Oh the twistout. It’s pretty much the scrambled eggs of natural hair styling – so simple anyone can do it, yet so easy to REALLY screw up. If you’re fed up with twistout after failed twistout, here are 9 reasons it might have gone wrong, and how you can fix them.
1. Your hair needs a trim
If your twist out looks scraggly or tangles a lot while trying to separate strands, it’s likely that your hair needs a solid trim. Feel free to trim your twists with hair shears by cutting at an angle – this increases surface area so you can get max moisture, the same way you cut flowers at an angle. If you do twistouts often with great success, and you have a few off ones in a row, this is most likely the problem. Here are a few other signs that your hair needs a trim, and here’s how to trim your hair by yourself.
2. Your hair has no shape
Some people aren’t afraid to trim, but if you haven’t had your hair cut in the past year or so, then your hair probably doesn’t have a shape – whether tapered, layered, or round. Having a shape helps your twist and braidouts lay SO much better, meaning you’ll have to do less manipulation to make it look cute, meaning less breakage and frizz! My grown out tapered shape has been making my twistouts pretty nice lately, and you can change the shape and volume by using flat twists instead of two strand twists.
3. You didn’t let the twists fully dry
This is especially for my comrades with dense hair: if you twist your hair while it’s dripping yet, you know full well that letting your twists dry for 5 hours isn’t going to cut it! Aim to wear twists for at least a full day to let them set for a much longer lasting and defined twistout. Or sit under the dryer with warm heat for an hour before heading to bed to finish the drying process. Wondering how to wear your hair while in twists? Consider a hat, headwrap, or even an updo.
4. You took the twists down too quickly
When my twistouts are subpar, this is most often the reason. Allow yourself a full 30 minutes to take down your twistout so you won’t rush through it, as separating your strands without care is the also the fastest way to create frizzy, sad looking hair!
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5. You didn’t twist tautly enough
There’s a difference between loose twists and two strand twists, and if you’re aiming for the definition of a twistout, you have to twist tightly enough to create that definition. In the rush to get through your hair, make sure you’re still twisting tautly.
6. You twisted in the wrong direction
It’s best to part your hair before you twist, so your twists can fall in the direction – whether forward, back, left, or right – you want them to, meaning you’ll have to do less manipulation during the takedown process.
7. You used incorrect product proportions
If you use too much twist cream/holding gel and not enough moisturizer, then your twistout will be all types of crunchy and have no movement. Alternately, you can use too much moisturizer and not enough product with hold, which will leave you with hair that quickly reverts to a fro. Figuring out the right amount of product for you is pretty much trial and error.
8. You layered products in the wrong order
If your twistout is cute but dry as straw, it’s likely that you didn’t use the liquid – oil – cream method of moisturizing before layering on a styling product to twist your hair. Don’t worry, here’s how you can fix a dry twistout (quick secret: a creamy pomade like Original Moxie Hair Bling works magic!)
9. Your sections are too big or too small
You can’t expect a defined twistout if you only do 4 twists on your head. You also can’t expect a voluminous twistout (or any arm strength left to untwist) if you do 100 twists. Depending on your hair density, the right number of twists will differ for each head of hair, but a good range to start with is 24-36 twists. I like to work with multiples of 6 or 8 because I often wash my hair in 6 or 8 sections, making it easy to break them down evenly.
BONUS: You really just suck at doing basic hairstyles
In which case you should start penny pinching elsewhere in your life so that you can afford to go to a natural hair salon once a month and pay $65+ dollars for a twistout. Or you can reread this list and find out the real reason your twistouts aren’t coming out perfectly and use that extra $65 bucks/month to take a 4 day vacation to Mexico (65×12= $780!)