Hair ladies! What better topic to discuss during vacation seasoning other than protective styling and travel hair? Notta! Well… maybe there is, but we’re just going to move forward with this chosen one, kay?
Box braids, Senegalese Twists, and Marley Twists. Do you know the difference or steps to take before deciding on what’s best for you? No? Maybe I can assist in your decision making if you’re totally torn between the three. For any type of hair extension, your rooted hair should first be at an overall healthy state. If it’s weak and damaged, don’t get extra hair to weigh your tresses down! I repeat, don’t. That’s like suicide to your crown. Take care of it, girl!
After assessing your state of hair, give it a really good deep conditioning. When I had loose hair, I’d ALWAYS deep condition for 12 hours. Apply a natural deep condition, throw a shower cap on and just let it sit. Worked wonders. Make sure your hair has proper moisture balance before installing anything. Extremely dry hair causes breakage, but of course, you know this!
From what I’ve discovered over the internet is that you can install your own twists or braids, however I think twists are a little easier. For me, I’ve always twisted or braided my own hair. So choose the correct hair, proper method, or stylist whom you trust and keep it moving.
(last two strand twists with my own hair and what are now dreadlocks)
Lastly, protective styling doesn’t necessarily mean you take a break from proper hair care. After the installation process, you must still wash your hair every two weeks, oil your scalp, etc. All of that. But don’t over do it on the products. This is NEVER the right thing to do regardless of your style. Too many products cause build up and unnecessary frizz — girl.
Now what’s the difference between the 3?
Boho Box Braids | 3 stranded. Wont unravel as easily as two strand twists.
Senegalese Twists | Basically the regular two strand twisted style, just with the added hair extensions. Take much longer to install.
Marley Twists | Two strand twists that are thicker than Senegalese twists. Designed to give you the “thick dreadlocks” look. Hence, marley, right?
Loc’ing your hair is NOT for the weak! It’s a tough decision, especially if you’re length obsessive. So far, I’ve lost about 6 inches of length, but on a happier note, I’ve achieved my goal of growing super thick locs. They just need to grow ;/ but I’m being patient. I think I’m about 85% loc’d and they hang right above my shoulders.
If you’re ready to make that big step, here are my tips on how to achieve thick dreadlocks (don’t take these tips on being right or wrong, this is just what works for me):
- What I’ve learned, and this is for ALL naturals + relaxed women, THE LESS you mess with your hair, THE MORE healthy and full your crown will be. Over doing it on the styling will thin and break your edges + tresses. Just let it be!
- Obsessive re-twisting (is what they call it), is doing too much! Re-twisting 2 or 3 times per month will give you very weak, thin locs (but if that’s what you want, go for it.) For me, I semi-freeform which means maintaining my locs with the twisting method, but only once a couple of months. By going this route, your hair will look more full + natural, and your locs will mat up thicker.
- Be proactive with water! Not talking shampoo (as shampooing is very important for dread lockers) but spray or rinse your hair with clean, cold water at least 3 times per week. Cold water helps thicken your locs, and also give you natural moisture; although this piece of advice is more so for new loc’ers.
- Now let something beautiful grow out of your scalp! Sooner or later, you’ll achieve a look similar to the three above! No excessive maintenance.