In case you didn’t realize, I was in Puerto Rico all last week with a couple girlfriends from school, in desperate search for some rest, relaxation, and sun! I was incredibly busy and stressed out right before the trip – partly because I had 8 or 9 Havana twist appointments in the week leading up to vacation – but mostly because I am desperately trying to figure out what to do with my life since I decided to take a leave of absence from my doctoral program. Needless to say, this trip was everything I needed and more!
The Thought Process
I knew before I left that I wanted to finally give loose twists a try. I first saw this look on MsTanish1’s YouTube page, and she’s used loose twists as an easy protective style and does this fabulous bun that is so enviable! I’ve also seen Milan of A Grl Can MAC, whose hair is shorter and less thick, do loose twists, so I was confident that I could make the style adapt on my hair. I’d been wearing a blow out since before Valentine’s Day but I figured that I was going to get in the water so another week without washing wouldn’t hurt!
I fully intended on doing this twists a night or two before I left, but alas, I had other heads of hair to twist. My only option was to stay up all night and risk being too sleepy to pack, or to attempt to do the twists on my 3 hours and 45 minute plane ride. When I checked in, I moved my friend and I to an empty row hoping there wouldn’t be anyone sitting beside me. When we boarded, of course that was not the case and a friendly white man in his late 20s sat next to me. I already had my comb and hair product (Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter) out so I politely informed him that I was going to attempt to do my hair on the plane, but that he should let me know if I encroached on his space or was annoying. He replied that not only was he cool with me doing my hair, but he’d be down to let me know if it looked good!
To do the actual twists, I would take out a small part of my hair, less than 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch, braid 5 turns – or about a half inch down – and then twist 3-4 times loosely. When I reached the end, I would then twist tightly, maybe up to 8 times, to make sure the twists did not unravel. I was on a plane so obviously there’s no video, but I’m sure you can find some on YouTube.
The Styling & Maintenance
Day 1: We just lounged by the beach to get working on our tans, so I simply wore my loose twists down and laid my head on a scarf on top of my beach towel. Yeah, my hair wasn’t clean, but it didn’t sand in it! That night, we went to the hotel/casino next door where there was live music and much salsa going on, and I just pinned some twists over to the side to create a deep part. At bedtime, I pineappled by hair with a scarf and slept like a baby!
Day 2: We went to the El Yunque National Rainforest, and I knew we’d be rope jumping into the water, so I opted for a high bun with a headband to lay the roots of my hair down and limit shrinking. When we came back, I sprayed my hair and scalp generously with a water, conditioner, and tea tree oil mixture that my friends kept trying to steal because it smelled so great. I then banded my hair in two sections to minimize shrinking as much as I could. Later that night when we went out to party, I replicated one of my favorite hairstyles by pinning up the back twists and letting the ones in the from hang down and slightly to the side.
Day 3: Pooped from dancing all night, we chilled most of the day by the pool for some more tanning. In the evening, we went out for dinner in Old San Juan, and I pinned all of my twists over to one side to make it look like one half of my head was shaved.
Day 4: An activity packed day touring the Bacardi Factory and Old San Juan, I put my twists in a half up, half down style that matched the casual vibes of my floral romper, but could easily transition to dinnertime and dancing if my friends didn’t punk out on night activities as they often did lol. My hair was blowing every which direction by the water — so beautiful! It’s more than likely that I oiled my scalp and moisturized my hair a bit on this night.
Day 5: As the days were wrapping up, I had to get some more pool time, so I lounged ALL day. This time I was in the shade, since I was wearing a cut out one piece and didn’t want crazy tan lines. My hair went back to the pinned up back look that I’d done two nights ago for the club. Completely unrelated, but I’d been reading The Color Purple and it’s one of those books that the movie adaptation was right on point. There was one part though that was super dramatic and wasn’t in the movie so I was disappointed at its exclusion but also riveted by my secret knowledge of it haha.
Day 6: By our last day, I didn’t want to be bothered whatsoever with my hair, and it was no longer straight so I didn’t like how it looked down. I chose to do an updo and just sat in front of the mirror and 5 minutes and a few bobby pins later emerged with this situation.
A few Instagram and Facebook followers liked it so much they asked for a tutorial, which I recorded this past weekend when I returned, and uploaded yesterday. Take a look!
My hair is still like this, probably just until tomorrow, and then I will be doing a massive detangling, deep conditioning, and scrubbing session to get it squeaky clean!