As my hair is fine and not tightly curled, I have problems with maintaining two strand twists as they tend to unravel at the roots and the ends. Last year, in my search for ways to address this problem so that I could wear twists, I came across a blog wherein a young woman explained the Senegalese twist technique. I decided to give it a whirl. Little did I know that the technique would not only enable me to maintain decent twists for a week, but the release would result in a second style. What’s better than a two-in-one?!?!
So, without further ado, here’s the bulleted tutorial with some pictorial and video assistance;-).
- Shampoo and/or co-wash hair and deep condition. Section hair into 4 sections and clip 3 sections out of the way.
- Apply leave-in conditioner and styler to first section (optional: oil scalp).
- Use a rat-tail comb to section hair for a twist. You can section in a square/grid method or with half-circles.
- To create the twist, separate the section of hair into two pieces. Twist EACH piece, SEPARATELY, in one direction, close to the scalp. Then, take the two pieces and twist them together in the opposite direction. Before twisting each section together, continue to twist the individual sections in the opposite direction of the twist. This creates a rope like effect and a tighter twist (see the video below).
- Repeat until entire head is twisted, re-wetting hair as needed with water and/or leave-in conditioner).
- Seal ends with oil/butter. Optional: Set hair on rollers and allow twists to air dry or use bonnet dryer on low/medium heat.
- Once dry, release and style as you please. Because my hair is fine and my twists are “scalpy,” I styled in an updo.
Maintenance: At some point during the first week, I did wet my whole head in the shower in an attempt to make the twists “plump.” It worked a little, but not enough for me to wear my hair down. I oiled my scalp, moisturized and sealed my ends with JBCO every couple of days. I wore my hair like this for 10 days.
- Carefully release twists allowing each section to remain intact. Hair will look “piecey.”
- Spray released twists with a moisture spritz (I used 4 oz of distilled water, 4 oz aloe vera gel – the food quality kind, 2 oz DevaCare One conditioner, 1 tbsp of JBCO and a drop or two of lavender essential oil) and seal ends with oil/butter of your choice.
If you decide to do this style and keep it in as long as I did, you must have patience, be gentle and prepare for a long detangling session. I typically shed a lot of hair and had a very large hairball after detangling. However, as I hadn’t done my hair for two weeks and the strands were shed and not breaking, I didn’t freak out.