How to Achieve a Gorgeous, Defined Twist Out

Even for novice naturals, a twist out is one of the easiest protective hairstyles to perfect.
There are a few ways to customize a twist out to your particular curl pattern, hair length, and desired style. In many cases, a twist out serves as a base for other natural hairstyles, and the best part is that you don’t have to be a skilled braider or have mastered the art of how to twist hair to pull it off. It’s simply a two-strand twist that you do while your hair is damp or wet, leave dry to set, and unwind to get a head full of crinkled spirals.

The beauty of a hair twist is that it actually helps protect hair from moisture loss and doesn’t require heat styling. You can really take maximum advantage by integrating moisturizing products into your natural hair care regimen before your next twist out. Gather up the right curly hair products, get your style inspo visualized, and continue reading to find out exactly how to execute this easy-yet-versatile hairstyle for naturals.

How Do You Get a Defined Twist Out?
There are two major things needed to get a smooth and defined twist out: the right products and patience. There’s a bit of prep needed before you even get to twisting, but it’s nothing uncommon to what you’re likely already doing on wash day. So how do you get a perfect twist out? Here’s how to twist hair the right way.

1. Wash your strands. Get started by cleansing hair with a sulfate-free shampoo or cleansing conditioner. Because you’ll be applying stylers to set your twists, it’s best to start with a clean slate. Remove any product buildup from your previous style, and focus on washing the roots where oil and grime settles. If you’re doing a twist out in between your regular shampoos, start by prepping with the Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner. Natural hair happily drinks up this lightweight formula without becoming weighed down.

2. Boost your hair with hydration. When you’re rocking afro hairstyles, first things first: It is important to layer your natural hair with hydration. Curl smoothing and moisturizing starts in the shower, and conditioning and detangling thoroughly are two components that will ensure that your twist out looks sleek, shiny, and healthy once it’s done. Apply and work the Coco Crème Creamy Conditioner through dripping wet hair with your fingers before combing through. It’s best to detangle hair from the tips upward using a wide-tooth comb to help prevent breakage.

3. Apply a leave-in conditioner. Once your hair is knot-free and moisturized, wring out any excess water with your hands and add a leave-in conditioner like Hair Milk Original Leave-In Conditioner and distribute it evenly through your curls. Hair Milk—a tried, tested, and trusted formula—works to moisturize and define all curly hair types, including coils, kinks, and waves. This hydration booster also acts as a primer before your hair-styling products.

4. LOC method. You can do the LOC method (leave-in, oil, cream) as your product layers before twisting. Adjust this technique based on your hair type. If your hair is fine and easily weighed down, apply the cream and then the oil. You can also top off your twists with Monoi Sacred Strengthening Serum after you're done.

5. Choose your style. Once you decide how you want your style to fall, you can determine how to part your hair and the direction to do your two-strand twists. For example, if you want bangs as a part of your twist out style, section out a piece in the front and twist hair downward over your forehead. If you’re planning a twist out updo, you can twist in the direction that you want your style to lay once it dries. You can still maneuver your hair in any direction after taking the twists out, but this step makes it flow a little easier if you make these considerations beforehand.

6. Apply a curl pudding. Add the Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Pudding to each parted section and wrap two strands of hair around each other from root to tip. For more advanced styling, part hair like you would for cornrows and create flat twist styles, still using two strands but laying flat against your scalp.

7. Add more moisture. You can smooth another light layer of curl cream or oil down each twist before letting them air dry or sitting under a hooded dryer. The length of time that it will take for your twist out to dry will depend greatly on your hair’s porosity. High porosity hair may take a longer time (in some cases days) since it holds onto moisture. Low porosity hair will usually dry a lot faster, especially if you use a hot tool to help with the process.

8. Check your twist out. Test out whether or not your hair is fully dry by unraveling a twist at the back of your head. If you find that you need more drying time, retwist your test strand and let your hair dry a bit longer.

9. Unravel your twists. Once your hair is completely dry, slowly unravel each double strand. Start at the bottom and work your way up to the root, following the natural flow of the hair twist as you take each one out.

What Do You Use to Twist Your Hair?
Your curl cream will be the key product for your twist out. A moisturizing formula will work as both a hydrator and a primer alongside any gel or mousse, like the Pracaxi Nectar Style & Hold Foam, which you can combine with your cream to give it more hold. Once your style is set, and you’re ready to take it out, swipe a lightweight oil down each hair twist to do some further smoothing and to add shine. You can also reapply these shine-enhancing finishers every few days to help minimize frizz and help your twist out last longer.

Why Does My Twist Out Get Frizzy?
There are a few reasons why your twist out may be frizzy. Usually, the main cause is that it didn’t dry properly. Moisture is a curl’s friend, but in the case of a twist out, it could work against you. It may look smooth when you first unravel it, but as humidity and air hit, your hair may start to poof. Another reason why you may see frizz is if you didn’t properly secure your twist out before bed. The best way to sleep on your hair for a twist out is a pineapple, where you gather your hair into a hair tie at the top of your head. You can also do a few chunk twists to keep hair contained at night. No matter which style you choose, be sure to put a bonnet on top to prevent rubbing as you snooze, which can also cause frizz.

How Do You Make a Twist Out Last?
In addition to securing hair fully while you sleep, use products to create a layer of protection from the elements. As mentioned, smoothing a layer of a light oil over your curls every few days will help extend the life of your twist out. You can refresh your twists without a complete redo by spritzing sections with water or the Hair Milk Refresher Spray, applying a curl cream, and retwisting. You’ll want to make sure that even with just a cream, hair is completely dry before you unravel.

Need more inspiration for curly hairstyles? Here are 21 Chic Hairstyles for Short Curly Hair.

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