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What hair is best for passion twists?

What hair is best for passion twists?

Passion twists are a popular protective hairstyle that has been trending in recent years. They involve twisting synthetic or natural hair extensions into the natural hair to create beautiful springy twists. When doing passion twists, choosing the right hair is crucial to achieving a stylish look that will last. The hair needs to blend seamlessly with the natural hair, hold up well to twisting and styling, and maintain the look for as long as possible. Here’s an overview of the best hair options for passion twists and the pros and cons of each.

Synthetic Hair

Synthetic hair, often referred to as Kanekalon hair, is by far the most popular choice for passion twists. This is an inexpensive, readily available option that comes pre-stretched and ready to install. Synthetic hair has a smooth, shiny texture that mimics the look of natural hair once installed into twists. Here are the main pros and cons of using synthetic hair:

  • Pros:
    • Inexpensive – costs between $3-$8 per pack
    • Easy to install – pre-stretched so ready to twist immediately
    • Widely available – found at beauty supply stores or online
    • Good texture – smooth and blends with natural hair
    • Holds style – maintains a frizz-free look for 4-6 weeks
  • Cons:
    • Prone to tangling – especially toward the end of wear
    • Can look shiny – doesn’t mimic a perfectly natural look
    • Not reusable – has to be replaced with each install
    • Can dry out natural hair – lacks moisture

Overall, synthetic Kanekalon hair is ideal for those who want an affordable temporary style. It’s beginner-friendly and achieves a full, lustrous passion twist look. However, the tangling and lack of reusability means it may not be the best option for long-term wear or those who prefer a more natural look.

Human Hair

Human hair is the top choice for achieving the most natural-looking, long-lasting passion twists. As real human hair, it blends imperceptibly with natural hair and mimics texture and movement. However, it comes at a higher cost. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using human hair for passion twists:

  • Pros:
    • Natural look – identical in texture to real hair
    • Long-lasting – can be worn for 3-4 months
    • Reusable – can be re-installed 2-3 times
    • Versatile styling – can curl, straighten, dye hair
    • Moisturizing – retains moisture well
  • Cons:
    • Expensive – costs $10-$30 per pack
    • Takes longer to install – hair isn’t pre-stretched
    • Can tangle if not properly maintained
    • Heavy – can pull on natural hair if too much is installed

While the upfront cost is higher, human hair can save money in the long run since it can be worn for months and reused. It’s the ideal choice for those who want passion twists to look and feel as close to their real hair as possible.

Synthetic Braiding Hair

Synthetic braiding hair is another option that provides a nice middle ground between synthetic Kanekalon and human hair. It has a more believable, natural-looking texture than regular synthetic hair. Here are the pros and cons of using synthetic braiding hair:

  • Pros:
    • Affordable – costs around $5-$15 per pack
    • Natural look – mimics relaxed or blown-out natural hair
    • Easy maintenance – doesn’t tangle or matt easily
    • Good longevity – lasts 6-8 weeks with proper care
  • Cons:
    • Prone to some tangling and frizzing
    • Not as long-lasting as human hair
    • Can’t withstand heat styling
    • Not reusable

Synthetic braiding hair strikes a nice balance between cost and appearance. For those who want something more affordable than human hair but with a more natural look than synthetic Kanekalon, synthetic braiding hair could be the perfect choice.

Curly Hair Extensions

Using curly or kinky hair extensions is a way to cut down on installation time for passion twists. With curly hair, there is no need to manually twist the extensions into the natural hair. The curls or coils seamlessly blend together. Here are some pros and cons of using curly or kinky hair:

  • Pros:
    • Faster, easier installation – no twisting required
    • Blended look – curls/coils seamlessly blend together
    • Lightweight – puts less tension on natural hair
    • Defined look – provides bounce and definition
  • Cons:
    • Can appear bulky if hair is overused
    • Limited styling options – difficult to change part or style
    • Not as long-lasting – coils can unravel over time
    • Prone to some tangling and matting

Using curly or kinky hair can cut the installation time in half. But the tradeoff is having less flexibility for styling and a shorter lifespan. Those who like a quick install and defined, bouncy curls may benefit most from curly hair extensions.

Marley Hair

Marley hair, also sometimes called Marley braid hair, can also be used for passion twists. This very fine, lightweight synthetic hair mimics the texture of African American hair. Here are some benefits as well as downsides of using Marley hair:

  • Pros:
    • Very lightweight and flexible
    • Creates very natural, tight twists
    • Smooth texture blends well with natural hair
    • Easy to install
    • Inexpensive – $3-$10 per pack
  • Cons:
    • Can slip and unravel more easily
    • Doesn’t hold curl or style as well
    • Has to be twisted tighter to stay in
    • Not as voluminous – gives a thinner look

For those who want a very lightweight, natural passion twist look, Marley hair can work well. But it may not hold up to long-term wear and styling as well as synthetic Kanekalon or human hair.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about choosing hair for passion twists:

How many packs of hair do I need?

The number of packs needed depends on your hair length and thickness. For shorter styles, 3-5 packs is usually enough. For longer looks, you may need 5-8 packs of hair or more.

What’s the difference between Kanekalon and synthetic braiding hair?

Kanekalon is smooth with a more obviously synthetic shine, while synthetic braiding hair is textured to feel softer and look more natural.

Can I reuse human hair for passion twists?

Yes, human hair can be reused 2-3 times for passion twists if properly removed, washed, and stored between installs.

How long do passion twists last?

With proper care, passion twists can last 4-6 weeks with synthetic hair or 3-4 months with human hair.

Can I curl or straighten passion twists?

Only human hair and some synthetic braiding hair can withstand heat styling. Most other synthetic hair will melt under high heat.


When it comes to passion twists, synthetic Kanekalon hair is the most widely used and affordable option. But for those who want longevity, reusability, and the most natural look, human hair is ideal. Synthetic braiding hair and Marley hair offer nice middle grounds in terms of cost and appearance. Curly hair extensions can speed up the installation process but may not last as long. Do your research, weigh the pros and cons, and choose the hair that will best achieve the look, longevity, and cost you desire for your passion twists.