All hail Lizzo, living, breathing beauty and fashion mood board. When she’s not releasing year-defining songs with epic music videos worthy of their own Universal Studios ride, the songstress can usually be found on the red carpet in some eminently copy-able ensemble or posting what appears to be full-scale editorial photoshoots, complete with couture and elaborate makeup looks. Her latest Instagram beauty look — full brows, warm peachy-pink blush, and gold-tipped manicure — is in the greatest of all time running, with Lizzo’s Bantu knots and crownlike Gucci barrette sending the entire thing over the edge. As far as early fall looks go — of which you’ve probably seen more than a few — it’s the ultimate transition style.
Colorwise, Lizzo’s hair ushers in autumn with pumpkin spice highlights which mix with her natural hair color for a multidimensional blend that adds warmth to her face, and adds even more emphasis on her standout blush. The Bantu knots themselves are coiled snugly (not too tight, though, for minimal breakage), assembled in a pattern that allows for plenty of pre-selected tendrils of hair, gently curled and light-catching, to delicately frame Lizzo’s face.
Her baby hairs, lightly gelled, lay swirled against her hairline to make room for the pièce de résistance: a truly spectacular barrette spelling out GUCCI just above her forehead. Its placement, clipped to the knots closest to Lizzo’s hairline, gives the appearance of a tiara — perfect for pop’s reigning princess. The photos she posted also give fans (all 11.4 million of them) a look at her latest nail art situation: a fall-perfect gold-tipped French manicure with a cursive shhh... spelled out across her middle finger. It’s three parts pure sophistication, one part playful, as is the flutist’s signature style.
To get the look, TZR tapped Geneva Fowler, Lead Braid Stylist at BEAUTYBEEZ, for some insight and expertise. “Bantu knots are a great, easy, at-home style,” Fowler says, mentioning that the knots can last up to a week in your hair with proper care and protection. To kick things off, Fowler recommends starting with freshly washed hair as the style requires a lot of exposed scalp by nature — “it’s best to work with clean hair so that product build-up isn’t visible,” she explains.
As part of the pre-knot prep, Fowler likes to use a leave-in conditioner with a scalp treatment to prime the head and guard against damage (she’s a fan of the It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In and Shaz & Kiks Back To Your Roots Scalp + Hair Prewash). According to Fowler, most damage comes in the form of twisting the knots too tight which is fortunately preventable. “The best way to avoid breakage is to twist tightly without putting too much tension on your strands, as this is what leads to damage,” she says. “I recommend starting with a two-strand twist, then wind your twist into a knot which will also help you to avoid tangling your hair. Once your knots are in place, avoid re-twisting the hair daily, as this will likely cause over-manipulation and lead to breakage.”
Once hair is sufficiently prepped, Fowlers says to section off individual patches of hair with an easy-to-use set of clips like the Naturally Drenched Keep It Tight Styling Clips and start (gently) twisting, taking care to leave face-framing tendrils out if you’re going for a recreation of Lizzo’s look. “If you’re struggling to tuck the ends under your knots,” she advises, “you can use bobby pins to secure them and keep them in place. Once your knots are in place, use a curl sealer like the Taliah Waajid Curl Sealer to lock in moisture.”
Of course, one of the most important parts of Bantu knots — and all hairstyles, really — is taking care of the hair once it’s styled. A silky scarf, wrap, or bonnet at bedtime (Fowler’s favorite is the Dream World Large Size Satin Bonnet) goes a long way, but add in a smoothing curl custard like the Fowler-approved TGIN Honey Curls Custard and hair will stay moisturized, free of frizz, and in-place for even longer.
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