Whether it’s because you’ve got pool party plans or you’re anticipating harsh winter weather, protective hairstyles are a great idea year-round—especially for naturally drier curly hair types. Arguably the most stunning of the protective styles are Bantu knots, artistic bun-like twists that date back to the Zulu kingdom of South Africa. Whenever a celebrity hits the red carpet with a Bantu braided hairstyle, it feels like a special nod to black culture and African ancestry, whether it’s Rihanna in a chic style or Yara Shahidi in a fierce look.
Bantu knots belong to an exclusive group of protective styles because they are actually a two-in-one position. You can wear them as a style or use them to create highlighted curls without heat. Perhaps the most attractive thing is that the hairstyle is a beautiful dream that goes hand in hand. Full disclosure: it’s not simply a ponytail. So it may take a few tries (or more) to get your bantu knots worked out, but with patience, the right products, and a good YouTube tutorial, you can maintain the no-makeup look.
For inspiration, keep scrolling for the most memorable times your favorite celebs rocked eye-catching Bantu knots, each looking more precious than the other.