots.
This is what I did: I grabbed a large section of hair, applied ORS Lock & Twist Gel to the section, combed the hair out to make sure that it was thoroughly detangled and began two-strand twisting it. After the hair was twisted, I then began to take the twisted hair and twist it upon itself until it was in a bantu knot (I have a feeling that I may have to put together a how-to video to show this process – if you want me to put together a video, please let me know in the comments below). I then secured the knot with an elastic band (just as I did in this post: Bantu Knots – sorry about all the post references). I let these dry for a day and a half, then took them down and fluffed them up. Here are my results:
Was the extra step worth the end result? I think so. The first time I did a bantu knot-out, I liked it, but I did not get the dramatic results that I wanted. By two-strand twisting the hair first, then twisting it into bantu knots, my hair had more of a defined texture.
Here is the back. I think if you compare these pictures to the pictures I took after my first bantu knot-out, you will see that my hair is more defined this time around.
Here is the side view
Here is the top view. Can you see the clumps of coils & curls?
Here’s another view of the side & back of my hair
The front of my hair really held the two-strand twisted texture well.
OK, so I woke up the next morning and began to untwist my knots (see yesterday’s Bantu-Knot post). I really liked the look of the knots and could see them lasting for a while – something to think about for the future. They were hard to sleep on though.
Anyway, I started taking them down. Now, I didn’t not get the exact results that I was looking for, but I really loved what I did get. I wore the same bantu knot-out for two days. On the third day, I washed my hair and reknotted my hair for a new bantu knot-out (I’m wearing these knots now as I type this).
My bantu knot-out resulted in a cute curly afro.
The texture was very different than a twist-out (and much quicker to accomplish). It was also not as big as a stretched afro would be.
Here’s the back. The knots created clumps of twists and curves.
Here’s another texture shot. I think the bantu knot-out will be one of my quick go-to styles when I don’t know what I want to do with my hair.
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