I was at Trader Joe's last month and I saw the bomb-est woman with long braids down her back.
Obviously, I went up to her and told her she looked fire and then asked her what kind of braids they were. "They're Senegalese twists," she told me. "Not many people know what they're called, but everyone rocks them." As soon as I got home, I dived into the depths of the internet for all things Senegalese twists and now, I'm sharing everything I learned with you; from installation to upkeep.
What Are Senegalese Twists?
Also known as rope twists, they're one of the most popular protective styles for textured hair.
"Senegalese twists are a braiding style done with straight braiding hair," explains celebrity hairstylist and braid expert Helena Koudou. "[They] resemble box braids but instead of braiding with three strands, you only braiding with two."
How Long Do Senegalese Twists Last — and What's the Best Way to Preserve Them?
"Senegalese twists can last anywhere from eight to 16 weeks depending on how you care for them," says Koudou.
When it comes to braids, it's all about preservation, so she recommends moisturizing your roots and wrapping your hair every night in either a satin scarf or bonnet to prevent your hair and edges from becoming frayed too quickly. Doing this will help the braids to remain fresh until they're ready to be taken out.
For maintenance, Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist LaRae Burress recommends using Spiced Sugah's Scalp Oil to keep your scalp and roots moisturized, JC's Instant Control Edge and Braid Gel to lay and protect edges, and the CURLS Blueberry Bliss Leave-In Conditioner to keep hair moisturized. For the best results, she recommends mixing the leave-in with water to use as a conditioning spray.
How Much Do Senegalese Twists Cost?
Depending on the length and size of the Senegalese twists, the price typically ranges from $150 to $400. The smaller or longer the braids are, the more expensive they can be, but well worth it.
VIDEO: 6 Twisted Hairstyle Ideas for Anyone with Natural Hair
What's the Best Way to Remove Senegalese Twists?
Koudou says that Senegalese twists are pretty easy to remove compared to taking out box braids, which is great as it's hard for me to commit to styles that take a lot of time to get and uninstall. The best way to remove these twists is to unravel them from the middle and then the root where the three strands and the two strands meet
Buress adds that when removing Senegalese twists, you should estimate your hair length, cut the excess ends of the twists, and untwist each twist from the bottom. "It's important to unravel each twist from the bottom to ensure you're not snapping your hair strands that may have gotten tangled across the two strands while you were wearing your protective style," she explains.
Yes, it's that simple. This proves that Senegalese twists are the next low-maintenance style you should hop on.
And I don't know about you, but I've already made an appointment with my stylist to get them next week.
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