Senegalese twists

Senegalese Twists: What NOT To Do


For my sister’s birthday, I agreed to install Senegalese twists in her hair.  Back in my college days, I used to install my own micro-braids. But let’s not get it twisted [pun intended], I HATE braiding hair. So this was truly a birthday present.  I had never done twists before, but I thought it was easy as pie to figure it out. Boy, was I wrong. In the end, I figured it out — and her hair looks great. But I made many missteps. I thought I’d share them with you so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Use Smooth (Braid) Extension Hair Your First Install

Have you ever tried twisting kinky hair vs. blow-dried or straight hair? If so, you know that it is considerably easier to twist hair that is kinkier.  If you haven’t perfected your twisting technique, then it WILL unravel.  For her first install, my sister purchased kanekalon hair. Boy, was it silky. And boy, did it unravel — until I perfected my technique. For your first try, use Marley or Havana Hair  and do Marley or Havana Twists instead. They are much kinkier and easier to do. TIP: Twist as you twist. There are tons of videos on YouTube to show you how. Which brings me to my second point…

Except to Perfect It Without Practice

Because I was so busy with my girls, I didn’t take the time to study videos and practice my technique for the install.  BIG mistake. Because I didn’t practice, I did half her head the WRONG way. It took 8 hours and we did an updo to hide the undone hair. A few days later — after researching and practicing — I redid that section in less than half the time.  If I had simply watched and practiced, it would have saved me hours of precious time. You don’t even have to practice with fake hair. I practiced with my own, and figured it out in about 30 minutes. Lesson learned. (To learn how to install, I checked out videos by Breanna Rutter and Africanexport)

Allow The Ends To Unravel

If you don’t secure the ends properly, it will be unravel city.  With braids, it harder to unravel. But twists…they are always looking for an excuse to ruin your style. To seal the ends, dip the length of the extension — excluding your hair, of course — in boiling hot water. If you are having issues with unraveling prior to sealing, try perfecting your technique and/or securing with a curl rod.

So there you have it. The three biggest mistakes I made while installing twists.

Have you ever installed twists (Marley, Havana or Sengalese)? What were your biggest mistakes? What tips do you have for others?


5 thoughts on “Senegalese Twists: What NOT To Do

  1. Tamar Charmaine Paoli

    not trimming my hair or deep conditioning it out of laziness before doing my hair, using Marley hair, its too rough on my hair and it was like Velcro it pulled out my hair i ended up having to chop off pieces of my hair

  2. MrsDay

    I used too much Marley hair for each twist. With my fine hair, I was reinstalling twists every day because they kept slipping. Otherwise, I think I did pretty well.

  3. Jessica

    I’ve done my own twists for the last year and I used silky kanekalon the first two times and marley for the third time. For Christmas, I did yarn twists. They look cleaner and they hold moisture better than synthetic hair, just be sure to spray moisturizers and conditioners on the yarn before installing. Plus, the yarn is cheaper. Buying several $2+ packs of hair every install is more expensive than a $3 roll of yarn thatcan last 4+ installs.

  4. kinda

    This protective style weave is something new in trying so I want to ask if the pretwist kankelon hair works as well as straight kanekelon hair? I know its good for braiding but I have never used it for twists. Any thoughts from the experts?


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