Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to Achieve the Perfect Twistout

About a month ago, a friend of mine told me she doesn't know how to braid her hair--she didn't mean with the addition of hair extensions, but she literally does not know how to braid her own hair. That shocked me because I assumed it was something everyone inherently knew how to do. And just a week ago, a different friend was telling me about her plans to get Havana twists professionally done. "Havanna twists are so easy to install!" I told her, to which she responded, "I barely know how to twist my own hair." These two recent occurrences have inspired me to bring it back to the basics, starting with a post about twisting natural hair and achieving a bomb twistout as a result.

What you need:
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Hair butter or cream

Steps to achieve great twists
1. Start with dry, de-tangled hair; damp hair is okay. I usually don't like to do twists on soaking wet hair because they shrink a lot and don't give me the length I prefer.

2. Fill an empty spray bottle mostly with water. Fill the rest with a bit of your favorite oil (I used meadowfoam seed oil), and a dollop of your favorite conditioner.

Water, oil, conditioner mixture.

3. Divide your hair into 4-6 sections. It doesn't really matter how many and they do not need to look neat. I usually end up with 6: three along the front of my head, one above the nape of my neck, and two on the crown.

4. Doing one section at a time, take about a 1 to 2 square-inch piece of hair, shake your spray bottle, and spray your hair about 3 or 4 times with your water/oil/conditioner mixture. Be sure to shake your spray bottle before each use.

5. Take a teeny bit of your favorite hair butter or cream, and moisturize that 1 to 2 square-inch piece of hair, focusing on the ends and smoothing it over the entire length of your hair.

You really don't need a lot.

Be sure to focus on the ends, since they get the driest and need more attention.

6. Separate the 1 to 2 square-inch piece of hair into two equal parts and twist in a downward direction, making sure to smooth over each half of the 1 to 2 square-inch piece after each twisting motion. Twirl your hair around your finger once you reach the end of your twist to secure it.

Hair should look smooth. Notice the contrast between the twisted part and the ends.

7. Repeat the process until all hair in your section is twisted. Repeat for all other sections.

It's said in Step 6, but it's worth repeating: The key to great twists is really making sure your hair is moisturized from root to tip, smoothing your hair with your fingers after each twisting motion, and twisting in a downward motion.

Steps to achieve a great twistout
8. For a great twistout, I like to keep my twists in overnight. Just put a satin cap over your head and get that beauty rest, girl!
This was taken the next morning.

9. Simply unravel each twist. Don't worry... It might will look a little funky.

Not my best look, but we're not finished yet!

10. Next, just separate each half of the twist into two. (Essentially, that one twist you started off with becomes 2 pieces of hair when unraveled. You want to separate each half of the twist, so that one twist ends up being four pieces of hair).  I start from about an inch from the root and simply separate with my fingers. This will provide some much needed volume and make your hair look fuller.

And, voila!

See, that's not so bad. Easy as 1, 2, 3, .... 10!

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