Kinky, textured hair is very versatile and can be worn in a wide range of styles. Afro hair twists, or two-stranded twists, are a popular style among those with unprocessed, kinky hair. Twists and twistouts are great protective styles that give fragile hair a much-needed break from day-to-day combing and styling manipulation. Twists can be worn intact or unraveled and fluffed for a loose, wavy "twistout" style. Twists are best worn on natural hair, because the added texture helps the twist remain intact. Twistouts, however, can easily be worn by those with both natural and chemically relaxed hair.
Gently shampoo your hair, then rinse thoroughly.
Apply a conditioning product, preferably from the same product line. Allow the conditioner to sit on your hair for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
Towel dry your hair, and then spray a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray on the hair.
Begin detangling your hair with your fingers. Follow up with a wide-toothed comb to remove stubborn tangles.
Apply a moisturizer to the hair. Focus your moisturizing product on the ends of the hair.
Blow dry your hair on a warm heat setting for 5 minutes to reduce shrinkage and lengthen the strands. Direct the blow dryer nozzle downward at all times to reduce frizzing. Do not dry your hair completely. Dry it just enough to lengthen out some of the kinks.
Use your finger to section off a piece of hair. The width and thickness of the section you choose depend on the twist size you desire. Slender twists will need less hair than thicker twists.
Apply a butter product like Shealoe or Elasta QP mango butter to the section of hair for shine and definition.
Separate the section into two strands of equal thickness. Starting at the scalp, carefully twist the strands of hair around each other in a clockwise manner, left strand over right.
Twist the strand all the way down, leaving about 1/2 inch of hair remaining at the ends.
Twist the last 1/2 inch of hair ends around your finger several times. This will encourage it to curl and keep the entire twist intact on its own.
Repeat steps 7 to 11 until you have twisted all your hair.
Twisting on wet hair creates neater-looking twists, and more defined twistouts should you choose to unravel the twists in the following days. Mist with water to keep your hair moist as you twist.
Those with relaxed hair who are twisting to achieve a twistout style will need to place rollers or rods on the ends of the hair at step 11. To create a twistout style, simply unravel dried twists, moisturize, and fluff.
Keep a spray bottle handy to mist your hair with water. This will prevent the hair from drying out as you work across your head.
Audrey Sivasothy, a Houston-based freelance writer, specializes in writing health, beauty, science, and policy pieces. She has published content for Turner and other clients for 4 years. She is currently writing a comprehensive hair care book on black/textured hair. Sivasothy holds a Bachelor of Science in health science/policy studies from Rice University.