28 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 Vanterpool, Hairstylist Nadja Vanterpool Nadja VanterpoolHairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Associate Editor Anjali Sayee Associate Editor Experience: 7 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Subhrojyoti Mukherjee Associate Editor Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Anu Pallavi Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

“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 protective styles that, with the right hair 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! Marley twists can be done with box braids, crochet braids, or Senegalese twists, making them a versatile choice for women with textured hair. Let’s delve deep into the world of the ever-so-cool Marley twists. Scroll down, and let’s twist, twist!

protip_icon 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.

Matildah, a YouTuber, explained why she prefers Marley Twists. She said, “It’s super pain-free, low tension, and takes about 2 hours to do. It’s a super protective style that will last for two weeks to one month, super low-maintenance, and easy to do (i).” The YouTuber stated that the hairstyle looked good on her and she was very happy with the results.

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 a natural African American hairstyle. It can be found in most American local beauty and fashion 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

How to do Marley twists hairstyle
Image: IStock
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

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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

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Pull your Marley twists into a low ponytail, but leave out a couple of twists in the front to frame your face.

3. High Marley Ponytail

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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

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Your Marley twists will look even more gorgeous if you add some color to them. You can keep the base brown or black 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 black hair.

5. Messy Twists

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Having a low-maintenance kinda day and don’t feel like hair styling? 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 add hair accessories!

15. One Bead Marley Twists

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

25. Contrasting Marley Twists

Contrasting Marley twists hairstyle
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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.

26. Twisted Space Buns

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Space buns are for everyone, and this retro hairstyle has recently been making quite the wave. Wear as half-up space buns to divide into 2 sections and make full buns on either side. The cute and chic hairstyle is great for any occasion.

27. Marley Faux Ponytails

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The faux Marley ponytail is for those who want to sport the look but do not have suitable hair or are not ready to take the trouble of twisting the hair. With faux attachment, you can quickly get a lush-looking Marley twist hairstyle.

28. Flat Twist Bun

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Styling the tresses atop the head can give you a formal look. This sophisticated Marley twist hairstyle is perfect for an office party or any glamorous event.

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

Infographic: 6 Classy Marley Twists Styling Ideas

Marley twists are one of the coolest protective hairstyles. If you want to make the deal sweeter, there are a number of ways in which they can be styled to add oomph to your outfits. However, we cannot help but prefer some of them over the rest! Check out the infographic below for a roundup of some of our favorite Marley twist hairstyles.

6 classy marley twists styling ideas (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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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 braid hairstyle that best suits you to level up 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.

Are Marley twists a good protective style?

Yes. Marley twists use Marley hair which is not very expensive and the twists take less time to install compared to some other protective styles like box braids and dreadlocks. It also offers you a versatile range of styling options as you can use Marley hair to give your locks more volume, length, and experimental colors to play with.

How do you sleep with Marley twists?

You can either wrap your hair in a silk scarf or use a pillowcase made of silk to avoid friction against your twists, minimize frizziness, and prevent the loss of moisture. You may alternatively wear a bonnet and use satin material.

Are Marley twists easy?

Yes. Marley twists are easy and you can twist the front sections of your hair by yourself with minimum difficulty. All you need to do is use the extensions and just twist them into your sectioned hair beginning from the roots.

How do you wash Marley twists?

Begin your Marley twists wash routine with a 10-minute apple cider vinegar rinse, using the ingredient to gently massage and cleanse the scalp. You may also use a shampoo specially formulated for protective styles. Wash it off and squeeze your twists gently to remove excess water and pat dry with a microfiber towel. Follow it up with a leave-in conditioner. You can do this 2-3 times a week.

Can you put Marley hair in hot water?

Hot water is used on Marley hair for certain hairstyles using a curling iron to curl the ends of the hair. However, unless you are going for those specific styles, stick to cold or lukewarm water to avoid frizziness and damage to the quality of the hair.

How long do Marley twists take to install?

Depending on the style and length of the twists you are going for, Marley twists installation can take between 2-4 hours.

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.
Marley twists

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to create beautiful medium-long Marley twists in under 4 hours in this video! Follow the step-by-step instructions and tips to achieve the perfect look.

Personal Experience: Source

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