Mini Twists: How to Create the Protective Style On Any Hair Length

Mini twists


We all know protective styles are an excellent way to give our hair (and ourselves) a break from the styling process. There are a wealth of options out there for us, from box braids to an assortment of twist options. But what if we told you there's a protective style that lasts up to six weeks and doesn't require a trip to your braider? Now that we've got your attention, we'd like to introduce you to mini twists and braids. 

Black woman with mini braid hairstyle


These minis are popular among YouTubers and naturals everywhere because they are low-maintenance, last longer than regular twists, and are also pretty versatile to style. But there are a few cons to the style. It can take up to two days to complete, mainly because the mini twists on natural hair are so small. And they are also at a higher risk of locking together, which unless that's your goal, you don't want to happen.

Most of us with natural hair aren't new to the twisting game, but mini twists or braids call for a couple of technique switch-ups to ensure your hair stays frizz-free and intact. Whitney White, who many of us know as Naptural85, is an OG Youtube natural hair guru that I think has one of the best videos on the Internet about how to properly install mini twists for longevity and hair health. Going larger could also be beneficial like Jeanette J. Beauty demonstrates in this video. Keke J also has a detailed video on installing mini braids, which is helpful for those mini-braiding for the first time. 

What You'll Need to Get Started

  • A water bottle
  • A leave-in conditioner
  • A butter-based twisting cream
  • Clips
  • A handheld mirror


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Start With Freshly Washed Hair

You can create the style on freshly washed hair or on stretched, dry hair (which might be best for hair types that easily tangle or that have the potential to loc up).

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Section The Hair

Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, section your coils into four to six sections. Next, secure your hair with a clip after applying your leave-in conditioner

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Start at the Back of Your Head

You may need a handheld mirror if your goal is to create perfect parts. Part each section into squares, and apply your cream to each section of hair before twisting.

Many people use the loc method to apply products to their twists, using a shea butter-based cream as their foundation hair product. Making your own mixture at home is an option, but if you want a product that is all ready to go, Melanin Haircare has a twist-elongating style cream made with shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, kokum butter, and cupuacu butter, as well as aloe to keep the hair hydrated. 

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Let Your Hair Be Your Guide

In White's mini twist video, she advises, "It's important that you don't get lazy with your twisting," noting that it makes a difference in how long twists last and whether or not they'll prematurely unravel. To make a "strong twist," White has one more piece of advice: "Instead of twisting and moving your hands down, you're going to twist it in place. Once you can't twist [the hair] in one spot, then you're going to move your hands down."

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Don't Be Afraid to Cleanse and Deep Condition

Mini twists can be washed, but because they're so tiny, you want to ensure your hair doesn't get matted in the process and loc. Many people that wear mini twists and braids go about a month without washing their hair, but if you want to cleanse your scalp without disrupting your style, we recommend TXTR by Cantu's Apple Cider Vinegar + Tea Tree Soothing Shampoo for two important reasons: The bottle has a nozzle that helps get the shampoo to the scalp, and the product soothes and cleanses without stripping the hair. 

Deep conditioning is an essential step to help your hair stay hydrated, and the conditioning process shouldn't disrupt your twists or braids as long as you use your palms in the "praying hands" motion to apply the conditioner gently. If your hair is feeling dry, leave a little conditioner on as you rinse it. (I learned this tip from a DevaCurl pro).

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Make Sure You Refresh

Aloe is one of the best products I've used on my hair. It's light, relatively inexpensive, and hydrates well. I keep my recipe simple with a half-water, half-aloe vera mixture in a continuous spray bottle. Don't be afraid to experiment with essential oils in your recipe. Tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus oil are ideal because they each have antibacterial properties that can soothe the scalp. 

You can also take your favorite leave-in and mix it with water as well. I keep two spray bottles filled in my bathroom and interchange them as my hair needs them. 

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The Takedown

Now for one of the least ideal moments of this mini style: Removing them can take a few hours or a couple of days. A good practice is to section the hair into four to six parts, spray each section with water, and use a product with a slip to remove each twist or braid so that you don't damage your hair while taking them down. I personally would use oil here. 

Now that you've got your twists installed, see seven different styles on how to wear them.

Braided Low Crown

Woman with mini braids in a low updo


One thing that makes mini twists and braids standout protective styles is how versatile they are—a well-done set is easy to maneuver up and down for variety—our example is this gorgeous braided low crown. To get this look, leave a few strands of your mini twists out, and then French braid the rest to make a low crown.

Beaded Braids

Hair influencer Brittany Williams wears mini braids with charms


Looking to give your mini braids a more luxurious feel? Accessorize with a few beads and charms.

Side Swept Twists

Side swept mini twists on Black woman


A good set of mini twists is equally as stunning left free as pulled into a style. We love how the side-swept look here creates volume.

Side Cornrows

Woman wears half-pulled back mini twist bob


Want a protective style with layers to it? Add a few cornrows to one side when you're doing your mini twists, and you'll have the perfect balance of put-together and laid back.

Short Mini Twists

Woman wears mini twists and big hoop earrings


Mini twists work on almost any length of hair, and we love how they accentuate the shorter strands here.

Bouncy Curls

Woman wears subtle mini twists hairstyle


You're in control of the size and tightness of your mini twists, so choose an option you'll love. Here, blogger Nelia's looser style is akin to bouncy, defined curls.


Woman wears mini twists hairstyle with head wrap


Head wraps are always great accessories, especially when they're helping to prolong the life of a protective style. We love the idea of keeping a few of your twists front and center for a stunningly balanced result.

  • How long do mini twists last?

    Mini twist can last as long as a month. After that time, they can potentially start to loc. Wearing a silk scarf/bonnet to bed will help keep them looking great for longer.

  • Do mini twists help hair grow?

    Mini twists are a protective style, meaning they will protect your hair from breakage and extra manipulation. This can help your hair retain its length.

  • How much do mini twists cost?

    Lots of people do mini twists on themselves, but if you'd like them professionally done, they vary in price depending on the stylist, the length you want, and how many hours it takes. It might be anywhere between $90-$175.

  • Can you wash your hair in mini twists?

    Yes, and it is encouraged to keep your hair and scalp healthy, as well as prevent your hair from matting or locking.

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