Showing posts with label Twist Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twist Series. Show all posts

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Twist Series: Conditioning and Re-Twisting

1. Do you treat the twists as you would your normal detangled hair when washing/co-washing? i.e wash -> deep condition -> LOC method. 

My answer: Yes, I do.  (Backtrack: "Twist Series: Washing & Matting".)  After washing, I apply conditioner to my twists down to my ends.  I let the conditioner sit for however long (15-45 minutes) and then rinse.  When rinsing, it helps to squeeze my twists in order to squeeze out most of the conditioner.  I then plop my hair to help it air dry and moisturize + seal.
If my hair is not that dirty and/or I want to preserve the "neatness" of my twists a little longer, I sometimes use this washing method instead.  For this latter washing method, it is very important that I use thoroughly diluted shampoo rather than shampoo alone.

2. How do you re-do the twists you mentioned? Do you unravel, detangle, re-twist and then wash all of them or do you wash first then unravel and re-twist? 

My answer: I wash them first, allow them to air dry to about 60-80%, then unravel and re-twist them. When un-raveling them, I also make sure to remove any shed hair.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chunky Twist Obsession Begins ...

So I have about a week left in my current twists (photos later), and I'm itching to do a set of chunky twists for the month of March.  Since these sort of twists age faster, I just have to figure out how not to redo them too often.  My current thoughts include 1) doing witch hazel scalp cleanses to lessen the amount of times I have to wash my hair and 2) wearing a headwrap for some days when/if my twists start looking rough.  I want to attempt to only have to redo them once in March.  We'll shall see ....

In the mean time, here are some of my favorite chunky twist styles I found online:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube (Encore): MsTanish

So I've featured MsTanish's Youtube channel before and couldn't resist doing it again after seeing her recent videos.  Below she discusses her length retention regimen using loose twists.  I love this explanation because it is very detailed:

Then in this video, she demonstrates her moisturizing routine while in the loose twists AND the various (and beautiful, I might add) styles she wears with the loose twists:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Twist Series: Updated Wash Method

Currently in: small twists on stretched hair for three going on four weeks.  (Hair was stretched via jumbo twists and air dried.) 

Over the weekend, I experimented with a new wash method and I like!  For my previous wash method in twists, check out this post.

So why the change?  Though the original wash method worked fine for me for years, easier detangling and style preservation have increased in priority.  With my previous wash method, I had to re-stretch my twists after a wash (via big braids) to combat shrinkage and frizzies.  Even with the re-stretch, some of my shrinkage (particularly at the ends) would remain and my "fresh" twist look was largely lost.  I also spent 1-2 hours on detangle day (which was once a month on average), which has made me weary over time.

What is the new wash method?  Well, now I only wash my roots and scalp on wash day (when I'm in twists, that is).  I place my twists in two loosely bunned pigtails, fill an applicator bottle with diluted shampoo, and only apply the mixture to my scalp.  I then massage my scalp, fill the applicator bottle with water only, and focus on rinsing the shampoo from my scalp.  I am careful not to get any water or shampoo onto the rest of my hair ... just the roots and scalp.  Why?  Because, for me, these are really the only two areas that need cleansing at the two-week mark.  After that, I towel blot, air-dry, and can wear the same set of twists for another two weeks.  (Some may ask why I don't do the dry shampoo method.  The main reasons are because this method is more cleansing for me and less time-consuming.)

The benefit of this new wash method is two-fold.  For one, my "fresh" twist look is more preserved with this routine since I don't wet my twists.  Yes, the roots do get a little frizzy, but after air-drying with a scarf around my head, they flatten and hardly noticeable.  Secondly, because I don't wet my actual twists, the ends of my hair don't shrink up (thus, reducing formation of SSKs) and my hair will be easier to detangle after take-down.

Upcoming hair plans: One more week in twists.  Then flat-iron time.

After washing my roots and scalp.  (After air-drying.)

The next day and with the edges re-done.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twist Series: Nighttime Regimen

  • Q: I know you finished your twist series ages ago, I was wondering what you did with your hair under your scarf at night? Do you wrap it like relaxed hair? Put it in a bun/ponytail/pineapple? Or just leave it loose?
A: It depends on what style I plan to wear the next day.  If I plan to do an updo, I usually put my twists in one or two big french braids and wrap it with a scarf.  That way, my edges and the frizzies are tamed overnight.  If I plan to wear my twists down (which is rare) or if I don't care too much about having the frizzies tamed, I leave them loose and just put on a bonnet at night.  Once in a while I will put my twists in a bun at night, but I don't do this often because my edges will suffer.  Beyond these methods, I don't really do much else because I'm not too concerned about keeping my twists stretched.

I hope this answers your question!

If you have a question about my twist regimen or twists in general, leave your question in the "Comments Section" below. :o)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Easy Glamorous Style on Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Ambrosia

Style description: Twists in side bun with side-swept bang.

Difficulty level: 2/5

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reader's Question: Moisturizing Twist Extensions

For questions, use the "Contact Me" tab OR leave a comment!

Reader's Question:
I have twist extensions... How do I keep my hair moisturised?

My Answer:

In my opinion, the best way to moisturize twists (or any other braid) extensions is to use a water-based spritz followed by sealing with an oil.  This method allows for sufficient moisture without contributing to meshing, loc-ing, or severe product buildup.  Heavier products, especially thick butters, can build up near the roots and facilitate meshing or loc-ing, especially in kinkier strands.  If you REALLY want to use them, though, I suggest staying as far away from your roots as possible and only using the butter once or twice between washes.

That being said, what are some good spritzes and oils to use?  Well, let us start with the oils.  Light and somewhat odorless oils, such as grapeseed and jojoba, are my top suggestions.  Coconut oil may be used, but be aware that your extensions will smell of the oil (and that may or may not be okay, depending on how you feel).  Olive oil is less odorous but heavy.

Now for the spritzes:  A water-based one is a good start.  A water- and glycerin-based one may be even better, depending on what your hair likes.  I list a few spritz recipes in this post.  If you would rather buy one, I suggest looking for those geared towards braids (e.g., African Pride).

Finally, the moisturizing regimen while wearing twist extensions: Spritz anywhere from daily to weekly, depending on what your hair requires.  I would not suggest going beyond a week (particularly in the later stages of the wear) because the extensions themselves may be drying.  This is especially possible if you used synthetic hair for braiding.  As for sealing, that can occur anywhere from every few days to weekly.  Sealing daily can attract dirt to the hair quicker than usual thus leading to increased frequency in washing.

I hope this answers your question!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Protective Style Lookbook || Faux French Braid on Minitwists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: MsTanish

Style description: Marley/kinky hair braided into mini twists for a long, luxurious french braid.

Difficulty level: 3/5


Friday, November 9, 2012

Protective Style Lookbook || 6 Styles for Small or Mini Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: MsTanish

Style description: High bun, beaded updos, mini twist headband, bantu knotout, etc.  (The latter styles are towards the end of the below video.)

Difficulty level: 2/5

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Twist Series: How to Keep Your Twists Stretched

Disclaimer: For some ladies, doing this method nightly may result in over manipulation of the hair and possible breakage.  Know your hair and what it can handle.  This method may work just fine for some but not for others.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Twist Series: Loose Twists Tutorial

Loose twists, which were officially introduced on the internet by Cipriana of, are becoming the big rave these days.  What are they?  They are basically two-strand twists done very loosely.  One of the major benefits of doing loose twists is that it takes less time to do than regular twists.  One drawback is that the style ages faster, but that may not be a problem if you love frizzies or re-stretch the twists periodically.  I have toyed with trying loose twists but haven't gathered up the courage to do so yet.  Below is a video tutorial of the style by youtuber Alicia James.  For more on the loose twist regimen, check out

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twist Series: Strong vs. Weak Twists

Demonstration of a "weak" twist.

"Strong" twists frizz far less and last longer than "weak" twists. So what is a "strong" twist?  How do you make one? Naptural85 explains it in this video (starts at 1 minute 23 seconds):

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Twist Series: Mini Twists & Micro Twists 101

Done on real hair.

Mini twists are essentially really small twists.  Micro twists are twists so small that the hair appears loose rather than twisted.  Sometimes micro twists are also considered mini twists.

Mini/micro twists last longer -- anywhere from three to six weeks -- than larger twists. They also allow for more versatility in styling

Mini/micro twists can take hours to a day to put in or to take down.  Watching a few movies or television shows can help pass the time.

Single-strand knots and locking are more likely to occur in mini/micro twists than in larger twists.  In order to prevent locking, those with tightly-coiled hair should not wear this style for longer than three weeks.  Four weeks is pushing the limit.  (Naturals with looser coils and curls can wear mini/micro twists for a longer period.)  Additionally, twists along the edges and nape should be redone weekly or biweekly to minimize locking. 

If you lack patience, then mini/micro twists may not be for you.  Patience is necessary during the installation and takedown.  If you wash your hair frequently, then mini/micro twists may not be for you.  Washing the protective style can encourage single-strand knots and locking.  Naturals with tightly-coiled hair should be cautious when wearing this style being sure to monitor their hair for meshing and locking.  If you desire a long-term protective style that offers versatility, but do not quite have the patience for mini box braids, then mini twists may be a viable option.  


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twist Series: Long Lasting Twists

Here are some tips for increasing the wear of your twists:

1) Twist on dry, stretched hair.  
Twists done on wet hair tend to frizz faster than those done on dry, stretched hair.

2) Use a twist pudding.
Use a twist pudding to twist your hair.  This step will help to add hold to your twists.  The pudding can be made from a simple mix of gel, a butter (e.g., shea), and a little oil (optional).  Be sure not to use too much pudding.

3) Refrain from using moisturizers with humectants.
Prior to twisting, do not use a humectant-based moisturizer.  Humectants draw moisture from the air and can cause your twists to frizz faster.  Glycerin, propylene glycol, and honey are just a few examples of humectants.  (If you absolutely cannot do without humectants, then neglect this step because health comes before beauty.)

4) Use the rope/Senegalese twist method.
Take two strands, coil each one upon itself, and then twist.  The coiling makes for smoother, longer-lasting twists.  For a further description and tutorial of the rope/Senegalese twist method, check this post.

5) Wear a silk/satin scarf to bed.
Bonnets are fine, but scarves will lay down any frizzies and keep the style looking fresher longer.  Be sure not to tie the scarf too tight.

6) Wear a silk/satin scarf under your shower cap.
The scarf will reinforce protection of your style from the water and steam.

7) Keep moisturizing to a minimum.
If you are spritzing your twists daily, then your style will not last long.  Find a moisturizer or sealant that can allow you to go days, or even a week, without reapplication.

8) Keep washes to a minimum.
A good twist style can usually survive 1-2 washes before it is time for a redo.  If you are washing more times than that during the week, your twists will not last long.

9) Braid your twists before washing.
Doing this will help to keep your twists intact and minimize frizzing.

10) Airdry in braids.
Not only will this minimize frizzies, but it has the added benefit of minimizing shrinkage.

11) Redo the perimeter only.
Re-twisting the twists on the perimeter (particularly after a wash) will give your overall twist look a fresher appearance.

12) Wear smaller twists.
The smaller the twists, the longer lasting the style.  Bigger twists tend to unravel and frizz faster.

For other posts in the Twist Series, check this label.
If you have questions you would like to be answered in the Twist Series, comment below.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Twist Series: The Kitchen Area (Reader's Request)

These are some ways I prevent my nape area from locking while in twists.  Hopefully, they are helpful to you as well:

Rule #1: Re-twist the nape area (and the hairline) weekly.
I rarely go past a week without re-twisting that section.  If I do, I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #2: Make big twists in the nape area.
My twists in the back are usually bigger than my twists on the rest of my head.  I make about 3-4 big twists in the nape area.  Any smaller, and ... yes, you've guessed it ... I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #3: (Alternative to #2) Make one big horizontal flat twist in the nape area.
This method was developed by a natural haircare buddy named Mooks (some of you may have heard of her).  She and other women use this method to grow and protect the fragile kitchen area.

Rule #4: Patience while untwisting and detangling.
Since the kitchen area is prone to breakage and tangling, exhibit extreme patience while untwisting and detangling this section.  Be sure to lubricate the twists with an oil and/or butter during this process.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Twist Series: Growth & Length Retention IV

Micro twists (real hair)
  • I want to know how often should you moisturize in twists? I tend to do it everyday, and my hair ends up fuzzy!
I moisturize 1x a week, thus minimizing frizz, fuzz, and shrinkage.  I'm a big believer that if a moisturizer is doing what it's supposed to do, one wouldn't have to use it daily.  Try experimenting with other products if the one you are using just isn't keeping your hair moisturized.  Additionally, look into what you are using for your deep conditioner.  In my experience, a good deep condition and moisturizer on the day of twisting is key!  (Other than this method, you can plait your twists until they airdry to minimize the fuzz.)

  • at what length should you start wearing twists for length retention? i have about eight inches of hair all around and any time i try to do twists, it just looks ridiculous if i don't pin it up into a style. should i just refrain from doing twists until i get more length?

You can start wearing twists at any length that you are able to do so.  I will admit that when my hair was shorter, I felt ridiculous wearing twists to work.  However, after playing with them for some time, I was able to find a "suitable" style that was comfortable for me.  Eight inches is actually a good length for versatile twist styles.  In the next post, I'll include some pictures of style ideas for all lengths.  Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Twist Series: Growth & Length Retention III

  • how can you protect your ends while in twists? 
First and foremost, wear a satin bonnet or scarf to bed.  Cotton pillowcases can make the ends of your twists dry and brittle.  Next, make sure your ends are sufficiently moisturized.  Lastly, if your twists brush your shoulders (or beyond), pin it up during the day.  This minimizes snagging and drying of the ends from contact with your clothes.

  • ... What products should you use? 
Use products that leave your twists sufficiently moisturized.  This includes a good deep conditioner and moisturizer on the day you twist.  Also use products that do not contain humectants (e.g., glycerin, propylene glycol) if you want to keep shrinkage at bay for as long as possible.  Other than these two conditions, use what works for you and what you like.  (I use LeKair Cholesterol for deep conditioning and a shea butter mix to seal after rinsing.)

  • ... and should end papers be used to protect ends? 
No, end papers are not necessary.

  • ... Also how long should you keep twists in for optimal growth? Should you keep a style in one, two or three weeks
For optimal growth, twists should be worn for as long as your hair can handle.  The less you manipulate your hair via styling, the less breakage, and the more length retention.  Ideally, twists should be worn for 2-5 weeks at a time with minimal washing (to prevent locking and meshing).  Find a duration that works best for your hair.  (I wear mine for 3-4 weeks at a time.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twist Series: Growth & Length Retention II

  • While maintaining twists, how can you prevent the ends from getting tangly (scraggly)? 
  • i second the question on how to prevent tangly ends while in twists. they feel detangled before i twist them, but when i take them down i sometimes feel the tangles.
I first make sure to twist on damp/dry, stretched hair.  (Shrunken ends are more inclined to tangle than stretched ends.)  To prevent tangling after twisting, I keep moisturizing and washing to a minimum - about weekly or biweekly.  By the end of week #2, my ends are pretty shrunken and this would be a perfect time to redo my twists.  However, I tend to keep twists in for 3-4 weeks at a time.  Slightly tangled ends at this point are almost inevitable, but shea butter or some water + conditioner help the strands separate fairly easily.  (If the ends are really tangled, that may indicate that you're in need of a trim.)

  • How often should you trim while wearing twists? 
Trim as often as needed rather than on a set schedule.  (See this post.)  Trimming on a set schedule reduces length retention in my opinion and experience.

  • When is the best time to start pinning them up? I'm noticing that I'm losing some length due to damage at the ends, though I've been wearing my hair in twists as a protective style for the past few months.
Ideally, you want to start pinning up twists when they are long enough such that the style is effortless and does not cause much tension on the scalp or ends.  For me, that "comfortable" length was APL stretched.  Damage at the ends can result from a number of sources: pinning up the twists too early, leaving the twists in for too long, impatience during the twist takedown, improperly taking the twists down (i.e., pulling them apart from root to tip = bad), dryness, etc.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twist Series: Growth & Length Retention I

TRIMMING.  More answers to your "Growth & Length Retention" questions coming soon ...
  • thanks for being so charitable as to provide this info for us thirsty readers! here's my query: since taking down my 10 year old locs, i have "dusted" my ends but not gone for a professional trim. i've worn my hair in some form of natural for 15 years now, but this is my first time really on a "length" journey, so i'm trying to familiarize myself with all the new products, info, and various strategies. As such, I am wondering how crucial regular trimming has been for you.

Regular trimming is very crucial for length retention because it removes damaged ends (e.g, split ends, single-strand knots, etc.).  However, how you trim can determine whether you are actually retaining length or cutting away progress.  I only trim my ends when needed as opposed to following a set schedule.  For more details, on trimming for length retention, here is a repost:


Freeze! Drop the scissors! Put your hands up! Stop cutting!

Excessive trimming can hinder length retention. If your hair grows six inches a year and you trim half an inch every month, then you are essentially cutting off all your growth progress. In order to retain length, you have to (1) be healthy from the inside out, (2) treat your hair right, and (3) pick up the scissors only when necessary. There is a time to trim that is not dictated by the calendar on the wall but by the health of the ends of your hair.

{May 2009}
TO THE RIGHT: A photo of hair that has not been trimmed in over a year. The ends are not blunt, but they are also not damaged. Trimming for style is your choice, but if you want maximum length retention, then only trim when needed -- when the ends are damaged.

Healthy ends are free from splits and other damage. Splits are an indicator of damage to the cuticle and come in all shapes and sizes. Some occur at the very ends of the hair while others form in the middle of a strand. The hair may be appear to be split into two pieces or more. It is a myth that split ends can be repaired; some products may temporarily make them less visible, but splits cannot "heal" themselves and will exist until cut off. If you are taking great care of your hair, you will see fewer splits. Fewer splits = healthier hair. Healthier hair = fewer trims.

Even if you've determined that your ends are damaged, a full-on trim may not be required. Search and destroy is a method for only cutting the strands that have splits or other visible damage. Dusting is a method of trimming a very small fraction of hair -- about 1/4 of an inch or less. Search and destroy and dusting are ideal for hair that exhibits a small amount of damaged ends. A full-on trim is needed when a large portion of the hair's ends are damaged.

MINIMIZING SPLIT ENDS (great article btw)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twist Series: Growth Questions

Hey ladies!  I'm in the process of writing about "Growth & Length Retention" in the Twist Series.  Feel free to add questions in the comment section that I can address in the post.