What Kind of Hair to Use for Senegalese Twist? – Stunning Iconic Styling Explained

We place a huge amount of value in our hair, our very identity is wrapped up in our locks, our heritage running through every strand, so a hairstyle straight from Senegal, Africa feels so right.

What is a Senegalese twist?

The Senegalese twist, known also as a rope, or crochet twist, is not only right, it protects our natural hair, promoting increased growth, and enhancing condition. Styling a Senegalese twist takes several hours, but it can remain in for 2-3 months, if you look after it properly.

Often created using braiding hair or extensions, they can also be made from your own relaxed hair. However, as extensions seem to hold the twist better, this might be a better option for newbies. If you chose to go down the extension route, it’s important to select the right type of extension for your twist, and you’ll require around 6-8 packs.

The three most commonly used extensions types are:

  • Marley – a course extension with a natural finish
  • Kanekalon – these natural looking extensions don’t require much maintenance
  • Toyokalon – more suited to shorter styles, these can tangle easily, need a lot of care, and are the most expensive of the three

How to create a Senegal Twist

To create Senegal twists, your natural hair should be approximately 1 inch long or more.

  • Wash and condition your hair as normal, followed by detangling. Avoid using any oil
  • Dry your hair, brushing it through as you do this
  • Prepare your extensions, if you’re using them, by carefully opening the packets, and dividing the hair into sections – a larger section means a larger twist. Fold each section in half
  • Part your hair down the center, and using a comb, separate into 4 sections, then each of those into 4 again.
  • Comb each part through and use clips to keep them out of the way
  • Take one section and split it evenly into two
  • Twist each part to the right
  • Then take the center of a strand of extensions and hold it in between the two twists
  • Wrap the whole thing together carefully eg the two twisted strands of hair, plus working from the center of the extension, wrapping one strand over the other, over the third, and then repeat.
  • Keep going until the whole length of the three strands are twisted around each other
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the sections across your head
  • When the whole lot is twisted, dip the ends in boiling water, and wipe on a little castor oil
  • Enjoy your new iconic hairstyle.


For a more detailed description, watch this video: