Curly Hair Diverse Care :: Yarn Extensions

We love and embrace our daughters’ natural hair. As our confidence in hair care has increased yarn rope twist extension have become a staple style 1-2 times per year. We get as many compliments as we do questions about this style. We frequently hear, “How long did it take? Is that her real hair?  How long will it last? Was that hard to do?” So today I’m talking hair. 

What are hair extensions?

Hair extensions (or hair weaves) add length and/or fullness to human hair. Hair extensions are methods of lengthening one’s hair by incorporating additional human or synthetic hair, or yarn in our case.

How long do they take to create? 

This style took a total of 21-22 hours over the course of 4-5 days. London watched only about 12.5 hours of screen time, as this was a collaborative effort between my husband and me. Additionally, there was no screen time during this weekend unless we were working on hair.

Why do we like yarn twist extensions?

  • Great Protective Style. Protective styles help keep the hair moisturized, preventing breakage and promoting growth. 
  • Longevity and Limited Maintenance. This style will last for 6-8 weeks. 
  • Versatile and Fun. You can change the style day to day. Sometimes we do a ponytail, pig tails or just half up.
  • Age Appropriate. This same style can be done with real or synthetic hair, however yarn extensions avoid coming off too mature for a 5-year-old.
  • Limited Risk of Traction Alopecia. Yarn is light and adds fullness without pulling on the scalp. Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair, usually over time.

Supplies

  • 100% acrylic yarn
  • Pin tail comb for parting
  • Small and large clips
  • Moisturizing cream of your choice
  • Water bottle
  • Sugru for finishing the extension
  • Scissors

Start with clean, washed hair. Set a headband part line. Part off one section in the back and divide into small sections. Square boxes work well for us, however you can do triangles or organic part lines. 

Detangle the small section of hair and split into two strands. Add a generous amount of product to each strand of hair. It is best to moisturize the hair in small section for consistent coverage. The smaller amount of hair the less frizzy the hair will appear and the longer the style will look nice. 

Anchoring

Extensions can be braided or twisted. There are many ways to anchor extensions. For the technique we use, see our video.

To anchor the extension lay the yarn against the scalp, between the two sections of hair. Wrap the hair around the yarn keeping your fingers close to the scalp. Twist each individual strand (hair and yarn) clockwise into a tight “rope” then twist the strands over each other counter clockwise or the opposite direction.  Continue twisting the hair and the yarn together past the length of the hair, to the desired length. Tie off the yarn at the end. 

Finishing the yarn twist extension

There many ways to finish extensions including using beads, burning the ends with fire, and tying them off.  However, we love using Sugru to finish our extension.  Sugru is a moldable plastic that cures at room temperature.  This product starts off in a putty consistency and can be wrapped over the yarn to hold the extension in place.  It is very important to make sure the product is being placed only on the yarn that none of the hair is being included, as you will cut this out to remove the extension.  The Sugru must cure overnight 12-24 hours.  In the morning use scissors to cut the remaining yarn from the base of the Sugru. 

Repeat this process about 60-120 times, and there you have it! For our family, hair is art and yarn rope twist extensions are as beautiful to look at as versatile to wear.   

Special thanks to London (the most patient 5-year-old ever) through all my learning curves.   

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3 Responses to Curly Hair Diverse Care :: Yarn Extensions

  1. Janet W October 20, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Very useful knowledge for those who are fostering or adopting children from African decent. Whether you are from that culture or nor. This kind of hair needs special care to produce healthy growing hair. Healthy growing hair in especially little black girls are a major contribution to a positive identity and self esteem.
    How they see themselves in turn affects how they are seen by others.

  2. Ultimate Looks December 13, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    That’s beautiful!

    You made a great job. It takes patience and talent to achieve such beautiful hair art.

  3. Yuan December 16, 2017 at 6:11 am #

    Very well described. Thank you for the suggestion.

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