The Difference Between Marley, Havana, Senegalese, + Box Braids

It never fails, when the seasons change I start getting an itch to do something new to my hair.

A friend and I recently had a girls night and watched the Katy Perry movie, and while I never paid much attention before – that girl can rock some bright colorful hair! Blues (my favorite), purples, pinks – I found myself completely mesmerized the entire time. She quite literally made me want to dye my hair right then and there a bright and crazy blue!

While my friend jumped on the opportunity to try something new – she dyed her hair bright purple and it looks awesome! – the more I thought about it, the more I saw images of creepy clowns come to my mind – I’d rather not walk don’t the street looking like thisif you know what I mean 🙂

However that urge for change is still knocking on my door. If you recall I put senegalese twists in a couple winters ago, and while I’ve talked about getting them again, I’d also like to try something new.

I’ve discussed the various twist and extension options with friends before and you know what never failed to come up in conversation? – “What’s the difference between each?” – the natural hair blogger in me would cringe every time because I actually didn’t know what made each variety of twist different.

Ever run into the same problem?

Well worry no more, I did some investigating and for today’s natural hair talk I’ll be sharing the differences between marley, havana, senegalese, and box braids.

So you can cooly explain to your friends how marley twists differ from senegalese or simply send them to this page 😉 whichever floats your boat.

Marley Twists

Marley twists are known as such as they use hair referred to as marley braid hair. This hair very closely resembles natural hair textures as it is coarser than traditional synthetic hair.

It is installed using the invisible root method, which covers the root of your actual hair – again creating a more natural look – and is then twisted using a two-strand method. Marley twists are designed to give a thick dreadlock look, hence the name ‘Marley’.

Havana Twists

Havana twists are very similar to Marley twists as they are installed in the same manner and use the same type of hair. The main difference is in the size of the twist, for every two-three marley twists there is one havana twist.

It’s essentially another way to naturally create a thick dreadlock look.

Senegalese Twists

Also known as rope twists, senegalese twists are also installed similarly to marley and havana twists.

The significant difference is in the hair that is used, these twists typically use Kanekalon hair which gives a tighter and smoother look – they also tend to be thinner in diameter and less dreadlock-like.

Box Braids

A popular throwback to Poetic Justice, Janet Jackson, and Brandy, this classic 90’s style has recently made a modern comeback.

This is probably the easiest twist style to recognize the difference as it’s installed using a 3 strand twist – hence the braid.

Box braids can vary in thickness and they typically use similar hair to Senegalese twists to give an overall smoother look.

So in the end, the main differences are simply size and/or the type of hair used to install the twists.

Have you tried any of these? Which one is your favorite?