If Instagram is anything to go by, the era of '90s hairstyles is well and truly upon us. Aside from boy cuts and bobs, bold TLC-inspired 'boho passion twists' are quickly becoming the ultimate nostalgic style of choice for protecting your hair. While jumbo box braids and Zoë Kravitz's messy-style single plaits are still a mainstay in the hair industry, boho-esque twists have brought an undeniable quality to the table.
Occupying a cosy space between goddess locs (using various types of human hair to create a lightweight, lived-in finish) and passion twists (two-strand twists using extensions), the revamped boho version includes curly hair installed throughout, with wisps and strands singled out from the twists to give the illusion that they are growing from the scalp. This attention to detail is what makes boho passion twists stand out in a sea of protective hairstyles.
Nardia puts the popularity of boho passion twists down to their striking appearance. "Boho passion twists don’t look like all of the regular protective hairstyles we’ve seen before, like Senegalese twists or kinky twists," she told R29. A number of US stars have also been quick to adopt the style, from Twin Peaks' Nafessa Williams to YouTuber Kathlyn Celeste. Filtering through to the UK, the trend has taken off in a major way, becoming a highly sought-after request for hairdressers here.
"Passion twists are a style I think the Instagram protective hair community has really needed," Tamara says. "Once the style became popular in America, it was only a matter of time until everyone else started doing them." So how do you wear boho passion twists? For the moment, natural tones are most preferred, according to Tamara. "I think subtle colours are trending right now because they make hair look neater. Right now, I am seeing more blonde tones and light brown shades coming through," – perfect for autumn.
While boho passion twists are relatively low maintenance once done, installation may take a while, and Nardia suggests setting aside 4-5 hours. However, their longevity makes them well worth the wait. "Mine tend to stay put for 4-6 weeks and that’s because I follow a method of braiding and then twisting," says Nardia. Even better, she mentions that this hairstyle is suitable for all hair types from 3a to 4c.
Nardia continues: "As boho passion twists age, they start to look more natural and not as shiny as they do when you first install them." Protecting the twists with a headscarf helps keep them looking sharper for longer.
However you wear boho passion twists, making sure your edges are healthy is also an important factor of the style. If moisturised well, the twists can be perfectly adaptable, as Tamara tells R29: "For best results hair should be lightly conditioned and hydrated." KeraCare’s Essential Oils For The Hair, £7.60, works well for nourishing afro hair, especially damaged ends. If you’re looking to go luxe, renowned hairstylist Charlotte Mensah’s Manketti Oil, £48, is ideal for strengthening hair and smells divine. To maintain and define curls, AS I AM’s Coil Defining Styling Jelly, £9.99, is worth its weight in gold.
Nardia also highlights the importance of laid edges. "I avoid hair pulling by leaving edges out or swooping hair into the twists to avoid strained follicles."
It also pays to do your research in regard to your hair type. "If a client’s hair is thin or they have experienced hair loss, then small boxes wouldn’t be ideal as this would put too much tension on the hair and scalp," Tamara continues. The solution? "Try to use the crochet method or bigger boxes to reduce this tension."
So where exactly can you get boho passion twists done? Manchester natives can head to the contemporary Retro Room to trial the curls. Award-winning natural hair salon Hype Coiffure in Battersea is renowned for its protective hairstyle services and Estate Salon in Edinburgh is great for natural styles, weaves and extensions. A quick Google search also throws up a handful of other great salons across the UK, which specialise in the style.
Finally, prices tend to differ depending on the length and texture of your hair, according to the experts. On average, though, the style can set you back a little more than usual. "The style can range from £40-£400," says Tamara, but ultimately, it all depends on the hairdresser you choose.