How to Do a Twist-Out Hairstyle at Home — Expert Tips

If you’re dreaming of having your hair done after weeks and weeks at home, you aren’t alone. Of course, we miss going to our favorite hairstylist, but what we miss even more? The knowledge that they’re out there in the world, turning their vast experience into joy, making people feel happy, hopeful, beautiful…and creating really great hair days. But then we realized: They still are.

So we tapped hairstylist Lacy Redway — a stylist to stars Lupita Nyong’o, Tessa Thompson, and Tracee Ellis Ross, to name a few — and hairstylist Yene Damtew — the stylist to former first lady Michelle Obama and founder of Brown Beauty Summit — for their expertise on the perfect two-strand twist-out, a protective style for natural hair.

It turns out there’s no time like the present to try it: “Having time at home is the best thing for natural girls. We have time to condition our hair properly, treat it properly, and let styles prep and set,” says Redway. In fact, rushing through protective hairstyles can cause more damage to textured hair than anything. Take advantage of this extra time to do a bomb twist-out, Redway suggests.

Sure, it might not be quite as relaxing as a day at the salon, but you can achieve the same results. And as Redway says, “beauty helps people feel good,” so have fun while doing it.

Here, a guide to nailing a two-strand twist-out.


Run your fingers through your hair to loosen knots without causing damage, says Redway. Then go over small sections with a comb or detangling brush, like Brush With the Best Felicia Leatherwood Detangler (a favorite of both Redway and Damtew). Start at the ends and slowly work your way up to the roots.

Prep for Success

Shampoo and condition hair with extra-moisturizing formulas that contain butters and oils. If you’ve been adding new products to your hair or if you want to rejuvenate your scalp, Redway recommends adding an exfoliating treatment, like Nexxus Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub (Redway is a spokesperson for Nexxus).

If you need to repair damage, apply a nourishing mask like Tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask in the shower to smooth and reduce breakage. Or do a DIY deep treatment: Slather hair with hydrating oils, like coconut and olive oil, to seal in moisture. Mix them in equal parts, smooth about a quarter cup over hair, then use a co-wash in the shower.

Style Strategically

Once your hair is clean, section wet hair into small pieces about the width of your pointer and middle fingers. “Try sectioning your hair with your fingers, rather than a comb,” says Damtew. “I have found that imperfect part lines allow the twist to come out beautifully, whereas with perfect part lines you have to blend more.”

Comb [a curl lotion like] Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls through each section to add moisture and shine before twisting your hair. Split each small section into two pieces and begin wrapping the two together like a rope. “Be sure to twirl the strands together as tightly as possible for the most definition,” Redway says.

Settle In

“One of the most common mistakes I see clients make with a twist-out is rushing the process,” says Redway. Let your twists dry and set overnight. “The longer the twists stay in before unraveling the better the result you will achieve,” adds Damtew. Depending on your texture, you may want to secure each twist with a small elastic, but if you have, say, 4C coils, usually you won’t need to.

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