Thursday, February 3, 2011

Short Twist/Braid Styles: Part I

Cute, professional twist and braid styles for shorter hair.  The first in a three-part series.

During my 2nd year natural: Co-washed micro twists after airdrying (left) and micro twists pinned into a style (right).
The style: Micro/mini twists; "wet-n-go" micro/mini twists
Duration of wear: 2 weeks max if your hair locs easily
Hair type: ideal for the tightly curled to the kinky (like me)

How to (recommended): Do on damp hair to achieve volume.  Do on mostly dry, stretched hair for length.  Apply a butter and/or gel on the ends for a natural curl or coil.  "Grab and go" as you twist.  There is no need to make neat parts for this particular style.

Amp it up a notch:  I call this the "wet-n-go" twist set.  Wet your twists every 2-3 days. Apply a light conditioner first, then let the water run through the strands without manipulating the hair. Afterwards, spritz with a water-oil based moisturizer or a leave-in conditioner. Your natural coils or curls will come to life and your hair will be more voluminous. (The micro twists help kinkier strands to "clump" together and form coils on the ends.) That's it! Add a headband, pin to one side, or put on cute earrings to accessorize.

If you're prone to single-strand knots: After wetting, apply perm rods, band, or cornrow the twists until dry. Unravel for a stretched but curly look.

Mini Twists:

More Mini Twists:


Camille Acey said...

being the teacher's pet that i am, i started the competition with a 10-day or so old set of twists are already in. today is the day i am taking them down, washing, detangling and (tomorrow) putting in a new set. i am going to do bigger twists next time. this detangling of mini twists is killing me!

Loo said...

@Camille Acey: You're really on top of it! It should pay off come August. Yep, mini twist detangling can be a pain ... it's the tradeoff. :o/ More styles coming soon.

Chrissy M said...

Okay, Loo...I'm confused. Should I leave my hair up two or three weeks? I have neck-length twists (collarbone when stretched). Would this be considered short? If so, would I just leave the twists in for two weeks as opposed to three? Also would I wash the twists (since their shorter) after the first week instead of the second week?

They're already a little fuzzy...and I tend to (after washing my twists) to twist the twists themselves, to stretch them while drying. Would I wash the twists now?

Loo said...

@Chrissy M:

Hey. If this is your first time doing mini twists then just try two weeks for now. The more you learn your hair, the better you'll know how quickly it naturally locs.

As for washing, do that as much as your hair will allow and/or whether you're going for a certain look. Be mindful that the more you wash your twists, the less the style will last. Also, for some naturals (including me), more washing = more prone to locing. For the mini twists above, it's more about "wetting" as opposed to "washing" for the amped look. If you choose to wet it like described, don't manipulate the hair much or that may speed up locing.

I hope this helps. :o)

Chrissy M. said...

P.S. can you give a tutorial on how to do a proper bun while in twists and the items you use to accomplish it? I've been doing twisted buns (tucking the ends under my twists and bunning...using ouchless holders but is still experiencing some breakage! Help!

Loo said...

@Chrissy M: I'll try to post one next week. In the mean time, what products are you currently using on your ends? Do you experience breakage when you do the "touch test" (i.e., touch your ends and pull on them gently)?

Cassie said...

Thanks for the post. It is beneficial. Also, can you post pics/videos of ladies with fine natural hair and twisting style? I have fine natural hair and although I can rock mini-twist style (I hate that my hair in this twists looks super short because of shrinkage and twists combined. Are there any twist styles that you know of that can provide me with volume?

Loo said...

@Cassie: Have you tried perm rodding your twists to decrease shrinkage and increase volume? (I'll look for pics/videos of fine natural-haired ladies.)

Cassie said...

Yes, I have used perm rods and straws and I liked the styles, but it would be beneficial to see other styles with hair types like mine. Thanks for asking.

Chrissy M said...

@Loo...I use different products depending on the day. Mostly water/shea butter or water/Kinky Curly Knot Today on a day to day basis for my twists. And on my hair, I spray the Shea Moisture /Moisture and Shine spray or just spray water on top of my twists...but I've limited the amount of water I've been putting on my hair in recent weeks. Last three week period...I washed at the one and a/half week mark...

This time, I added moisture the day after to my ends...and they shrunk up quite a bit. My hair isn't prone to matting or locking so much as to tangling and knotting and split ends.And this was even when I was moisturizing and twisting once a week.

My hair thickened a lot and I gained about 3/4 inch with leaving the twists in for three weeks..but it's still getting splits and knots.

Loo said...

@Cassie: You're welcome. I'll try to find some videos this week.

@Chrissy M: First off, congratulations on the growth! That's great progress. Now we just need to stop the knotting and splitting.

A lot of things could be the culprit for the split ends -- e.g., over-moisturizing, under-moisturizing, over-bunning, over stretching, damage prior to the big chop, etc. Check out this article (it helped me a lot) and let me know if it helps you:

As for the knotting, you can dry airdrying with perm rods or rollers on the ends to stretch the ends. (This method helps me reduce single strand knots. It may also reduce your splitting.)

Keep me posted!

Camille Acey said...

Cassie, I am a fine stranded natural. I video post on youtube under the name "olamina". I show my twists on there, but I haven't figured out the secret to getting the twists to look particularly great or fake fullness. I was trying to do updos with them before but now I think it's better just to leave the locs alone and focus on accessorizing and doing my make up and what not. Let us know if you come up with any tips.

Loo said...

@Camille Acey: Thank you for posting! (Just subscribed.) I agree with accessorizing, etc.