Marley Twists and Havana Twists: What’s the Difference

Marley Twists and Havana Twists: What’s the Difference

Marley Twist Vs Havana Twist

Marley Twists or Kinky Twists are two strand twists with extension hair known as Marley Braid Hair instead of the typical braiding hair. Marley Braid Hair very closely resembles natural hair textures. I know there is some confusion about the name. I like the sound of Marley Twists. So I call my hairstyle Marley Twists. That name has also become increasingly popular. But call it what you like. :-)

Havana Twists are very similar to Marley Twists.  But Havana Twists are installed with special extension hair called Havana Twist Hair available only at  Both styles are installed using the invisible root method (see video below). Havana Twists can be installed with Marley Braid Hair.  Havana Twist Hair is $12.99 per pack vs. $4.99-$8.99 per pack of Marley Braid Hair.

The major difference between Marley Twists and Havana Twists is that each parted sections is larger in Havana Twists.  Havana Twists Hair requires 2+ pieces of Marley Braid Hair are twisted per section or one piece of Havana Twist Hair. Some people make the twist looser for a fuller or bigger twist. These differences account for the larger size in the Havana Twists.

After tons of research which involved Youtube, talking to stylists, and reading other blogs I settled on Havana Twist. Havana Twist seemed like an easy style for beginners. I decided to do them myself because I’m cheap frugal. I could pay the $36 for hair and install myself or pay $36 + $200 for a stylist to do them. I rather keep some money in my pocket.

So wait, don’t you have Marley Twists

Yes, I installed 1 Havana Twists and decided I wanted smaller twist so I opted for Marley Twists. *Kanye shrug*

I installed Marley Twists for the first time about two weeks ago using the Invisible Twist Method (starting your with a twist instead of a braid). I have included a video below. By protective styling with Marley Twists I could give my hair a 2-4 week styling break. But still shampoo my scalp and moisturize daily as needed also. I wanted my hair to maintain its natural look and with the individual twist method I got exactly that.

My Marley Twists Install Process

I shampooed, detangled and deep conditioned my hair. After detangling, I used the tension method to blow dry my hair (Youtube Video Coming Soon for the Tension Method). I applied an olive-coconut oil mix to my ends to prevent them from drying out.  Starting with detangled blown out hair assisted in the parting and install process. I applied my DIY Shealoe Mix and gel to each section before twisting for a smoother twist. I did curl the ends with perm rods and dip in hot water to seal the ends.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of hair did you use? Femi Collection Marley Braid Hair Color 4. (Picture below) I used this hair because it was available at my local beauty supply store.
  •  How much did the hair cost? $6.99 a pack. Hair is washable and reusable.
  • How many packs did you use? Approximately 3 and a half packs
  • Did you rinse or soak the hair before installing? Yes, I soaked 4 packs of hair in water and apple cider vinegar to remove the alkaline base on the Marley Hair. This was to prevent any allergic reactions such a bumps around the hair line, irritations or itchiness. I rather be safe than sorry. My scalp has been less itchy than in the past with extension hair as a result.
  • Did you wash them? Yes, I have dry scalp. Cleaning my scalp is a necessity for me. I use diluted shampoo or a Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. With both cleansers I gently apply to the scalp only and rinse throughly. I wrapped the twist in a bun and tried not to get them too wet.
  •  How long did it take? Approximately 8 hours not bad for my first time. I think the next time will be closer to 6 hours. I learned a lot about the process.
  • What’s your nighttime routine? I usually spray my water, aloe vera juice, and glycerin mix on my scalp and then seal in the moisture with a mixture of olive and coconut oil. Then I pull the hair into a high bun and tie it up with a satin scarf.
  • Were they tight? Nope.

The video below is so you can see a close up of the invisible twist method.

*Senegalese Twists are twist with braiding extension hair.

If you have a question not answered here, leave it in the comment section below.


Protective Styling With Marley Twists
Why You Should Protective Style
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About Tamara Floyd

Tamara is the Founder and Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as a personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.

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  1. I appreciate the thorough, yet simple explanation of how you installed your Marley twists. I think I will give these a try!

  2. Linda Shelton says:

    Can you wear Havana twists or Marley twists while wearing loc?

    • I think it would look awkward because Marley and Havana are extensions with loose braiding hair. But maybe I’m misunderstanding and you have something else in mind. Feel free to clarify.

    • The correct way to install Havana Twist actually hides your real hair. The Havana Twist are twisted around your real hair as opposed to most people twisting their hair along with the Marley Braid hair. If it’s done properly, you can get locs while wearing Havana Twists. The who does mine has done them on several locs before!

  3. F. Ortiz says:

    I love this….I think I’m going to try this on my 9 year old daughter as a summer protective style. How long should you leave them in with proper maintenance?

    • They tell you no more than three months. My last installation I left them in for five. Once you leave it in for more than three months, you may have to deal with some of your hair starting to loc. So I’d recommend the standard three months.

  4. I use FingerComber hair for my Havana Twists & get them done professionally. I’ve shared my experiences with them so far. As of right now, this will be my go-to style for like.. ever. It’s easy to maintain & easier to take out. Love. Love. Love.


  5. I tried to do Marley twists myself but it looked a hot mess so I had to pay the 140 for the braider to do it. :(

  6. how many twists per row did you do?

  7. 9etherbeauty says:

    You can braid Locs or twist them or even add a sew in to them until they grow if that suits you best.. You just have to take special cre not to tear or rip Locs.

  8. How did you get them to curl at the ends?

  9. Jordi Prime says:

    hey! im looking to get marley/Havana twists tomorrow but was concerned about the breakage I’ve been hearing about. Does it really happen because of the weight on your scalp?

    • It can happen. But just be careful and pay attention to your hair and scalp. Hair is the most fragile around the hairline. So most likely you will notice it there first. If you do see breakage its best to take them out.

      • I wore havanna twist for about 4 1/2 weeks my first time wearing braids and I noticed the build up around the edges in the front, so I took the braids down and as I was taking the sides down I had hair to come out. I was disappointed. My hair is fragile around my sides so should I not wear havanna braids.

  10. My hair is relaxed. I can’t make the big chop but I want to get the Havana twist. Can I still get them?

  11. Can you provide details on how you prepped/wasted the marley hair? The link you provided doesn’t list instructions. Thx.

  12. my girlfriend did mine and it doesn’t look as full and its real spacey not sure what we did wrong

  13. Teresa Jones says:

    I just got my havanna twist braids professionally done today September 28, 2013 and it only took 2 hours for them to be done. I have never had any braids before, but when I first saw the havanna braids I fell in love with them. Not sure what styles i will be doing but I am excited.

  14. I am a stylist and frequently install Havana twists on my clients. I love the Havana hair because you can condition, shampoo and reuse the hair. It still looks great after all of that, unlike the Marley hair. I have used the Havana hair on my daughter 8 times and it still looks like new! The 12.99 a pack is well worth it!

  15. kimberly monk says:

    Marley hair causes some breakage on my sides. I prefer the puffy or fluffy twist hair as it is softer so it doesnt cut into my hair

  16. I’ve recently bought some packs regular braiding hair,but want to get Marley twists.Can i use this hair or will i have to get new hair?

  17. Hi I’m just curious if you used only one piece of Marley hair per section, or two? Thank you!

  18. hi! how long do you soak them in apple cider vinegar and water? thx!

  19. I just got my Marley/havanna twists done yesterday & realize they are too long for me. Is there some way I can trim/cut them without them becoming undone? How would I seal the ends?

  20. So while Im using eco styler gel to hold the marley twists in, after I take them out, I can still was the hair and re use it?

  21. Hey! I just wanted to know, are the Havana/Marley braids the same as the Senegalese twists?

  22. Lovely and You did it by yourself? Girl,you’ve got skills

  23. Can use Marley braiding hair for Havana twists?

  24. I have marley twists and I have locs. And it love it!


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