Zulu Knots vs Bantu Knots: A Comparison of Hairstyles

zulu knots vs bantu knots

The very famous Bantu and Zulu notes are hairstyles with African roots. They are all about the cute, curled-up buns on top of your head that look like a Crown. They look super on medium to long hair but can also work on short hair, although it’s a bit more of a challenge.

This hairstyle isn’t just a favorite for one group; over 300 different ethnic groups in Southern Africa that speak the Bantu language rock it with style. In fact, people across the globe, including Asia, America, and Europe, are embracing the traditional African hairstyle. Bantu and Zulu’s knots have caught everyone’s attention, which celebrities like Lizzo, Rihana, and Beyonce have ported.

These knots are more than a trend; they are a style statement highlighting cultural pride and history. In fact, this hairstyle is used in natural hair care in old African culture. But are these two different hairstyles about Zulu notes versus Bantu knots?

Zulu Knots vs. Bantu Knots: What’s the Matter

Zulu Knots vs. Bantu Knots

Bantu notes and Zulu knots are often thought to be different hairstyles. Well, actually, they are pretty much the same thing. They only have two names because the hairstyles are connected to both the Bantu people and the Zulu tribe. But don’t worry, and you can use the terms Bantu knots and Zulu knots interchangeably because they mean the same hairstyle.

The reason Bantu knots are also called Zulu notes is because Zulu is a smaller group within the bigger Bantu community. While the knots are popular among many Bantu groups, the knots actually started with the Zulu tribe.

So, whether you choose Bantu knots or Zulu knots, you are referring to similar variants.

About Bantu Knots

When it comes to natural hairstyles with a rich history and huge popularity, the traditional African hairstyle- Bantu knots grabs the attention. This hairstyle looks cool and can be conveniently done. Bantu knots are trendy and culturally significant, much like cornrows and twists.

Bantu knots, sometimes called Zulu knots or Nubian knots, are more than just hairstyles; they’re a way to protect your hair. The idea is to take sections of your hair, twist them up, and coil them into mini-buns or knots. Now, where did all this start from, you wonder? It traces back to the Zulu people, who journeyed from eastern Africa to the southern part, particularly South Africa. They’ve become a significant ethnic group there.

 About Bantu Knots

So, what makes Bantu knots special? Well, they’re all about hair protection. By tucking your natural hair into these twists, braids, or knots, you shied it from potential damage. Bantu knots are super versatile. You can mix braids, locks, extensions, and whatever else tickles your fancy. You can arrange them in various patterns.

Whether you are aiming for dainty nots, a regal crown or bigger ones, or a blend of both, Bantu knots are a stylish choice that also takes good care of your hair.

Why are People Crazy for Bantu Knots Hairstyles?

Not only Africans or Afro-Americans, but white Americans, Britishers, and Asians also showed great interest in the Bantu knot. No matter what type of hair one has, this knot hairstyle can be achieved in all hair textures, lengths, and volumes. Check out a variety of Bantu knots and achieve a great hairstyle.

These include the following.

  • Short Hair Wonders: Bantu knots work wonders on short hairs, offering the right amount of protection; this encourages growth and break from heat. Tighten twists yield impressive overall results in both look and feel. Set with setting lotion for maximum effect.
  • Long Hair Play: Embrace the versatility with Bantu Knots for long hair. From bold, large knots to relaxed half-up hairstyles, the options are endless. Add glam accessories like gold beads for a unique touch. These knots are perfect for expressing your style.
  • Knots & Braids Fusion: Combine Bantu Knots and braids for a textured, defined finish. Create a French braid before twisting it into knots. The result? A stunning blend of textures with enhanced definition and style.
  • Sleek Straight Hair: Bantu knots add flare to straight hair. Mix it up with half-up, half-down styles for a unique contrast. You can achieve more curls with more knots.
  • 4C Hair Charm: Bantu knots suit various textures, including 4C hair. It is low maintenance, easy to create, and locks in moisture. Straightening beforehand can add length, but it’s optional.
  • Knots & Dreadlocks: Pair Bantu knots with dreadlocks for a fresh, cool look. Enjoy a protective style that’s easy to achieve and won’t damage your hair. Versatile and stylish, Bantu knots enhance your locks.
  • Twist-Out Sophistication: Make Bantu knots look more beautiful with twist-outs. This also helps you achieve stunning curls with impressive definition. Perfect for chic, fashionable statements.

Why are People Crazy for Bantu Knots Hairstyles

  • Bold Big Knots: Make a statement with jumbo Bantu knots, ideal for long or thick hair. Versatile braids, pair with other hairstyles, or add color for impact.
  • Double the look: Get two styles in one with Bantu knots out. Tighter knots mean tighter curls. This is an easy way to switch up your look.
  • Edhy Mohawk Magic: Bantu knot mohawks offer attitude and style. Keep knots at the base or crown for a playful twist. It looks unique and easy to maintain.
  • Half-up, half-down glam: Express your style with a Bantu knot half-up and half-down look. Ideal for formal occasions, it highlights your features and keeps your hair off your face.
  • From locs to knots: Transform your locs with Bantu knots for texture flair. Experiment with different styles – full knots or edgy half-up half-down styles for a unique finish
  • Jumbo Statement Knots: Go bold with jumbo Bantu knots for a bold look. Perfect for long or thick hair, these knots make a lasting impression.
  • Curls Blossom with knots: Bantu knots on curls define and style effortlessly. Enjoy flattering looks that highlight your features. Bantu knots adapt to all textures, including relaxed hair. Create stylish knots on straightened hair for a versatile look.
  • Fun for kids: Bantu knots are a fantastic choice for kids. Maintain natural growth, reduce breakage, and add accessories for a fun look.
  • Thin Hair Beauty: Thin hair? No problem, Bantu knots work their charm. Smaller knots create a protective hairstyle that lasts around two weeks, giving a sleek but stunning look.
  • Creative combos: Combine cornrows with Bantu knots for a personalized touch. Express your style with color and texture for a unique finish.
  • Wig it Up: Experiment with Bantu knots using wigs. Achieve the desired length and texture without altering your natural hair. Its a versatile option.
  • Nostalgic 90s vibes: Relive the 90s with Bantu knots. Capture Gwen Stefani’s stylish twist. Accessories and add a touch of retro flair.

Step-By-Step Process for Basic Bantu Knots

Now that you have understood the matter of Zulu Knots vs. Bantu Knots, let’s know about the step-by-step process for Bantu Knots. Although Bantu knots may appear intricate, they’re actually quite DIY-friendly. You can easily perform this protective style at home without professional help.

However, there are a few steps to follow before, during, and after styling to ensure your Bantu knots turn out wonderful, feel comfortable, and last longer. Before you start sectioning, stretching, or twisting your hair, the first step is to decide if Bantu knots are suitable for your hair. The minimum hair length for Bantu knots depends on the stylist’s skill and your nimbleness. Generally, around four to five inches of hair is sufficient.

Step-By-Step Process for Basic Bantu Knots

Once you’ve planned your approach, it’s time to prepare your hair.

Items Needed: Leave-in conditioner, Styling gel, Bobby pins, Denman BrushWide-tooth combSpray bottle with waterToothbrush, Edge control, Fine-tooth comb, and Hair accessories (optional).

1. Part Your Hair

  • Wash your hair and blow dry gently
  • Don’t forget to use heat protectant to prevent damage and control frizz
  • Use a fine tooth comb to section your hair into small parts, starting from the back
  • Focus on one section and put the renaming hair in a bun

2. Moisturise and Detangle

  • Spray water on the section and apply leave-in conditioner from root to tip
  • Moisturize well and detangle using a wide tooth comb
  • Apply a bit of styling gel for smooth Bantu knots.
  • Gently brush your hair with the Denman brush.

3. Twist Your Hair

  • Twist your hair from roots to ends. Make sure all hair is included
  • For dry ends, apply products and brush

4. Create and Secure Knots

  • Twist the hair strands in the opposite direction to make a knot or small bun
  • Don’t make it too tight or loose
  • Use a bobby pin to secure the knot

5. Add Accessories

  • Adorn your Bantu knots with gold hair strings or other accessories
  • Use hair cuffs, colored bands, or yarn threads for Variety

6. Repeat for Other Sections

  • Follow steps 1-5 for the remaining sections of your hair
  • Leave out edges for later styling

7. Rock Your Look

  • Finish styling all your hair, including the edges
  • Proudly flaunt your fabulous Bantu knot and hairstyle

Aftercare for Bantu Knots

Aftercare for Bantu Knots

Whether short, long, natural or braided, Bantu knots offer endless options for style and self-expression. Call it Zulu knots vs Bantu knots, but these hairstyles really are a versatile styling option. Bantu knots are wonderfully easy to wear, whether for hours or days, depending on your preference and how well they hold up. With proper care, Bantu knots can last around seven to ten days.

To maintain them, use silk accessories for sleeping and edge control to prevent frizz and keep their style sharp. Keep in mind wrapping your hair before sleep and keeping it moisturized are key to lasting freshness.

A bit of gel and water can work wonders, too, in maintaining the glossy look. Enjoy the main character moments with this versatile style.


Bantu knots, though simple, carry profound significance. With roots in African history, they symbolize pro-blackness and self-love. Unfortunately, they have been misappropriated and labeled trendy, thus erasing their history. Instances where white models sporting them or celebrities misnaming them have sparked intense debates worldwide.

In a positive step, Bantu knots are recognized under ‘The Crown Act,’ which fights hair discrimination. This law opposes bias based on hair textures or styles, including Bantu knots, braids, locs, etc.

Their inclusion in the act underscores their cultural value and importance. As we embrace Bantu knots and, let’s honor their heritage and respect their place in the black culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Bantu Knots Be Done on Wet or Dry Hair?

The choice is mainly personal. Many find that slightly damp hair works best for Bantu knots rather than very wet or completely dry hair. Hair that is in between is easier to style and leads to desirable results. Wet hair takes longer to dry, and the outcome can lead to curly hair.

How to Keep Your Hair Moisturized in Bantu Knots?

Apply a leave-in conditioner and a good gel to maintain moisture and a fresh look for your Bantu knots. Occasional touch-ups help keep the style vibrant and prevent dryness. Pay attention to your hair ends as well. Although they’re mostly tucked in, damaged ends can hamper growth and affect the style. Use leave-in conditioner and gel on them, too. For the best results, do Bantu knots on slightly damp hair. After washing, it’s the ideal time to add products and complete the style.

How Long Do Bantu Knots Last?

With proper care, Bantu knots can stay up to two weeks. It is important not to keep them too long as it can damage your hair roots. Using a bonnet or scarf can help, but don’t overdo it. Let your scalp breathe by taking them out when it’s time. To switch up your hairstyle, undo the knots for Bantu knots-outs.

Are Bantu Knots for Hair?

Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle and promote hair growth. So they are good for your hair. But, like anything, moderation is key. Leaving them in for too long or tying them too tight can cause breakage and build-up, which isn’t great for hair growth. So, enjoy them, but don’t overdo it for healthy hair.

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