I have gotten some mails from readers wondering why their hair is unable to hold a twist out or to form ringlets like they see on other naturals on blogs and youtube. They twist their hair and then untwist it expecting a cascade of waves or curls and get….nothing.
If you are wondering the same thing, here’s my answer.
Manage your expectations
Your hair type (and its current state) plays a role in your hair’s ability to hold a twist – out properly. Some hair types are better are better suited to this. I have found that very kinky hair will not yield the same results as less kinky hair. A lot of people expect their 4c hair to fall into ringlets or hold twists like 3a or 4a hair. When you watch a YouTube video and expect your hair to do exactly what someone else’s hair does you may find yourself experiencing some disappointment.
Regarding “current state” as used above, an example is that if your hair is heat damaged, it may also prove difficult to get curl definition as it may result in straight, uncurled hair.
Help your hair along
– Use a curl defining product to create your style. There are many natural alternatives like:
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Flax Seed Gel (get recipe here)
– You may want to try a braid out rather than a twist out. It works better for some people.
– If you have build up in your hair, your hair will feel and look dull and weighted down. In that state, it will definitely not be able to hold any definition. Use a clarifying shampoo to rid of the build-up.
– For defined curls, un-twist or un-braid your hair only when it is thoroughly dry.
– The longer you leave a twist/braid in, the more likely your twist – out will be successful.
The smaller your twists, the smaller and tighter the curls/waves you will have on your head. Bigger twists/braids will give you a much looser wave/curl.
Nigeria is quite humid. Early this year, we were reporting humidity levels of 80% +. All that moisture in the air is good for our dry hair but can be a disaster when you need to rock a style like a twist-out. Drastically reduce or totally leave out your humectant rich products if you want to maintain a twist out. When you use a humectant to style your hair, it will draw moisture from the air and cause your definition to “un-define”. And yeah, I know Aloe Vera Gel is a humectant but for some reason, it still seems to work.