BY BRENDA REASBY
Being bold, natural and beautiful is becoming an ongoing trend with black women and their hair. Manes that were given the negative labels as “nappy,” “kinky” or “uncontrollably wild” are now being praised for its thickness, texture and “Afrocentric” look. There is no limit as to what black women can do with their hair; It is an art within itself.
Let’s face it and embrace it! More and more black women are opting out of relaxers and transitioning to the state of natural or chemically-free hair.
One of many styles that is great for transitioning hair are Havana twists. Also known as Marley or Rope twists, these twists have been debuted in the media by stars Solange, Brandy and Keri Hilson herself.
The twists are popular by demand and lately are a trending topic in search engines all over social media via Pinterest, Instagram and Tumbler.
Havana twists can be styled on natural hair or added with extensions of different colors and textures for length and a fuller look.
Efashia Moore, freshman biology major and hairstylist, is known for her work with Havana twists and other various styles such as sew-in extensions, box braids and goddess braids. She has built quite a nice clientele here on Mount Mary’s campus.
Moore describes Havana twists as two strand chunky twists that can be long or short. They give women a more natural look and texture to their hair. The way the twists are installed if adding extensions however, are unique.
How It’s Done
Emani Williams, a first-year fashion design merchandise major who currently has the style, described the process as if crocheting a blanket.
First, you’d want to start off with a braid pattern by braiding your natural hair that will enable you to part your twists in unimaginable ways.
“You can braid it however you want, but I braided mine to the back.”, said Williams.
Anyone can learn how to crochet Havana twists.
“You can install them by using the crochet method and adding 3-5 pieces of Marley hair, grab a small sectioning of your hair, split it in two, then place the Marley hair in the middle and begin to make a two strand twist,” said Moore.
Materials Are Inexpensive
“If you are using the crochet method then all you need is a crochet needle. The hair will already be pre-twisted, all you have to do is install. If you are using the natural method, then all you need is eco styling gel and your hands.”, said Moore.
Moore has been styling hair since the age of 4 and has learned how to do hair from her mother and sister. She says it’s a very therapeutic hobby for her as it makes her feel calm and gives her the chance to be creative.
“Women love getting their hair done.”, said Moore. “They want to feel beautiful and flawless and would do whatever to get it done,” Moore said.
Moore explains that the installation time on Havana twists takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The type of hair that is used for the twists are very affordable and can be purchased in packs at your beauty supply store. The prices of the hair range from $4.99 to $10 and come in multiple colors, length and textures.
Moore says Marley, Jamaican or Cuban hair does just fine.
Taking care of your twists are easy. The twists don’t require much manipulation and can be worn in various styles such as high buns, ponytails, and updos.
“I don’t have to wake up every day and do my hair,” Williams said.
Tashanna Yarbrough, a freshman and social work major, says she keeps her Havana twists moisturized daily with shea butter and water. At night when she’s sleeping, she secures them (twists) with a silk bonnet.
“Every day I spray Moroccan oil on them to give them shine,” Williams said.
Havana twists are to be kept in your hair no longer than 1 month maximum. When the twists are first installed, they may seem top heavy at with so much hair. Williams says that it takes to too much time to style in the mornings.
There are many sources to turn to via social media when it comes to styling the twists. YouTube gurus (relaxed and natural) post numerous tutorials weekly that can be helpful.
“I am a HUGE YouTube fan!”, said Moore. “I watch it every day. A few of my favorites are teeday6, tastePINK, and Beautycanbraid,” Moore said.
Havana Twists are beautiful for seasons all year round.
“Havana twists are easy, inexpensive and beautiful,” Moore said. “Something quick and low maintenance and flawless is the way to go.”