A Hair Tutorial (Rope Twists)

When we found out we were matched with Selah’s birth mama, the few people we told, immediately asked me, “How are you going to do her hair?” And I responded, “I’ll learn.”

Three years into being her mama, I’m still learning. So much. And have SO much more, still, to learn. Something the Father is teaching me lately is that it’s His anointing, that is our teacher.

But the anointing that you recieved from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie- just as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27 ESV

I don’t know how to blog, or write, or speak, or be a wife, or a mama, or do my African American daughter’s hair. But anything I don’t know how to do, literally anything, I just ask Him. Because He does know. He knows everything. He is the most brilliant person you’ll ever meet. I mean, He created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, for goodness sake. He is perfectly capable of teaching me how to love my baby girl well by taking care of her hair.

A while ago, I wrote this post that shared how to make triangle parts and I also shared the products I use in her hair. You can also click here or on the shop tab at the top of my website and you can see every product I use. I’m sharing all of these things with you, because my friends have shared them with me. And were friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rope twists are fast, easy, and stay in for about a week. I remember walking in one night to Bible study and an African American man told me how great her hair looked. He said, “You didn’t do that, did you?” I rolled my shoulders back, stood a little taller, and said, “Yes, sir. I did it today right before nap.” I have to tell you, it still takes me about an hour, and I have lots of trouble getting her parts straight, but hey, I’m still learning, remember?

Okay, so here goes…

Start with clean hair. I washed Selah’s the night before, because let’s be real, that alone is a process. I washed it, put oil in it, and then just put it in puffs for her to sleep. We woke up the next morning and got to work.

I always start with a part straight down the middle, and then I section one side into five horizontal parts. I use a spray bottle that has water, conditioner, and oil in it. You don’t want to only use water, because it will dry out the hair. But you definitely need it wet to braid. I use a comb that has a pointy end to make the parts. And this is the ONLY time she is allowed to watch my phone so she is enthralled with Peppa Pig and stays pretty still.

Which brings me to another question people ask me all the time, “How do you get her to sit still all of that time?” She has sat in a bumbo which we loving call the “hair chair” since she was three months old. Even then I would put her in the hair chair to brush and fix her hair. Slowly, as time has passed and she has grown (I’ll be right back after I go cry in the corner), she started sitting in the hair chair for longer periods of time. And now she watches Peppa Pig and drinks lemonade for as long as I need her to, with the exception of a potty break of course.

Here are the products I used this time, including the pointy comb.

So part straight down the middle, then on one side, make five horizontal sections.

I sprayed the spray bottle mixture, leave in conditioner spray, and then brushed out the bottom section. Then I applied the combing crรจme to that section as well. This moisturized the hair.

I put the section in a rubber band before I started the rope twist. Then at the base of the rubber band, I divided the hair into two even pieces. (It’s important that they are even, it will look funny if they aren’t.)

Take the two even pieces and twirl them tightly to the right at the same time with your fingers.

Then start twisting them tightly around one another, the opposite way, to the left.

As I twist the two pieces around each other to the left, I am also twisting each individual piece to the right, to make sure the rope twist is smooth.

When I get all the way to the end, before I secure the twist with a rubber band at the bottom, I normally have to comb out the ends to make sure they also are smooth.

Then I start the whole process over again for the next section.

On the third and fourth sections, I spilt them into two’s. Because her head is wider and I’ve found they style to last longer with smaller sections. Honestly these are quite big compared to what I normally do, but we were in a hurry, because friends were coming over.

About thirty minutes later, the first side is done!

Then we start the next side.

I use the parts from the other side as my guide, and start the same exact process all over again.

And then we’re all done! ๐Ÿ™‚

This style normally lasts about a week before it starts to look fuzzy. She sleeps on a satin pillowcase to help maintain the style and I also put oil on her parts to keep her scalp from getting dry throughout the week. I’ll sometimes spray the leave in conditioner spray on the rope twists throughout the week as well. The one thing I’ve learned that is most important about her hair, is to keep it moisturized. When it is moisturized, it is much easier to stay healthy.

My favorite part is at the end, she runs into the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. She always smiles like this and then says, “Mommy, thank you so much for making me bwaids like Elsa.”

And my heart literally melts.

Gah, I love her so much! And I’ll keep asking the Father to teach me how to love her well.  Sometimes that looks like reading a hair tutorial. Or asking a friend. But I promise what I learn, I’ll share with you!

If you have any questions or comments or suggestions, you’re welcome to leave them below in the comment section. And I would really love for you to join me over on Facebook! I’ll be going FB live on Thursday around lunchtime (aka naptime) talking about hair care and answering any questions you might have (at least doing my best to answer them.) ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I might have been asked to do a makeup tutorial over there. I’ll be working up my nerve to do that one! Would love for you to join me!

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