Picture this scenario: you’ve carefully two-strand twisted your hair, using your favorite products. You’ve covered your hair before bed, ready to rock the twist-out the next day. In the morning, you uncover your hair, gently unravel every twist, give your head a little shake and walk out the door. In a couple of hours, however, your hair no longer looks like a twist-out but more like a blow-out. What went wrong?
When it comes to protective styles for natural hair, twist-outs are a classic favorite, but perfecting the look is hard to achieve. Not exactly a wash-and-go style, the best twist-out takes time and patience, and how long your twist-out lasts depends on the time you put into the styling process. To make those twist-outs last longer than your commute from the bathroom to outdoors, keep scrolling for some expert-approved ways to make your twist-out style last longer.
Meet the Expert
- Leigh Hardges is a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.
Try a Curl Cream and a Mousse
Hair comes in so many different textures that one product doesn't work for everyone. Your hair might be loosely curled and respond to one type of product. Tightly coiled hair might work better with another. Experimentation is often a big part of finding the perfect product for you. Look for formulas that offer some type of hold if you plan to turn your twists into a twist-out. Using a combination of products might be enough to give you a twist-out that doesn't swell into another style altogether. "I typically use a curl cream, like Oribe Curl Butter for a twist set," says Leigh Hardges hairstylist at Maxine Salon. To smooth flyaways at the hairline she likes to apply a foam for a "crisp" finish once the hair is dry.
Use Water as a Base
"The key to the perfect twist set is water," says Hardges. Hardges says this is especially important for high porosity hair, as it needs to be saturated with water for a successful twist set. Applying all your hair product for a twist out in the shower isn't ideal, but a spray bottle will help you re-saturate each section as you layer.
Try adding a mousse to your twist-out routine.
Apply Products In Sections
Now that your hair is properly saturated, it's time to apply your products. You may want to layer all of your products on your entire head, but it's also best to apply products section by section, encourages Hardges. This way you make sure the product is evenly distributed from root to tip.
Try Smaller Twists
While the size of your two-strand twists doesn't much matter when you're wearing them in a twisted style, size does matter for twist-outs. Smaller twists may lend themselves better to longer lasting twist-outs and a more defined style. It will take more time to fashion small twists, but the effort is worth it when you have a twist-out that lasts.
How to Do a Twist Out with Celeb Stylist Ro Morgan
Leave Twists in Longer
How long your twist out lasts depends on how long you left the twists in before unraveling them. Consider how your hair will look if you style two-strand twists that are left in for several hours, overnight, or for a few days. Leaving your twists in overnight will have a nice result for a short period of time, but if you wear your twists for a week, your shape may even last a couple days.
Try a Pineapple
Pineappling is an excellent tool for natural hair. "For maintenance, a 'pineapple' is worry-free," says Hardges. "Lean the head over, upside down, and tie a scarf around the sides and back. When you come up, your hair will bear resemblance to the plume of leaves atop a pineapple." When it's time to fluff your twist out, Hardges recommends styling at the scalp to prevent disrupting your curls.
Don't Forget a Silk or Satin Scarf
Once you've worn a twist-out all day, you need to care for your hair before going to sleep to preserve it. A cap or bonnet may flatten your hair, so you can either sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase or choose a larger hair bonnet that is roomy enough not to crush your hairstyle.
If you've tried everything you can think of to make your twist-outs last longer than one day and you still haven't been successful, realize that some hair types are going to frizz more easily than others. For some people, a two-day twist-out is just not doable, either due to hair type or the weather. Natural hair may swell and want to curl in moist air; if you attempt a twist-out during humid summer months, you probably won't get the long-lasting hold you'd get in a non-humid climate or season. If you live in a non-humid area or attempt a twist-out in the fall and winter, you may have better luck with stretching that twist-out time further.