Twists or Braids

Photo Credit: Afropunk 2013

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to growing your hair out while keeping it strong and healthy, protective styles are the best way to go. The curly hair community is known to reinvent older styles with more updated looks in terms of protective styles for all hair textures and types. Two of the most popular choices for curlies are twists and braids. So, which one is right for you?

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Crochet Braids with Marley Hair - Protective Style Tutorial

Tiffany Nichols writes:

Crochet braids have definitely come a long way since their emerging popularity in the 90's. I wanted to share my take on the very popular and trending hairstyle "Crochet Braids with Marley Hair" that is an ideal protective hairstyle for the Fall.  Enjoy!

The 12 Stages of Coping with a Summer Protective Style

Summer is in full swing! That means many of us are in some phase of protective styling- be it transitioning from one style to the next, thinking about whether or not to get braids this year, or itching to remove your current protective style. No matter which stage you’re in, there are certain feelings we all experience when it comes to styling to protect those curls.

Goodie gumdrops - you’re getting new hair! People are going to look at you in awe. They’ll say “Wow! You look great! Did you change your hair?” and you will reply “Why, yes! It’s my new summer ‘do.” The sun will shine upon you and you shall glisten for approximately one month or until your style gets too fuzzy to wear outside.

Wait, fuzzy? The hair will get fuzzy? And what happens if you don’t like your new style when you get home, five hours, hundreds of dollars, and seven bags of hair later? Let’s not think that way. Everything will be perfect! Right? RIGHT.

OK, you know everything will be perfect. That’s settled. But now it’s just a waiting game. You’re not sure what to do with your hair for the days leading up to braiding or twisting because the only styles you are researching are protective ones. You do a protein treatment. You do a moisturizing treatment. You get your hair ready for braid jail - err, um protective summer camp. The days seem to drag and you start to wonder if you’ll even recognize yourself with new hair.

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A Marley Twist Technique- Natural Hair Styling

Yolanda Renee writes:

I've made this technique so easy for #teamnatural by combining the best of several Marley application techniques! It's a great protective style that will promote hair growth.  Enjoy!

Bee's Marley Twist Tutorial- Natural Hair Styles

Let me just say this: I LOVE MARLEY TWISTS!

Ok. Now that I’ve shouted that from the mountain tops, let me explain. I recently wrote this post about the pits of protective styling. After getting some Senegalese twists done last month that only lasted me a few days, I learned how to do my beloved Marley twists, all by myself! I promised that I would do an updated post the next time I installed them, so here it is!

My first round of Marley twists weren’t perfect, but they were all mine, and they served their purpose for about 2 weeks. I took them down and left my hair out for a week, deep conditioning and rocking a cute twist out until it was time to Marley it up again. My video skills (and my Marley twisting skills, to be honest) need some practice, but I got HomieLoverFriend to play photographer so that I could capture my technique, step by step!

First, I got my tools together:

  • Freetress Equal Marley braids in #4 (I used 3.5 packs)
  • Cantu’s Shea Butter leave-in conditioning repair cream
  • ECOStyler Olive Oil styling gel
  • a wide tooth comb to part and detangle
  • banana clips to hold parted hair up and out of the way

Next, I used my fingers and wide-tooth comb to gently comb out my twist-out into a ‘fro.

To do the twists, I began parting my hair section by section, starting at the nape:

Marley Twists to Protect Your Natural Hair- Styles

Gearing up for her annual protective styling challenge, Alex of TheGoodHairBlog shows us how she installs and styles her gorgeous marley twists. To jump right into the tutorial, fast forward to 7:18 on the video. Enjoy!

Here's Cass' Marley Twist Tutorial as well- 

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