What Is Cuban Twist Hair?

woman with twisted braids

Sometimes also called a Havana twist, the Cuban twist hair style is a type of hair extension used in protective hair styles. Cuban twist hair is used to create Havana twists, which has become increasingly popular since the style first emerged. There are all types of twists hairstyles - namely Senegalese, Passion, and Marley twists, to name a few. Cuban twist hair is a protective hairstyle most commonly worn by those with textured hair. Protective hairstyles are designed to prevent breakage by hiding your ends; the general purpose of the hairstyle is to promote longer and healthier hair by protecting your ends from potential damage. Common protective hairstyles you may be familiar with are twists, braids, and wigs. That being said, there are plenty of beautiful protective styles you may choose from but we will mainly focusing on Cuban twist hair in this blog. Read more below to learn more about the process and details of Cuban twists.

Protective Hair Background

The general purpose of protective hairstyles is to protect your ends, aka the most fragile part of your hair, and promote hair growth. Frequent styling, detangling, and washing of hair will eventually lead to minimal hair fall out. Dawning a protective hair style is another level of protecting your hair to avoid that additional hair fall out. Protective hairstyles can be incorporated with different synthetic and human hair for varying looks as well. 

Cuban Twist Hair Process

The process of doing Cuban twist hair can be time-consuming. There are a few steps you should take before getting in a stylist’s chair. Prep your natural hair by washing, conditioning, and stretching. Take advantage of deep-conditioning hair masks, oils, and conditioners. The actual process of Cuban twist hair can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on your hair status and stylist. If your hair is being installed too tightly, make sure to point it out to your stylist; Hair being pulled too tightly can effect your hair in the long run and cause breakage. Irritation after installation is common, so consider a gel or oil to soothe and protect your hair. 

Hair Care with Cuban Twists

Cuban twist hair can be reused when cared for properly. For protective hairstyles, it is important to keep your hair moisturized with water and hair oils as well as co-washing. You should also protect your edges. While the whole point of protective hair styles is to protect your ends, you should also care for your edges. There are all kinds of edge control gels on the market to choose from! Some promote growth and others promote a stronger hold. Your scalp should also not be neglected. Maintain a healthy scalp with different serums and oils. Peppermint oil has benefits to soothe and tea tree oil has been known to help cleanse.

How Long Does a Cuban Twist Hair Style Last?

Cuban twist hair, and many other protective hair styles typically are meant to last for 4-6 weeks. The process of removal for protective styles can vary, but for take sake of time and experience, seeing your stylist for removal should be easiest. It’s also noteworthy to mention that shedding is normal once a protective style has been removed. 

Differences between Cuban Twist Hair and Marley Twists

How do other types of Twists hairstyles differ from Cuban twists? Cuban twist hair originates from Cuba, as its name insinuates, but more specifically from it’s capital Havana; hence why Cuban twists and Havana twists are interchangeable. Cuban twists utilize hair called Havana hair that is more coarse in texture & are usually thicker in size than other twist hairstyles, but lighter in weight. Marley twists, on the other hand, are typically heavier in weight than Cuban twists as they use thicker, synthetic hair called Marley hair. As you can infer from the name, Marley twists originate from reggae legend Bob Marley’s signature locks. The Marley twist sections itself are thinner in size than Cuban twists. Another difference is that Havana hair usually runs a bit more expensive than Marley hair per pack; Marley hair sells at $5-6/pack and Havana hair sells at $13/pack. 

Styling with Cuban Twist Hair

There are many different ways to sport Havana twists! To name a few:


We hope you’ve been able to learn a bit more about the Cuban twist hair style! While there is a plethora of protective hair styles available, Havana twists have their own unique charm. While pleasing aesthetically, the purpose of Havana twists are to promote hair growth and protect your ends from potential damage.

However tight hair styles that pull at the follicle can cause undue stress on the scalp and can lead to thinning hair or ultimately hair loss. If you’re looking for an option to optimize your hair follicle health, or repair damage in the form of thinning hair, consider Revela’s Hair Revival Serum. Our serum features ProCelinyl™, our patented ingredient that targets the hair follicle and is proven to support thicker, fuller hair in 97% of women in our clinical trial. Take back control of thinning hair today.

Profile photo for Enzo Benfanti

Reviewed by: Enzo Benfanti, MEng

Enzo is a chemical engineer and data enthusiast with a background in industrial chemicals. His previous experience is in developing catalysts and designing industrial chemical processes to produce the precursors to detergents, polyester fibers, and other specialty materials. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo [Go Bills!] and his master's degree from Columbia University, both in chemical engineering.

Written by: Revela Editorial Team

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