Senegalese twist is braiding technique whose pattern resembles a rope hence often known as Senegalese rope twists. This intricate hairstyle originated from Senegal, West Africa.
There are several braiding techniques for creating the versatile Senegalese twists including the traditional twisting method, crochet and rubber band method.
With this hairstyle, there is an array of styles, and patterns you can choose from. You can elevate the style by adding accessories like beads and play with different colors as well.
How to do Senegalese Twists
Here is a step-by-step process on how to do Senegalese Twists
Step 1 – Cleanse the hair
Senegalese rope twists should definitely be installed on clean hair. Use a sulfate-free shampoo to clean your hair thoroughly.
Gentle shampoos will clean your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
Step 2 – Condition & moisturize
Shampoo naturally dries the hair and you need to bring back moisture to your strands by applying conditioner.
Remember your hair will stay in the Senegalese twists for a while so deep conditioning is crucial. You can do an overnight treatment with simple kitchen ingredients such as eggs, bananas, and avocado.
Here are some ideas on the DIY hair masks you can use.
Moisturize your hair properly either using the LCO method or LOC methods.
This means you either use the Liquid/Leave-in, Cream, and oil, or vice-versa to ensure your Senegalese rope twists stay in longer. The maximum hydration will make taking them out easier as well as hair tangles less.
Step 3 – Stretch the hair
Senegalese rope twists work well on stretched hair.
Although using heat frequently is not encouraged, you can blow dry it on low heat settings with a heat protectant on.
There are other heat-safe methods of stretching hair such as braiding where you let your hair air-dry.
Step 4 – Prepare the braiding hair
You need to have the synthetic braiding hair of your choice, and a wide-tooth comb before you start the twisting process.
If you have a sensitive scalp, it is important to soak and wash the synthetic hair in apple cider vinegar. This will prevent any skin or scalp irritation that may occur from the synthetic hair.
Comb the braiding hair gently to get out any knots and tangles making twisting easier. First part your natural hair into two strands with the wide-tooth comb.
Depending on the size of twists you would like you can make the sections bigger if you want larger Senegalese rope twists.
Step 5 – Install the Senegalese Twists
- Start by parting your sections
- Take one section and place the braid (synthetic hair extension) horizontally against your natural hair
- Pick one strand and twist it clockwise. Turn the twisted side anti-clockwise, now twist the other side clockwise, turn it anti-clockwise
- Repeat the pattern until you reach the tip of the synthetic hair. This pattern will look like a rope hence why it is coined rope twists.
As you braid, ensure:
- You hold each strand firmly as you twist. This will make the hairstyle stay in longer as loose twists unravel faster.
- Detangle the hair as you twist it down. This makes it easier to twist and makes the hairstyle neater.
- Make a knot at the ends of the hair to prevent unraveling. There are also other ways of sealing the ends of your twists such as either burning the ends or dipping them in hot water.
How long do Senegalese twists last?
Senegalese rope twists can last anywhere from for 4 to 8 weeks as your natural hair is safely tucked in the synthetic braiding hair.
Senegalese rope twists are known to protect the hair from any environmental damage from the sun, wind, or, dust. Your hair gets a break from excessive heat styling as well.
For your rope twists to remain tidy and the hair protected you need to take good care of the hair.
How to maintain Senegalese twists
Moisturize your scalp regularly while wearing the Senegalese rope twists. Use Olive, coconut, or Avocado oils to hydrate your scalp and prevent any irritation
#2. Cleanse the scalp
Always wash your scalp after activities such as swimming to get rid of any dirt, grease, and product build-up on the hair. This is also to get rid of chlorine that may be trapped in your strands
#3. Use braid spray
Keep your Senegalese looking fresh by spraying them with braid sprays that keep them looking shiny, smooth, and of course moisturized
#4. Protect your braids when sleeping
Wrap the hair while sleeping with a satin scarf/bonnet to prevent any frizzy hair and flyaways while protecting your braids from moisture loss.
#5. Be gentle
Protect your edges by ensuring the twists are not too tight. If the twists are too tight, they may cause hair loss, breakage, and thinning.
#6. Use products sparingly
Do not use too much product on your hair as this will lead to build-up and scalp itchiness. It is a headache to deal with an itchy scalp when wearing this protective hairstyle.
With the versatility the Senegalese rope twists offer, I bet you are looking to try this amazing hairstyle. You can get it done professionally by a hair stylist or even DIY at home. How exciting is that!