I'd like to say my signature style would consist of a classic two-strand twist out.
It works every time, and I pretty much have the technique down to a science. But, occasionally I do get bored with this style and want to achieve a different type of curl. Enter stage left, the Bantu Knot Out, a style I've been eager to try for quite some time.
Now, what are Bantu Knots, you ask?
Bantu Knots result in the style of springy “curly q" curls or a pretty loose wave. I've noticed they are springy on girls with shorter natural hair (think ears and up) and more of the wave or loose curl on girls with longer natural hair (think mid-neck/shoulder length down). They can be done on any hair texture or type, and will totally change the look and curl of your hair.
This was my experience. Excuse me in advance for the low resolution, these photos were taken with my iPhone and not my camera.
How To: Bantu Knot Twist-Out On Natural Hair
What You Will Need:
- A spray bottle filled with water and part leave-in conditioner of your choice
- Bobby pins or pin curl clips
- A comb or Denman brush (I used my fingers to separate into sections, and detangled with the brush.)
- Styling product of your choice (I used a light mixture of Lottabody Curl Milk and Curls Blueberry bliss Control Jelly)
- A styling serum or oil for the take down (I used Castor Oil)
- Patience and a lot of drying time
Bantu Knot Twist-Out: Instructions
Courtesy of McKenzie Renae
I started with dry, semi-dirty hair. Probably a little over a week old.
Courtesy of McKenzie Renae
I parted my hair into sections and took a spray bottle filled with water and part leave-in conditioner, sprayed each section and applied a little curl milk and control jelly section by section. Because my hair was dry after spraying, I detangled with my Denman brush before applying additional product.
NOTE: The sections should be damp, NOT soaking wet. This will save you a lot of extra drying time.
Courtesy of McKenzie Renae
After separating, twist the hair around in a circular motion until it's in a coil. Almost like twisting a wet towel into a coil before you smack someone with it (or am I the only one who's done that? lol). Tuck the ends of your hair in the coil, and use a bobby pin or pin curl clip to hold them in place so they don't unravel as they dry. Repeat this step all over.
I would say I had a total of maybe 25 knots once I was done. I made the back and sides a little smaller so my curl pattern would be a little tighter around that area, because that's just how I like it. It's important to allot plenty of time and patience and to keep your coils neat because this will determine how they dry in the end style.
Courtesy of McKenzie Renae
You have two options once your knots are finished. You can sit under the dry for a couple of hours, or you can let your knots air dry for 24-48 hours. Remember, your hair will be tightly knotted up, so air will take longer to get in to actually dry your hair. If you take them out before they are dry, you will not get the desired look you want.
Courtesy of McKenzie Renae
I took them down similar to how I take out my twist-out. I applied a little Castor Oil onto my fingertips and gently took them out and separated them one by one. I don't have the photo of how they looked before I fluffed them out, but I used my fingers again to fluff from the roots and made sure no sectioned parts were visable.
- Although I thought my hair was completely dry after sitting under the dryer, it wasn't. What resulted was frizzy curls around the crown of my head. I'll probably devote a whole day to this look next time or sit under the dryer a tad bit longer. So please allow ample drying time!!
- Honestly, I felt like a little baby doll with this style. I already look younger than my age, so that's not exactly the look I'm going for.
- The style lasted three days for me then I was over it. There wasn't an easy way for me to maintain the look at night, and like my twist-out, it just didn't get better at three day "old old" hair.
I'm glad I finally did this look and tried something different, but it's just not for me. I might give it one more shot considering this was my first time doing this style. Who knows, maybe a longer length or knotting on clean hair will make a difference.
Better yet, next time maybe I'll leave my hair in the knots and rock it Rihanna-style.
How do you think I did on my first attempt?
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We, as women, pray to God for the type of husband we want, but do we pray for the type of friends we need? Many women often imitate singer Ciara’s prayer, hoping it will, too, lead them to their “Russell Wilson” – an equally yoked partner.
Yes, finding a life partner is a dream many hold close to their hearts, but how often do we put the same energy into asking for the friends that resonate with our souls? As with romantic relationships, our circle of friends can make or break us. Therefore, it is important to pray for our "tribe" with as much intention as we do for a life partner.
Our friends aren't just companions for brunches and spa days. They deeply influence our daily decisions, shape our outlook on life, and play a crucial role in our emotional well-being. True friends can elevate our spirits during life's troughs and cheer us on during its peaks. On the other hand, friendships that harbor negativity or toxicity can sap our energy, hinder our aspirations, and diminish our self-worth. This underscores the imperative of surrounding ourselves with the right tribe, a circle that fosters growth, ensures mental well-being, and champions genuine happiness.
Wouldn’t you want to be seen as a prize by your friends, like you wish to be seen as one by your future man?
When Ciara navigated the painful waters of her breakup with rapper Future, the “Level Up” singer didn’t leave her future to chance; she envisioned her ideal partner. She actively, consciously, and spiritually prayed for the type of man she wanted as a partner. This wasn't just about a rebound or a short-term fix. It was about intention, clarity, and knowing her worth. The universe answered in the form of Russell Wilson, a beacon of their love story many now admire.
And after years of women wondering what exactly she said in her prayers, she finally revealed it. The singer recorded her purported prayer on Summer Walker’s sophomore album, “Still Over It,” released in November 2021.
Her words had social media in a chokehold, as women and men alike uttered her words in every relationship video they would post.
Choosing Your Friends Wisely
It is pivotal for us to visualize the friends we desire. Consider: Are they genuinely supportive? Are they the kind of friends who push us forward without pushing us down? Do they offer loyalty without conditions? By detailing these attributes in our prayers or intentions, we offer a roadmap to the universe, directing it to the companions we seek.
While it might be tempting to seek out friends who fit into societal molds of “fun” or “popular,” genuine connection demands more. We should crave friendships that go beyond the superficial, where understanding transcends words, where challenges breed growth, and where loyalty isn't seasonal. It's not merely about someone to share mimosas with but about nurturing connections that understand and amplify our life's journey.
When our tribe aligns with our spirit, the transformation is holistic. With the right friends, our confidence doesn't just grow; it soars. We're exposed to broader perspectives, and our horizons expand beyond the familiar. The positivity emanating from such a tribe influences every corner of our lives, creating ripples of change and growth.
However, you must also ensure you’re ready for what you’re praying for. In my opinion, it is unfair to ask God to deliver friends who pour into you, but you do not pour into them. While prayer sets our intentions, our actions seal the deal. Seeking the right tribe means putting ourselves in environments that reflect our values and interests. Whether attending themed events, volunteering for a cause close to our hearts, or joining groups with shared interests, our actions echo our prayers, resonating with the universe.
Embarking to find the perfect partner holds depth, but equally significant is the odyssey of curating our tribe. The right friends don't just accompany us; they shape our lives in unparalleled ways. When we direct our intentions and actions toward finding our tribe, we aren't merely forming bonds; we're crafting our destiny. The adage goes: "Show me your friends, and I'll unveil your future." Elevate your tribe to a priority, nurture those bonds, and behold the transformative magic unfold.
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Feature image by FG Trade/ Getty Images