Having a great hairstyle is one of the creative ways to express your individuality. However, over manipulating your hair with harsh tools will result to breakage and even growth retention in the long run. If you want to preserve your hair from damage with a protective hairstyle, keep reading on our Senegalese twist hairstyle inspirations for women.
What Are Senegalese Twists?
African women know best when it comes to taking a good care of their hair. No wonder, protective hairstyles are common for them. A great thing, protective hairstyles like crochet twists, rope twists or Senegalese Twists will keep you stylish while promoting your hair growth and protecting it from breakage especially if you’re fond of ironing, coloring, curling, and over manipulating your hair.
Do you know that Senegalese twists originated from Senegal, Africa? In fact, it’s a protective hairstyle that will work best for women with kinky hair. The hairstyle is called twists since you’ll wrap your hair extension around the roots or ends of your natural hair. A great thing, your hair will grow faster when braided in a Senegalese twist, which is perfect for women transitioning from shorter hair to longer hair.
What Type of Hair Extension Should You Use in Senegalese Twists?
When it comes to Senegalese Twists, keep in mind that synthetic hair extensions like Marley, Kanekalon, and Toyokalon are preferred over natural ones. Why? It’s because their texture will help to avoid unraveling the twists. Marley hair extensions are coarser but have a natural finish.
Even though the Toyokalon hair extensions have a light and fluffy texture, they tangle easily. That’s the reason why they are better reserved to smaller-sized braids and shorter hairstyles since they’re very high maintenance. On the other hand, the Kanekalon hair extensions are easier to manage, low maintenance, more natural looking, and cost effective.
Things You Should Know Before Installing Your Senegalese Twists
Wash your hair extensions in apple cider vinegar before using them.
Protective hairstyles are meant to protect your hair, not damage them from lye and other chemicals. So, wash your hair extensions before attaching them to your natural hair. Let them dry first as using them while damp will encourage bacterial growth and result to a mildew smell.
You shouldn’t put much tension on your hairline.
Do you know that you can lose massive hair from too tight braids? In fact, some extreme cases include hair loss, traction alopecia, and other damages. If you’re not familiar with traction alopecia, it’s simply a condition of hair loss because of too much pressure on the hair shaft. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least one inch of hair growth where you can install your hair extension without putting much pressure to your scalp.
Opt for kinky or coarse hair extension on your first try over smooth ones.
Do you know that a straight hair extension will make the task of installing your Senegalese twists harder? Yes, it’s a lot easier to twist kinkier and coarse hair extension over smooth ones. This is especially true if you’re just starting to master the twisting technique. A silky, smooth hair extension will surely unravel easily. Hair experts even recommend using Marley and Havana twists since they’re easier to install.
You should secure the ends properly to avoid unraveling prematurely.
When it comes to braids, securing the ends of your hair sounds effortless. Unfortunately, twist hairstyles like Senegalese twists are a lot more challenging. According to hair experts, you should seal the ends of your hair extension to avoid ruining your looks. It’s up to you whether you want to dip the ends of your synthetic hair in boiling hot water or use a curl rod to perfect your twisting technique.
Take time to study the twisting technique instead of doing it on the spot.
Protective hairstyles take time to install and need the right tools and technique to make it effective. If you wouldn’t practice before doing it, you could do the half of your head wrongly. Take note, it can take at least 9 hours to hide the undone hair. So it pays to learn it first before committing your hair into it.
When installing Senegalese twists, make the size of your twists uniform.
Having too big at the same time too small twist would look unflattering. So, before starting the twists, you should divide your hair into sections accordingly. Most of the time, you can start twisting at the nape of your neck moving upwards. Just don’t forget to seal your twists after you complete them.
How to Install Your Senegalese Twists
For any protective hairstyle, preparing your hair is important. Before installing your hair extensions, apply an edge control cream to smooth down your strands, and avoid them to stick out of the twists. This way, it will be easier to blend your natural hair with your hair extensions. You can apply hair serums, hair oil, or hair moisturizer to your scalp, but make sure they won’t make your hair extension slip off from your hair.
Depending on your hair condition, you can use around 5-6 packs of hair extensions. As a great hair hack, jumbo twists come in handy just in case you’re aiming for thick Senegalese twists. At the ends of your hair extension, there are blunt cut ends where you can feather or pull some strands for a more natural finish.
Prepare your styling tools like elastic bands, rat-tailed comb, toothbrush, hair clips, towel, and hot water. You may put your hair together in a bun, divide your hair into sections, and apply some edge protection cream to your hair. All you need is to weave your natural hair with your hair extension and twist it together.
As a hair hack, you may think of braiding your natural hair at the start, and weave it to your hair extension by twisting it. According to hair experts, you should put the equal tension on twisting your hair so you’ll have a flawless result. Just in case your twists unravel, then it simply means you’ve completed it wrong.
Once you completed twisting the rest of your hair, dip the ends of your hair extension in hot or boiling water to seal them. Simply use a towel to dry your hair, but don’t put much pressure or else your twists will detangle. Most women use toothbrush to tame the baby hairs and frizz.
Why Senegalese Twist Hairstyles Will Make You More Creative
The great thing about this protective hairstyle is you can create endless looks to express your individuality. Whether you have shorter hair or longer hair, Senegalese twists will work for you. Why not try the Senegalese Lob that will give you a sleek yet modern statement? A great thing, this hairstyle is trendier and cooler than the typical curls and waves.
If you love messy buns, why not think of getting a front bun hairstyle with Senegalese twists? You may even get a playful look with two buns up. If you like the half top-knot hairstyle, you can get it after you completed your Senegalese twists. Just gather the upper portion of your hair into a bun and leaving the rest undone. If you want to make your Senegalese twist work appropriate, think of a classy and elegant updo that can take you from business meetings to girls’ night outs.
Do you love braids? If yes then incorporate the braided look into your Senegalese twists. All you need is to start braiding your hair from the scalp before doing the twists. You may even think of French braid then twisting your hair. As trick, simply twist your natural hair with your hair extension in the pattern of a top crown.
If you want to experiment with bold hairstyles, think of Egyptian Senegalese twists, Mohawk twists, Jumbo Crochet Senegalese twists and such. If you’re a fan of ancient vibe like Cleopatra-inspired look, then go for Egyptian style of Senegalese twists. For an edgy, rocker look, think of adding some Mohawk vibe to your Senegalese twists, but you’ll need a help from a professional hair stylist.
Do you like a cool and hip statement? Think of jumbo Senegalese twists or braids that will add some flair to your simple look. This hairstyle is actually great for women with round or even oblong face. The key is to add some volume to your hair on appropriate regions to balance your face. If you have an oblong face, add more width to the sides of your face with twists, while a woman with round face will look better in longer Senegalese twists that fall below the chin or neck.
How to Add Some Style to Your Senegalese Twists with Hair Accessories
Just like any accessory, hair ornaments will add some personality to your looks. Do you know that you can even wear your Senegalese twists for at least seven months? Yes, that means you’ll have the opportunity to flaunt your creativity with your protective hairstyle.
One of the most versatile accessories that can add some pop of color to your looks is a silk scarf or bandanas. It’s up to you to choose bold colors and neon shades that will draw the focus on your face. A great thing, a silk scarf can also protect your hair while sleeping and lessen the amount of frizz overtime.
If you’re a woman with a girly fashion personality, think of colorful hair ties or elastic bands that will add some flair to your protective hairstyle. A great thing, it’s functional and stylish while holding your twists in place.
If you’re a woman with a bohemian fashion personality, think of beads, tassels, threads, shells and such that will add some flair to your Senegalese twists. You can choose earthy toned colored beads or wooden ones to flaunt your hippie personality. Or, be creative by mixing and matching colorful threads with beads that will give you a lively look.
Are you heading to the beach? Think of sea-inspired hair accessories that will give you the perfect girl-surfer look. Shells, hair rings, and other clip on beads look creative at the same time romantic. For a more eccentric style, think of colored hair extensions that will make your hairstyle creative yet effortless. This way, you don’t have to worry about hair rings slipping off your twists while you sleep or hair clip-ons falling from your hair.
How to Maintain Your Senegalese Twists
If cared properly, do you know that you can make your protective hairstyle last around 17 weeks? Since you’ll sleep with them on, you should consider sleeping on a silk pillowcase instead of cotton ones. Also, think of wrapping your head with a head scarf, silk scarf, or even bonnet to avoid getting frizz.
To take care of your natural hair while wearing Senegalese Twists, clean your scalp and allow it to dry so you’ll avoid getting a mildew smell. Every four to five days you can shampoo your hair—too much washing can actually make your twists detangle too soon.
According to experts, you should remove the twists from your natural hair once it begins to feel heavy, especially if you notice your hair extensions starting to hang from your new hair growth. Also, think of using hair growth creams so your natural hair will be healthy while having protective hairstyle.
How to Remove Your Senegalese Twists
Before removing your protective hairstyle, keep in mind that your natural hair is most fragile when it’s damp or wet. Most of the time, you’ll need rat tail comb or simply use your fingers to unravel the twist, along with scissors and hair conditioner.
To make the process of removing your Senegalese twists easier, cut the ends of your hair extension 4 inches away from where your natural hair ends. This way, you’ll loosen the twists, but just apply a good hair conditioner to make the process of removing your protective hairstyle easier. However, hair experts warned us to avoid applying conditioner to your scalp too soon as your hair will become more vulnerable.
The disadvantage of getting small twists is the pain of removing them. You have to be patient or else you’ll damage your natural hair. It’s much better if you’ll unravel and detangle your twists before applying shampoo to your hair.
By heeding our guide, you’ll be able to show off your Senegalese twists in a more creative and stylish way that reflect your personality.