Twist Out Hairstyle Ideas, With Styling Tips From a Pro

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One of the best things about taking down your protective styles, like box braids and sew-ins, is the gorgeous curls that you’re left with. That moment typically doesn’t last long because you’re usually having to jet off to the bathroom to begin your wash-day process. Still, you’ve likely wondered how much longer you could stretch the look, even though your hair is screaming for a deep condition and blow dry. Well, we have good news for you. If you’re on the hunt for a well-defined curly afro, let us introduce you to a classic hairstyle: the twist-out.

The style is usually well-suited for those who have type three and four hair, but anyone can use this method to achieve heatless curls. Twist-outs are also one of the more versatile styles that you can create with your afro. Once you’ve achieved your desired look, you can go on to create others like a curly bun or ponytail, a half-up, half-down style, or even a faux-hawk — the possibilities will feel endless.

Still, if you’ve never done the look, you’re probably searching for a bit of guidance. Ahead, a hairstylist explains everything you should know about twist-out hairstyles including how to achieve them and the best products to use if you want bouncy, defined curls.

Expert Featured in This Article

Martika Cogdell, is an editorial hairstylist based in New York City.

What Is a Twist Out Hairstyle?

First, it’s important to understand exactly what a twist-out hairstyle is. “It provides definition and curls to natural hair and is created by a two-strand twist method,” hairstylist Martika Cogdells tells PS. “It leaves your hair looking full and voluminous while maintaining its natural texture and adding body throughout.”

How to Do Twist-Out Hairstyles

Twist-outs are a pretty easy hairstyle to achieve, but if you want defined, frizz-free curls, Cogdell has a few tips. “A twist out is normally done on freshly washed and conditioned hair,” Cogdell says. “The hair is then parted in a fashion similar to what you’d normally do for cornrows — two strands are separated and fully twisted down to the ends. Make sure that they are completely dried before releasing the twists.”

There are also multiple ways to do twist-outs. “The first method mentioned (and that’s also the most common) is a flat twist,” Cogdell says. “You can also get the look via box twists and finger coils.” Regardless of how achieve your twist-outs, it’s important to note that the bigger the twist, the looser and fuller the curls will be. In turn, the smaller they are, the tighter the coils.

Best Products to Get a Twist Out

If you have nothing else on hand, make sure to have a mousse ready when doing your twist out. “The best products used for twist-outs are mousses and thicker creams,” Cogdell says. “Design Essentials African Chebe’ Twist Out Cream ($18) is an amazing product to use for twist outs, as well as Mielle’s Twisting Soufflé ($14),” Cogdell says. Cogdell’s favorite foam is the Nairobi Wrap It Foaming Lotion ($13). “All of these products can be used to achieve a healthy-looking and long-lasting twist out.”

Ahead, get some inspiration for your twist-out hairstyle.

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