Monday, January 16, 2012

Lessons in Mini Twists: The Cheat Sheet

So here's the thing: I'm not usually a fan of mini-twists. Rather I should say I am not a fan of putting them in and taking them out, but the duration of wearing mini twists is often a fantastic experience! One night I found myself putting in some of the tiniest twists I've ever done, and while I cursed myself in my head my hands would not stop. About 6 hours later (that includes making and eating dinner; talking on the phone; periodically checking Facebook...) I was very proud of the mini twists in my hair.

My best set of twists lasted over three weeks, but I usually can't keep them in for so long because they get frizzy. I'm amazed at those who keep their twists looking fresh for four weeks or more! What are your experiences with mini twists? Any of you able to reach an entire month?

Here's what I've learned from my mini twist experiences:
  1. Twisting on wet hair and using a wet product like gel creates a tighter, longer-lasting twist, but also produces greater shrinkage. Twisting on dry hair using an oil or butter creates softer, less-defined twists that tend to unravel. I find lightly spritzing dry hair and mixing a light oil into gel products produce tight twists that last long and are well defined when unraveled. The twists also retain greater length because they are not saturated with water.
  2. The rope twist method (rotating each section clockwise while twisting counter-clockwise or vice versa) creates tighter and longer twists that last longer than regular two strand twists. However the hair can get very tangled if the mini twists are styled often. I use the rope twist method for all of my twists, my hair will unravel otherwise. Tangles used to be a problem for me, but my three step unraveling method has nearly eliminated the problem.
  3. Roller sets on mini twists can mimic many straight styles, like bobs and drop curls, but somehow manage to last longer. I wore a roller set mini twist bob to my two hour dance rehearsal and still had curls at the end! I have a theory that its something about the twists and natural curl of the hair, blah blah blah...
  4. Trimming your hair while in mini twists is not always such a great idea, especially if a comb wasn't used to make straight and even parts. When I saw scraggly ends I kept trimming them. When I took my hair loose I noticed how uneven it had become because of my "arbitrary" trimming. Besides, those ends didn't look as scraggly when clumped in coils rather than randomly parted mini twists. Ooops!
  5. Some natural recipes don't work so well with small twists- like yogurt-based hair conditioners. Even after several rinses I didn't get it all out, but it was a couple of days until I was alerted by a less than pleasurable smell (first noticed by my husband). Yikes!
  6. When unraveling mini twists I follow three simple rules: Use lots of lubrication (oil, conditioner, etc.). Follow the coil (in reverse, of course). Be patient. I like using oil on dry hair for unraveling twists. My strands have a tendency to straighten and slip right out of the twists. When I wet my hair it curls tighter and is harder to detangle. When I rush I often create knots, but when I take my time and follow all three steps I can get through my whole head with very few knots!

1 comment:

  1. I have learned that instead of washing with shampoo, cowashing very gently for just 1-2 minutes cleanses the hair yet preserves the look of my twists. I did that after two weeks...