I’m at my happiest when…

I get my Curly Sue on.

To date, I have achieved the wave/curl (or coil) pattern I’ve needed on my relaxed hair using rollers and bantu (also known as Zulu) knots. There are a whole range of videos and tips online to suit different hair density, texture & lengths and I find everyone has their own preference when it comes to products they use to achieve their desired curl pattern. Today, I’d like to share one of my favourite ways to achieve moisturised, bouncy and tangle free bantu knot twists like the one in the picture above (orange dress):

1) Pre poo — apply castor & essential OR hot oil treatment mix to my scalp AND henna/hibiscus (or other Ayurvedic treatment) if needed to the length of my hair. Sometimes I just apply oil to my scalp and slather on my deep conditioner mix from root to tip. I leave it on for at least an hour or overnight if I can.
2) (sham)poo or no poo wash my hair — if I do opt for a poo wash, the poo of the day really depends on if I think my hair needs a clarifier (Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap), a moisturising shampoo (such as Nexxus Therappe Luxury Moisturising Shampoo) or a chelating shampoo (Aubrey Organics Swimmers Shampoo).
3) Deep condition with the lucky concoction of the day e.g. Caramel Treatment.
4) “wash” with Elucence.
5) Tea rinse, let it sit for about 30 minutes.
6) Apply Porosity Control over the tea rinse, wait 5 minutes.
7) Rinse everything out with water and then do a final rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar.

LOC in the moisture
8) Keeping with the L.O.C.O method, I very lightly oil my hair whilst wet using any of: jojoba, olive, avocado, sweet almond or coconut oil.
9) Follow it up with Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner. Whilst still wet (the idea is to have it air dry into the curl), I
10) Reach for hemp seed oil which I often use as my sealant because after severe dryness and moisture issues, I realised that my hair needs protection from the Nigerian sun.

BANTU time
If you need to see the process, check out this video:

11) Now, how you bantu is entirely up to you. Nikita for example does about 15 knots at a go but because I usually do bantu knots when I want really tight curls, I use much smaller partings & twists. Which means I end up with about 30-40 knots on my head.

12) If I’m letting it air dry, I reach for my satin bonnet and go to bed with the knots on my head. Most people find this uncomfortable and opt for the dome hair dryer at this point.

13) The following day, I apply light oil to my finger tips — at the moment, grape seed oil’s become by default take down oil – I then carefully unravel each knot/twist and style as needed.

Bantu Knot on Dry Hair
If your hair is already washed and dry, make dry Bantu knots and then spray the knots with your favourite light leave in conditioner mixed with a little water and aloe vera juice and again, once dry, unravel per step 13 above.

 Bantu on dry, relaxed hair: 


I hope this helps?

Peace, Love & Luscious Curls

This post was originally published on the 16th of July 2013 here