25 Extraordinary Marley Twists Hairstyles For Women To Try

Your guide to giving a unique “twist” to your tresses and recreating this legendary hairstyle

Reviewed by Nadja VanterpoolNadja Vanterpool, Hair Stylist
By Anjali SayeeAnjali Sayee  • 

“We’re gonna do the twist, and it goes like this – C’mon, let’s twist again!” Chubby Checker had it right – it is twisting season, and we are here to show you how to do some incredible Marley twists hairstyles!

Marley twists are a protective hairstyle that, with the right care, can last for 7 to 8 weeks. These twists not only look fabulous, but they also make your hair look more voluptuous and thick! Let’s delve deep into the world of the ever-so-cool Marley twists. Scroll down, and let’s twist, twist!

Before You Get Started
  • Apply clarifying shampoo and moisturizing conditioner to prep your hair for Marley twists hairstyles.
  • A Rat-tail comb, detangling brush, wide-toothed comb, and edge control gel are some Marley twists hairstyle essentials.
  • The extensions for Marley twists hairstyle must be of coarse texture to recreate these hairdos.
  • Stretching your hair may help if you have coily hair. It will make your hair manageable.
  • Marley twists hairstyles are suitable for all face shapes.

What Are Marley Twists?

Marley twists are two-strand twists that use Marley braid extensions. These Marley braid extensions are coarse and look natural. Marley twists are also called Kinky twists. They were originally designed to look like dreadlocks and, hence, were named Marley twists after Bob Marley. However, over the course of time, they have evolved into looking more like twists than dreadlocks. These twists allow you to tie your hair in a high ponytail or a bun since they are not aligned to your scalp. They can be jumbo or thin in size.

Professional hair stylist Nadja Vanterpool says, “The Marley twist is a great transitional look for those who are looking for a more natural protective style with very little maintenance. It’s also a good look for those who want or are thinking about getting dreadlocks in the future. Marley twists once installed can be styled many different ways. Lasting about 6 to 8 weeks many would say that the longer they stay in, the better they look. But when it comes to that 8 week timeline don’t let it deceive you. It will look amazing however if not taken out the client’s natural hair underneath will turn into locs. If this happens, natural hair must be untangled strand by strand.”

Still confused about how Marley twists are different from Senegalese and Havana twists? We’ve got you covered!

What’s The Difference Between Marley Twists, Senegalese Twists, And Havana Twists?

The main difference between these three types of twists lies in the hair extensions used to do them. Though Marley hair is synthetic, it is a close match to natural African-American hair. It can be found in most American local beauty stores. The major difference between Marley and Havana twists is that the latter are bigger and chunkier twists. You would need to use two pieces of Marley extensions to do one Havana twist.

So, here’s the big question…

How Long Do Marley Twists Last?

Marley twists can last for up to 8 weeks with proper maintenance. It is not advisable to keep them for longer. To make them last the full 8 weeks, hydrate and nourish your roots with a water and oil solution on a regular basis.

Now that we know everything about Marley twists, let’s check out how you can do them!

How To Do Marley Twists

Image: Youtube

What You Need
  • Marley hair extensions
  • Rat-tailed comb
  • Hair cream
  • Hot water
  • Towel
  • A pair of scissors
How To Do
  1. Divide your kinky locks into sections using the tail end of your comb. Clip up all the sections, leaving one section loose.
  2. Divide this section into two sub-sections.
  3. Apply hair cream to the sub-sections for better grip and to curb strays.
  4. Take a handful of Marley hair extensions. Fold it in half at the center.
  5. Place it between the sub-sections until it covers the roots. Merge each half of the extensions with each of the sub-sections.
  6. Twist the extensions clockwise with your natural hair to merge them further. Do the same with the other sub-section as well.
  7. Now, twist both the sub-sections with each other in a counter-clockwise motion. Do this until you reach the very end.
  8. Use a pair of scissors to trim off the excess hair extensions at the end.
  9. Repeat steps 2 to 8 with all the sections of hair.
  10. Dip the ends of the twists in boiling hot water to seal the ends. Use the towel to dab off excess water from your hair.
  11. Allow the ends to cool down before you touch them.

It’s time to look at some gorgeous ways to style your Marley Twists. Scroll down!

25 Stunning Marley Twists Styles

1. Twisted Pigtails

Twisted Pigtails

Image: superbeauty_ / Instagram

You are seriously mistaken if you think that pigtails are solely worn by little girls. The adaptability of Marley twists is what makes them beautiful. Pull your twisted Marley extensions up into two or more playful pigtails for a carefree look.

2. Face-Framing Ponytail

Face-Framing Ponytail

Image: snatchedbyslim / Instagram

Here’s a tried-and-true favorite that never seems to get old. Pull your Marley twists into a high ponytail, but leave out a couple of twists in the front to frame your face. This style works best with medium-length twists.

3. High Marley Ponytail

High Marley Ponytail

Image: Shutterstock

This no-effort style is your best option when you are in a rush. Simply tie your twists in a high ponytail! It takes less than a minute to do but looks super put-together for class or a work event.

4. Two-Toned Marley Twists

Two-Toned Marley Twists

Image: shandella_styles / Instagram

Your Marley twists will look even more gorgeous if you add some color to them. You can keep the base black or brown and add pops of any color of your choice by using colored extensions for a few of the twists as highlights. Red is a classic color that goes well with dark hair.

5. Messy Twists

Messy Twists

Image: livehappii_locs / Instagram

Just because you have a protective style does not mean you cannot sport that messy look you love. These messy Marley twists create that effortless grunge look that we all know and love. Doing them with red extensions amps up the look.

6. Long Marley Twists

Image: shay_designs / Instagram

You can get long Marley twists regardless of how short your hair is. That’s the beauty of using hair extensions. Just make sure that you apply hair cream to your natural hair ends to merge them seamlessly into the extensions.

7. Dreaded Marley Locks

Image: frohub / Instagram

Marley twists were made to look like dreadlocks. But, over time, they have become more versatile and look more like twists than dreads. This dreaded Marley style is reminiscent of those old school Marley twists.

8. Twisted Half Updo

Image: _simplystasia  / Instagram

Just like braids, twists are great add-ons for updos. Try twisting two twists together (boy that’s a tongue twister!) on either side to do a half crown updo. Accessorize it with small beads to finish off the look.

9. Naturally-Wrapped Marley Twists

Image: breeecos / Instagram

Having a low-maintenance kinda day and don’t feel like styling your hair? This casual half-up style is perfect for such days. Just pull back the Marley twists at the top of your head and tie them up. You can leave out a twist on either side to frame your face.

10. Half Top Knot

Image: braidsbychrissyrenee / Instagram

The best thing about having Marley twists is the volume and length they add to your natural hair. You can style your hair in a half top knot, and it will still look thick. Not just that, it also looks super cool!

11. Highlighted Marley Twists

Image: honeecombsalon / Instagram

A small dash of color can go a long way! So, sprinkle some colored hair extensions into your Marley twists to create a highlighted look. It is the perfect hair look for that summer vacay you’ve planned!

12. Colorful Marley Twists

Image: mercimercyhairboutique / Instagram

Why not go all out with color? If your personality is quirky and colorful, you can pull off this look brilliantly. Try vibrant shades like purple, red, and electric blue to get your groove on.

13. Touches Of Brown

Image: bomb____chelle / Instagram

Like I said, a little color can change your hair look completely. Subtle hints of brown can make your Marley twists look rad. If you partitioned your hair in a cool pattern before doing the twists, this is a great way to draw attention to it!

14. Marley Twists Mohawk

Image: natastic_hairlounge / Instagram

Mohawks look super badass. Weave your hair at the sides in thin cornrows, making sure you bring the rest of the hair to the center to form the mohawk. Twist your hair in small sections. Don’t forget to accessorize!

15. One Bead Marley Twists

Image: umatrancista / Instagram

Beads are the perfect accessories to add a touch of glamor to your Marley twists. It has now become a trend to just have one bead in your hair. Looks pretty killer, right?

16. Brown Marley Dread Twists

Image: locsfadayze / Instagram

Jumbo dreads are all the rage! They look edgy and cool. When you twist your hair, make sure the twists are bunched together and tight. This will give you the perfect Marley dreads.

17. Finger Waves Marley Twists

Image: konfident_tae / Instagram

Twists and waves go hand in hand, especially when it comes to sculpting baby hair. You can get those finger waves around your front hairline with the help of some mousse and a toothbrush. Stunning, right?

18. Thin Ends

Image: lakeshowhair / Instagram

A great thing about Marley twists is that you can embrace your thinning ends with them. Moreover, they protect your fragile ends from damage. So, try out this long Marley twists look if you have thin hair.

19. Half Ponytail Marley Twists

Image: destinys_styless / Instagram

Marley twists are so versatile that you can easily style them in a half ponytail. A half ponytail adds height to your locks while also making them look thicker and fuller.

20. Loose Marley Twists

Image: hairbylisse / Instagram

If are a laid-back person, this style is for you. These loose Marley twists are perfect for a day at the beach and some flawless Insta pics. You can tie them in a loose braid or side ponytail to create a chic look.

21. Curly Ends Marley Twists

Image: _beautyandbraids246 / Instagram

This hairdo is super relaxed and easy to accomplish. First, accessorize your Marley twists with some gold threads and beads. Then, pull them back and tie them in a half ponytail.

22. Thin Marley Twists

Image: luxhairdesign_1 / Instagram

Marley twists, unlike Havana twists, don’t have to be only big and chunky. You can slay with this stunning thin Marley twists look too. They might take more time to do than jumbo and medium twists, but they are definitely worth it.

23. Free Ends Marley Twists

Image: luxhairdesign_1 / Instagram

Add a chic twist to your Marley twists with these curly free ends. To achieve this look, stop twisting your hair a couple of inches above the ends. Dip the ends in hot water to seal the extensions and prevent them from unraveling.

24. Accessorized Marley Twists

Image: jazzed.hair  / Instagram

How could I complete this list without adding some true African beads to the mix? No twist or braid hairstyle is ever complete without accessories like the hair rings, gold thread, and hair beads.

Quick Tip
You can also add gold cuffs or metallic hair clips to your marley twists.

25. Contrasting Marley Twists

Image: appletons_hair / Instagram

Clearly, Marley twists are all about boldness! Try this excellent hairdo to turn heads and have all eyes on you. The fantastic part about this look is that it is easy to do on your own. All you need to do is use hair extensions in multiple shades of blonde.

Fun Fact
Celebrities like Nicole Ari Parker, Solange Knwoles, and Tessa Thompson have sported marley twists during premieres and events.

Marley twists hairstyles are a protective hairstyle that can provide a voluminous and thick look to your hair. They can last for up to 7-8 weeks with proper care and maintenance. These hairstyles use Marley hair extensions. Marley twists can be styled in different ways. Long Marley twists, dreaded Marley locks, twisted half updo, naturally wrapped Marley twists, half top knots, highlighted Marley twists, and colorful Marley twists are a few ways to style Marley twists. Choose the Marley twist hairstyle that best suits you to flaunt your style.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many packs of hair do you need for Marley twist?

The exact number of packs you need will depend on the thickness of your hair and how thick you want the twists to be. However, in general, 4-8 packs should suffice for a full head of Marley twists.

Are Marley twists heavy when wet?

Yes, Marley twists are known to get really heavy when they get wet.

Key Takeaways

  • Named after Bob Marley, Marley twists are two-strand twists that use Marley braid extensions.
  • Marley twists are smaller and less chunky than other popular twisted hairstyles like the Havana twists.
  • This hairstyle can last up to 8 weeks with proper maintenance.
  • You can style the Marley twists differently and try styles like half top knot, dread twists, and Marley twists mohawk.
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