Protective Styling With Marley Twists

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My natural hair was in major need of some TLC.  So this summer I was protective styling with Marley Twists. This was my very first time ever installing extension.  I also haven’t worn extensions since being natural.  The last time I wore braid extensions was 2003ish. I guess I figured I wouldn’t be able to do them myself.  And I’m cheap frugal. I never want to give anyone almost $200 to do my hair.

After talking to a few of my stylist friends and researching online I was confident that I could install and maintain Marley Twist myself.  When I hosted the Texas Black Expo many of the ladies thought it was all my hair. Most of it was but I was surprised at how natural they came out especially for my first time.  Read how I installed and maintained my Marley Twists.

I left the first set in for 4 weeks exactly  and the same for the second set which is recommended to prevent tangles and matting. I protective styled with Marley Twists for a totally of 2 months. The second time I installed them  I took them down, shampooed, deep conditioned and re-installed the same night. The second time I was a lot quicker. It took me about 6 hrs to install versus the 8 hrs plus the first time.

I will tell you the first time I was kinda winging it. It was pure luck they turned out as good as they did.  Don’t think you can’t do it. Practice makes perfect.  And if you do try it; its okay if you don’t like them the first time.  You can try again later.

A few things that most people don’t know about protective styling with extensions.

Marley Braid Hair is Reusable

I was surprised too. And also very happy because a pack will run your about $4.99 or more.  The last time I was at Natural Resources Salon, one of the stylist shampooed and conditioned her client’s hair with Kinky Twists or Marley Twists. Then she re-did the front and sides of her hair to freshening it up.

Once I saw this, you know I had to ask. And she informed me, “yes, you can shampoo your hair with Marley Braid Hair.”  Marley Braid Hair is 100% Kanekalon or synthetic hair. Each package has “General Care” information with step by step washing instructions.  Soak detangled hair in a cool or warm water with a tablespoon of sulfate-free shampoo.  Then use a towel to soak up excess water and allow to air dry.

You Can Maintain Your Normal Shampooing, Conditioning, and Moisturizing Schedule

This is also recommended.  I have dry scalp so I can’t afford to skip shampooing and conditioning my hair.  I know the main concern for most is frizz. You want to maintain your hairstyle. I get it. You don’t have to compromise your routine to do so.

To minimize frizz, use a spray bottle to apply diluted shampoo to the scalp. Rinse as normal or with a spray bottle full of water. I don’t like to put my Marley Twist under running water because they are heavy when wet. And they take FOREVER to dry. Okay not forever but like 2 days.

Moisturizing at night before bed by spraying water directly on the scalp and sealing in moisture with Coconut Olive Oil leaves the hair and scalp moisturized. And it feels good!!! Tie the hair down to smooth frizz.  If you still have frizz you can use a light mousse for your edges. But after about 4 weeks its just time to re-do at least the front.

Soaking Extension Twist or Braid Hair Can Prevent Itchiness

Many people are allergic to the alkaline coating on Kanekalon Hair. As a precaution soak hair in warm water and a little apple cider vinegar. In doing this, I didn’t have any problems with itching or bumps around my hair line.  You can read more about Soaking Extension Hair in Apple Cider Vinegar.



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About Ariane Williams

I am a wife, mom and full time blogger at where I provide natural hair care + style inspiration for kinky textured naturals. I have been natural since 2006.


  1. Takemia Cofield says:

    How do you prevent frizzing of the natural hair within the there a product that helps other than gel?

  2. How long do it take the hair to dry after you soak it in ACV? Do you do this before installing the hair to your hair ? How many packs did you use for your style;What length(inches) will i need for long twist to hair down my back to do updos? I knw I am asking alot lol… Hope to hear from you soon and hope that your able to anwser all my questions

  3. Can you use another type of hair instead oc the marley hair? Can you use regular braiding hair since its close to a natural hair type?

  4. has great Marley Hair, soft and very blend able for Crochet Styles!

  5. i plan on having this hair style installed asap, but wary because I work in a restraunt that requires me to wear a hat and i’m afraid the hat won’t sit right :/

  6. Hi, would you recommend soaking the hair in ACV prior or after installation?

  7. You looks so beautiful!!! Love it, blends perfectly with your hair. If I may ask, Which hair brand did you use?

  8. Really good post, happy I found it!
    I’ll be installing Marley twists soon

  9. I really want to try this now. The braiding hair has always made me feel like my scalp was being attacked lol! Looks great on you :)

  10. Wow they look really nice! Maybe I should ty it…..but sometimes even the real hair makes my hair and scalp itch for two weeks! Help! Yours looks so nice! Enjoy!

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