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How to Do a Dry Twistout

I’ve gotten quite a few emails and questions asking me how I do my hair, so here’s another how-to post. This is a cross between the Twist ‘N Curl (made famous by curlynikki), and a curly fro. It is very popular for women who have 3c,4a,4b hair type. (For more on hair typing, click here).

This style is achieved by separating the hair into sections and then taking each section and separating those into two and twisting them together. Then setting the twists on rollers. After a few hours, the twists are then separated, and can be worn as is, or, can be fluffed and separated more to add more volume. There are a hundred different variations on this style, but this is a basic one that I have in my arsenal. I’m going to show you how I do mine when my hair is dry. This is how I did my dry twistout after wearing it in a quick puff I made in the post How to Wash and Dry Your Hair in 1 Hour.

1. Loosen the curl – I take my Daily Homemade Leave-In Conditioner and spritz my whole head, gently pulling at my curls as I go to loosen them up from the puff they’ve been in.

spray hair with daily leave-in

separate curls with fingers

2. Section the hair-starting at the back of my head, I make a quick part with my hands or the tail of a comb from earlobe to earlobe I pin the rest of the hair out of the way with my metal toothless duckbill clips. I section this area into three sections, and I clip two back with another duckbill clip

3. Moisturize – I take a dab of whatever moisturizer I’m using that day (it can be a butter, cream, leave in condish, whatever) like Bee Mine’s Bee Hold Pudding or Wonder Curl’s Butter Than Love Hair Whipped and run it through the section with my fingers (No combing or brushing!)

4. Twist – then I separate that little section I’m working with into two smaller sections and twist them as tight as  I can all the way down to the ends (they’re going to loosen a bit, but they won’t unravel)

Note: I don’t have the time or the patience fore really small twists, so I always to medium sized ones. I judge the size of the twists by how well they stay in. If they’re too big, they’ll unravel right away. If they’re too small, I’ll have trouble unraveling them. This takes practice, but you’ll find what works best for you.

5. Seal the sends – I castor oil to do this, but you can use whatever oil you feel comfortable with. About 1/2″ from the end of the hair, I dip my fingers into castor oil and twist to the end. Then I twirl the end on my fingers a bit to make sure it’s covered and I get a nice curl (This step gives me nice defined ends, with little frizz)

6. Continue steps 3-5 until the row is finished

I complete the above 6 steps until I have an “umbrella” of hair around the top of my head. Like this.

Now I can clearly see where I will be making the rest of the twists that will  go all the way around my head. I hand parted my hair (for style only, this is optional), and now have more hair on my left side than my right.

holding onto the "bangs" to be twisted later

7. Style the front – I gather up all of the hair that was parted over to the side, what you might consider “bangs” and I clip it, or braid it to get it out of the way. Then I clip the rest of the hair out of the way, except for the right section so that I can start twisting again. I continue twisting all the way around my head until I get to the “bangs” I’ve clipped to the side.

8. Finish Twisting – Now my whole head is twisted except for the “bangs” and I want them to lay “stacked” and maybe fall in my face a bit, so I make 3 or 4 small twists following the part I made.

9. Roll the Twists – I like to leave twists in over night or at least for 5 hours but I do NOT like sleeping in rollers, so I usually get up early, spray each twist with Jane Carter Solutions’ Natural Hold Locking Spray and roll the twists up while I do  my morning routine. I roll them up tight, since they’re not going to be in that long and I use big rollers…

10. Unroll twists – take the rollers out

11. Separate twists – with jojoba or castor oil on my hands, I gently take down each twist, by pulling each twist taught from the end of the hair, turning the twist in the opposite direction, and then using my finger to pull down and separate.


12. Style – After all the twists have been undone, I like to separate the hair more and fluff (hands only!) from the root. I shake my head around like a wet dog and turn my head upside down to fluff.  I then place the part that will be in my face where I want it, or if it doesn’t want to act right, I just use bobby pins to style it.

separate each section of each twist with fingers

fluff at the roots only

pull hair in clumps for length


Feel free to experiment with different sized twists and rollers. I make my twists in tha back larger than ones in the front, but that’s just me. By the way, that reddish tint you see are the results of my first henna! (That’s for another post though!)

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21 thoughts on “How to Do a Dry Twistout

  1. Lowbudget

    Thanks for the tip. I will be getting some of the rollers as well. I had been using those large perm rods to roll the ends of my hair. I recently cut 10 inches off and donated it to Locks of Love, therefore, my hair will not stay twisted at the ends if not rolled on some type of rollers. The ones you show here are great and large. This will be a big time saver for me. Thanks again!
    I also checked out the daily leave in conditioner post. I am going to make some of this as well. 🙂

  2. Savvy

    That’s WONDERFUL! One, that you were able to grow healthy hair that long, and two, that you were so giving and thoughtful to donate it! Glad you liked the posts!

  3. Chrissystina

    I’ve been using these rollers for ages, but stopped a couple of years ago. My arms get so tired, and I hate sleeping in them, as well:-D But ther results were smooth, bouncy curls!

    I’ve always done a “Twist N Curl” but I had no idea that other people knew about this, or that it even had a name! Do you ever use a hooded dryer or hair dryer? I feel like there is a definitel difference, but I gave up all heat over a year ago.

    Those twists are crazy, what a transformation! Go ahead then:-D I adore it.

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  5. Savvy

    @Chandra You’re welcome! When I was first trying to figure out twistous I really couldn’t find anyone to show it step-by-step. HTH!

  6. Savvy

    @Chrissytina I’m sorry I missed your question! Yes, ocassionally I use a hooded dryer, but I try to keep heat away from my hair as well. I’m not crazy about sleeping with them either that’s why I usually get up early and put them in.

  7. Madam Toussaint

    I’ve been wanting to try this but I have so much hair I don’t have the time or the patience sometimes. You’re the only one I’ve seen use medium sized twists so now I feel freer to do this. Thanks for posting this.

  8. Savvy

    @Madam You’re so welcome! I have no patience for the smaller twists, and it makes my hair come out all fuzzy…

  9. Stacey

    Your hair looks beautiful. I am going to try it this weekend with the rollers, which I have never done but have thought about doing.

  10. Savvy

    @Stacey Thank you! My hair’s actually longer now, but I still like using the rollers on special occasions when I want more of a “bob” look. Good luck and thanks for you comment!

  11. Angelique

    The twists come out so lovely! I am definelty going to attempt this style. Can you use any kind of rollers?

  12. Savvy

    @Angelique Yes! And now that my hair is even longer, I often don’t use the rollers at all. Just note, that you might have to play around the with the size of the twist to roller ratio for a bit until you the results you want. Thanks for commenting!

  13. KC

    I detest sleeping in rollers as well. I’m wondering if making Bantu knots with each twist will give the same effect.

  14. OI

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was wondering, will this work for short hair too? I’m really trying to achieve this look somehow and I’ve been doing texturizing, etc, but I am never satisfied with the results. I really want more defined curls, so would this work or would you recommend something else? Thanks!

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