How To Master The Twist Out on Natural Hair, Once and For All

Oct 23, 2021

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Twist outs are amazing low manipulative styles that not only protective, but is super cute and stylish.

For those struggling with doing a twist out on natural hair, there is a method to achieving a juicy-looking, long-lasting, and voluminous twist out (without sacrificing on definition).

All we need is a bit more intentionality when doing our twist-outs – the first step, learning a bit about our hair’s density and width to optimize the style.

Here’s how to get a bomb twist out on natural hair, every single time!

What Is A Twist Out for Natural Hair

Twist outs are a flexible styling technique where the hair is twisted variously around the head and allowed to set in the twists.

a GIF of the back of a natural's hair, sectioned in twists

The result, once the twists are taken down, are curls that are set to according to the size and shape of your twists.

Smaller, tighter twists = a defined twist out. Larger sectioned twists = more volume.

Some twist-outs are done on natural hair – this is ideal if you want definition. Twist outs that are done on blown out hair is best for volume.

Benefits of Doing Twist Outs on Natural Hair

Twist outs should be considered low manipulative, flexible styles. These styles are super gentle on Type 4 coils and can assist with product absorption, since we are letting our hair sit in a style.

In comparison, wash and go’s are fixed styles where our hair is set in our natural curl pattern with no manipulation.

Twist Outs vs Braid Outs

The difference between twist outs vs braid outs solely comes down to the look you prefer.

Braid outs are inherently less defined, but more stretched than twist outs, as braids elongate the hair to truly showcase length.

Twist outs, on the other hand, are much more defined and result in more shrinkage over time, in comparison to braids.

The choice is yours when you are choosing a twist out vs braid out!

Can You Do Twist Outs on 4c Hair?

Doing a twist out on 4c hair is the same as doing a twist out on other textures.

In fact, coilier hair types generally have an easier time retaining these flexible styles much easier than looser curls.

Achieving a bomb twist out on 4c hair all depends on various factors such as product type and application, initial cleanliness of the hair and hair density/width, which we’ll get into below.

Why Does My Twist Out Not Last?

If you ever wonder “why don’t my twists out last?”, here are some important considerations to think about.

  • If your twist out style only lasts about a couple days (and then you have to re-twist again), chances are you have fine hair. Fine hair generally has a harder time retaining styles such as braid and twist outs, and silk presses. All you need to do is re-twist your hair when needed,
  • Are you letting your hair dry? Twist-outs perform the BEST when let dry quickly under a hooded dryer, rather than slowly overnight. If possible, be sure to sit under a hooded dryer until your hair is dry (20-30 minutes depending on hair thickness).
  • Are you using the right products? The best twist-outs are achieved with minimal product on clean, freshly shampooed hair. A wrap foam/mousse is the recommended styler for a natural twist out, while using heat protectant only for a blow out is recommended. Gel is not recommended for these styles as it can cause flakiness.

Best Products for Twist Outs

an image of camille rose sweet ginger rinse

Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Best for TYPE 3-4

This shampoo is incredibly gentle and non-stripping, but contains enough surfactants to thoroughly cleanse your hair and remove buildup. Ginger root oil – the second ingredient in the formula – is antiseptic, boosting overall scalp health. A must have shampoo in any high porosity natural hair routine!

TGIN Miracle RepaiRx Protective Leave In Conditioner

TGIN Miracle Repairx Protective Leave-in Conditioner

Best for TYPE 3 – 4

This light-weight formula is perfect for low porosity naturals looking for moisture without the product buildup. It adds definition while replenishing moisture to curls and coils, resulting in soft, supple and defined hair.

camille rose spiked honey mousse

Camille Rose Spiked Honey Mousse

Best for TYPE 3-4

A lightweight setting mousse infused with conditioning ingredients such as honey, nettle and various emollients. Great for smoothing down curly and coily hair and setting twist outs and braid outs. 

an image of kiss hair dryer

Red By Kiss 1875 Watt Ceramic Professional Hood Dryer

Best for TYPE 3-4

Turn your home into a salon with this affordable bonnet hair dryer. You can either sit under the dryer while deep conditioning with a plastic cap, or allow your hair to dry after styling. Small enough to conserve space but powerful enough to get the job done.

an image of kiss hair dryer

Chi Silk Infusion Heat Protectant

Best for TYPE 3-4

It’s always a good idea to use a heat protectant when blow drying natural hair. This will not only protect your hair from the harmful effects of direct heat but will optimize your style and encourage a sleeker finish. Apply a dime-sized amount in sections, focusing on your ends before blowdrying.

How To Do A Twist Out

On Natural Hair

On damp, clean hair, part your hair in several sections (use more sections for precision and if you have tense hair). Keep your parts as neat as possible.

For defined twist outs, apply your leave-in conditioner followed by a wrap form to set to each section.

Then, gently twist the hair – the smaller your twists, the more defined (and less voluminous) the final result.

Sit under a hooded dryer and allow the style to set for 30 minutes. Take down your twists slowly, starting from the bottom and untwisting gently (rather than pulling). Fluff as desired!

On Blown Out Hair

For voluminous twist outs, apply a heat protectant to each section of your hair.

Using a blow dryer and comb (or comb attachment), gently blow dry your hair straight. Once straight, twist that section. Allow the style to set overnight.

Final Thoughts About Mastering The Twist Out for Natural Hair

Twist outs are a great style for naturals, especially those who prefer curl definition with a little volume.

Remember: less is more. Always start your twist outs on clean hair, apply your leave-in and mousse in sections, and sit under a dryer if possible to fully set the style.

The Curl Market is a natural hair blog catered to helping black naturals grow their curls into a long, luscious manes.

We use the latest evidence-based scientific research to provide you with the top tips on growing your curls, regardless of hair type.

We also provide lifestyle tips, both self care and mental care, to ensure you are optimizing your body’s natural hair growth cycle – because you can’t grow natural hair if you’re stressed out!

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WRITTEN BY

Ayana Aden

Ayana is The Curl Market’s brand founder. When she’s not deep in natural hair research or creating content, she’s hanging on the couch with her husband and her cat, reading a book or scrolling through TikTok. Follow her on Instagram at @tothecurlmarket.

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