Monique Disu/Demand Media

The Senegalese twist hairstyle is created using straight synthetic hair. This distinguishes it from kinky twists; a similar hairstyle that calls for tightly coiled synthetic hair. Senegalese twists can resemble regular braids from a distance, but they take less time to install and have a soft corkscrew pattern. They can be long, short, thick or thin. The twisted extensions add length, visual interest and shine to the wearer's hair. Though easy to install, it takes substantial time and patience to finish a full head of twists.

Preparation

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Use the rat-tail comb to part the hair into square, manageable sections. Hold each section in place with an elastic band or hair clip.

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Leave one section of hair unbound and evenly apply hair oil. Comb through the hair with a wide toothed comb to untangle any knots and smooth the hair.

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Use the rat-tail comb to separate a little wisp of hair from the rest of the unbound section. Make this parting the size you want all of your twists to be. Hold back the rest of the section with an elastic band or clip, leaving the wisp of hair separate.

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Unpack the kanekalon hair and spray it with oil sheen. You may also choose to cut the kanekalon to your desired length.

Twisting

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Hold some kanekalon hair over the wisp of natural hair so that it is at the midpoint of the kanekalon. Twist the natural hair into the right half of the kanekalon so that you are holding only two strands of hair.

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Coil each individual strand tightly as you twist them around each other, continuing down the length of the hair. Coil the individual strands of hair in the opposite direction of the motion you use to twist the two strands around each other.

Monique Disu/Demand Media

Seal the end of the twist by gluing or burning it. You can also hold it temporarily with a knot if you prefer to finish every twist before sealing the ends.

Tip

Groom the twists afterwards by trimming stray hairs with hair scissors.

Senegalese twists take a long time to finish, so sit comfortably and find some entertainment to make the process seem less tedious.

Warning

Senegalese twists can unravel easily if too roughly handled. Once installed, they require careful care and gentle washing.

About the Author

June Mebei

June Mebei is a Virginia-based writer who earned her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She began writing professionally in 2008, and has published narrative essays, editorial articles, short stories and poetry.