Box braids, faux locs, cornrows, Senegalese twists — there’s no shortage of protective hairstyles to request at a salon or to do yourself these days. But a new look is gaining popularity among your favorite natural hair gurus and influencers: passion twists. This style appears as if Senegalese twists and goddess locs had a baby, with two-strand twists that seem to slowly unravel, leading to silky, cascading curls.
The Boho-inspired hairdo seems like something Lisa Bonet might have worn, pairing it with her whimsical printed blouses and lace crop tops. In reality, the style was the brainchild of Kailyn Rogers aka The Boho Babe, a hairstylist and influencer based in Miami. After Rogers posted the look on her Instagram page in January of 2018, it immediately went viral. She later followed up with a YouTube video on how to style your passion twists, and that clip now has over 1 million views.
To create passion twists, start with Freetress Water Wave braiding hair, chosen for its curly texture. Create a two-strand twist, and halfway through, just let the hair entangle on its own. Apply setting mousse to secure the strands. To maintain your twists, use dry shampoo to keep your scalp clean, apply moisture with a lightweight leave-in conditioner, and sleep with a bonnet or on a silk pillowcase.
As for how to style your passion twists, the options are endless. You can wear the classic half-up, half-down ‘do with two twists hanging down in front. You can opt for an elegant high bun with baby hairs laid to perfection, or simply pin up one section and add a barrette for a simple yet memorable flair. Passion twists can be worn short, long, or medium-length, and they look just as great with highlights as they do without color.
Read on for 9 ways to style passion twists.
1. Half-Up, Half-Down
To create an easy look that never goes out of style, pull half your twists into a loose ponytail and let the back half hang free. In lieu of bangs, pull two twists out in the front to frame your face. Smooth Design Essential Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse over the hanging twists to keep any stray curls in place.
2. Swept To The Side
Short passion twists are just as gorgeous and effortless as longer ones. Add some interest with platinum and honey blond highlights, and an off-center part with the twists swept to one side. To refresh and nourish your twists, apply a leave-in conditioner like Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Moisturizing Leave-In Hair Lotion.
3. High Ponytail
Channel Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice with this classic high ponytail. Put your head down and let the twists all fall in front, then sweep them up with an elastic hairband or a shoestring you can tie tightly in place. Take some gel, such as Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Edge Gel and lay down your baby hair in front.
Got a formal event on your calendar? Several twist styles will work, but for something extra regal, try a topknot. Put your hair into a high ponytail using the instructions above, then create one big twist. Simply wrap that around the base of the hair, and pin to secure. Use an edge tool so your edges are laid to perfection.
5. Space Buns
For a more playful style, choose space buns. Just separate the twists down the middle and create two even ponytails. Then for each pony, make one big twist and wrap it around the base, pinning to secure. Leave two strands out in front for a little flair, and add barrettes, beads, and cuffs as you see fit.
6. Half Braids, Half Twists
Blend two classic protective styles together with this half-up, half-down alternative. Start by sectioning the hair in front and creating straight back cornrows toward the crown of the head. Gather the end of the braids into a ponytail, and create passion twists with the leave out. Finally, let the twists in the back section hang free. To keep your scalp from itching, try The Mane Choice Prickly Pear Paradise Minty Scalp Purifying Spray with soothing pumpkin seed oil.
7. Low Side Ponytail
To gather the hair without the drama of a high ponytail, try a version that hangs low and to the side. First, create an off-center part and swoop the hair to either side of your head. Then on the opposite side, add a ponytail holder near the base of your neck. Keep your braids from looking frizzy and dry with Naturally Africa Tea Tree Oil & Vegetable Protein Braid Moisturizing Spray.
8. Side Bun
For an elegant updo that can work for anything from a wedding to a formal dance, try a side bun. Start with an off-center part and swoop the twists to one side of your head. On the same side, create a low side ponytail and put the remaining hair into one big twist. Wrap the twist around the base of your ponytail and secure with pins. Loosen the bun a bit to give it an effortless, Bohemian vibe. Don’t forget to moisturize your scalp using Camille Rose Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum which won’t cause any buildup.
9. Low Double Ponytails
A glamorous take on your favorite childhood hairstyle, the low double ponytail is super easy to create. Pull two twists out front and center to frame your face. Then part the hair down the middle and create low ponytails at the base of the neck on each side: done and done. For a nostalgic vibe, add two scrunchies at the top of each ponytail.