Towards the end of my London Trip, I got Senegalese Twists (or Rope Twists) put in. Keep in mind, I have never ever had a protective style where extensions were added in. No box braids, no twists, nothing.
My natural hair is so thick, that it never really made sense to me to add to it. But at the time, long term protective styles had been on my bucket list, so when my Aunt suggested I get it done, I was game. Here was the result:
As to not bombard you, I’ll share the pros and cons of my first protective style experience in point form:
What I loved about wearing Senegalese Twists:
- First of all, I felt like a Princess. Yes, it could be the Eurocentric beauty standard of having long hair that swings when you move talking here, but I’ll still admit it; I loved the feeling of the long twists.
- The EASE. With a protective style in, you don’t have to think about getting ready! I could to sleep in for an extra 30 minutes every morning, because I knew I didn’t have to think about styling my uncooperative natural hair.
- And then there were all the options! Although I did not take full advantage of this, there are a lot of hair styles you can try with Senegalese Twists in. Personally, I didn’t stray often from styling the twists in a half up, half down look, but I did branch out and try a top knot, a top bun, as well as two buns on either side of my head so I could try and pull of a Mini Mouse look for Halloween.
- Also, it helped me retain length! I tend to see breakage at my ends when my schedule gets more hectic, and my natural hair regimen becomes a littles less regimented. Having the Senegalese Twists in as a Protective style allowed my ends to be protected from drying out, and breaking. It truly surprised me! I had healthy hair when I took the twists out!
What I didn’t like about wearing Senegalese Twists:
- First of all; HOW MUCH IT HURT. Okay. Y’all are probably laughing at me. I’m probably preaching to the choir here being one out of a small percentage of black women who had never before worn a protective style with extensions. Sleeping was awkward. My scalp hurt, and my hair pulled whether I tied it up or left out. Thank goodness this stopped after a week.
- Also; my protective style pulled out my edges. Either my hair just really wasn’t used to being styled like that, or the lady did my edges a little too tight. Little bumps formed around my edges, and a good amount of hair pulled out from my head. Oils and creams were used, and my edges were massaged like crazy to reduce the stress. I also pulled the twists a bit further away from my scalp, and I found this eased up a bit. All I can say though is I am so happy I have a lot of hair, so you couldn’t tell there was much missing.
- Finally; removing them. My mom said I just didn’t know how to remove them, but it took me 8 hours to take out my senegalese twists!!! Part of the problem is that my natural hair, when pulled straight, is boob length. This meant that I had to be really careful not to cut any of it off. Therefore, I found myself cutting relatively low on the twist before unravelling it, where others would probably cut closer to their head.
All in all, it was an absolutely amazing experience!
Now, I’m already building my Pinterest Board with more inspiration for Protective styles. What do you think I should try next? Marley Twists? Faux Locs? Box Braids? Tell me what you think in the comments below!
Related: Mello Hair Review (I used this product while I had the twists in.)