I’m a twist fanatic. My protective style of choice you ask yourself? Twists! I even taught myself to do my own twist during COVID-19 (Thanks, YouTube!) Because the protective hairstyle makes me feel cool and chic, even when I’m locked inside. Adachi Sanders, founder of Ankh Hair Co and wife Ava Duvernay trusts her locs, is another ‘do’ fan. Sanders talked with me about one type of twist in particular, the Havana Twists. Below, Sanders answers all of my questions about the twists and turns of Havana, and has a few product choices for you to build your own installation toolkit.
What are the Havana twists and turns?
Sanders says, “Havana twists are twisted extensions made of natural fibers worn as a protective natural hairstyle.” Havana twists tend to be a bit larger than other protective styles, like Marley twists and small to medium braids.
What’s the difference between Havana and Marley Twists?
It’s easy to confuse the two, but the main difference is in the hair used for the twist. Sanders says, “You should use Havana Hair for Havana Twists , and you would use Marley Hair for Marley Twists.” She also notes that Marley Hair was once a brand like Havana Hair is today, but has been abandoned due to the licensing and use of the Marley name. Now, to create the Marley twist different brands like Cuban Twist and Xtreme are used.
How to prepare your hair for twists?
Just like with most protective styles, hair should always be cleansed and tangle free before the twist or braiding service begins.
How are the twists installed?
You can install Twist extensions with two methods: the Braid in Twist method and the Twist Knotless method. Each will give you the twisted look you want. On YouTube, the Rubber Band method is also very popular.
Which braided hair should you use?
Sanders’ choice for Havana twists is Havana Hair. She says, “This is the best twist hair to accomplish the Havana Twist look.”
What do you recommend for edge control?
“Staggered edges are my favorite!” explains Sanders. “Baby Hair makes the style pop!” Its cutting edge gel is The Roots. She adds, “It’s a black owned product line and its edge control was a game-changer for my braiding and twisting styles.”
How often should you clean your twists?
“If you are wearing the twist for an extended eight-week period, I suggest a touch-up service of around four weeks – included shampoo services.”
What does withdrawal look like?
The twist removal might be the simplest removal. According to Sanders, three essentials are needed: “A little patience, a light snack with tea, and your favorite movie.” She says, “You’ll start by cutting off the ends of the twists (be careful not to cut your hair!) And then you will loosen each strand as it comes undone for removal.”
After all of the twists are removed, Sanders recommends pinking the hair with a leave-in product (like Ankh Care Leave in Detangler Iris or Zarene). You should also use a Flex Detangle brush or Denman Detangle brush and then shampoo and cleanse regularly.
One last thing!
Sanders says, “Daily, the scalp need to be moistened with a hydration mist spray, as well as nourish the scalp with an oil also called hair nourishment.” “These two combined are important for growth while the hair rests in its protective style.”
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