Thursday, 23 February 2012

Heatless Curls with Bantu Knots

I'm sure I'm not the only one with stubborn hair that wont do as it's told. I have tried numerous tools in an attempt to curl it, including heated curlers, curling irons, wands and straighteners (I'm nowhere near coordinated enough to curl my hair with straighteners :/). My hair just doesn't like to hold a curl, or the curl ends up being to limp and not as defined as I'd like.

You may have seen me tweeting about this a few nights ago, but I decided to try out Bantu Knots to see if it would reinforce a curl in my hair. I have seen a few mentions of this on youtube, and looks like it could be the answer to 'tricking' your hair into holding perfect curls.

I will start off by saying this is perfect if you also want to avoid heat, have stubborn hair like me, or are currently broke - it's FREE!
The Process

I recommend you do this in the evening. You'll need to wash/wet you hair first as your hair is easier to train/manipulate when it's wet. You'll be sleeping on your hair, and that should dry it by the morning.
Note: the thicker your hair, the earlier in the evening I'd recommend you do this. This will ensure it is dry by morning.

You Will Need:
Setting Lotion 
(I used a spray in gel, though in hindsight setting lotion is probably the way to go. I'm sure a mousse would work too)
Bobby Pins/Hair Ties
Curl Defining Spray/Product

If you're going to use mousse, apply it to damp hair as you usually would before following these steps:

1) What you want to do is comb through your hair to make sure it's smooth and knot-free. Then divide your hair into sections. The thickness of the sections determine the kind of curl you end up with:

Larger Sections = Bigger, looser waves
Smaller Sections = Tighter, more defined curls

As you can see my hair isn't that thick, so my sections ended up leaning towards the smaller side, particularly on the right hand side of the photo.

2) You'll need to twist each section, and THEN twist that into a 'knot' at the top of the head. (remember you will be sleeping on these knots, so think about where you place them).

As you twist each section I'd recommend smoothing on the Setting Lotion/Gel (ignore if you previously applied mousse).

Fix these knots in place with bobby pins or small hair ties.

3) Once you've done this all over, all that's left to do is sleep!
(Do not attempt to speed up the drying process using a hair dryer - or you will end up with a lot of frizz)

Revealing the Curls

I did my make up first and got dressed etc before I touched my hair, just to give it extra time to make sure it was completely dry.

4) Carefully remove hair ties/bobby pins, and unravel the knots. 
You'll end up with weird twisted dreads that don't really resemble any kind of curl, but don't worry it has worked!

5) This is very important - do not brush/comb your hair! Unless you want to look like a poodle.
Use your fingers to tease the strands apart. Try and shake/gently pull the twists until you get the desired look you want.

The Result

This is the finished look.
This was my first attempt, and have definitely learnt from this as I did make a few mistakes, but I can see this as having a lot of potential!

You can see how weird my hair has gone on the side where I had the smaller know, and how small the curls are on the rest of the hair - Next time I will definitely use larger sections of hair.
I will also use setting lotion instead of gel and see if that helps control the major frizz that seems to be happening!

If it does go a bit pear shaped like mine did, you can always put it up in a pony tail. I did this and I ended up with a nice huge ponytail, which made a nice change from the usual pathetic/thin one I have to put up with.

A better view of that annoying piece of hair!
Overall I would definitely recommend this as it has huge staying potential. It also adds a lot of volume to your hair, which I definitely need!
Its nice that you can tailor the kind of curl you get, depending on what size of twists you use. 
-It just takes practice to get it right. 

I will try this again, hopefully soon, and put up another post on how it went. This time I'll aim for larger curls and see if it works.

Have you tried this before? I'd love to know if you have any tips!



  1. Oh cool! Really interesting post - very original. I don't know if I want to try this tomorrow in case it's a disaster for work - how many knots did you tie your hair into? I have a lot of fine hair but want big waves :)

    Emily x

  2. Thank you :) Haha I know what you mean!
    I used 5/6 twists. I'd probably recommend a minimum of 3 twists all together for bigger waves. You could maybe get away with 2. Think next time I may try 4: one from each side, and two from the back (one above the other).

    The amount really depends on how thick/thin your hair is. You'll be able to see if your sections are big enough when you come to twist them up.
    You may want to test this out on a night where you don't really have anything planned the next day lol

  3. I remember doing this kind of thing when I was little with long hair, now it's short so no chance :)

  4. I'd never hear of this until a couple of weeks ago, wish I'd known sooner! I'd love to know if you have any tips? xx


@ Beauty Not Just Skin Deep.