How to Prevent Two Strand Twists From Unraveling

Last updated on January 26th, 2024 at 05:29 pm

With cooler weather comes more low manipulation and protective styles like two strand twists. Below you’ll find techniques to stop twists from unraveling.

how to get twists to stay

Having fine natural hair, I don’t leave my protective styles in for very long. Otherwise, my hair would lock up on itself.

Therefore, setting my hair in medium sized two strand twists for a week or 2 (at the most) allows me to go about my business without manipulating my hair.

The problem is, us ladies with fine and/or looser textured curls having trouble with getting our twists to stay put.

Imagine…spending two, maybe three hours twisting your hair only for it to start unraveling. Oh no honey. We are not about to continue letting that happen.

prevent twists from unraveling on fine hair

When I first started twisting my own hair, I’d always have the problem with my two-strand twists coming apart in less than a day. So, I’m no stranger to having challenges with my twists staying put.

Why do twists come undone?

Before I share tips on how to stop twists from unraveling, let’s look at a few of the reasons your two strand twists may start coming loose:

– Straight ends due to heat damage

– Looser curl pattern

– Ineffective products used

– Incorrect twisting technique

stop twists from unraveling with rope twists


rope twists

How to Prevent Twists from Unraveling

I’ve experienced my twists untwisting at times due to all of the above. With a little trial and error, I discovered a few methods to prevent twists from unraveling.

These methods include:

1- Using a little gel on the twists before twisting (ex: Loc and Twist gel)

2- Bobby pinning the roots until the twists have fully dried

3- Twisting with a heavy oil like JBCO (Jamaican Black Castor Oil)

4- Doing rope twists instead of the standard two strand twists. This is the easiest way to make them tighter too. Here’s an excellent tutorial from Discoveringnatural on Youtube:

5- Twisting damp hair (not wet hair) versus dry hair

6- Adding a little control paste to the root and the ends of the twists; Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Paste does a good job of this, especially if your hair is of a looser curl pattern.

7- Flat twisting the root and then twisting the length of the twist or simply doing flat twists if you are looking to do twist outs

8- Braiding the root and then twisting the length of the twist

twists in fine natural hair

Lastly, you can use a rubber band on the end of your two strand twists to prevent them from unraveling. The reason I didn’t include this as part of the abbreviated list above is because I don’t use rubber bands on my fine hair.

However, if you have heftier strands of hair, have at it. My only suggestion would be to cut the rubber bands out of your hair when you are ready to remove them vs. pulling at them or trying to unravel them.

Cutting out the bands will also help you avoid breaking your hair as well.

Additional Tips for Preventing Hair Twists from Unraveling

First things first; while all of the tips above will help you to prevent your twists from coming apart, there are some additional things to keep in mind that I wanted to share that will help you to be even more successful with twisting your hair.

If you are really looking to have long lasting twists that will eventually yield a beautiful twist-out, consider the following:

    1. Always detangle your hair in sections (here’s how to section natural hair properly) using a detangling brush or wide-tooth comb designed with curly hair in mind. Some good brushes include the Felicia Leatherwood brush, the Tangle Teezer for curly hair and the EZ Detangler brush. Smooth, detangled hair makes for “cleaner” twists.

    1. After washing your hair, before you move on to twisting, do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse. ACV encourages the cuticles of your hair to lay flat. This will not only foster shinier hair, it will prep your hair for twisting in a smooth fashion.

    1. Now, assuming you’ve twisted your hair with the right products while it was damp, try sitting under a hooded dryer for a few minutes. This is a good option to help your twists to set in less time.

    1. Use a spray bottle to mist your hair while you are twisting it in smaller sections. This will prevent your hair from drying out too fast. Plus, when you twist your hair in sections that are too large, they easily come undone. Doing damp, small sections will prevent that.

    1. Once your twists are done, for the best results tie your entire head of twists down with a satin scarf. Then, if you can tolerate, it cover your head with a satin bonnet. If that’s too much, you can just sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase to prevent your hair from drying out. However, you still want to tie your hair down with the scarf since it helps lay your hair at the roots.

    1. Attend to the ends of your twists by keeping them moisturized and sealed with a little oil. Using a little curl cream beneath the hair oil can help as well. You don’t want to use too much product though. Otherwise, you won’t have to just worry about your twists untwisting from the root. They’ll untwist from the ends as well. So, keep your ends sealed.

Stop twists from unraveling

A few words of caution

While the goal may be to keep your twists from unraveling, if you are going for an extended protective style, you may be tempted to add synthetic hair like Marley Hair to your own hair. The type of hair you choose to twist with will definitely depend on your hair type.

However, I caution against doing extended protective styles with faux hair if you have fine hair. Fine hair is just too fragile and the addition of other hair can really dry your own hair out.

Some ladies prefer to do specialty twists like Senegalese Twists or Passion Twists. These are cute natural hairstyles but unless you have waist length or longer hair, you will need to add hair to your own hair for the style to have longevity. It’s really about preference but the best part is there really isn’t a wrong technique to do your twists.

Just be very mindful that when you take those twists down the next day or a few days later, you don’t want to deal with the added problem of hair that’s been dried out because it was suffocating in the style.

Two strand twists are one of the most popular ways that a naturalista styles her hair. In fact, if you are anything like me, you do them just about every wash day.

Related: Another style us naturals tend to do is ponytails of all sorts. Check out this article sharing 50 natural hair ponytail styles.

Again, let’s be mindful of this one thing: You really want to make sure that it’s not just about your actual twists looking good. You want to ensure that the style isn’t causing any stress to your natural hair.

Let These Tips Be Your Guide to Longer Lasting Two Strand Twists

With good techniques and proper care, you can get the perfect twist out (for your hair) when you know how to stop your twists from unraveling.

If you just want to do twists as one of your protective hairstyles by later pinning them up, you still need those twists to stay put. Following these tips will help you regardless of whatever your reason for twisting your hair is.

how to stop twists from untwisting

Do you have any particular tips or tricks to stop twists from unraveling? If not, which of these methods will you try the next time you install two strand twists in your natural hair?

Let’s discuss it down in the comments section.  

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  1. I watched the video with the rope twists, gonna be trying it tonight on my daughters hair. Thank you! Do you have an article or video that shows what products or methods you do on the little girls head? It looked so shiny and healthy. Will be following!

    1. hi Ruth,

      I typically just use a hair butter like Shea Butter or Aloe vera butter and then a little gel for hold

  2. Thank you for this, I’ll try some of these tips. Although, I really need to get in the habit of playing with my hair less! Lmao! I unravel my own damn twists and really need to find a way to stop 🙂

    1. you and me both! i think i sometimes do my hair just to be doing it 🙂

  3. Georgette says:

    which lotion do hair to growth

      1. 👋🏾 👋🏾 👋🏾 I just let my two strand do what it do. I have curly ends, yesss my hair unravels, however I now like the look. Thanks for suggestions.

        1. hi Denise, Whatever works for you 🙂 I like the look too but sometimes I want these twists to stay put to protect my ends!

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