twist-out by mini marley
Photo Courtesy of Mini Marley

Natural hairstyles are very different than styles that can be create on straight or straightened hair. While many hairstyles can be created on all hair types like buns and ponytails, hairstyles specifically created for textured hair help with stretching, defining, or protecting one’s hair.

Styles like the wash and go, the flat-twist out, the twist-out, or braid-outs look absolutely fabulous on curly and coily hair. One of the problems some face is understanding what these style is as they can sound the same. Here’s the breakdown of what these styles are and the differences as they create a different effect on one’s hair. 

What is the concept of the flat-twist out or twist-out?

Both the flat and traditional twist-outs are great ways to give hair a more uniformed curl pattern. These styles are also great for curl types that have less definition. It is a lasting style that is considered a protective style because many who rock the flat-twist out or twist-out wear them for days.

What is the flat-twist out?

If you can cornrow, then you can do the flat-twist out. The flat-twist out consists of parting hair into cornrowed sections but flat twisting the hair and allowing them to set before unraveling them for your desired style. This is usually done on wet hair or stretched dry hair, as both try and hinder fizziness. The main concept of this style is the twist is laying flat against the head and that makes for definition right down at the roots. This is considered a more technical style as the technique is different from the twist-out.

Yolanda Renee shows us how to do it on dry stretched hair. Her finished style is gorgeous and she shares tips on how to do the style correctly and even how to fix frizzy results.

Everyone cannot flat twist just like everyone cannot cornrow. I am that person who can do neither and while I often feel like a failure I understand the need to sometimes cheat at what I cannot do so that I can still benefit. Here’s a video by DiscoveringNatural that is a super easy and quick tutorial on a cheat version of the flat twist.

First off, I can do this so that’s saying something. Secondly she explains how to do her version of the flat twist for those who cannot get the hang of it. You can keep hair up in the flat twist for a beautiful protective style or simply take it down for that twisted or curl defined look. You can make the sectioned parts much smaller and twist or coil each sectioned part before beginning the flat twist to give a more defined look.

What is the twist-out?

The twist-out is exactly how it sounds. You simply putting hair into twists and then release them. The definition is the easiest part of the twist-out, as it takes proper product, technique, and despite how simply it sounds it does take time to perfect. This style can be applied on wet or straightened styles like the flat-twist out.

Mini Marley shares an excellent video on creating a stellar twist-out on wet hair. This is a simple twist-out without any added rollers but she makes sure to twirl her fingers with product at the ends to ensure softness, no frizz, and uniform curls.

Major differences between the flat-twist out and traditional twist-out

The major differences are that flat-twist outs are more technical in creating, as one must know how to flat twist or cornrow. There is more definition at the roots of the flat-twist out and there is more tension on this hairstyle so it will have better elongation. The twist-out is similar to braiding and easier to do but there is more chance of frizz at the roots and less elongation as the tension is lighter than with flat-twist outs. There is less style control with the twist-out, but both styles require find the right technique and products for optimal results.

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