Winter is right around the corner, which means it’s time for naturalistas everywhere to start planning their go-to protective hairstyles for wintertime. Box braids, Senegalese twists, and faux locs have reigned supreme as some of the most sought-after protective hairstyles for years now, but there’s a new style making waves on social media that we just can’t get enough of: passion twists.
If you’re looking for a new protective style to slay your dark brown hair this winter, we’ve got you covered. We sat down with Dr. Kari Williams, licensed trichologist, celebrity stylist, and owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution salon in Los Angeles, to get the scoop on everything you need to know about passion twists.
Good hair day by @briellehair.
What are passion twist braids?
Passion twists are very similar to the Senegalese and two-strand twists you’ve come to know and love, with one small difference: passion twists are installed with curly hair.
“Traditional twists are normally installed using a kinky or tight coiled type hair which results in a rope-like twist,” Dr. Kari explains. “The hair used for passion twists has a looser curl pattern either a wave or corkscrew type curl. The curlier hair creates a looser, puffier twist. The texture of hair that is used to create the twists is the only difference between passion twists and Senegalese twists.”
Like most long-term protective hairstyles, passion twists can be installed with human or synthetic hair. While both types of hair are perfectly acceptable, it’s important to note that you should never heat style synthetic hair. If you plan on heat styling your passion twists with hot rollers, curling irons, or a hooded dryer, opt for a human hair installation.
If you typically steer clear of long term twist installations because you're concerned about the weight of extra hair on your strands, opt for crochet braid passion twists. Unlike a traditional twist installation which is achieved by wrapping hair around your loose strands, crochet braids are installed after your natural hair has been cornrowed. This allows for less weight on your individual strands.
How should you prep hair for passion twists?
Now that you know what passion twists are, we’re sure you’re excited to make an appointment with your local braider—but not so fast! Passion twists are typically worn as a long-term protective style and if you want your hair to look its best throughout several weeks of wear and tear, you have to properly prep your strands.
If you go to a full-service salon to get your passion twists installed, your stylist will handle all of your braid prep. Before visiting a local braiding salon that only installs the twists, Dr. Kari recommends prepping your hair by washing, conditioning, and detangling your strands thoroughly. We love the Mizani Moisture Fusion Gentle Clarifying Shampoo and Moisture Fusion Intense Moisturizing Mask. If you need a little help gently detangling your mane, let Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk provide some assistance.
How long do passion twists last?
Like most protective styles, passion twists can last anywhere from four to six weeks depending on how well they were installed and how you care for them.
How should you care for passion twists?
Even though passion twists are very similar to popular protective styles like box braids and Senegalese twists, there is a slight difference in how you care for them. We always recommend washing your long-term protective styles about once a week. However, because the hair used to install passion twists has a looser curl pattern, frequent shampooing may become an issue.
“The hair is softer and shampooing may cause the hair to frizz or twist out of the twists,” Dr. Kari explains.
That doesn’t mean you’re allowed to skip washing your hair for six weeks (can you even imagine?), it just means you’ll have to get a little creative. In between wash days, we recommend applying witch hazel to your scalp to help remove dirt and buildup, keeping your scalp healthy between washes. Apply the astringent with cotton swabs to ensure you clean every nook and cranny of your scalp.
When it’s time for wash day, be sure to be very gentle with your hair as to not disturb your style. If you want to ensure your passion twists remain as flawless as possible, Dr. Kari recommends making an appointment with your stylist. They can help clean your hair while ensuring your style remains intact.
Now that you know what passion twists are and how to care for them, you’re all set to slay the hottest protective style of the year!
Interested in a protective hairstyle? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.