Winter Style Change: Senegalese Twists / Rope Braids

senegalese twists rope braids
senegalese twists rope braids

Post-Synchronized Swimming season I always capitalize off the opportunity to not only press my hair but also braid it up in a variety of styles using synthetic hair (since that can be too heavy when swimming in a pool and whatnot). So I decided to try out the Senegalese Twists...

...and my sister decided to try them out too!

The most difficult part about getting this style done was finding the right hair. I read articles and watched Youtubers from around the world that used a variety of hair brands to make Senegalese twists. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to have them shiny and sleek - so that ruled out using the kinkier Marley Braid (although I do want to try that next time because I like the urban/ethnic look about it).

I settled on finding, buying and using Que Synthetic Braiding Hair because of the reviews and my stylist said she preferred that one. I also got the shorter version of the hair and not the super long pack they offer (goes down past your butt!). My sister, Phiphi, wanted to get her twists done in the #33 color that she uses for her crochet braids. So of course you couldn't find any of these options in your regular ol' beauty supply store. Ended up going to the swap meet to find everything more easily than I thought.

My sister ended up getting 8 packs of the Black n' Gold Braiding Hair in the #33 and I got 6 packs of the#4 Que Synthetic Braiding Hair. My sister has slightly more hair than I and a bigger head, hence why she got more packs. However, my stylist ended up having to use some her synthetic hair because I ran out of packs. So I think buying between 7-9 packs is a safe bet for any size head.

I ran into an old friend at the swap meet who told me to buy the Rasta AFri Braiding hair but I still decided to go with the Que hair instead. My stylist later said that she found the Rasta Afri hair tended to unravel a lot more easily and had more success with the Que and Black & Gold.

I recommend not getting the senegalese twists put in so tight (especially if you are tender headed like me). My sister had a different stylist and hers were in so tight she had to take advil for the next three days and could not swing them up into an updo until almost two weeks later because they were so tight! They also left little red spots throughout her scalp.

I told my stylist to keep them loose and had no problems sleeping that night and swept them into a high bun the third day without any problems. People also think the tighter they are the longer they last but with Senegalese twists I think they can quickly get a little furry - so there is no point in doing them that tight. I can see them only lasting at most 2 months (I plan on taking mine out about 5-6 weeks after).

My stylist also braided with less hair when doing the twists and I highly recommend that technique because the braids are less thick and easy to maneuver into certain styles. My sister had more hair twisted in and as a result they were really thick, chunky, and heavy all together.