Let’s make ourselves like a natural woman, and that means going back to our roots. Literally. Senegalese twists aka rope twists are getting traction in the African-American community because one’s identity also includes health and beauty.
Senegalese twists are also a popular form of protective styling where we lessen the manipulation of our precious tresses and using less product. We are giving ourselves and our lovely locks breathing room to be and stay healthy.
Pros and Cons of Senegalese Twists
If you are tired of all the daily chemical and heat solutions to have straight hair, then get the Senegalese twist solution or any protective styling.
First, not all hair is made the same. African-American hair is unique in its texture. It is also prone to breakage and over manipulation. Second, Senegalese twists are trendy and chic with the resurgence of the natural hair movement. Also, maintenance is low compared to other braiding techniques for Afro-hair. Rope twists can last for 3 months or more if you take care of them pretty well. Moreover, you can rotate a Senegalese twist any which way you want. Lastly, rope twists are relatively versatile in style, and they are absolutely stunning.
However, they can sure take a lot of time installing. For your first time, set aside 4-6 hours. If you are going to do it yourself, schedule some “me and my Senegalese twists” time over a consecutive number of days. It might take you 2-4 days of 1-2 hours each day. But a new alternative is crochet Senegalese which can lessen the installation time.
You will also need braiding hair (most experts recommend Kanekalon, a type of silky braiding hair. For smaller braids, cosmetologists recommend using Toyokalon, a yaki braiding hair type. We recommend using synthetic braiding hair because it helps to protect your natural hair and minimizes unraveling.
If you want to take the natural route 100%, you can do so, but you will probably need to do more hair maintenance.
Preparing Your Hair
Before we begin, make sure that you have the minimum hair length to install Senegalese twists. Have at least 3/4 inches (1.9 cm) of your own hair before starting. Yep, even with braiding hair, you would still have to begin with yours.
- Clean and Moisturize. Remember that you have the option to maintain your rope twists for 3 months so starting clean is a give. Also, moisturizing beforehand will lessen breakage. Even if you are using a deep moisturizing shampoo, follow-up with a leave-in moisturizer. It will also help you to handle your handle better.
- Detangle. Dry and detangle your hair. Use a detangling comb, but if you don’t have one, a wide-toothed regular comb will do.
- Decide. Now that you are ready, you would need to decide which you are going to use as braiding hair. Kanekalon is the preferred choice since it’s easier to use and tangles less easily. If you are going to use smaller braids, you can use Toyokalon. It’s lighter, fluffier, and more expensive. You would probably need 3-4 packages to begin.
Moreover, don’t forget to prepare your braiding hair by detangling and stretching them. Also, it’s time to decide the size of your braids. The length of your hair and the weight of what you could carry are also limiting factions. Lastly, don’t use oil. Oiling your hair will make it harder to work with later.
Basic Senegalese Twists
Time to start braiding!
We recommend using duckbill clips to help you separate your hair into sections. Begin by parting your hair, whatever you like. There’s no better or worse here. Remember to do this first, adjusting your hair part will become more complicated once you have started.
- Separate hair into quarters. Then separate them again into sections. You will begin from the back of your head, from the bottom to the front and top so bear that in mind.
- Each hair section should not be thicker than an inch. Any thicker and it will be hard to work with the segment plus the braiding hair.
- Give the hair section a comb-over to detangle. Divide the section into 2 equal parts. Make sure that each sub-section is entirely free of the other section’s strands and are even in size. Use the sharp end of a rat-tail comb to divide the hair.
- Start rotating a sub-section to the right. Or to give you a reference, twist the RIGHT sub-section towards your face. But twist the LEFT sub-section away from your face.
- Give it 1-2 twists before laying on a prepared section of braiding hair.
- Make sure the middle part of your braiding hair is exactly on the center of your divided hair.
- Continue twisting in your hair and the braiding hair following the same direction as when you started.
- After you have twisted in a sub-section, continue with the other sub-section.
Twisting and Intertwine the Sub-Sections
- Now that you have finished twisting each sub-section, it’s time to twist and intertwine them together.
- First, put the right sub-section over the left sub-section and make sure they are overlapping.
- Then start by intertwining BOTH sub-sections.
- Now, the left sub-section should be on top of the right sub-section. Twist the left sub-section before coiling BOTH sub-sections together.
- Intertwine. Then twist the right sub-section which should be on top of the left sub-section now.
- Twist and intertwine.
If you did it right, the combined sub-sections should stay together even without sealing the ends. Begin with another section of your hair.
Sealing the Senegalese Twist
Boil water and once it’s roiling, remove from the heat. Dipping the ends of the Senegalese twists in boiling water for 15-20 seconds will seal the loose ends. Be careful.
Let your hair dry naturally. Finally, dipping the ends in Jamaican castor oil or olive oil will prevent dryness. If your hair is smoother, knotting the ends together can help you keep the twist long-term.
Senegalese Twist Styles
Rope twists are pretty popular. Choose the best and trendiest Senegalese twists. Love it, own it.
Small Senegalese Twist
Most beginners start with smaller braids. This style is also recommended for those with smoother and finer Afro-hair.
Medium Senegalese Twist
If you have medium to thick hair, you can choose medium Senegalese twists. They are also great if you don’t want big coils.
Crochet Senegalese Twist
Crochet braiding has been around since the 90s, and Senegalese twists are great for incorporating these pre-twisted braids. It also saves a lot of time while still giving versatility in style. Here is it was worn with a cornrow top bun and a half updo.
Up and Away
Remain stunning even with these gorgeous locks. Simply tie away from the face and hang loose.
Big Senegalese Twists
Be stunning and gorgeous with these bigger braids and make a beautiful statement.
Big-sized Twists in Simple Style
You can still go corporate with your big-sized braids. Remain professional by simply wearing them loose.
Jumbo Senegalese Twists
Be your own queen with this majestic and show-stopping Jumbo twists. It’s stunning and a definite head-turner. We love our big sizes over here.
Micro Senegalese Twists
If you have really fine but a full head of beautiful Afro-hair, create these micro twists. Make it more stunning and eye-catching with red braiding hair randomly used here and there.
Give a new twist to gray hair with this Ombre coloring, from gray to white.
High Bun and Corn Rows
Combine the best of two styles with high top bun and cornrows. The large braids give added Oomph! to these rope twists.
Two-Toned Big Senegalese Twists
Make it beautiful in two colors with your basic black and eye-catching burgundy.
Medium Length Jumbo Twists
You don’t need long hair for those jumbo Senegalese twists. All you need is time, black hair, and your beautiful fantastic self.
Side Braid Jumbo Senegalese Style
A beautifully braided style of loosely gathering the twists in a braid and letting it hang on one side.
Wavy Twist Style
Go wavy and pretty with this style. The rope twists are very versatile, and you can wear them any way you choose.
Partly Shaved Twist Style
Not for the faint of heart. Shave a part of your hair and create those stunning Senegalese twists for a major statement about personal identity.
Twisted High Bun Crown
Hair, after all, is our crowning glory so why not wear it like a crown. Gather your beautiful braids and twist to create this high bun crown. Add red braiding hair for added impact and accent.
Cornrows and Tied
Braid your twists into cornrows and then tie up the look with this beautiful high twisted ponytail.
Beautiful Braided Twisted Pattern
This is impact. A major personal statement. Real beauty.
Braid your Senegalese twists into this beautiful pattern. Resting your scalp and protecting your hair while remaining the Queen Bee.
Ultra Long and Colorful
Add more impact with your ultra long twists by using eye-stunning color. We chose deep purple in this one.
Forever Electric Blue Twists
Don’t be conservative with color. Choose this electrifying blue with shades of anime aqua to enjoy medium-sized Senegalese twists.
Part Cornrows and Full on Braids
Try out a “half and half” formula with half a head of cornrows and half a head of pure Senegalese twists for big hairstyle. Then let your braids hang loose.
Spiral Style Twist
Create this beautiful spiral braid style one section at a time. You will need to use micro braids up to big-sized twists to recreate the look. Include a lot of patience and don’t forget to moisturize.
Crochet Senegalese Top Braid
Save yourself some styling time by using crochet Senegalese twists for this hairstyle. Loosely braid sections of your twists up above the head and then let the twists hang loose. Accessorize with stunning danglers.
Double Pile, Double the Fun
Attention-grabbing but elegant and majestic style. Gather your hair into 2 sections. One is twisted and piled as a bun above the head. A bit further down, tie the remaining parts. Recreate this beautiful Senegalese style that can go from boardroom to cocktail hour in an internet heartbeat.
Begin with different color accents and braiding hair. Add a cord or two. Divide the braids into sections before twisting them together to recreate this look. Secure the ends at the back.
Create this chain mail effect by the use of micro twists and metallic color braid interwoven into the braid.
Chunky Twist, High Bun
Make this beautiful stunner a bit more gorgeous. Begin with a spiral braid pattern and chunky, jumbo braids.
Add some golden cuffs before gathering all the twists.
Tie up in a high ponytail before twisting all the braids together into a bun.
Secure with pins.
Red Accented Cornrows
Black hair becomes even more beautiful with red accents. Glittering red braiding hair is an absolute stunner.
Glamorous Crochet Senegalese Front Bun Twist
Have fun with your crochet twists and this glamorous hairstyle. Wear your bun on the front and just a little bit off-center for a jaunty look.
First, divide the hair into 3 sections.
Gather the frontmost section and secure with an elastic before twisting into a bun. Secure with pins and hide the edges under the bun.
Next, tie the middle section further down the head but not too low.
Leave the bottom section as is.
Add golden cuffs or any accent of your choice for stunning but majestic style.
Triangle Senegalese Twists Updo
Wear your hair all the way up with these triangle twists
Mix up your colors with blonde braiding hair and your pretty black tresses.
Big Senegalese Twists Hanging Loose
Wear your rope twists as they are, freely and loosely.
Medium Twists and Ultra Blonde Style
Create your Senegalese twists with some blonde braiding hair for this stunning combination.
Medium Senegalese Twists Side Part
Versatile twists that you can move all around also means you can have side parts whenever you want.
First, gather some front sections of your hair.
Then loosely twist before securing at the back.
Let the ends hang loose.
Cute Small Buns
A pretty take with two small top buns you can wear all day.
Honey Blonde Twists
Color your hair as sweet as honey and enjoy the color.
Fun with Tones and Big Senegalese Twists
Have fun with your hair tones braided into these big twists.
If you are working out, tie your twists into a ponytail and break some sweat.
Side Parting and Hanging Loose
Enjoy a low-maintenance hairstyle with a side part while your twists hang loose.
Center Parting Style
Go full central with a center style that draws the eye.
Multi-Size Senegalese Twists
Play up your braids with some cuffs. You can also accent your big braids with tiny micro braids as contrast.
Twisted in a Top Bun
Play with your tresses by twisting your twists into a top bun.
Tie your twists a little further up the head for this head-turning style.
Red Senegalese Twists
Enjoy the pretty reds with wine and burgundy colors.
Use blonde hair braids and blue cords to give your hair double color accents.
Beautiful Half Tied Half Loose
Tie up the front rope twists away from your hair and let the other half stay loose.
Twisted Small Senegalese Twists
Twist some small Senegalese twists away from the face and secure to get some accent.
Hairstyle meant for the queen in you with gold cords and cuffs and these beautiful regal braiding pattern.
Black and Burgundy Jumbo Senegalese
Make a more significant and stunning statement. Create the Senegalese twist style with these burgundy jumbo braids.
Red and Long with Cornrows
A very pretty red hair becomes even more stunning with cornrows before gathering the twists and letting them hang loose. This is also another way to use pre-braided crochet Senegalese twist style.
Subtle Accented Small Senegalese Style
You can do subtle if you want with these small braids. Add a golden cord for some subtle coloring accent. Finish the look by gathering all your twists and tying them up with a simple hair tie.
Big Senegalese Bouffant
Go the biggest you can with this great hairstyle that begins with a beautiful burgundy. Then put them all up like a beehive bouffant that can run circles around Margie Simpson’s. If you are going to make a statement, make it very loud and clear.
Big Senegalese Twist Up Front
Wear your big braids proudly. Create the braids with forw and wear them like a single braid.
Large-Size Senegalese Twists Updo
Go big and even bigger by creating big Senegalese twists and then putting them all up in one big bun. Just a beautiful statement of who you are.
Maintaining Your Senegalese Twist Hairstyle
Maintain your twists by spraying a leave-in conditioner. Avoid using creamy conditioner. You can also mix coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil, and a bit of water. Use this spray on your braids and maintain moisture. This will also help keep your braids longer. Finally, wrap your braids in a scarf or cloth before you sleep. Use a silk or satin cloth or anything smooth that can help you retain the braids.