About three weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across an image that stopped me in my tracks. It was a before and after photograph of a woman with natural hair wearing a beautiful flat twist out.
What struck me most about the style was how few flat twists were used to create such a beautiful style. The style required only 6-7 flat twists which meant relatively little styling time. Excited, I got my leave-in and gel in hand and styled my hair after my next wash. I went under the dryer for an hour and kept the twists in overnight to ensure the hair would be dry. Expecting a beautiful twist out, I was let down when I was greeted with frizz and relatively little definition.
My failed attempt
So why did the style fail for me and why do some styles fail for you? Here’s my take.
Make sure you have the technique down before attempting to reproduce a style. In my case I feel pretty confident that my flat twists were fine. However, my texture is quite different from that of the young lady that inspired the style.
2. Wetness/Dampness/Dryness of Hair When Styling
Instead of doing the twists on freshly washed damp hair, it would have been better for me to stretch the hair then style on lightly dampened hair.
3. Hair Type/Texture
Why should I have styled on stretched, lightly dampened hair as opposed to very damp, just washed hair? My hair is very coily and extremely prone to frizz. When I was relaxed my hair would frizz at the hint of humidity, so you can imagine how my natural hair might respond. I made the mistake thinking that just because my hair had dried completely it wouldn’t suffer from frizz. Well, I’m here to tell you that even after almost 11 years of being natural I still have an “Oops!” moment every now and then. For setting braid outs, wet hair is fine on my hair. For twists, especially flat twists, stretched hair is my friend.
4. Quantity Matters
The lazy styler in me (just keeping it one hunnit) loves to put in as little time as possible. Unfortunately, sometimes that just isn’t possible when trying to achieve certain styles. And let’s face it: If you spend 30 extra minutes styling and achieve a success rather than a flop it’s worth it in the end. For flat twist outs I will likely need at least twice as many twists (12-14) to achieve the desired definition required for the style to last all day.
What fabulous styles have you tried that ultimately failed on your hair?