January marks the two year anniversary of my transition to relaxed to natural hair — and what a journey it has been! While transitioning, there’s no doubt I logged in hundreds of hours sitting on YouTube watching hair videos and even ready the forums on Naturally Curly trying to figure out how to style my new hair.

The possibilities were seemingly (and still are) endless — braid outs, twist outs, bantu knots, twists, box braids, wash and go’s, and more — and I tried it all. Trust me.

But after two years into this journey, I just now discovered what style works for me and why it works for me; and it’s a twist out. For those who are stuck with what to rock for their daily style or can’t seem to figure out how to get that twist out that you see on Instagram, here are some of my secrets to a poppin’ twist out.

For the record, I have type 4 hair — meaning my curls are more coily, and more prone to losing moisture. This may or may not work for you depending on your hair type, and even if we have the same hair type, all curls are different!

twistout body

Image source @freddieharrel

1. Make sure your hair is dry!

This is a big mistake I made in the beginning when I did twist-outs — not letting my hair dry all the way before taking them down. I would think that the twists looked nice and defined, but an hour later in the Texas humidity would prove me otherwise — I’d just end up with a frizzy mess! If you’re doing a twist out on wet hair and you want to rock it the next day, try patting dry the hair as much as you can with a t-shirt. T-shirts are great when it comes to reducing frizz and getting excess water out of hair. If you’re comfortable, blowdry your hair on the lowest setting before twisting it.

If you’re going with the blow drying option, use a heat protectant like the TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray.

2. Moisture is your best friend.

We’re mostly familiar with the LOC method, but I can’t stress enough how important the ‘O’ is for twist outs. Whenever I do a twist out, I make sure to coat my stands in a little oil. My favorite product is the Organic Oil Blend from CurlsDynasty, which has a mixture of coconut and avocado oil, along with shea and mango butter. The oil will not only keep your hair moisturized, but will also give your twists that beautiful shine. And don’t forget to add a little oil on your hands before taking down your twists — it helps seal in the moisture even more!

To make the style go even further, using a cream specifically for twisting or braiding. I go back and forth between Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding and Curl Dynasty’s Twisted Definition Twisting Cream to achieve the definition I want for my twist outs.

3.Twist tight!

Well, not TOO tight, but if you want more definition with your twists, try twisting the ends of your hair tighter. It sounds simple, but I noticed a big difference doing loose twists vs. tighter twists. Also, depending on your hair length, I’d argue the more twists the better when it comes to definition. I have chin-length hair, so 10 twists typically do the job for me.

4. Hairspray

Okay, hear me out: Hairspray works for natural hair. I grew up in the dance world where hairspray was abundant in terms of hairstyles, and I always thought it was only for straight and wavy hair. But after transitioning to natural hair, I kept having the same issue I had with relaxed hair: the frizz was abundant — especially in the Texas heat.

In order to maintain my frizz and keep the shape of my twist out, I do a quick passover of hairspray on each strand I unravel. My favorite is TRESemmé Hair Spray’s Ultra Fine Mist — it doesn’t make my hair feel crunchy.

5. Try Stretching!

Stretching your hair, that is. My hair is more prone to skriange (Type 4 naturals deal with this the most!), even when it’s in a dry style like a twist out. There are many methods you can use to stretch your hair, but I prefer a heat-free option. After I finish twisting my hair, I divide it into two section and put two ponytails in my hair. It easy, but it goes a long way and I’ve noticed that my twist outs look fuller and longer when I stretch them.

What are ways you achieve your poppin’ twist out? What did you learn along the way that didn’t work for you? Sound off in the comments below!