First of all, I LOVE wooden beads, but I don't have any! These beads are just regular plastic pony beads, but they are the BGP size! I really want some wooden beads that are even larger than these ponies but every time I see them in the store the inside looks so rough! I am thinking those wouldn't be good on the hair.
Second, these twists are TWO STRAND ROPE TWISTS. I have only played around with three strand twists once or twice, and I didn't think you could really see the difference between two and three strands so I have stuck with two strands. BUT I would be happy to play around with it and make a video some time on how to do three strand twists. If you want a demonstration on how to do the rope looking twists in yesterday's style check this video.
Third, I have been using a mixture of coconut oil and shea butter when I put in twists that I only plan to leave in for a few days. The butter does not really substitute well for a gel, so if I am putting in a style that I want to last I use Taliah Waajid gel. But for these twists I just gave them a good dose of my homemade hair butter.
Fourth, about the ends getting damaged. I do like to work extra amounts of hair butter into the ends of the hair, but that isn't really going to prevent damage that will be done by barrettes and rubber bands. I don't think there is anyway to get around that. I trim V's hair every 4 months or so myself. I just cut off the bit of damage from the ends and then she has healthier and easier to manage hair for a while! If you don't want to cause any damage to the ends, then I would avoid EVER putting any barrettes or bands on the ends. We all do things that cause some amount of damage to our hair for the sake of styling, we just want to be sure to way the good with the bad. I try to go back and forth between beaded and non beaded styles to give V's hair a break. But I can handle a bit of damage done to the ends every now and then. Even with the regular trims I give her, her hair is still getting longer all the time.
I think that answers all of your questions! Thank you for all of the nice comments. V said a lot of people told her that her hair was pretty yesterday! Stay tuned for pics of the new yarn braids I will be getting started first thing tomorrow morning!!!!!