How to Get a Perfect Twist-Out

Image by Eye for Ebony/Unsplash

As the hairstyle that most coilies and curlies can depend on, the twist-out has become somewhat of a holy grail hairstyle. The “perfect” twist-out can be elusive when we want the ideal combination of body, shine, and definition, and many twist-out attempts seem like failures.


But it’s important to keep in mind that every hairstyle does not have to be perfectly executed to get good results, and there’s nothing wrong with some frizziness and non-uniformity. Nevertheless, there are some ways to ensure your twist-out pops almost every time.

Start on clean hair and scalp

It’s a simple tip, but one that sets the tone for how your hair will take to the twist-out. You’ll want to remove any product buildup that may prevent your hair from getting the proper moisture that it needs to create that lustrous, coily look. Cleanse your hair and scalp with a gentle cleanser or co-wash and detangle afterward.

Looking for a good cleanser? Take a look at these 25 Best Gentle Shampoos for Curly Hair, all of which have won an Editor’s Choice Award.

Moisturize thoroughly

Although we like frizz, in order to maintain the shape of the twists it’s important to thoroughly moisturize and hydrate your hair before twisting. Twist-outs on dry hair can work, as well, but it won’t give your hair a lot of definition or shine. Working with wet and moisturized hair also helps to really set the style so it is less likely to be disrupted by humidity.

Separate your hair into sections and apply the product of your choice onto wet or damp hair, thoroughly and evenly; and be sure to add an oil afterward to seal in all the added moisture. If you’re unsure of which product to use, one of these top 10 products for a defined twist-out may work for you.

How to Get a Perfect Twist-Out

Image by William Stitt/Unsplash


Style and twist

On thoroughly detangled, moisturized, and sectioned hair, twist your hair from root to tip, smoothing out the ends by twirling them around the end of your finger. If you want even more definition on the ends, try wrapping perm rods around them, or my personal favorite, making a small Bantu knot at the end of each twist. It’s quick and you don’t need to reach for any extra tools.

For more elongation and definition at the roots, try a flat twist-out. The process is almost identical but it does take a bit of practice to master the flat-twisting technique.

The takedown

Carefully pull apart each twist and fluff out the hair, according to the desired amount of volume. You may even want to add some oil to your hands prior to the takedown to maintain definition and seal the hair again.


Hair still wet when you’re ready to take it down? Find out how to make twists dry faster.

What’s your idea of a perfect twist-out and how do you incorporate it into your regimen?

Let us know in the comments.

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