A gorgeous, voluminous twist-out starts well before you unravel the first twist; it actually begins with the setting hairstyle, two-strand twists. This is a popular method for defining curls because it's relatively simple to master. The products you use during the initial styling prep make all the difference. For getting the right techniques, we got tips from a natural hair expert on what works best.
Products that boast nourishing, moisturizing ingredients, to do a lot of the work for you. A healthy dose of rich creams, oils, and gels before you twist is the trick. Make sure you coat each section well, and always work with coconut, jojoba, or olive oil on your fingers to help minimize friction and frizz. To get even more voluminous curls, once you undo your twists, separate pieces of hair however they naturally want to separate. Again, make sure you're working with oil on your fingers.
You could opt for high-end hair products designed to provide excellent hold, but there are also budget-friendly ones that work just as well. Some cheaper products actually perform better than their more expensive counterparts and it’s all about knowing the right ingredients to look for. Below, six top picks that'll give you amazing twists and twist-outs, plus more info straight from an expert. Psst: These all $10 or less.
Meet the Expert
Nigella Miller is an NYC-based natural hair and grooming expert. With over 13 years in the industry, she's been able to work on various hair textures, lengths, and styles, and ultimately, wants clients to feel good about their hairstyle.
In terms of product prep, Miller recommends having two main products. They can be any texture—cream, putty, or curly lotion, etc.—as long as it’s a style product. Same for the finisher, you can use an oil or balm, a moisturizer, gel, or hair mister; a scalp massaging oil or a serum to seal your ends, or an anti-humectant balm all work too. As long as you have your main go-to's for prep, the choice is yours. Keep your finishing product around because you’ll need it way after you put your styling prep in— and again on the next day.
As for ingredients, look for something that has natural oils like tea tree, jojoba, or lavender oil. Miller likes Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Oil ($9) and says its important to moisturize your scalp. While styling your hair is important, don’t forget to moisturize your scalp as it can end up dry. Miller notes if your styling product is hydrating, also go for an oil-based product that’ll give you a nice shine. While Miller herself doesn’t use gel, and prefers a mouse or leave-in, she would definitely recommend an eco-style gel like the one below and likes their curly line designed for protective styles.
Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel
These eco-friendly gels come in several formulas; this Olive Oil Styling Gel ($9) is made with 100-percent pure olive oil, so it's super moisturizing and very effective for fighting frizz. The gel is thick without weighing hair down, adds definition to your curls, and provides a strong hold for a twist-out.
Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé
The Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé ($7) custard-like styling cream doesn't have as much hold as traditional gels, but it's great if you want a softer feel. It can even be paired with gels for stronger hold. The key ingredients here are shea butter and coconut oil—two essentials for keeping Black hair nourished and moisturized. It leaves twists, twist-outs, and braids feeling touchably soft.
Define and Shine Custard
Made with 100-percent pure shea butter, the Define & Shine Custard ($6) cream-gel moisturizes, elongates curls, and leaves a shiny finish. This is a soft-hold product as well.
Lock and Twist Gel
Here's a super-thick, pudding-like gel that works wonders. The Lock and Twist Gel ($3) doesn't flake, and it provides a soft, yet strong hold for twists and twist-outs, as well as braids and dreadlocks.
Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Gotta love Shea Moisture's Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie ($9). Their products are amazing in general but we love how moisturizing this formula is. Made with deeply hydrating coconut oil and frizz-fighting neem oil, this tropical smoothie of a styling cream helps restore lustrousness to your curls.
Your Best Hair Day!
Twist-outs might be a bit of work, but achieving luscious curls doesn't have to be an expensive undertaking. Once you have your two tried-and-true products in your arsenal, this style just might become your regular go-to.