PROTECTIVE STYLING: KINKY TWISTS.

Protective styling is simply giving your hair a break from the daily or regular manipulation. All that combing and handling of your hair is tension, and your hair does need a break from this from time to time. Putting your hair in a protective style does not mean “Bye, see you later.” Ignoring your hair while it’s under a weave or in braids or twists or whatever, defeats the very purpose of protective styling. You aren’t touching your hair but as much as possible, you should try to make sure that it is moisturised.

For two weeks, I wore my hair in kinky twists, just long enough to rest on my shoulders. For them I used three packs of Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist hair- two in colour 1B and one pack in colour 33. I got mine in Lagos for N1, 400 (One thousand, four hundred naira) a pack. Please beware, there are fakes!

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I’d love to be one of those skilled naturalistas on tumblr who do their extensions themselves (one day, one day!) but I had mine done at a salon. Two pairs of quick hands and three hours later, I was done.

Preparation: in this post I talked about trying to get my moisture right before I went to do my hair. I had my hair blow dried with medium heat because braids are best done with stretched hair. Halfway through I did notice that the yet untouched part of my hair had already shrunk a little.

Kinky Twists and Me

DSCF3525

I’m a huuuuge fan of this style for a few reasons:

  1. Very light weight, especially at this length.
  2. Easy access to my scalp. (this reason applies to other forms of braided/twisted styles with extensions)
  3. Light weight extensions + easy access to scalp = great in the heat.
  4. Rasta vibes- I think they’re similar to dreadlocks
  5. It’s so easy to style. (Bend some here, bend some there- maybe secure with a bobby pin or two, and/or a rubber band. Feeling fancy? Grab a scarf.)
  6. The extensions are so similar to my kinky hair so I’m not freaking out at the sight or feel of my own hair poking out of the twists at different points.
  7. Unlike other styles, kinky twists look even better with time.

BE CAREFUL how you style/pull your twists because of the pressure on your very delicate edges. Having them in for too long (or braiding and sewing-in weave tracks in that area too tight) can destroy your hairline. Also, kinky twists are comfortable but if you leave them in for too long, your hair could start loc’ing itself. Yeesh.

I wore kinky twists for a good deal of my transitioning period; it’s a great protective style.  However during my transitioning period, other than the times I massaged my scalp and sometimes the twists with shea butter, I really did not do much. Very bad behaviour, I know- but I’m a changed girl now!  ^_^

CARE

I used Bellajoya’s method to moisturise. Three times a week- Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

WHAT I USED

  1. Spray bottle
  2. Water
  3. Leave-in ( Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Creamy Hair Lotion)
  4. Coconut oil
  5. Castor oil.

WHAT I DID

  • I mixed water and a little of my leave-in in my spray bottle.
  • I held my twists altogether with a rubber band. Little by little, I took out small sections of twists.
  • For each section I spritzed the water + leave-in mix on my scalp and along the braids. Only for as long as I felt my own hair went.
  • Then I sealed by rubbing coconut oil on the twists (again, only as long as I felt my own hair went) and massaged a little onto the scalp in and around the section.
  • After doing this moisturise and seal routine for a section, I divided the section into two and did one big twist before moving on to the next section.
  • Having gone over about eight sections, all my hair was in eight big twists.
after a long day

big twists

  • I then applied some castor oil to my edges.

I did this because I’ve read that castor oil is great for hair growth around the temples. Some say it’s ridiculous but the before and after pictures I’ve seen say the opposite. Rather than get front hair back after the damage, it makes sense to fight the tension as it is happening, no?

  • Yes and I made sure to go to bed with my satin bonnet on, for the benefit of the small bits of my hair that weren’t 100% covered.

It’s really not a long thing. If you need some motivation, settle down to watch one episode of that new show you’ve been meaning to start, and watch it as you handle your hair. Last Wednesday, I finally watched started the Hunger Games!

THE TAKE-DOWN.

I know the twists were in for just two weeks but comparing the state of my hair right now to other times I’ve done braids or a weave- especially considering the last weave I had for three weeks, my hair has never been better post-protective style.

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My hair wasn’t scary dry. It was fairly moisturised and the hair at the back felt especially good. One thing I noted though, is that my ends were dry. This isn’t really a big surprise because they were kind of exposed, poking out of my twists so next time, I’ll find a way to give the ends a little more TLC. I don’t think it’s possible to not lose a single strand of hair in a day, so the breakage wasn’t bad at all (and this is quite an understatement) . I mean, look at it. And yes, my ends. I lost a little hair but this is barely obvious. I’m not sold on the castor oil yet though.

I put some castor oil on my ends to condition them a bit for wash day tomorrow.

You’re probably wondering why I took my twists out so soon since I love them so much. I had to. Nobody has explained to me yet why this is but here at Law School, you can only attend the mandatory Law dinners with your natural hair. No weaves, no braids, nothing. The dinner is in two days so… yeah, the beloved twists had to go.

What’s your favourite protective style? How do you care for your hair while it’s hidden away?

X

*Photos by Iby.

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28 thoughts on “PROTECTIVE STYLING: KINKY TWISTS.

  1. Iby photographer professionelle. I hate weaves now. Mainly because I can’t reach my scalp. I have really dry scalp and it makes me so sad when I take weaves out and all the work I put in to make my scalp clean and moisturised is all gone! Anyway I prefer braids. I can wash, oil and do all the works. I shall use your technique, thanks.

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  2. Yeahhh. Hellur Mee!!!
    i recently joined the ‘pay-attention-to-your-hair’ wagon. Kinda hard to not do, when Miss Butterfly is moisturizing every other day, I have relaxed hair,I did the mayo treatment, washed,conditioned and used Coconut oil on my hair the night before then i slept on my silk scarf, my hair felt like a unicorns mane the next morning. i kid you not!!
    Thanks A.B!
    .

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  3. Just doing Ghana weave to look different and save myself the stress of wet scalp/hair after morning workout. That’s my protective style today. May last 2 weeks only.

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  4. Very helpful post. Did my big chop three months ago. Planning to get single braids this week for the first time, but I plan to have them on for much longer. I’ll definitely try out your methods. Thanks

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  7. Hi luv..as you know, i am going natural too.I am not too far gone though, my hair is still pretty short, but i see its growing at its own pace. Anyways, i have a major problem: MY FRONT HAIRLINE IS RECEEDING!!!! Its making my forhead look bigger than it already is.I need help kenke… I dont want to be the first natural shakazulu in Ghana! xoxo

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    • LOL
      Hey Esteee!!
      I’ll get back to you on this but I read that Castor oil is great for edges. You could read about this here

      Here’s a link to BGLH articles on Edges + Hairline care

      Castor oil is popularly used to relieve constipation so you could look for it in that section of a store.

      X

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  9. You look good with the kinky twist. Reminds me of when I used to be a big fan of these styles. Nowadays my scalp protests anytime I use an extension or weave. So I’ve had to let them go but since I commenced my hair journey, i’ve become more adept in managing my hair. Though it might be boring in terms of limited styles, but hey! we’re stuck together for a lifetime (my hair and I). So i might just get the show moving.

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  12. Love your kinky twists. I just moved to Lagos and I am looking for a salon that can do amazing kinky twists. I haven’t found one yet. Could you recommend the salon that did yours?

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  14. This method has been a my hair’s saving grace. I’m a university student in a small town in the U.S. The weather’s harsh, the water’s hard, it’s a struggle to eat healthily. Bad news for my hair. I also lost some of my edges after doing Ghana weaving (for the first time in my life) in Nigeria last summer. This method helped me the last time I had twists, and now I just tried it on my current braids. Thank you, Ekene.

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  15. I love ur braids, pls would like to know if you divided a pack of the supreme royal silk to get the dat length(just like the normal expression 2,3…). Thanks

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  16. Greetings Afrikan Butterfly,

    Again, loved this post! I’d been wondering about what other naturals’ routines regarding caring for their hair while protective styling. My sister has protected her hair for three months, washing and installing a different type of crochet braid each time, and her hair has grown.

    I wondered about leaving the hair alone while protecting and moisturizing it on a different routine. Your post reminds me to continue to care for my hair, same as if it were loose, except no manipulation is really required. I’ve put leave-in conditioner in a spray bottle before and misted my Sisterlocks. Never tried Castor Oil or Black Jamaican Castor Oil. I will be using these oils considering my sister loves them.

    My first protective style will be the Marley hair or the Brazilian Wavy, which, I haven’t decided, but I do know that I will install them myself.

    EXCITED,

    Claudia

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