Bantu knots are a gorgeous style all on their own and a Bantu-knot out (simply unraveling the Bantu knots and separating) is a phenomenal way to get uniform waves and curls on textured hair. Many have tried and failed at this style, but we have some pointers on where you actually went wrong.
Not allowing your Bantu knots dry
One of the worst mistakes when creating a twist-out, braid-out, or a Bantu-knot out is not allowing your twists to fully dry. There are actual memes poking fun at this because it is a nightmare. Unraveling your hair while wet or damp will leave your hair limp, frizzy, and undefined. Sit under a hooded dryer or use a blow-dryer to finish the drying process. You can also just rock the Bantu knots as is and accessorize with hair jewelry or a headscarf.
Know that Bantu-knot outs work best on damp or dry hair that has been stretched, so creating them right on wash day with fully wet hair may be a failure waiting to happen. This style is great for old hair that is not ready for wash day.
Just as you need smooth hair to create a banging roller set, you need fully detangled and smooth hair to create the Bantu knots. Fully detangled hair allows for product to be smoothed throughout the hair and to get the right level of definition when the knots are released.
Starting on freshly washed, wet hair
No one is suggesting you must have hair bone straight, but stretched hair is ideal for an elongated Bantu-knot out. You get a smoother finish on stretched hair and less frizz. This was my mistake whenever I tried this style.
Not adding a light oil to fingers
This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it can be the difference between a smooth and lasting Bantu-knot out versus a frizz ball. Also, make sure your nails are not jagged to avoid snagging and breakage on your takedown.
Not using the right products
Just as a stellar setting lotion is necessary for a smooth and frizz-free roller set, the right styler with the right amount of hold is necessary for a great Bantu-knot out. A twisting gel or cream is ideal to ensure your knots will have superior hold. Most twisting gels or creams are non-water based and will hold the style better without reverting stretched or straightened hair. Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Cream is a cult favorite, but trial and error will guide you on what keeps your hair moisturized and frizz free.
Over-manipulate until you create frizz
Our curly, coily, and wavy hair is more prone to frizz, and when creating a style like a Bantu-knot out, one must take the knots out carefully and style without disturbing the wave or curl. The style will loosen up over time, so remove carefully and know that less is more when it comes to fluffing.
Here are two popular videos showing different twisting techniques that yield amazing Bantu-knot outs.