twists june 2010

One of the most impor­tant steps in main­tain­ing healthy nat­u­ral hair is ensur­ing that your hair remains well mois­tur­ized. It may there­fore seem a bit strange that I will be shar­ing a method of pre­serv­ing a style that pro­vides the very oppo­site advice. To be clear, wash­ing and mois­tur­iz­ing your hair ought to be a part of your week­ly reg­i­men the major­i­ty of the time. More­over, if your hair read­i­ly breaks or shows signs of dam­age after an extend­ed time of not wash­ing it then I sug­gest you not heed this advice. This is a method I imple­ment one or two months out of the year after watch­ing a few vlog­gers and weigh­ing the pros and cons of wash­ing my hair when wear­ing cer­tain hair styles.

I very much enjoy wear­ing mini twists. Nowa­days I don’t wear them as often as I once did because they take quite a while to com­plete at my cur­rent length. When my hair was short­er, how­ev­er, I could fin­ish 80 to 100 small twists in about 2–3 hours.  Because the style didn’t take an exces­sive amount of time to com­plete I had no prob­lem tak­ing them out and wash­ing my hair after two weeks. A year after active­ly grow­ing my hair out it was around bra strap length and twists took about 7 hours to com­plete, caus­ing me to recon­sid­er tak­ing them out after only 2 weeks. In my search on Youtube I iden­ti­fied oth­er nat­u­rals who wore mini-twists and chose not to wash their hair while wear­ing twists. Pri­mar­i­ly because wash­ing twists can make tak­ing them out a major has­sle. I knew this from firsthand expe­ri­ence. When I twist­ed my hair 10 months into my healthy hair jour­ney I decid­ed to wear them longer than my usu­al 2 weeks and keep them in for an entire mon­th. I styled them, washed them and stretched them.  When it was time to take them down I real­ized that my hair was mat­ted, tan­gled and an over­all knot­ted mess.  Detan­gling, to say the least, was quite an expe­ri­ence. You can imag­ine, then, why I was will­ing to con­sid­er wear­ing the style with­out wash­ing if it meant reduc­ing tan­gles.

The first time I tried this method was dur­ing the sum­mer, so I had to con­tend with per­spi­ra­tion in addi­tion to buildup. To clean my scalp I used a mild astrin­gent about twice a week begin­ning about a week after I start­ed wear­ing twists. I sim­ply applied the astrin­gent or witch hazel to a cot­ton ball and gen­tly dabbed between the parts of my hair. When I heard this advice I was ini­tial­ly skep­ti­cal but I was quite sur­prised at how well it removed buildup. In addi­tion to remov­ing buildup from my scalp I also mois­tur­ized my hair reg­u­lar­ly, pay­ing close atten­tion to the ends of my hair. It is impor­tant to use a light mois­tur­iz­er since you will need to use it 2 to 3 times a week. I would also light­ly mist my hair with water and braid the twists into about 4 to 6 larg­er twists. This will cre­ate a cute wavy style while allow­ing me to mois­tur­ize my hair with­out cre­at­ing too much frizz.

In this video vlog­ger KinkyKurlyQueen dis­cuss­es why she doesn’t wash her twist  (you can skip to 2:30).

I’ll admit that going 4 con­sec­u­tive weeks with­out wash­ing your hair isn’t for every­one. If you have a scalp con­di­tion that requires reg­u­lar wash­ing and/or med­ica­tion please do not for­go your well­be­ing for a style. How­ev­er, this is some­thing that  you might con­sid­er if you find that your hair gets tan­gled if washed and you like to occa­sion­al­ly wear a style for longer than 2 weeks.

What meth­ods have you use to main­tain hair health when extend­ing your time between wash­es?

Gen

Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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17 Comments on "Why I Don’t Wash My Hair When it’s in Mini Twists"

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Spoiledcurlygurl

I wear my mini twist 4–64-6 weeks with­out wash­ing my hair. I made that mis­take once and had a tan­gled mess on my hands. Nev­er bugs my scalp and my hair grows good when I do twist for sev­er­al months at a time. I’m con­tin­u­ing mini twist until after the new year. I’m wash­ing and retwist­ing until then.

Neldis

Thanks, this is real­ly help­ful. I wore indi­vid­u­al braids as a kid and always had locked roots when I took down the braids. It was a has­sle to comb out. May­be I could try this method the next time I wear long-term styles and wash much less fre­quent­ly.

Tabatha

This method wouldn’t work for me, but its inter­est­ing. I’m going to get mini braids myself next mon­th, so it was inter­est­ing to read this.

yoco
I have bras­trap length hair and yes it takes a while to put in the minitwists (I usu­al­ly devote a week­end). I’ve dis­cov­ered that if I mois­tur­ize and seal (spritz w/ water, leave-in con­di­tion­er and then seal with evoo or some sort of natural(non hard­en­ing) gel), I can keep them in for about 3 wks. How­ev­er, I usu­al­ly do only 2wk stretch­es, sim­ply because I like to change it up.  I do cow­ash my twist, and, in fact, it is the only way that I remove them. What I do is braid the twists — either four — 8 reg­u­lar braids… Read more »
Jesse

When I’ve worn mini twists in the past, I find wash­ing is less prob­lem­at­ic if the twists are installed tight and uni­form (the Nap85 method). I tried wash­ing loose two-stand mini twists, and they got very tan­gled. I haven’t worn a pro­tec­tive style since then. I’m def­i­nite­ly one of those peo­ple who has to wash their hair often to pre­vent itch­i­ness and oth­er scalp irri­ta­tions.

Trina
My hair is 4A,4B, just past shoul­der length and I usu­al­ly keep my hair in mini twists for 3 to 4 weeks. After the first week my scalp begins to itch so I use a dry shampoo(TRESemme Freshstart)for curly hair. I spray this on my twists in the back­yard because you need to apply this in a well ven­ti­lat­ed area. I leave the dry sham­poo on my hair for about 2–3 min­utes and I gen­tly pat my twists to remove the excess dry sham­poo, if I didn’t do this a dry film would be on my twists. If my scalp per­sists… Read more »
Vanessa

Hi.
How do u EXACTLY keep the twists mois­tur­ized in the sum­mer with­out them mat­ting? My Lola only stays mois­tur­ized for 4 days before becom­ing parched. I’m think­ing of doing mini twists for two weeks but this dry­ness scares me. And there’s no point invest­ing 5 hours twist­ing her up if I can’t keep her for at least two weeks

Gen

I use a light mois­tur­iz­er. I like bee mines curly but­ter. i focus on the ends of the hair. because mois­tur­iz­ers have both water and oil the hair isn’t as mat­ted as if i only used water.

BrownEyedGirl

I just tried this on my scalp. I have w/Marly Twist exten­sions. I used Sea Breeze Astrin­gent and a wash cloth. It felt real­ly good on my scalp and now I’m going to use my evco. Wouldn’t a cot­ton ball leave tiny pieces of fuzz in your hair?

Brittany House
I reg­u­lar­ly wash my hair with twists in and have been doing so for over a year. I usu­al­ly twist my hair in medi­um to mini twists, depend­ing on the time I have avail­able (4–6 hrs), and then wear that style for two weeks (I usu­al­ly put the twists in a pro­tec­tive style for week and half then I wash my hair and wear in down for a half a week. My hair is also bra-length. I find that if I use a gen­tle sham­poo or cow­ash, rin­se well in a down­ward motion (show­er), smoother my hair in leave in… Read more »
Gen

may­be the size of the twists mat­ter. i find that small mini twists which i love can become mat­ted when washed. per­haps i’ll try medi­um twists. i sure would love to fin­ish in 4 hours rather than the usu­al 8.

Leilani

Many years back, I too went about 2 wks doing reg­u­lar co-wash­es on medi­um-sized twists and mine mat­ted also. Seri­ous­ly, I could have just called that my tran­si­tion to dreads — they were so frizzy and inter-webbed, yet crazy soft. Any­hoo, I don’t think it’s a size thing…maybe more so depen­dent on hair behav­ior.

Alwina
I usu­al­ly wash my hair with the twists in, since I work out 4–5x a week. I did notice mat­ting orig­i­nal­ly but I co-wash instead of sham­poo, work the con­di­tion­er in a down­ward motion and gen­tly mas­sage my scalp to remove buildup. When I’m done and I have time, I will re-twist the front two rows so my hair looks neat (wash or no wash, my hair in the front frizzes). How­ev­er, since my hair is mar­ley twists, I will try the above method. I cur­rent­ly spritz my scalp with a mix­ture of tea tree oil, witch hazel and water.… Read more »
melissa

This is somet­ing I start­ed to do when wear­ing leaves to keep the scalp…

FickleFrannie

I tried to wash my minitwists last week; curly mat­ted mess when it dried. 2 hours untwist­ing, 7 more hours retwist­ing my whole head again.… I was plan­ning on just wip­ing the parts with a damp­ened wash­cloth, so the astrin­gent idea seems bril­liant.

Brandy

Wash­ing my twist actu­al­ly helped to to take them down faster. If I didn’t wash them and tried to take them down, that’s when I had a mess on my hands. My hair is pret­ty long and now I just twist them half way. I LOVE that style. But I only wash them when I am ready to take them down. It makes it eas­ier for me.
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Netta

This came right on time! I’m com­ing up on my sec­ond week with my first set of mini twists and I was just hav­ing this debate with myself. Def­i­nite­ly going to try the astrin­gent.

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