By Chinwe (pictured above) of Hair and Health

The twistout is one of many hairstyle options one can do to maintain healthy hair. It requires no heat usage, thus preventing heat damage. It can be worn for days at a time, therefore requiring little mechanical manipulation to our tresses. With the twistout there is no tension on the scalp, and thus no damage to the hair follicle. What’s more? It is a cute, summer hairstyle for any length of natural hair! Here are 8 tips to help your twist outs last longer.

1. Twist on 90% wet or damp hair.

Twisting on dry hair will produce a twistout that only lasts for a short period.  Rather, it is important to twist on wet or damp hair in order to achieve optimal definition and a long-lasting twistout.  Avoid twisting on hair that is 100% wet; fully wet hair is more prone to breakage via tension while twisting.  Also, allow the hair to dry completely before undoing your twists.

2. Twist using a mixture of a butter and gel

Using a butter (e.g., shea, mango) in combination with a gel will not only make for a very defined twistout, but one that allows for maximum wear.  The butter-gel combination will provide a soft hold for your twistout while locking in moisture.  However, be sure to avoid alcohol-based gels, which can dry the hair.

3. Coil the ends of the twists

For some naturals, twisting down to the very ends of the hair can lead to twistouts with frizzy ends.  An alternative method is to twist until just before you reach the ends of your hair and then coil these ends around your finger.  If your ends don’t quite coil with this alternative, then try twisting them very loosely as compared to the rest of the strand.

4. Wear smaller twists and for a longer period

The bigger your twists, the less defined the twistout, which in turn leads to quicker reversion of the style. Additionally, the shorter the period you wear your twists, the more quickly your twistout will revert as well.  The longest-lasting twistouts are achieved from wearing small to medium-sized twists for a minimum of 3-5 days to set.

5.  Do not borrow while twisting

While twisting for a twistout, do not borrow hair from one of the two strands along the way.  This tactic is usually done to compensate for a twist that started off with one big strand and one small strand.  However, undoing such a twist can lead to a disastrous, frizzy twistout.

6.  Do not over separate the twistout

Separate each twist into two sections, if possible, or up to four sections at the maximum.  Any further separation can contribute to frizz and shorter wear of the style.

7. Avoid humectants and re-moisturization (if possible)

Try to avoid moisturizers that contain humectants (e.g., glycerin, propylene glycol, etc.), which are meant to draw in moisture from the air and thus, may shorten the duration of your twistout.  Additionally, keep moisturizing to a minimum after unleashing your twistout.  In order to do this, moisturize before taking down your twists.  If you happen to be a natural whose hair cannot survive without humectants or re-moisturization while wearing a twistout, then choose health over duration of the style.  Frizz can still be minimized by opting for a light moisturizing spritz instead of a moisturizer you must apply by hand.

8. Secure the twistout before you sleep

For those with medium to long hair, put your twistout into 10-12 loose, big twists and cover with a satin bonnet.  In the morning, just undo the big twists and fluff your original twistout into place.  For those with shorter hair, there is no need to retwist prior to bedtime.  Simply cover your twistout with a satin bonnet.  In the morning, remove the bonnet and fluff your hair.  These methods will help to minimize frizz and reversion.

Ladies, how do you maximize the wear of your twistout?


Healthy hair care tips and more!

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79 Comments on "8 Ways to Make a Twist Out Last a Long Time"

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Thank you Loo! As someone who has been natural most of my life and aware of all the info online for a few years now, this is the first post I have read for months that gave me lots of useful tips that I never heard before. I’m looking forward to twisting!


I always plait my daughter’s head twist or twists out in about 6 bunches(sometimes more) each night for her to sleep in then take them down the next day. The hair becomes more crinkly.


I got a great braid out recently and I think it’s because my hair got wet in the pool and re-dried … it was also in for about 3 days. I only put in 12 braids … 6 each on each side.

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Thank you Vonnie!!


Don’t forget do rope twists will also maximize a twist out. that is twist the individuals strands the opposite direction of the twist itself while twisting.

I find I get two to three day twist out if I do the method even when I don’t use product. Also three strand twist also seem to be secure especially if you want to don’t very small twists.
All those recommendations are sound.


Great info! I love twist outs (on other people) mines never seem to turn out right but after reading the above I see where I may have made my mistakes.What would be a good light moisturizing spritz? Thanks!


I like AVJ + leave in 3:1 ratio as a spritz.


AVJ + leave in as a spritz; I will have to try.


Can anyone recommend a gel that is alcohol free? I really like the idea of mixing a gel and butter.

I will also try the avoiding humectants for a day or two after! I’m always ready to whip out the spray bottle aha. Now,I am anxious to take my crotchet set down to work on a twistout for next week.



Try cantu products, they have a variety.Join the discussion


I mix aloe Vera gel and Shea butter.


Eco Styler Olive Oil gel is alcohol free and it’s CHEAP! I use it and I get a soft hold.


I use the IC Fantasia alcohol-free shine gel.


Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibscus Curling Souflee is nice I use that with their Curl Enhacing Smmothie and my hair is still mosturized after a week. Use the souflee sparingly as a little bit goes a long way.


I did Bantu knots this week and took them out. Didn’t quite get the definition I wanted, but now realize I didn’t add gel to the mix. Used to use it on my hair when it was shorter and my twists came out lovely!


After washing and conditioning, I put my hair in large twists, then I sit under the dryer for about half hour to an hour and then twists my hair in smaller sections. It is mostly dry by then and stretched. Twisting on wet hair leaves my twists outs too tight and defined in my opinion.

I usually just twist using a butter of some sort, but I may try using gel for more hold.

Twist outs are my FAVORITE style, and I wear them 99% of the time.


Thank you SOOOO much for this because I LOVE wearing my twists out but I am constantly learning something new about what my hair WON’T do…lol but with this list I realize it was because I was doing certain things wrong. So THANK YOU for this! I just LOVE everything about this site! You guys are the best natural hair care site out there! 🙂 No lie! 🙂 Thank you!


i’ve been doing these steps for years and my twist outs are the BOMB!!!


I never thought about why my twist outs or braid outs would get so frizzy, but now I know that it was because I would remoisturize my hair after I took the twists down. I also am guilty of borrowing hair from other strands as I’m braiding or twisting, did not know that would create a problem when I undid them.


Agreed, great article, now where is that damn gel, I’m gonna try adding it to my twist-out tonight.


Great info. I always wondered why my dry twist outs looked wonderful but only looked like that for a couple of days.