Toketemu November 21st Day 60 Senegal

No One Knows What Senegalese Twists Are In Senegal

When we were mapping out the itinerary for this trip, I added two things last minute that I thought would be fun to try.’ Ghana Weaving’ in Ghana and ‘Senegalese Twists’ in Senegal. I grew up hearing Ghana weaving being referred to as such. Senegalese twists, on the other hand, was a name I became acquainted with recently. Growing up, I knew them as just ‘Twists’ or ‘Twisting’. But today, if you google Senegalese twists you’d be flooded with how-to videos and articles and tips on styling Senegalese twists. So much so that when I tried to Google where to get braids done in Senegal, the top search results offered where to buy packs of ready-made Senegalese twists. I also found it very interesting that the answer to the frequently asked question ‘Where do Sengalese twists come from?’ was this.

After discovering in Ghana that no one calls Ghana Weaving in Ghana Weaving. instead, it’s called Rasta. I wasn’t surprised when each hairdresser I asked about Senegalese twists drew a blank. Unlike in Ghana where I drew the conclusion that no one in Ghana calls it Ghana Weaving from one salon and just a couple of people. Here in Senegal, I drew my conclusion from 5 salons and about a dozen dismissive hairdressers. I didn’t go to 5 salons because I was looking for someone who knew what Senegalese twists were, but because finding a decent salon with at least ok customer service in Dakar turned out to be a chore. Although I suspect we were looking in the wrong places and Google isn’t always a plug, especially for things like this. It’s a little funny that the twists I got done in Senegal are the most disappointing I’ve ever gotten.

Here in Senegal, twists are called ‘Rao’ and braids are called’Matting’. They also don’t make both styles as often as a Google search would lead you to believe. And the fact that some of my twists started unravelling the same night confirmed this. Tosin who opted for ‘Matting’ was very pleased with her hair though.

Today is day 60. With 20 days left on the trip, we are mentally preparing for the final lap and the journey home. The final lap crosses through Mali, NIger and Burkina Faso. The road home is long, dusty and full of bad patches, but they probably won’t be the worst we’ve come across.

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