Between box braids, cornrows, twists, and beyond, the world of protective styles is truly limitless, and our Instagram feeds never fail to send us down a rabbit hole of style inspiration to choose from. We're not complaining (just ask our saved images), but it can be overwhelming to pick one look, execute it, and commit to it for a couple of weeks.
That's why we always keep reliable styles like Bantu knots in our back pockets. Not only is the knotted look a classic (literally — it dates back centuries), it's about as versatile as it gets. Whether your hair is extra long, on the shorter side, or if you're just kicking off your natural hair journey, twisting your hair into knots can help keep it protected and cut back on styling time. You can also remix the look and pair it with other styles like intricate feed-in braids, or use them as an accent on your week-old twist out.
Plus, when unraveled, Bantu knots transform into super-defined spiral curls that are a style all their own, making them the perfect multi-tasking look that keeps on giving. Browse through some of our favorite looks to get inspired, ahead.
For the most traditional take on the style, part your hair in large diamond-shaped sections and twist your strands as you wrap them into knots. If you want a super-sleek effect like Logan Browning's, start your knots on blowdried hair.
Aside from being practical, Bantu knots lend you the opportunity to really get creative. Add a few flat twists in with triangle parts to create a mix-and-match style that's worthy of a Pinterest board.
Sometimes time isn't of the essence, and a few minutes is all you have to make an old blowout look brand-new. On those days, opt for two side braids and three large knots, and boom — you're out the door.
Can't pick between Bantu knots and Fulani braids
? Ask your stylist to combine both looks by adding some thin forward-facing cornrows to your look.
Bantu knots also make adorable accents when styled at the crown of your hair while the rest of your curls hang free.
The style doesn't stop when your knots are in: When you unravel Bantu knots, your hair will be left in bouncy spirals that you can fluff and pick out into a curly fro.
Take your mid-sized knots up a notch by scattering gold clasps
— the kind you can find at any beauty-supply store — throughout.
Bantu knots aren't limited to small parts: Try adding extra braiding hair to loose plaits to create jumbo knots when you want to try a bolder look.