Havana Twists: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Havana Twists

By Laura of Party Over Hair

I’m the worst.

When I got my Havana Twists back in December, I had this elaborate plan to take care of my hair daily until I removed them in March.

Well, we are now into May and I finally took my Havana Twists out on Cinco de Mayo… only after deciding I was going to do it for real for real… at like 7pm. Smh. I’m still giving myself the mean side eye for that…

Before I go into the details on how I maintained my hair, my experiences and all that let me first explain why I kept my Havana Twists in so long…

Well, for one I was gassed. Everyone, man, woman, child, dog, cat, bird.. okay, I’m going in.. loved my.. well the.. wait no, my.. hair. I had fooled so many Rastas, had converted so many non-naturals to go natural and put many naturals onto Havana Twists. These twists had become a part of me more than you ladies would probably ever understand. I was addicted. That’s why, starting in March, it was always a big debate when the weekend came around if I was really going to take my hair out. Well, I always put it off which leads me to the real point…

I’m lazy. Lazy as f*ck, excuse my French. The Havana Twists allowed me 20 additional minutes in the morning to sleep or do whatever since I wasn’t wasting it on perfecting my twist out or high puff. It was the best WnG – wake & go in this context – style for me.

But all good things must come to some sort of an end, and after realizing that my hair was probably locing under the strands of FingerComber, I figured it was time to take out the twists. So let’s get right into it..

 

THE GOOD..

It only took me an hour to get all the twists out of my hair. Coming from the land of three or more hours to remove fake hair from my head, I was well pleased.

As far as maintenance goes, I did an okay job with that. On a daily basis, I made sure to apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil and spritz my scalp with some extra virgin coconut oil & water. Very simple. To give the hair sheen, I used Ouidad Mongongo Oil until it ran out then switched to JASS Shine. Both worked like a charm.

When it came to washing, well, I did a subpar job at dry shampooing with SOY Organic Dry Shampoo. I did this for the first three months, then fell offCompletely. Which leads us to…

 

THE BAD..

Although taking the hair out only took an hour, detangling my hair took almost two. I did a dry detangling first using coconut oil & water to help with the detangling and break up the dirt… because YES, ladies… my hair had crazy dirt in it. That dirt made me realize that…

really did the most. My love for the Havana Twists made me neglect my real hair, causing me to leave a protective style in WAY longer than I should have… we are talking close to a whopping five months. Yes, yes I know… I did the most…

Before getting the Havana Twist, I didn’t get a proper trim. Yes, I know… stop shaking your head at me. I did a half ass dusting job and fooled myself into thinking my hair was properly trimmed… but yea, no… it wasn’t. So when I finally did take out the twists not only did I have a lot of shredded hair — imagine what five months of shredded hair looks like — I also had quite a bit of breakage due to those split ends. Then I went to the shower to start the washing ceremony… and that’s when it got real.

 

THE UGLY..

Due to the last minute decision to finally take out my twist… (if you don’t know, I have a history of poor last minute decisions when it comes to hair… my last last minute decision to take out weave is what ended up turning me natural.. but I’ll tell that story on a different day) I didn’t get to properly dedicate as much wash time to it as I would have liked. I got in the shower at 10 pm and wasn’t done with my hair until 12 am. Ugh. I didn’t get to give myself a protein treatment with the steamer like I wanted to do, I was tired and just needed to wash my hair so it could be somewhat presentable for work. The rest of the washing process is to be continued this weekend.

Although I had 2.5 inches of new growth, all of that seemed to not matter after watching the disgusting amount of hair that fell into the drain as I washed my hair. I had six sections that I would untwist, wash and twist, so the process took a little longer than I would have liked. I washed my hair using Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Shampoo & Conditioner, and did an hour deep condition with Eden BodyWorks Monoi Conditioner & Jamaican Black Castor Oil mixed. I rinsed it out, added some Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in and used the LOC Method, with water, coconut oil & Eden BodyWorks Shea Butter Curl Defining Creme. I was very pleased with the Eden BodyWorks products and will be do a review in the future.

All in all, from both dry detangling and wet detangling, I probably lost up to, like, four softballs worth of hair… which is way more than my usual two. But no worries, I still have more than enough hair for my go-to high puff.

 

THE MORAL..

So, I lost a little bit more hair than I had planned — it’s okay. For me, it’s not the end of the world. I clearly abused the protective style and had to pay the minor consequences. Now, for those of you who read all of this, I don’t want to scare you away from trying protective styling. I just wanted to share the experience I had with them for the past, like, five months. I was just lazy, you don’t have to be. In fact, don’t be. Be more proactive in caring for your hair while it’s in a protective style.

Now, I’m no quitter. I like to experience mistakes and learn from them. I will be getting my Havana Twists put back in, probably in June, for literally a month… at most two. I’m going to dedicate the next few weeks to restoring my hair back to its full health — starting with a proper trim and a protein treatment. I’ve learned what not to do with this past set and vow to be better in the future. If there are questions you have concerning Havana Twists, feel free to ask me.

 

So, confession hour: what are some mistakes you’ve made with your hair that you’ve learned from?

Laura Providence is a NYC designer who lives in Havana Twists & low manipulation hairstyles. Follow Laura on Twitter: @thelprovidence @PartyOverHair and IG:@PartyOverHair 

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