Twist braids are a great alternative to box braids with the added advantage of the takedown process being a breeze! There is a wide range of versatility with hairstyling and it offers a convenient switch up from the everyday braided looks.
Twist styles ranging from passion twist, Senegalese twist, the standard two-strand twist, and the rope braids all sit comfortably in the twist braids zone with some needing additional hair extensions and others, working just fine with your natural hair.
What is Twist Braids?
Twist braids are a protective hairstyle that follows a two-strand layering technique, where you stack hair strands over the other. The addition of extensions might be needed to pull off certain twists.
There are a variety and forms of twist braids each with its peculiarity and uniqueness, but the underlying similarity lies in the mode of installation.
Twist Braids: Preparatory Process
As always with braids, do a before-care routine, this would prolong the longevity of the twist and keep your hair healthy as well.
To begin, pick up a moisturizing shampoo, scoop a golf ball size in your palms and massage it into your scalp, gently scrubbing as you go back and forth. Afterwards, give it a good rinse.
There might be a need to go in for the shampoo bottle a second time, especially if you do not feel your hair is clean enough. A moisturizing shampoo is considered beneficial to the health of the hair because it contains milder surfactants which are gentler on the strands.
Next up would be a conditioner. This is an incredibly important process in the hair care regimen, work in conditioner into your scalp from the mid-lengths to the tips. Conditioners are great at preventing frizz, flyaways, and split ends, above all, it keeps the hair hydrated.
During, the conditioning process grab a wide tooth comb or brush and gently detangle from the tips and work upwards ensuring this is done in sections to adequately get rid of knots and prevent tangles. Combing through the conditioned hair provides a slip that makes the detangling process an easy one especially with the hair being fragile when wet.
Give your hair a thorough rinse, and add in the rest moisturizing products following either the LCO or LOC method, the leave-in conditioner is unarguably the third and equally important step in the hair care routine. Decide whether to air dry or blow dry, after the product application. If blow drying is the choice, be sure to apply heat-protecting products to various sections of your hair to prevent damage arising from the altering of the hair proteins typically caused by frequent heat usage.
How to do Twist Braids: Step by Step
Now, with a freshly washed haired and readied hair bundle that has been pre-stretched and treated to an acid vinegar bath to get rid of any scalp irritant that might try an incessant itching and other unpleasantries. Do this by soaking the braiding hair bundle in water and 2.5 parts ACV mix, letting it sit for a couple of hours, and rinsing it off. Afterwards, let it air-dry overnight.
Take a rat tail comb and begin to divide your hair into halves to make it workable and clip off a section. Beginning at the back, create a row and split it into three small hair pieces with a parting style convenient for you. Next, add gel for smoothness and sleekness to the individual parts.
Take a small piece of hair extension and create a u shape with it and gently place it by a hair section and braid it together with the natural hair. After braiding for about three inches, and holding the braid with your thumb, split in the middle strand into the left and the right strands, so you are left with two strands– a left and a right strand, while yet holding the braid, twist the right strand and place it on the thumb holding the left strand and let go of the left strand bringing it over to the right, and keep repeating the process as you progress downwards towards the end of the extension.
The Marley braiding hair, Kenakelon, X pression, and water wave braiding hair is quite known brands for gorgeous twist braid styles and are quite inexpensive, and can be found on Amazon and other beauty stores. You’ll be needing anywhere from two to six packs of hair depending on the style, size, and natural hair texture.
The twist braid typically takes an average of four to nine hours similar to the box braids installation process, the major influencing factor is how intricate the style is, the length, size, and natural hair thickness.
For a Two Strand Twist
A simple two-strand twist is simply the above method with the absence of hair extension. After sectioning your hair, take a desired hair piece and split it into two, and twist by stacking the halves over one another.
The two-strand twist is a common and relatively easy process particularly popular with the curlies for the twist-out look and a natural way to rock the natural hair. A variant of two-strand twists called passion twist is created by using curly unit extensions that give off a bohemian appearance. This style has been a recent trend and if cared for, it gets finer, the older it gets!
For a Rope Twist Braid
For the rope braid, after sectioning, grab a section and split it in half at the hairline. Twist the left section and the right section several times to the right while working in opposition to one another, and then cross them over. Holding the strands, add hair from the right section to the right strand, twist it, and cross it over again. Then, add hair from the left section to the left strand, twist it, and do the same.
Repeat this procedure as you work your way down the section, holding the hair tightly as you braid. At the bottom, you can either do a standard two-strand twist by simply laying one strand on top of the other until the tips of the strands are reached, or you can divide the section into three sections and braid the typical way.
Keep them near your head as you continue to make this motion. Be sure to hold the hair firm as you work if you want the final effect to be tight against your skull, similar to a cornrow.
How to Care for Twist Braids
Caring for your twists is essential to protecting the health of your hair. Here are a couple of tips to help ensure the longevity of your twist and safeguard your natural hair in the process:
- Protect the hair at night: Go to sleep with a silk or satin head wrap, the smooth and silky surface ensures an easy glide and no tugging or grabbing as opposed to cotton bedding thus, keeping the style in check.
- Wash your Twists: Get over the fear of washing your braids! It’s not a complicated process, all it requires is cleansing the scalp, a healthy scalp equals healthy hair. It is advisable to wash your braids after two weeks, especially if you lead an active hairstyle.
- Moisturize the Scalp! Oil and other moisturizing products should be your friends. Massage lightweight oils into the scalp to encourage blood flow to stimulate hair growth.
- Avoid Over styling: This is a crucial thing to note, to avoid thinning edges and traction alopecia, additionally, it would encourage frizz and fasten the take-down process.