I’ve had a lot of clients get stuck in between marley or senegalese. The differences are minor between the two, but they play major factors in the styles and their lifespan. Starter note for both, when I very first started braiding I used the method where you begin with a twist at the top. A few people specifically want to ask for that but I know they won’t tell you on IG that the twists that start with braids last longer!
Marley twists are done with marley hair. Marli-braid, kinky braid, Afro kinky, Afro Marley, or one of the many other names. This type of hair is made to imitate natural hair. You can usually go to a beauty supply that’s not Sally’s, and ask “where is the marley hair?” Different brands and textures achieve different twists patterns. The tighter the kinks or puff-like the hair is the tighter the twist pattern, this type of hair holds onto 4c hair frizz the best. The wavy marley hair, softer textures produce twists similar to senegalese twists and can hold on to most hair textures. Marley hair has frizz that imitates natural textures so when your hair frizzes out, it’s not noticeable. Even though this style averages needing 10 packs and falling around waist length, its still a lightweight and fun protective style. My highest recommend style for naturals who want something cute, simple, and lightweight is small/smedium marley twists. Takes 4-6 hours depending on the size and length.
Senegalese twists are done with the same kanekalon hair used for box braids. These twists are very compatible with relaxed hair. You can either get xpression hair, pre-stretched/feather tip packs, or ez braid hair. Different brands produce different frizz on the ends. Yes the frizz on these gets pretty bad bc the style is so “neat”. Natural hair will frizz out after a few weeks. These are probably even more lightweight than marley twists as long as they stay medium sized. Larger sizes senegalese twists can get heavy and tend to not to last as long. This style averages needing 5-7 packs of feather tip packs, or 3-4 packs of xpression. This style requires maintenance to upkeep the neat look. That means tying it down, applying products, and cleaning it up with scissors if you’re trying to maintain the fresh braids look. This style can take 5-7 hours depending on the size and length.
*special mention HAVANA/PASSION/SPRING twists
I honestly don’t have a clue as to what havana twists really are. I’ve seen so many styles called havana, and the textures and twists patterns are different. I do not do havana specifically bc I would have no idea as to what hair was used half the time when I’m shown a picture, or the other half of the time it’s really just what I consider marley twists. Passion twists I haven’t tried yet as I’m typing this, but I am willing to and I know that stylists use around 7-10 packs or freetress crochet braid hair. Spring twists are a very natural twist, imitates a full look of two strands twists. I’m not comfortable with doing the real tiny sections so it looks like curly hair, I’m not 100% sure it’s safe for edges. But the average amount of packs I use for that style is 4-8 depending on the size and length.