Party Over Hair

The Havana Twist: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Havana Twists

I’m the worst.

When I got my Havana Twists back in December, I had this elaborate plan to take care of my hair daily until I removed them in March.

Well, we are now into May and I finally took my Havana Twists out on Cinco de Mayo.. only after deciding I was going to do it for real for real.. at like 7pm. Smh. I’m still giving myself the mean side eye for that..

You see before I go into the details as to how I maintained my hair, my experiences and all that let me first explain as to why I kept my Havana Twists in so long…

Well, for one.. I was gassed. Everyone, man, female, child, dog, cat, bird.. okay, I’m going in.. loved my.. well the.. wait no, my.. hair. I had fooled so many Rastas, had converted so many non-naturals to go natural and well put many naturals onto Havana Twists. These Twists had become a part of me more than you ladies would probably ever understand. I was addicted. Hence why, starting in March it was always a big debate when the weekend came around as to if I was really going to take my hair out. Well, I always put it off which leads me to the real point..

I’m lazy. Lazy as fuck, excuse my French. The Havana Twist allowed me 20 additional minutes in the morning to sleep or do whatever since I wasn’t wasting it on perfecting my twist out or high puff. It was the best WnG– wake & go in this context–style for me.

But all good things must come to some sort of an end, and after realizing that my hair was probably locing under the strands of FingerComber, I figured it was time to take out the Twist. So let’s get right into it..

The Good..

+ Despite me deciding to take my Havana Twist out at 7pm, it only took me an hour to get all the twist out my hair. Coming from the land of three or more hours to remove fake hair from my head, I was well pleased.

+ As far as maintenance went, I did an okay job with that. On a daily basis, I made sure to apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my edges as I was trying to keep those, as spritz my scalp with some EVCO & water. Very simple. To give the hair sheen, I used Ouidad Mongongo Oil until it ran out then switched to JASS Shine, both worked like a charm.

+ When it came to washing, well I did a subpar job at dry shampooing with SOY Organic Dry Shampoo. I did this for the first three months, then fell off. Completely. Which leads us to..

The Bad..

+ Although taking the hair out only took an hour, detangling my hair took almost two. I did a dry detangling first in which I used Coconut Oil & water to help with the detangling and break up the dirt.. because YES, ladies.. my hair had crazy dirt in it. That dirt made me realize that..

+ I really did the most. My love for the Havana Twist made me neglect my real hair, causing me to leave a Protective Style in WAY longer than one need’s too.. we are talking close to a whopping five months. Yes, yes I know.. I did the most..

+ Before getting the Havana Twist, I didn’t get a proper trim. Yes, I know.. stop shaking your head at me. I had did some half ass dusting job and had fooled myself into thinking my hair was properly trimmed.. but yea, no.. it wasn’t. So when I finally did take out the twist not only did I have a lot of shredded hair.. imagine what five months of shredded hair looks like, but I did have quite a few breakage due to those split ends. Then I went into the shower to start the washing ceremony.. and that’s when it got real.

The Ugly..

+ Due to a last minute decision to finally take out my twist.. (if you don’t know, I have a history of poor last minute decisions when it comes to hair. My last last minute decision to take out weave is what ended up turning me natural.. but I’ll tell that story on a different day) I didn’t get to properly dedicate as much wash time to it as I would have liked. I got in the shower at 10p and wasn’t done with my hair until 12a. Ugh. So I didn’t get to give myself a protein treatment with the steamer like I wanted to do, I was tired and just needed to wash my hair so it could be somewhat presentable for work. The rest of the washing process is to be continued this weekend.

+ Although my had 2.5″ inches of new growth, all of that seemed to not matter after watching the disgusting amount of hair fall into the drain as I washed my hair. I had six sections that I would untwist, wash, twist.. move on.. so the process was a little longer than I would have liked. I washed my hair using Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Shampoo & Conditioner, and did an hour deep condition with Eden BodyWorks Monoi Conditioner & JBCO mixed. Washed it out, added some Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in and used the LOC Method, with water, coconut oil & Eden BodyWorks Shea Butter Curl Defining Creme. I was very pleased with the Eden BodyWorks products and will be do a review in the future.

+ All and all, collectively from both dry detangling and wet detangling, I probably lost up to like four softballs worth of hair.. which is way more than my usual two. But no worries, I have still more than enough hair for my go to high puff.

The Moral..

So, I lost a little bit more hair than I had planned — it’s okay. For me, it’s not the end of the world. I clearly over abused the point of a Protective Style and had to pay the minor consequences. Now, for those of you that have read all of this.. I don’t want to scare you away from trying PS. I just wanted to share my experience that I had with them for the past like five months. I was just lazy, you don’t have to be. In fact, don’t be. Be more proactive in caring for your hair while it’s in a Protective Style.

Now, I’m no quitter. I like to experience mistakes and learn from them. I will be getting my Havana Twist put back in.. probably in June, for literally a month.. at most two. I’m going to dedicate the new few weeks to restoring my hair back to it’s full health — first by starting with a proper trim and a protein treatment. I’ve learned what not to do with this past set and vow to be better in the future. If there’s certain questions you have concerning the twist, feel free to ask me as I tried to cover everything I did with them on my head.

So, confession hour: what are some mistakes you’ve made with your hair that you’ve learned from?

  1. Sharee McFadden says: May 8, 201310:28 AM

    great great post girl! Maybe I’ll rethink this year thing…Well, I should be good as long as I take care of my real hair..I think lol

    • L. says: May 8, 201310:39 AM

      Thank you! That is really the key to any Protective Style, just making sure you’re caring for your own hair. But I say go for it. I’m going to retry next month and really do better lol

  2. Joanne Peter says: May 8, 201310:52 AM

    I am so guilty of this! Not necessarily leaving them in too long, but neglecting my hair once it’s in a cute protective style, i.e. box braids, senegalese twists, etc. I never shampoo and do a b.s. job moisturizing, then when the day comes to take it out I got on a sad far as if I didn’t cause this. Thanks for sharing though, many times I thin i’m the only ridiculous one in the natural world!!

    • L. says: May 8, 20131:02 PM

      Joanne, you are SO not alone. I know there’s plenty of us out there. It’s not that we don’t mean to intentionally, life just happens and sometimes our hair can be the least of our concerns. But girl, trust.. you are not alone!

  3. Amber Flowers Holmes says: May 8, 20131:02 PM

    I had Havana Twists in last year on our anniversary trip… You thought you had dirt? Gurl, I was washing sand out of my hair still a month later, AFTER I took them out!. But I am guilty too of slacking off on taking care of my hair when it’s in braids, twist, etc. But it’s SOOO easy in the mornings!

    • L. says: May 8, 20133:15 PM

      LMAO! Ohh my heart goes out to you as I can ONLY imagine that work that sand put you through. But yea, I’m all for that wake & go life. Just gonna make sure I do somewhat better next month when I get them reinstalled.

  4. Kay says: May 8, 201310:33 PM

    Wait, did I read that correctly? You’ve had these in since December?

    One mistake I made was not giving my hair time to recupe after braids. I used to get them done back-to-back. I’m talking take them out Friday night, get them done Saturday morning. Talk about stressing your hair. That also prevented me from learning how to properly care for my hair.

    • L. says: May 9, 201312:22 PM

      Yes, you read that correctly! Since December. Smh! And yes, once upon a time I used to do the same thing back to back braids without giving the hair a rest. Gotten much better with that nowadays tho.

  5. Melissa Tonsa Asiamah says: May 15, 20136:09 AM

    Didn’t that salon in NYC that created the Havana Twist also go out of business? Afrigenix?

    • L. says: May 15, 201310:11 AM

      Yup! They definitely went out of business which makes me sad. Luckily, I got in touch with one of their former stylists who has her own shop: Hair by LisaBailey. I will be going to her at the end of the month to get the Havana Twists put back in!

  6. Ulala04 says: May 16, 20137:43 PM

    im really tempted to get the havana twists but im scared to get them precisely because I don’t take care of my real hair in the end lol – did you have any breakage from the weight of the twists?

    • L. says: May 17, 201310:14 AM

      Awww, I would so recommend Havana Twist or any of these extension Protective Styles. We just gotta do better with properly caring for our hair while in these styles. I didn’t have breakage from the weight of the twist — although they are heavier than Marley braid hair, they aren’t ridiculously heavy. Afrigenix did a wonderful job ensuring each twist had an adequate amount of my hair in it, especially around the edges.

  7. Vanessa says: May 17, 20138:27 AM

    Loved your honesty in this post. You’re not the only who starts feeling themselves with a protective style and leaves it in for far too long; I’ve done that one too many times. Seems like you learned a lot about yourself and your hair, though, which is great. Completely related to this post.

    • L. says: May 17, 201310:12 AM

      Girl, I was SO feeling myself. I’ve been letting my hair rest these last few days — next week after Memorial Day the Havana Twists are going back in. Now I know what NOT to do while having them in lol.

  8. Eat.Style.Play says: May 18, 20131:18 PM

    Oh my word. After seeing and tweeting you about this today or last night I had to come and look at this post. I always figured since the twist are bigger it would be easy. I have mine in right now but I notice the first few weeks i was doing right by my hair and then i let it go. I have so much crap going on in my hair. I think today i’m going to take them out, deep condish and put some more in. and do the oil and water mixture. It’s like no point of me doing these styles if i’m not going to take care of it haha.



    • L. says: May 19, 20136:04 PM

      Lol, yesss I keep telling myself no point in the Protective Style if I’m not protecting my hair lmao. Going to get them done in two weeks. Promising myself that I will do better. Will continue to keep the blog updated!

      • Eat.Style.Play says: May 20, 201310:01 AM

        So i took mine out …girlah….haha…I see now i’m going to have to set my phone to remind me to grease my hair and wash it every week. I want mine bigger like this, How much hair did you use? I also keep hearing about this other hair that is much longer. This girl i photographed recently had it and it was so long. I want those.

        • L. says: May 20, 201310:53 AM

          I got this done so I can’t really tell you how much hair was used as it was just laying around the salon. But the hair is FingerComber. I talk more about the process here:

          • Eat.Style.Play says: May 20, 201311:41 AM

            okay thanks. I have fingercomber hair too. I think i got like 5 packs but I’ve been using it here and there and mine always come out smaller. I might go to the salon next time because I want them done neater than me blindly parting my hair and what not. Okay I’m don’e bothering you haha.

  9. Harmony says: June 4, 20138:30 PM

    Iam thinking about getting havana twist , but i dont acutally know how to keep my hair healthy . i usually mostrize my hair once or twice a week and wash it once a week in a sort of wash and go thing. but if i got the twist what should i do to keep my hair healthy?

    • L. says: July 2, 201311:50 AM

      Keeping your scalp moisturized is key. You can make your own spritz to apply to your hair daily, and wash maybe every other week with an applicator bottle & a spray bottle with water.

  10. Chrissy Nicole says: June 28, 201310:34 PM

    I am having the hardest time finding care methods for havana twist. I’m on my 5th install, they’re definitely my goto protective style. Just wondering if I could be caring for them better. I might spray him down with water and leave-in and thentie them up with a silk scarf. Should I be doing anything else??

    • L. says: July 2, 201311:52 AM

      I personally think you’re doing fine. I spray my scalp daily. Will use an applicator bottle for my conditioners and spray them down with water. Other than that, don’t think there’s much more we can really do. Oh, I also make sure to apply JBCO to my edges daily.. but yea, that’s it.

  11. Alicia Parson says: July 11, 20137:35 PM

    Hello How are you. loved laughing and dropping my mouth at the same time at your Havana experience. My question is simple and may sound crazy but where can I get this hair. see unlike many I don’t have the luxury to walk into a beauty store and purchase it. I currently reside in South Korea. Military wife. Also I went to the finger comber website and I need close to a 1b or 2 and they don’t have it available. Help me cause I love this style and I’m tired of my daily hair routine.

    • L. says: August 26, 20137:31 PM

      I am SO sorry for my delayed response. At the current time I know that the website is the only place to get the hair would be the actual website or through a salon vendor (such as the lady that does my hair). Hope you’re able to find it! Please keep me posted.

    • Jhaye Baker says: October 18, 20131:27 PM

      I used to live in korea as well… I’ve always done my own hair (been natural since middle school so abt 13 yrs) so I never went to salons there BUT many girls I knew there went to Daegu to get their braids and twists done -Theres a large Nigerian population there. I lived in Busan and Daegu is close but either way if you’re in Seoul just take the KTX to Daegu… It’s probably abt 2 1/2 hrs and pretty cheap. I took the KTX all the time to Seoul!!! Hope this helps and have fun in Korea!!!

  12. more says: August 19, 20139:52 PM

    That’s what i’m worried about lol i put in HUMAN kinky twists for the 1st time couple months back/. I left it in for 2 and half months..THis time around i;m aiming for 3 and half months with my new instillation hopefully i’m not pushing it!

    • L. says: August 26, 20137:30 PM

      I’m sure you’ll be fine! Please keep me posted on your progress.

      • more says: August 26, 20137:42 PM

        Shore will hun

  13. Alexis Rochelle Harris says: August 30, 20133:39 PM

    Glad I read this, thank you!
    How much hair would you say you used getting them in?

    • L. says: December 3, 201310:32 PM

      Hi, Alexis — I feel like such a jerk for not seeing this sooner. Honestly, I have no idea how much hair was used as it’s usually not in packs. But probably a good 3-4 packs?

  14. Kim says: November 8, 201310:08 AM

    Great post, I’m thinking about getting these put in too, but I have a sensitive scalp. Do you think I should wash the havana hair first?

    • L. says: December 3, 201310:31 PM

      If you’re doing it yourself, that could be something you may want to consider. I get it done in the salon so I don’t have the liberty of washing it, but, I also don’t have a sensitive scalp. So to be on the safe side, if I were you.. I’d wash it.

  15. Deanna says: November 22, 20137:25 PM

    I have had my twists ever since the last Sunday in September and I love them.. mine are much smaller than yours and I love them they are so much more protective than my half sew-in. Do you think if I keep them until about the last week of December or first week of January will have a lot of breakage?

    • L. says: December 3, 201310:30 PM

      Hey Deanna,
      I can’t tell you how long you should keep your hair in, cuz honestly.. it varies for all of us. We just all have to remember our hair sheds daily, so by the time we take out the style there will be shedding & some breakage. Now, if I were you.. I’d keep them in. I recently got my Havana Twist back in on Nov 19.. I plan to keep them in until about January/February — but again, that’s just me.

  16. Jae Haeri says: December 1, 20137:27 PM

    I literally fell off the couch laughing at this. (Ok…well this second glass of wine might have something to do with that…) I AM IN LOVE WITH YOUR BLOG!!! I was lazily googling Havana twists thinking I could take this weave out and do a different. How lucky I am to have found this gem. Thank you so much for sharing so honestly and openly. I seriously want to stab myself with a pitchfork reading some naturalistas blogs. This mess is not easy and yeah…sometimes I’m just not feeling it. I want long healthy hair but LORD HELP ME I’d also like a life. I’m searching for a balance and that’s not so simple. I’m just happy to see someone being real about their challenges. THANK YOU!! You have a new fan.

    • L. says: December 3, 201310:27 PM

      Awww hi Jae! Thank you for stumbling across the blog! I got the Havana Twist back in for the Winter, so we’ll see how this turns out. If you have Twitter, I’m on there at @PartyOverHair! :)

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