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Shrunken Twist-Out? Poofy Flat Iron? How to Fix 5 Common Natural Hair Styling Fails

Avatar • Jul 20, 2015

Let’s face it: whether you’re a seasoned natural or a newbie, styles don’t always come out how we want them to. There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a set style, only to have it look nothing like you wanted it to once you take it down. So what do you do: hop in the shower and forget it, or find a way to make it work? Here I’ll show you some of the most common natural hair style fails and how you can save the style or tweak your process to get it right the next time.

1. Curlformers

Ah, Curlformers. I know that a lot of naturals absolutely love these, but for me, it was one of the biggest fails since my big chop. Looking back on the experience, I think they would have come out better if I hadn’t let them air dry to help ensure they were totally dry when I took them out, even though I let them dry overnight. Try sitting under a hooded dryer for at least an hour, or if you don’t have a hooded dryer, use a regular blow dryer and run it over each Curlformer for a few minutes before going to bed. To save the style, try wrapping your hair to smooth it out or pile it on top of your head for a big curly updo.

2. Bantu Knots

In my experience, bantu knots come out best when they are done on blown out hair — they’re smoother and it helps ensure they dry. I’ve tried them on soaking wet hair and they won’t dry, even after a few days. I also use a thick moisturizer to set them so my hair doesn’t get too wet and starts to revert back to my natural curl pattern. If you want to do them on wet hair, try two strand twisting before you do the knots so they aren’t so tight when you take them down.

3. Wash and Go

Wash and gos may be the “easiest” natural hair style, but sometimes, they don’t work out. There are many different techniques for doing them, and it’s important to find the one that works for you based on your hair texture. However, if you have issues like Naturally Sassy did, skip the brush while applying your products (I personally cannot use any kind of Denman or anything when I do them because all it does is brush out my curl pattern) and use a diffuser while drying your hair so your hair isn’t blowing all over the place. Another issue a lot of people have with wash and gos is products not agreeing with one another — mix them in your hand before applying to your hair so you can see how they react.

4. Twist Outs

When my hair was shorter, I did NOT like twist outs, but I’ve seen women with all lengths of hair look great with them. If you’re having issues, try using a light gel for more definition, or use smaller twists so your hair doesn’t have the opportunity to shrink up. It may also be helpful to smooth your hair out before twisting so your natural curl pattern doesn’t over power the pattern of the twists. A failed twist out also looks cute pinned back or transformed into a frohawk.

5. Flat Ironing

The first few times I flat ironed my hair, I wasn’t a fan — I couldn’t get my hair smooth enough and it just looked poofy. Enter my straightening comb. Comb chasing is the best technique for straightening my natural hair, and it’s a lot easier using this type of comb instead of a regular comb or brush. Also avoid products with humectants. But a poofy flat iron job can be alleviated by wrapping your hair, converting it into a bantu knot out, or aiming for big and beautiful hair with wand curls.

So, what are your fixes for natural hair style fails?

 

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Tabatha
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Tabatha

My wash and go fail is that it never dries in time whether. My hair just holds on to the water and moisture, not to mention the products. It just never works out right. I also have a problem with flat ironing. I have used the comb and the brush technique and if a sweat just a little it puffs up again and then I can’t get it to smooth out without taking the flat iron to it again. :-/

T
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T

If you have finelike and thin natural hair likeand myself twistouts are a no go, they look way tooo scalpy and spikey. U can only choose between definition or volume not both soo i avoid those like the plague. Bantu knot outs work great for me they provide adequate definition and volume

Afia
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Afia

I have the same problems flat ironing my natural hair…always poofy. I even tried setting it in curl formers first and that still did not work. If anybody has advice that would be great! Here is a video where I talk about this some more and where you will be able to see the results.

https://youtu.be/rqVsSmQkZRI

Rea Fe Greenage
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Rea Fe Greenage

Good information, I wish to flat iron my hair but my hair once straighten would fizz caused by humid. I would wear it curly at this time!

jjac401
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jjac401

Great tips Elle!

Michelle McClellan
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Michelle McClellan

I seen videos of people wrapping their hair Saran Wrap after they flat iron but they use little product in their hair.

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