Knotless jumbo twists: this trending hairstyle will fraction the time you spend with the hairdresser

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Model Sharon Alexie is seen outside the Off-White show during the Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2020-2021 in Paris. (Photo by Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)
Model Sharon Alexie is seen outside the Off-White show during the Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2020-2021 in Paris. (Photo by Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)
  • Women are increasingly embracing the knotless braid technique.
  • It's also a plus that the it's not as stressful on your hair line as knotted braids can be.
  • Celebrity hairstylist Nikki Nelms says the lived-in look shows that you’re comfortable in your natural state.
  • We’ve been enjoying Rapunzel braids for a while now, whether it’s twists, three-strand braids, faux locs or any other style.  Add to this twists and the chunky size, you’ll get the trendy hairstyle of the moment. Quick math.

    READ MORE: Fun, feisty and relatable, comedian Elsa Majimbo has inspired the comeback of an age-old hairstyle 

    Starting your jumbo braids this way creates a seamless transition between the roots and hair extensions. I went out on a limb and tried the jumbo twists for myself. Before this I had never done a knotless braid, neither had I tried jumbo braids that are almost knee-length.

    I sat on my bed watching How To Get Away With Murder, preparing myself to go through seven to eight 43-minute episodes (the amount of time I usually spend when braiding my own hair) but after two episodes and a bit – I was done. It beats the six hours I've spent in the past sitting at a hair salon.

    The knotless braiding technique has been seen on stars like Janelle Monáe, Gabrielle Union and Zendaya. 

    READ MORE: Channel you inner Sho Madjozi and braid your own hair at home - 5 easy styles to try 

    Having had this style for almost two weeks, I get the appeal. Twists that are fused with the natural texture of the hair give off the (illusive as the term may be) 'boho' aesthetic. Being an extremely popular aesthetic, in its different iterations, the braiding style has seen Zoe Kravitz as the role model. 

    As celebrity hairstylist Nikki Nelms said once, that what’s special about not having 'perfect' hair and embracing the “lived-in” look is that it “says that you’re comfortable in your natural state, your natural state is the bar as opposed to reaching for something else”. That’s why a puff sticking out here and there hasn’t bothered me too much.




    With these jumbo twists, I enjoy the look of having hair that isn’t uniform, and for me, I achieved this by making my twists slightly different in thickness and length, then curl the ends. I also enjoyed how easy it is on the hairline, at the front especially, it doesn't stress the hairline so it gives you a chance to avoid traction alopecia.

    READ MORE: KZN professor Ncoza Dlova involved in breakthrough study for hair loss among black women to offer key alopecia transplant procedure

    It also means there won’t be a need to do the extra work of starting with the knot them the three-strand braid at the root before following with the twisting for the rest of the braid because the way the hair extension is attached will provide the security you need to keep the braid attached.

    I also find this to be a great transitional hairstyle, whether you’re between styles or seasons. Due to the spacious parting resulting in fewer braids, it’s good enough for when you don’t want to be too hot or too cold. Essentially, if this hairstyle was a clothing item it would be a cutout knit jersey. 

    With Nikki’s comment in mind, how you prep your hair before you braid it will have significant bearing the outcome. For me this was ensuring my afro was completely detangled - for some it may mean putting gel on the roots or even laying the edges. 

    These are the different iterations of the jumbo twists as seen on Instagram: 

    Candace Marie

    Shiona Turini

    Sharon Alexie

    Elya Lufwa 

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