Bantu knots originally emerged as a technique to style natural Afro-textured hair. By pulling sections of hair into tight buns, coarse, kinky hair becomes uniform and curly. But the styling technique has since evolved into a hairstyle of its own. No matter if you intend to wear your bantu knots in the comfort of your own home or to rock them on your next night out, certain tips will give you the results you desire.

1. Get the right materials

Before you even begin the process, the secret to the perfect bantu knots begins with the correct materials. Some such materials are indisputable necessities, for instance bobby pins and a wide tooth comb. Other materials allow for more personal preference, like styling serums, curly styling products, and leave-in conditioner. For the styling serum/oil, you could use castor oil, olive oil gel, or almond and aloe oil. To maintain curl, you could use products like Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, Lottabody Curl Milk, or Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly. And you can select a leave-in conditioner of your choice to mix with water in a spray bottle. Spending time and money to find the correct equipment will be well worth the investment, as these are essential to achieving the bantu knots you desire.

2. Take your time sectioning

Once you compile all the necessary equipment, take your time dividing your hair into the sections from which the bantu knots will form. You can choose between triangular or square sections, but select one option and stick with it. You also have freedom in the size of your knots, but be aware that the fewer knots you do, the less curly your hair will become. It is worth the effort to compile smaller sections and more knots in order to achieve the look you desire. Doing so only takes several more minutes and will result in a more attractive hair style. You can vary the size of the knots in order to create tighter curls in certain areas.

As your part your hair into sections, detangle with a wide tooth comb. Then spray with the water/leave-in conditioner mixture and apply some styling serum. Twist these sections into a coil, tuck the end under the knot, and secure with a bobby pin.

3. Allow enough time for drying

At this point, you have created a beautiful and unique hair style that takes advantage of your afro-textured hair. But if you plan on unraveling your bantu knots for a curly look, the time you allow for drying can either make or break your previous efforts. If you fail to practice patience and take your knots out too soon, the result will be a frizzy, curly mess. If you are in a rush, you can sit under a dryer for several hours in order to speed up the process. Otherwise, you need to let the knots dry for a whole day. If you need to venture into public over the course of this day, you can stylishly cover up with a scarf, wrap, or hat. Or, you can rock these bantu knots out, even just for a day.

4. Be confident

Whether you find yourself forced to go into public while your hair dries or you always intended to create these as a hair style, the final step to bantu knots that rival Rihanna’s lies in confidence. These knots are both unique and aesthetically interesting, sparking conversation and adding another option to your repertoire of hair styles. If you want more information before you attempt this hair style, refer to this article titled “Creating Bantu Knots and Knot Outs”.

Each hair type will react differently to bantu knots. The more naturally afro-textured your hair, the more curly your hair will become. Shorter natural hair, no longer than one’s ears, will transform into a springy afro after this technique. Longer natural hair, generally reaching at least mid-neck, acquires loose waves. But no matter your hair type, by following these general guidelines, your bantu knots will rival Rihanna’s.