5 Inexpensive Products for Twist-Outs

Get More Bang for Your Buck, and Great Hair, Too

A great twist-out starts before you unravel that first twist. It actually begins with the setting hairstyle, two-strand twists. The products and technique you use when twisting your hair affects the eventual twist-out if you decide to wear one. (Of course, wearing two-strand twists is a style in itself, so don't feel you have to unravel them if you don't want to.)

You can purchase plenty of pricey products designed to give you wonderful hold, but there are also inexpensive ones that do the same job. Some cheap products actually perform better than their expensive counterparts. These 5 products work great for twists and twist-outs, and you can find all of them at various retailers priced under $10.

One of the most popular gels around today, Eco Styler comes in several formulas. Look for it at mass market retailers, beauty supply stores and chain beauty suppliers. It's thick, and because it's available in such huge tubs, you can use this stuff nearly every day and not run out anytime soon. While I like this gel for the definition and hold it provides in a twist-out, I'm not crazy about the protein in it. Women who need more protein may love it, but since my hair is 100% natural (no chemicals of any kind), I worry about overdoing it on the protein.
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Eden BodyWorks All Natural Pudding Souffle. Courtesy of Sally Beauty
I still can't believe the bargain this product offers. It's custard-like and doesn't provide as much hold as traditional gels, but it's great if you want a softer hold. I've paired it with gels before, with good results -- this product "plays well with others." The ingredient list includes goodies like shea butter and coconut oil. I've never experienced any buildup from this souffle, and using it for twists as well as braids, I always end up with touchably soft hair. More »

I'm not a fan of the traditional gels from this line, but the custard is different. Like the pudding souffle above, expect a soft hold. The price is definitely right as I've picked this up in my local beauty supply for under $5.

A longtime favorite of mine, this super-thick, pudding-like gel works wonders. It doesn't flake and provides a soft yet strong hold. Not only good for twists and twist-outs, this gel is great for braids and locs, too.

Read my review here

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Flaxseed Gel

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Demonstrating flaxseed gel's consistency. Photo © 2014 D. Sandeen, licensed to About.com, Inc.

I put off making my own flaxseed gel for a long time, but finally succumbed. Sure, it's messy, but it doesn't take long to make your own gel. And it's incredibly cheap! You can pick up a 14-ounce bag of whole flaxseed for around $5-10. Once you make a batch of gel, the seeds are reusable, so one bag used exclusively for gel-making could easily last a year (the approximate shelf life of the bag). DIY types often want to know exactly what they're putting on their tresses. Making your own gel ensures you control the fragrance and ingredients. I'm sorry I resisted making flaxseed gel as long as I did. I love it! I've had no issues with flaking and it leaves my hair super soft. I don't use it as a wash n' go gel, only for twists and twist-outs.

More on twists:

  • How to Twist Black Hair
  • Wet or Dry Twisting?
  • Make Your Twist-out Last