How to DIY Senegalese Twists

Gabrielle Union-Wade flaunts her amazing Senegalese Twists - Black Hair Spot celebrity corner

Need a new protective style? Going on vacation soon? Have no clue what you’re going to do?

A vacation style. A clutch protective style. A celeb fave. Check out how you can get these #Senegalesetwists #protectivestyle #naturalhair #bhs Click To Tweet

Well, help is here and it comes in the form of Senegalese Twist braids. Originating from West Africa, the style has been around for centuries. These hair twists are sometimes referred to as “rope twists” for their small and string-like appearance. Typically, Kanekalon hair is used to give a smooth look.

Installing the braids involves wrapping fiber extensions around the roots of natural hair. Then, the hair is twisted in two-strands from the root to the end of the hair shaft. Some of our favorite actresses like Gabrielle Union-Wade, Brandy and Joy Bryant have been spotted wearing these twists.  You too can have this look. Even if you are cash strapped, and, you can do this in the comfort of your own home.


  • Tail comb
  •  Small hair clips
  • Six to seven packs of synthetic hair extensions (Kanekalon or Darling fiber or whatever your preference is)
  • Saucepan and hot water
  • Hair oil
  • Spray bottle
  1. STEP ONE – wash and detangleWash, detangle and dry your hair before braiding. Avoid using thick conditioner or heavy oils on your hair as this will make hair slippery and these products can clog your follicles.Part your hair into sections.  They should be equal in size for continuity. Tie these sections with small hair clips to keep hair away while you braid.
  2. STEP TWO – prepare extensionsPrepare extensions to desired size and length. Be sure to keep the same amount of extension hair for each strand. Lay the center of the fiber extension over your natural hair and begin to twist and coil them. Do this by grabbing your own hair and the fiber hair in between your fingers and twist to the right until it coils. Then, secure the extension hair before weaving it.
  3. STEP THREE – braid from the rootWhen braiding down from the root, overlap the right-hand section of hair with the left. Continue to twist and coil the hair until the hair is finished. The braid should be sturdy and stay in place without being sealed immediately.
  4. STEP FOUR – repeat

Continue steps two to three while working on each section. Once finished, dip in hot water and treat the ends with oil to lock moisture.

Maintenance of Senegalese Twists

  • Wash your twists at least once a week. Use a diluted shampoo or apple cider vinegar.
  • Apply light oil and spray moisturizer to your scalp several times a week. This helps seal in moisture and hydrates your hair. For help with products, check out this article.
  • Spray liquid leave-in conditioner on your braids daily. Braid spray promotes optimal hair health.
  •  Sleep with a silk or satin scarf.
  • Keep style for six to eight weeks.

Try this style and tell us how it worked for you…. And  don’t forget to share with your friends.

Slay with the Crochet Twists

Everything you need to know about Crochet Twists

An all-you-need-guide to getting a fabulous crochet twist for the festive season - Black Hair Spot An all-you-need-guide to getting a fabulous crochet twist for the festive season

It is close to the end of the year and you know what that means – holiday time! But the cold and dry temperatures also mean that it’s the season for protective hairstyles.

If you’re looking to try something a little different, crochet twists might be the perfect style for you.

Slay with the Crochet

Crochet twists are a low maintenance hairstyle installed by adding extensions using a crochet needle on existing hair that is cornrowed. They are done without the use of sew-in and therefore cause less stress on the hairline and on the budget.

No one knows the origins of the hairstyle but historic records suggest that it has been around since the 16th century. It became popular in the Americas in the late 90’s and 2000s and has recently risen to prominence due to the strong natural hair movement.

Why should Crochet twists be your next hairstyle?

Crochet twists are just as easy to put in as they are to take out. You’ll never spend more than three hours in a chair installing them and never more than 30 minutes maintaining them.

Unlike weaves and lace fronts, there is no need to use thread, bonding glue, caps or other adhesives that can cause breakage, shedding or allergies. It is also kind to the pocket as fiber extensions are affordable. Expect to cough up between $29 and $50 for a six-pack and it is unlikely that you will pay north of $100 for everything (unless you live in Canada :).

How to rock the twists

There are many ways in which you can wear this hairstyle. It can be worn long, medium or short with low or high volume. There are different types of crochet twists, which include:

Jamaican Twists

Crochet twists - Black Hair Spot celebrity corner A cute Jamaican Twist that gives volume and pizzazz

Havana Twists


Naturalista MissKendrak rocking short red and black Havana twists - Black Hair Spot celebrity corner Naturalista MissKendrak rocking short red and black Havana twists

Jumbo Twists


protectivestyles Long Jumbo Twists with a touch of beads - Black Hair Spot celebrity corner Long Jumbo Twists with a touch of beads

Need a new, affordable and quick protective style for the holidays? Look no further #BlackHair #NaturalHair #Holidayhair #CrochetTwists #bhs Click To Tweet

Senegalese Twist

kiitana crochet senegalese twists - one of our favorite YouTube naturalista's with a simple yet elegant Senegalese twist - - Black Hair Spot celebrity corner one of our favorite YouTube naturalista’s with a simple yet elegant Senegalese twist

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you install crochet twists at home?

It’s simple. You will need:

  • Six to seven packs of twists hair extensions (dependent on the type of twists you want to do and your head shape)
  • Hair crochet needle (find it on Amazon)
  • Tail comb
  •  Braid or fiber extensions
  • Scissors
  • Moisturizer and/or oil base
  •  Ensure that your hair is clean and moisturized before cornrowing.
  •  Cornrow hair to desired pattern – preferably a simple straight back pattern to make life simpler.
  •  Prepare fiber. You should use the same amount of hair for each crochet for evenness.
  • Start from the top or bottom of scalp. Slide the open latch needle into cornrow.
  • Place strand of fiber in the hook.
  •  Close latch and pull the needle through hair to the midway point of the fiber.
  • Take out needle and make a round loop with the fiber or braid
  •  Pull the tail of fiber through the loop, then twist the loop and pass through the tail
  • Secure the fiber by pulling the tail all the way to tighten.

If you want to show your popping edges, you can leave a little bit of your hair out. Ensure that the hair you leave out is taken care of, i.e., wash and condition regularly and moisturize and seal every day. Try using extensions similar to natural texture to have a unified look.

How long can I leave my crochet braids in?

It is recommended that crochet braids be kept in 4-8 weeks max.

How can I maintain my hair?

Maintenance is fairly easy in terms of day-to-day styling. However, washing is where things get tricky. Crochet twists make it difficult to get to the scalp, but there are ways in which you can clean your roots to prevent clogging and build up.

To wash, use a spray bottle with either watered down shampoo or apple cider vinegar. Gently massage your scalp. Then methodically rinse out the mixture in your hair. Also, co-wash the fiber hair and use products according to the texture of the extension.

Outside of washing, moisturize your cornrowed hair using leave-in conditioner and use either Aloe Vera or a light moisturizing mixture for the extension hair. At night, use a satin bonnet and if you have high volume hair, tie it up so that it can be covered.

For more advice on how to take care of your crochet twists, click here.

How do I remove crochet twists?

Removing your crochet twists depends on whether you want to keep the extensions or whether you want to reuse them.

If you want to reuse extensions, you must:

  •  Individually feel each braid to locate where the knot is
  •  Slowly slide the knot out using your finger
  •  Be careful with this process as improper removal can tangle your hair.

If you want to cut the extensions:

  •  Cut the extension close to the knot and be careful not to cut your own hair
  •  Take moisturizing conditioner and apply to hair. This will give your hair more slip and make it easier to remove the knots
  • After removing all the extensions, unravel your cornrows and the crochet knots should fall off as you do so.

Crochet twists are the perfect gift for your hair this festive season and will save you time, money and your precious hairline.

Tell us what you think about Crochet Twists and… share the magic with your friends.

What are Hair Twists?

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Black hair has gone through many cultural shifts and evolutions over the years but it continues to be a symbol of our identity and a response to the culture around us. In the 80’s and 90’s a rising cultural awareness of black power and beauty spurred the need for diversity in hair styles in the black community. Black women began embracing textured styles such as braids, twists and locs; borrowing from the cultural freedom of the 60’s to create styles that showcased black hair in unique ways. Twists became increasingly popular in the 90’s and 2000’s and have recently made a come back with even more options available with crochet styling methods.

Hair Twists: Simple Yet Beautiful

Twists are created by a process of wrapping two strands of hair around each other until hair resembles a rope (hence the term ‘rope twists’.) The nature of black hair and the ability for kinky strands to wrap themselves around each other, prevents the twist from unravelling when done properly. Extensions with a coarse texture can be used to install twists if you have silky or chemically processed hair. In many cases, single twists are more versatile than single braids because they are easier to manipulate into various styles.The thickness, texture and style of your twist can also vary depending on the type of hair you use to install them.

Taking Care of Twists

This hairstyle is also great because it’s easy to maintain and can last up to 6 weeks or more. But beware of the tendency to completely ignore your hair just because it’s in a protective hair style. To ensure your hair is healthy and strong after removing your twists follow these maintenance tips:

Washing Twists

Don’t be afraid to get in there and wash your twists if you feel that there is a buildup of product and dirt. To avoid your hair getting frizzy part your hair into sections and let warm water run through it. When shampooing run hands down your twists gently letting the water do most of the work. Afterwards wrap your hair with a warm towel to seal hair strands and prevent any additional fraying caused by excessive rubbing. You can also take the dry-shampoo route to be on the safe side.

Different twists may require a slightly different maintenance routine. For example, wearing twists in your natural hair may make it easier for you to wash and moisturize. If you have extensions or crochet twists you may need to use dry-shampoo or spray moisturizers to maintain hair.

Moisturizing Twists

Find a great penetrating oil to moisturize your hair while it’s in twists. This will ensure that moisture is retained in your hair shaft which will make your hair soft and easier to manage when you take out the twists. It will also help with hair growth and reducing breakage. The ultimate goal of any protective style is not just to look cute, but to make hair stronger and healthier. You can also use leave-in conditioner on your twists by coating strands beginning at the roots.

Sleep with a Satin/Silk Scarf

If you want your twists to stay neat you’ll need to tie your hair down with a silk-scarf or bonnet each night before going to sleep. This protects your hair from fraying when rubbed against your pillow and sheets.

Wearing Twists – Different Hairstyles

There are many different ways to install and style twists, making them as diverse and resilient as black hair itself. Twists can also be styled in virtually every way you wear your own hair; you can wear them as a mohawk, up-do or ponytail – the options are limitless. There is so much to this simple hair style it’s no wonder it’s a favourite of women of all hair types.

Here are some examples of the different ways you can rock your twists:

Senegalese/Rope Twists

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Senegalese twists or ‘rope twists,’ are named after the West African country of Senegal where they originated. This style is typically achieved using Kanekalon (synthetic) braiding hair which gives it a smooth, silky look. The downside to this however is that the hair is easier to unravel if not done correctly.

Marley Twists

Marley twists are coarser than Senegalese twists, resembling the dreadlocked hair style of Mr. Bob Marley himself. Because of its coarse texture, Marley twists are a lot easier to install on your own. A simple two strand method is all you need to create this look.

Havana Twists

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Havana twists are often confused with Marley twists because both looks are created with the Marley braiding hair. The difference is in the thickness, with Havana twist being almost twice the size of Marley twists.

What are your favourite twisted hairstyles?