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twist out

How to Achieve the Perfect Twist Out

October 4, 2021

5 Min read

Most women with naturally curly hair, specifically those with type three and four hair, know that the secret to creating uniform texture, sans hair-sizzling heat, is with a styling technique called a twist out.

“The purpose of a twist out is to ensure your hair has even wave or curl root to ends and all around your head, as many women have tighter texture in one part of their head than they do in another,” says Faith Huffnagle, a New York City stylist and Prose director of education. 

A twist out can also control frizz, add volume and make very tight coils appear longer. In simplest terms, a twist out entails dividing the hair into multiple sections all over the head, then dividing each section into two separate pieces and wrapping the pieces around each other like a candy cane, root to end.

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There are, however, variations on the twist out. A traditional twist out is done by wrapping sections, root to end, and letting them swing away from the scalp like pigtails. For women who may have more curl at the roots (or who have relaxed ends and natural roots and are thus seeking uniformity), there is a variation on the twist out called a flat out that creates more tension at the roots to relax the tighter texture. This type of twist out is done cornrow-style against the scalp, and the end result lies flat, more like a French braid, explains Huffnagle.

While a twist out sounds pretty straightforward, four tricks can help ensure the results are even and long-lasting. Huffnagle shares her best strategies for successful styling:

1. Decide whether to start damp or dry

For tighter, more uniform definition and greater volume, begin twisting when the hair is damp; for looser, longer waves and less volume, twist dry hair. Note: It’s also important, dry or damp, that the hair is detangled before you twist (or you risk creating stubborn snarls).

The best way to detangle curly hair is to start with wet or damp hair. Add in a leave-in conditioner, and work a wide-toothed comb through your curls. It’s best to start at the end of your hair and work your way up to the roots. It is also helpful to comb through your hair with your fingers to feel when your hands get caught in the knots. This way, you can work through your hair slowly with patience and care.

2. Determine how tight you want your texture

Small sections make tighter curls, larger sections will create curls with a softer feel and less definition. It’s all up to you and the curls you are going for. Some prefer smaller, tighter curls, while others prefer loose and wavy curls. You can also try both, and see which feels better for your hair type.

Pro Tip: Dividing your hair and clipping each section before you start will make the twisting process easier and neater. This will help you keep track of which spot you are working on, and not get the twists tangled in with other hairs. Separating your hair into sections can help with styling, and can also help to untangle hair throughout the process. 

3. Coat and twist

Apply your favorite product, such as a curl cream, gel, or mousse, to each section, split the section into two pieces, and wrap root to end. Then add a tiny drop of product to just the ends and, using the tip of a tail comb, coil the ends in a circular motion to seal the twist shut. Repeat this process all over your head.

4. Allow the hair to dry (really dry)

For best results, you want to allow the hair to fully dry before you unwind—and this could take a while (as in hours). If you’d rather not wear the twist out during the day while your hair dries, do it at night, wrap your hair with a scarf—and sleep on it. This will also double as protection for your hair since sleeping on your hair can cause friction and damage to your strands. Your hairstyle will be in progress while you protect your hair.

Pro Tip: Before you unravel each twist, coat your fingertips with a little oil or styling cream so they slide over the hair and don’t inadvertently cause frizz. Our custom curl cream defines your natural texture—from waves to curls and coils—while keeping strands moisturized and frizz-free. It may be used as a styler or for touch-ups. 

This cream defines your natural texture—from waves to curls and coils—while keeping strands moisturized and frizz-free whether used as a styler or touch-up. Learn more about our custom curl cream here.

Prose products to help you style

Our hair products stand out because they are made specifically for you. They contain natural ingredients that are safer for your hair and help you achieve your favorite styles. No two formulas will be the same since our hair care formulas are personalized to meet your exact needs.

Our custom hair oil is a premium oil that preserves strands and smooths away frizz whether used as a treatment before washing or as a styling finish. Our custom hair oil is beneficial to all hair types, and anyone can use this every day or specifically for completing a style. Each combination is designed to provide your strands just the perfect amount of water and nutrients without weighing them down. This product is perfect for sealing your style.

Every product we create is cruelty-free and devoid of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, and GMOs. We can make your formula vegan, gluten-free, silicone-free, dye-free, or fragrance-free according to your requirements.

ONLY GOOD HAIR DAYS—

What does your hair need to thrive? Take the consultation to find your formulas.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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