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Controversy Over Curly Hair Tutorial With Bantu Knots

The Reason This Beauty Vlogger's Hair Tutorial Infuriated the Internet

Norwegian beauty vlogger Gilan Sharafani recently shared a video of herself demonstrating a no-heat curling technique. While that alone sounds blatantly inoffensive, it's her method — and her lack of acknowledging that method's origins — that upset many of her 33,390 subscribers.

Sharafani's technique involves twisting small sections of her hair into small buns and subsequently pinning them until her whole head is covered with tiny chignons. She later unpins them, revealing tightly wound curls. The issue, however, is the fairly obvious correlation between the buns and bantu knots: a style that is believed to have originated among the Zulu tribes of southern Africa.

It's interesting to note that Sharafani was completely unaware of the existence of bantu knots and expressed this in the video's description after receiving criticism.

In an Instagram post promoting the tutorial, one person commented, "It's not just a hairstyle or jewelry fashion. It's a culture and the history behind it." Another wrote, "Try loving our black and POC neighbours a bit more by giving serious thought and insight into their history and the result of the current lives."

She wrote, "After that I shared this video on my Instagram, ppl [sic] started telling me that the teqnique [sic] I was using was from Africa — WHICH IS CALLEDN [sic] Bantu Knots." She added, "I didn't knew [sic] that, till everyone startet [sic] commenting about that. If knew from the start that this teqnique [sic] was African, I would for sure call it Bantu Knots."

It may have been an honest mistake, but Sharafani only acknowledged the fact that she didn't know about bantu knots. She didn't address any issue with her using them as part of her technique. The comments under her video have since been disabled.

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