Here's the Trick for Creating a Perfect Twist-Out

So you can have an ultra-defined look.

How to Master a Twist-Out
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Twist-outs are a quintessential style in the natural community.

Regardless of hair type or texture, anyone can do a twist-out if their goal is to get a more defined finish. The one caveat? Compared to braids, they're a little harder to master. And there is absolutely nothing worse than spending an hour and change twisting your hair to take it out and not end up with the result you wanted.

That's why we reached out to experts Monae Everett and Jennifer Lord to find out the trick for mastering a natural hair twist-out. So, let's go ahead and see what they have to say, shall we?

What's the Best Way to Create a Twist-Out, From Start to Finish?

Both Everett and Lord agree that it's best to start a twist-out on freshly-washed and conditioned hair. Once this step is complete, you'll want to reach for a good leave-in conditioner, like Miss Jessie's Leave-In Condish or Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner.

leave-in conditioner

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leave-in conditioner

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"Next, section your hair in four sections to make your hair easier to manage," says Everett. "Then begin sub-sectioning your hair. Generally you can fit six to 10 twists into each section."

When you're done, you'll want to begin your two-strand twist down to the ends and finish off with a finger coil. But before you get started, Lord suggests adding, "a little of your desired pomade, butter, or twist cream" to help set the style. She's a fan of Jane Carter's Solution Curl Defining Cream.

curl defining cream

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Afterward, you'll want to sit under a hooded dryer for at least one hour, or let your hair air dry, preferably overnight. However, if your hair is still damp in the morning — don't untwist it just yet. Let it sit for at least another day to ensure each strand is completely dry to avoid frizz.

"When it's dry, add a light oil or a serum such as Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss to your finger tips as you untwist your hair," Everett suggests. "Once untwisted, use a pick or wide-tooth comb to lift the hair at the roots and create the desired shape. This will also help to disguise the twist parts and separations."

products for twist-outs

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Are There Any Twist-Out Hacks I Should Follow?

Yes! Both Everett and Lord have tips.

"A great first time hack for amazing twists is to create the twist set on pre-stretched blow dried hair," says Everett. "You add your setting agent directly to your pre-dried hair. This reduces drying time, and many feel it gives a more distinct spiral pattern."

If you're also looking to extend the life of your twist-out, there's another method you can try. "Do the flat twist method — flat twists are like cornrows, but instead, there are two strands instead of three — instead of the double strand twist method," says Lord.

VIDEO: 6 Twisted Hairstyle Ideas for Anyone with Natural Hair

How Do I Keep My Twist-Out Looking Fresh In-Between Wash Days?

While you may create your twist-out during the day, the key to keeping it looking its best between wash days is all about how you treat your hair at night.

"Wear a silk or satin bonnet on your twist-out," Lord suggests. "You should also invest in silk and satin pillowcases." The hair artist adds that it may be a good idea to use a mousse and re-twist a few sections near the end of the week.

You can also try doing the pineapple method.

"This is done by creating a loose ponytail at the very top of your head and covering your hair with a silk bonnet or silk scarf," Everett explains. "In the morning, use a light oil or serum to shake out your curls. Do not run your hands through your hair as this will create frizz."

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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