Spring Twists 101: What to Know About the Protective Style

Everything you need to know about installation and maintenance.

woman with spring twist short hair


I love trying new protective styles. There are so many benefits, from getting a little extra sleep in the morning to helping hair grow by keeping manipulation to a minimum. Spring twists are a consistent favorite because they offer so much versatility, and some styles are light enough to wear in a bun without being too heavy. 

Ahead, everything you need to know If you're curious about trying spring twists for the first time—from the basics of where to find the hair, what the installation process is like, and how to care for and style your spring twists.

What Are Spring Twists?

Spring twists are a super lightweight, protective style for people with natural hair. The style is similar to Senegalese twists, but you use hair extensions instead of your natural hair to achieve the look. The hair is so light that once your style is complete, it will literally spring up when you give it a gentle tug (which is where this style gets its name). Like most protective styles, you'll spend up to eight hours installing the twists, but the reward of a new low-maintenance look is always worth it.

The Benefits of Spring Twists

  • Lightweight: Spring twists are incredibly lightweight, making them a great hairstyle for those that don't want a super heavy style or tugging along their hairline.
  • Look natural: Spring twists mimic the look of natural hair.
  • Low maintenance: The twists might take a long time to install, but once you're finished, they're really easy to maintain.
  • Long lasting: Depending on how often you wash and touch your hair, your twists can last up to a six weeks.
  • Easy to style: Spring twists can be styled in many different ways. You can pull them up in a bun, wear half-up, half-down, or in a chic updo.

What Kind of Hair to Use (And Where to Find It)

Spring Hair
Beyond Beauty Spring Twist Hair $23.50

Spring twists can be whatever length you prefer. Since they're so light, you can wear a longer style without fear of it weighing you down. Spring hair typically comes in a pack with three bundles of hair, but most people only need one and a half bundles to complete their entire head. To achieve medium-sized twists, split each coil in the pack into two, or into three, or four if you want smaller twist.

How Are Spring Twists Installed?

There are similarities between installing spring twists and other protective styles. You'll need patience (whether you enlist the help of a stylist or take on the challenge yourself), a leave-in conditioner, pomade, and of course, tools (combs, clips, and a crochet needle depending on how you plan to install the hair).

  • Step One — Prep and Section: You'll always want to start the styling process with freshly washed, deep conditioned, blown-out hair. I would even recommend a pre-protective style trim as well to make sure your hair is in tip-top shape. Once your hair is prepped and moisturized, you'll part the hair into four-to-six sections (depending on your hair's thickness). Then it's time for the installation.
Eden Bodyworks
Eden Bodyworks Papaya Castor Conditioning Hairdress $9.25

Once the hair is sectioned, you'll make each of your twist parts as big as you'd like, and add a hydrating product like Eden BodyWorks Papaya Castor Conditioning Hairdress. Then follow-up with a pomade to ensure your hair is smooth to prevent any of your hair from peeking out. Now you're ready to infuse the extensions with your hair.

  • Step Two — Braid at The Root: This step can be done a few different ways, based on your personal preference. Some braiders create a small braid at the root of the hair and braid down about an inch, then take a crochet hook to loop the hair before starting to complete a finished twist. Other braiders prefer to braid the spring hair in at the root down about an inch, and then twist the extension into the clients (or their own) hair. You can do what works for your hair type and your skill level.
  • Step Three — Twist and Detangle: Now that you've decided how you're going to install the hair at the root, you'll start to twist the hair—no twirling. Just twist to ensure the hair stays springy like a two-strand twist. As you're twisting, you may encounter snags. The hair could start to tangle, and you could find yourself with a little more hair on one side of the twist than the other. Like you would with your own hair, detangle the extensions as you go, and if you end with an uneven twist, split the hair as you did when you started at the root and twist all the way to the end. Cut any frizzy ends and give them a gentle rub between your finger to seal. No hot water needed.

Maintenance & Aftercare

The great thing about this style is that while installation doesn't save you any time compared to other protective styles, maintenance is relatively easy. Having a product to keep a gentle cleanser to keep build-up at bay, an oil to moisturize the scalp, and a silk bonnet to help maintain the style (and your hair's health) is all you need. Braiders agree that this protective style should only be left in between four and six weeks. 

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