Two Strand Twist Update

Ever since my first experience with two-strand twists, I have been wearing my hair in twists for 75% of the time. During this time, I have had them professionally done and I have also learned to do them on my own hair and on a friend’s. This is a huge achivement for me as I am a person who couldn’t even braid fikuti in my own hair before going to bed. My first attempt took me well over an hour. Now, I can do it in ten to 15 minutes.

The fascinator was on account of The Royal Wedding. I was at a viewing party

So, what have I learned since February/March of this year? So much, but I will try to narrow it down to a few key points:

1. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT keep very small twists in your hair for too long. They may look nice at first, but there is a reason some people do twists in order to lock their hair. It will get tangled and you will have knots at the ends of your hair, which cause you to fail to retain any hair growth.

2. The drier your hair when twisting, the neater and narrower the twist. It will also have very little spring or bounce.

3. The narrower the twist, the less defined your twists will be. This means that if your twists are too small, it may look very neat leaving the hair salon, but it will be harder to tell that you have actually twisted your hair. So, when the twists are thicker, they are also more defined and look nicer/juicer. Obviously, if your hair is very short, then you will struggle to have thicker twists that can still hold.

4. Your hair should not be dripping water. If your hair is too wet, the spring-back on your hair will cause them to look untidy, like big fat caterpillars. They look like unkempt dreadlocks.

5. Twists are best done when your hair is slightly damp. This results in twists that will spring back a little, creating some bounce and movement in your hair. Your twists will also be well defined.

6. Do not use too much product. The first few times, I lathered on my DIY shea butter/coconut oil mix, so that my hair was white from the amount of grease. Because this is the technique used by locticians here in Zambia, I just assumed that without all that product, the twist would not hold. Boy was I wrong. Too much slip will cause the twists to look heavy and lifeless because they will be grey. The natural shine of the hair is covered by grease — not the same thing as healthy lustre.

7. Soak up the grease. If you find that you put too much product, wear a duku/head wrap the next day. The cotton fabric will ensure most of the excess grease is soaked up into your headgear. The next morning, apply some coconut oil, just to add a bit of shine to the hair.

8. Practice really does make perfect. The first twists that I did myself were so messy and loose, they only lasted for a day or two. My second attempt was still loose, but the twists were of varying sizes. Then, they were too greasy, then too wet, then a mixture of damp and dry. Then, I got them just right.

In between these experiments, I went to a different hair salon (not my regular stylist), and they did everything that I told them not to. For example, I told them to twist my hair from the bottom and not to do three-strand braids at the base. Why is braiding not a good idea? Two strand twists are very easy to take out and the tangling is minimal. Your hair is much more likely to tangle if it is braided at the base and at the ends. This was made even worse because they did them too small, despite my insisting that I wanted them thicker (see point #3 above).

9. Twist out. I think that my hair needs to grow another few inches before I can wear the kind of twist out that I see in my imagination. For now, I have managed to get the definition that I want by figuring out the right thickness, but I still need two or three more inches below jawline.

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8 responses to “Two Strand Twist Update

  1. "fikuti" is Zambian vernacular for single braids, usually for hair management. These would be like the single braids for stretching hair or braid outs.

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  2. Do you think two strand twisting your hair to much will cause the twist not to hold? Ive been two stranding my hair all summer love it its an easy to go style. I would like to keep it in for the winter but noticed it doesn't keep the twist as well as it used to. Do you think maybe I need to try a different product? All I use now is the Shea buttter

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  3. Thank you Turaqd. Somehow I missed this when you posted. Two-strand twists are a great way to leave your hair undisturbed for weeks at a time, which is important to help hair grow and thrive.

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  4. Karen, I don't think too much twisting can cause the hair not to hold. It could be that when you first started twisting your hair, you were much more careful about technique, so it was a tighter hold. If your hair is the same and you haven't changed the product or brand (including shampoo), then it is the technique. Also consider how you care for your hair at night, have you changed your bedtime regimen or activities.

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