I decided to start my styling challenge with the basics. A good ole Two Strand Twist (TST). This is because of the many things different styles that you can get from TSTs.
I installed the twists on a Wednesday, knowing that I would be beginning the challenge on a Monday. The purpose of this was to maximise definition for a twist out later on in the week. The longer you keep the twists, the greater the definition and the longer that definition will last. But, I digress. Back to Day 1 and 2 styles.
This picture above was taken on a Saturday, meaning these twists are 4th day hair. To extend my styles, I always (and I do mean always) sleep with a stain pillowcase AND wear a satin or silk bonnet or scarf. I prefer scarves because you have more control over how you tie it onto your head and it is more versatile. A bonnet allows for a little friction, which is not always what you want.
I spritz my hair with a moisturising spritz (usually water, Tresemme Naturals or any silicone free conditioner, an oil and a few drops of essential oil). After spritzing I seal my hair with a natural oil. Usually this would be shea butter, mafura butter or mongongo oil (or even a mixture of them all). Sometimes I will baggy overnight or for a few hours. This is what is also known as the Greenhouse effect or method and involves plastic bag or cap over my hair for a few hours or overnight. The purpose of this is to use body heat to increase moisture uptake. Very important for low porosity hair like mine.
For TSTs, I also find that the extra moisture helps the hair to shrink up and makes the twists look fresher and juicy like well nourished fat mopani worms (caterpillars). If twists are dry or look dry, you don’t get to see the definition very well. What you want with TSTs is the caterpillar effect. Another way to refresh twists is to add some Apple Cider Vinegar (acv)to your spritz or to just use a pH balanced ACV rinse (1/4 tsp of acv to 120ml of water). This will close up the cuticles to give a shine to your hair and reduce the appearance of frizz. NB: this ratio is for rinsing and not cleansing. You will probably need 1 part ACV to 2 or 3 parts water for that. However, even with the best of care and regular moisturising, all twists end up looking tired.
There are a number of ways to stretch tired twists. My favourite is to pin them up in an updo or tie them into a ponytail. The other way is to accessorise them. On day 2 of the hair styling challenge, I decided to pin my 6th day twists to one side and accentuate with a colourful accessory. In this case I chose a bright orange chitenge flower that I bought at one of our workshops. FYI, have you signed up for our November 1st workshop yet? Click here for more.
Check back here next week on Monday for Day 3, Style 3 – the twist out.
Read the introductory post to this series here.