Many type 4 naturals who wear twist-outs often swear by frequent re-twisting for preserving definition as well as combating frizz and shrinkage.

If you are a new or transitioning natural, you may wonder: is re-twisting nightly necessary?

To answer that, it really depends on your individual situation. When it comes to natural hair the one size fits all approach almost never works. Depending on your hair type and the humidity levels of where you live, nightly re-twisting might be absolutely necessary. Your current hair length could also be a factor. Our hair has a tendency to change throughout our natural journey, and hair that required re-twisting at one point may no longer need it (and vice versa). When my hair was shorter--maybe six inches or so--I had the option of using either anything or nothing, I could twist my hair up, let it dry for a day, and be left with banging definition that lasted and lasted for days. Now that my coils are longer, my definition is not as fly. It certainly doesn’t last for long, either--maybe a day at the most., or two if I am lucky. Perhaps gravity pulls on my coils and loosens the definition more quickly. There are few products that provide me with the hold my hair seems to need now, and I am not one to go the Eco Styler route for a twist-out or braid-out.

Like many other questions in the community, there will be those who are for and those who will be against, re-twisting night.

I suggest that, unless you a super into definition and frizz free hair, you should pineapple, create mini puffs, or even a low ponytail in order to maintain your twist-out and help prevent tangles. Unless your natural hair is suitably long though, doing a pineapple can stretch your texture and create a weird dent or shape.

Will re-twisting cause breakage due to over manipulation?

As stated before, the answer to this question varies by your personal hair type and preference. While it is true that the less you manipulate your hair, the lower your risk of damage and breakage becomes, many naturals choose to moisturize their hair nightly, and this involves some sort of manipulation. Unless you are applying a lot of tension or your hair is extremely weak and vulnerable, re-twisting really should not result in breakage. Therefore, over manipulation should not be an issue. Loose, medium to chunky twists will work just fine for maintaining your desired definition. The length of your hair will play an important role in the size of your twists and how many you need too. If you practice re-twisting every night, create as few twists as possible. When due care is exercised, in my opinion, your risk of damage is minimal. The overall health of your strands and whether they are fine or otherwise, will have an impact. Everyone’s hair is different and you know your hair better than anyone else. Therefore, this makes you the ideal person to determine what your hair can and cannot withstand. Even if your coils are thriving while you re-twist every night, it does not hurt to try going a night or two without re-twisting then seeing how that works for you.

Does re-twisting hurt natural hair more than it helps?

In my opinion and speaking as someone who re-twisted her hair nightly, particularly during the first year or two of my natural hair journey, there should be no negative effects from re-twisting your natural hair provided you follow good twisting practices, such as, ensuring hair is properly moisturised and being gentle during the process so as to prevent tension on the hair and scalp. If you are not careful when handling your hair, almost anything you do can result in damage. Allowing your hair to tangle and matt certainly won’t help and if your hair is short and requires multiple pineapples, you could end up putting stress on your edges. Your hair may even wrap around your ponytail holder. My hair always does and I use hair ties that are free of metal and obvious seams. My hair just likes to wrap itself around stuff. My point is, depending on your hair type, density and strand thickness re-twisting could help and be the lesser of many potential evils.

Are two-strand twists considered a protective style?

Two-strand twists are indeed considered to be a protective style, and there are necessary precautions to take when installing them. Start protective styles on hair that is clean, conditioned and moisturized. Be gentle and take care to not stress the hair and scalp. There is no point in pulling your strands from the follicles just to get the base of your twists tight--your twists will loosen anyway.