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Friday, October 18, 2013

Tales From the Roots: Beautiful curls from Bantu Knots

When I was younger my mom would put my hair into what she called 'Dookie Balls' after washing my hair, a technique my grandmother had used on her head as a child. She would section the wet hair, de-tangle and twist it into knots to make it easier to blow dry. I hated it.No kid wants their hair to be in any style who's name was excrement adjacent. So imagine my surprise to seek Jada Pinket wearing her hair like this as a hair style in the Matrix. It was even more surprising years ago when I saw that almost every natural girl on Youtube was using these knotted twists to achieve heat-less curls. Their real name is Bantu Knots, which sounds a lot better than 'Dookie Balls' and its now my go to style.
I did this style when my hair was long and relaxed but now that I have about an inch or so of unrelaxed hair I have to approach it a little differently. A lot of girls use water, leave in conditioner, setting lotion and oil to achieve their curls but I find that adding water and setting lotion/ foam makes my hair dry and nappy. It took some Youtube research and trial and error but I finally found what works for me. Watching Youtuber Yolanda Renee's dry bantu knot video was probably the most helpful.
Here's what I use...
Organic Root Stimulator Coconut Oil $4.99
Creme of Nature Argan Oil Strength and shine leave in conditioner $5.27
Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioner repair cream $4.49

After washing and deep conditioning my hair I blow dry it and spray my entire head with the Argan Oil leave in conditioner. After I part it into sections I apply the Cantu leave in liberally, making sure I moisturize all of the hair within the section. You don't want any dry spots because this could leave your twists frizzy. I take the section between my thumb and index finger and twist tightly until the end of the strand of hair, then wrap it into a tight ball.
Bigger sections equals bigger, looser curls. I usually allow my hair to dry overnight but you could sit under a dryer or allow it to air dry all day.
Becareful when taking you hair down, you don't want to disturb the curl too much if you want your fro to be defined.

 I untwist each section by twisting it in the opposite direction that they are twisted. Once my entire head is loose I separate the curls with my fingers and fluff. You might want to use a pick to blend your parts but you don't want to comb the hair because you will lose your curls and possibly cause some breakage in your hair.
The end result is a fabulous curly afro! You can add a part or a head band, pull it into a mohawk or if your hair is longer a curly up do or pony.

 By the way I'm wearing  Revlon Pearl, Wild orchard #457 on my lips.

Happy Twisiting! 

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