12 Bantu Knots Hairstyles Worn By Celebrities

12 Bantu Knots Hairstyles Worn By Celebrities


Whether it’s because you’ve got pool party plans or are anticipating harsh winter air, protective hairstyles are a good idea year-round — especially for coily hair types, which tend to be naturally drier. Arguably the most dazzling category of protective styles is Bantu knots, the artsy bun-like twists that date back to the Zulu Kingdom of South Africa. Whenever a celebrity graces the red carpet in a Bantu knots hairstyle, it feels like a particularly special nod to Black culture and African ancestry, whether it’s Rihanna in a sleek version or Yara Shahidi in a dreadlocked look.

Bantu knots belong to an exclusive group of protective styles because they’re actually a two-in-one situation. You can wear them as a style all their own, or use them to create bouncy, heat-free curls. Perhaps most appealing is that the hairstyle is a beauty DIYers dream. Full disclosure: It’s not quite as simple as a high ponytail. So it may take a few (or more) times to get the hang of Bantu knots, but with patience, the right products, and a good YouTube tutorial, you can nail the look sans salon.

For inspiration, keep scrolling for the most memorable times your fave celebrities rocked eye-catching Bantu knots, each look more swoon-worthy than the next.

1

Cardi B’s Half-Up Half-Down Hairstyle

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Rapsody’s Simple Bantu Knots

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Rapper Rapsody stunned in classic Bantu knots, soft glam makeup, and thick hoop earrings at a Black Girls Rock! events in 2019.

3

Yara Shahidi’s Dreadlock Bantu Knots

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grown-ish star Yara Shahidi showed up at the Thom Browne show during Paris Fashion Week in 2020 rocking dreads twisted into perfectly undone Bantu knots.

4

Amandla Stenberg’s Fluffy Bantu Knots

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In the ultimate monochromatic look, The Hunger Games actor Amandla Stenberg wore bold blue eyeshadow and a matching ‘fit along with light-as-air Bantu knots to a press party during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018.

5

Joan Smalls’ Loose Bantu Knots

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For a super chic take on water waves, supermodel Joan Smalls wore loosely twisted Bantu knots in a half-updo at a Karl Lagerfeld Paris launch event in New York City in 2016.

6

Issa Rae’s Multiple Bantu Knots

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Issa Rae twisted her natural hair into Bantu knots for the 2022 American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach in 2022.

7

Rihanna’s Slick Bantu Knots

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Beauty chameleon Rihanna rocked super neat Bantu knots and emerald green lipstick to accept the Best Fan Army award in 2014 at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.

8

Kiki Layne’s Stylish Bantu Knots

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9

Logan Browning’s Bantu Knots Mohawk

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You could wear your Bantu knots in a mohawk style à la Logan Browning, who dressed up the ‘do with a gorgeous pink gown.

10

Marsai Martin’s Bantu Knot Crown

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black ish star Marsai Martin wore a pretty crown of Bantu knots and blown-out hair to the 11th annual Shorty Awards in 2019.

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Teyana Taylor’s ’90s Style

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Teyana Taylor brought full-on ’90s vibes to the grand opening of her Junie Bee Nail Salon in New York City with Bantu knots, face-framing tendrils, and bamboo earrings.

12

Tika Sumpter’s Braided Knots

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Take inspo from Tika Sumpter and try braided Bantu knots for a chic updo that’ll turn heads.

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