Protective Style Files: Yarn Twists

“It’s now time for me to protect my hair.”

Do you all feel that chill in the air? No? Me either. I blame climate change. Anyway, here in my city, we’re having a few cooler days, and it’s now time for me to protect my hair. A few summers ago, I rocked Marley twists and I LOVED it. I wanted something a little lighter than Marley twists, so I journeyed to Youtube and rediscovered yarn twists. Initially, I tested out the idea of yarn braids and yarn locs, but my heart settled on yarn twists. This was a new style for me, and I knew I couldn’t do a protective style and not give my review of it for you all. Let’s not waste more time and get right into prepping my hair, the install, and the removal process of my twists.

Protective Style Prep

In order to properly prepare my hair for this protective style, it was important for me to cleanse my hair thoroughly and effectively. For this wash day, I used a sulfate shampoo to completely strip my hair of all buildup and gunk. I shampooed twice, once with the Aussie Moist shampoo and the second time with the Lotta Body Coconut & Shea Oils Hydrate Me Moisturizing Shampoo. After cleansing my hair and detangling, I apply the Soultanicals Afrotastic Curl Elastic deep conditioner and sit under the dryer for at least 30 minutes. I then rinse out the deep conditioning treatment and proceed to blow dry and moisturize my hair.

Once my hair is moisturized, I twisted my hair into sections and place on my satin bonnet. My style prep is now complete. Once my hair is moisturized, I twisted my hair into sections and place on my satin bonnet. My style prep is now complete.

Now that my hair was prepped, I prepped my yarn as well. Major key: DO THIS BEFORE PREPPING YOUR HAIR. I’m serious. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The easiest way I can explain to you on how to prep your yarn is this: determine the finished length you want your twists to be (ex. 20″), double that length (40″), tie a knot at the doubled length, and then find a chair or an object you can wrap the yarn around to prep it. Once you have a good amount of yarn, cut it off the spool, cut the yarn in half, and you should have your desired length. Find Youtube videos for reference or if you need to see it visually. Prepping the yarn before you begin the style will save you so much time. Trust me.


Installation of my twists took about a week, but it was for good reason. Originally, I began installing my yarn locs three days before my sister-in-law’s birthday. My hair had been braided with the yarn and that process took at least two days. Once I discovered that my edges were not a fan of the locs (thankfully, I had only installed around three at that time), I decided to take the locs out and just rock the yarn braids while I tried to get my life together. Eventually, the week of Hurricane Irma, I installed my twists. For the actual installation of my twists, it took about eight hours spread over two days. I installed these twists just like I would Marley twists, using eight strands of yarn.

Before twisting, I remoisturized my hair using my favorites, applied a holding gel to help blend my hair with the yarn as much as I could, and twisted like normal. I made sure to tie the ends off with the longest piece of leftover yarn at the bottom of the twist, cutting off the excess yarn, and burning the ends to keep the twists intact. I followed these same steps for the entirety of my head. You could possibly get the style done within a day. This is the perfect time to binge-watch a series on Netflix or watch gaming “Let’s Plays” like I do when I’m styling my hair.

Image of Shuna Rae wearing yarn twistsThe finished result of my yarn twists.

Yarn Twist Review

I kept this style in for about three weeks, and I loved it. My hair felt light and not heavy like when I wear Marley twists. Because it is yarn, my color choices were endless, but I really liked the black yarn paired with the cabernet yarn. I also added embellishments to my twists by using hemp cords and loc jewelry. I’m not going to lie to you all; I felt very regal with these twists. I received many compliments while wearing this style.

Now for the negative. Personally, I did not like the frizz I received while wearing this style. Because this is yarn, I couldn’t get it tight enough at my roots for it to hold for a longer period with frizz. I always wrapped my hair up in a satin bonnet, but I still got frizz at the roots. Also, while installing the yarn, I had to redo a few due to the ends of hair sticking out, no matter how much gel I put on it. The length was also a problem, as it was not even all around my head. That was my fault, obviously, but it led to me wearing my hair down more often than I wanted to, especially on days when it was hot outside.

There’s a possibility that my frizz would have been lessened had I not blown my hair straight before installation. At the time of this install, I was still considered relaxed, although I had unintentionally transitioned for a year. Next time I try this style, I will do it on an old stretched, natural hairstyle like a braid out.

Yarn Twist Removal

Image of Shuna Rae after yarn twist removal

The removal process for my yarn twists was pretty simple; I snipped the burned ends and untwisted the hair. The image above is the finished result of my removal process. My hair had lost most of its moisture after being in the twists for three weeks, but it was still movable enough for me to pull into four sections for detangling. I will have another post detailing what happened to my hair after this, so be sure to stick around for that.

I would definitely try this style again, especially now that it feels like winter (to me) outside. I am anxious to give my hair another break from styling it. I’ll keep you updated via my Instagram on my next style.

I hope this helped or gave the inspiration to step out of your protective style rut and try something new. Now that I have experienced yarn twists, I don’t think I’m going to return to Marley hair for a while; not unless I make a crocheted wig with it. Thank you all for reading and I will speak to you again soon!

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