Should I Twist My Hair When It's Wet or Dry?

Should you twist wet or dry hair?
Inti St. Clair/Photodisc/Getty Images

Reader Question: Should I Twist My Hair When It's Wet or Dry?

The short answer to this question is: it's entirely up to you.

Don't you love it when a hair dilemma is easily solved? In this case, there's an answer for everyone that will work. It does require some homework on your end, but if you love your natural hair (and I hope you do), the work is fun. You get to experiment, try different things and then view the results.

In some cases, you'll love the outcome; in others, you'll want to start from scratch. When it comes to creating two-strand twists, though, the right way to do it is whichever way you prefer.

You'll likely get a different outcome depending on whether you start with wet, slightly damp or dry hair, and the results you like best may differ from someone else's. The only way to discover which end result you prefer is to play around with twisting in various stages of dampness.

Twisting While Completely Wet

Some ladies prefer styling their hair straight out of the shower. If your texture is the type that seems to soak up moisture like a greedy sponge, your hair tends to dry quickly, so immediate styling is often a must. Keep a spray bottle handy if your tresses lose moisture before you're finished. Twists done on very wet hair hold their shape extremely well, and some women find that their final style lasts longer.

The downside is by beginning with very wet hair, it takes longer for your twists to fully dry and you'll probably get more shrinkage. Also, if your texture is on the looser end of the spectrum, your ends may not secure themselves as well if they're very wet.

Twisting Damp Hair

Starting with slightly damp hair is also perfectly acceptable.

You decrease your drying time significantly while still enjoying the extra bit of control you get with damp locks. Again, if your mane seems to be drying more quickly than you like, spritz with water or your preferred product occasionally while you work. Sometimes when you begin with damp hair, your ends tend to dry more quickly than the rest. Seal your ends with a pomade or gel if you like, but re-wetting them can make it more difficult for your twists to hold. As with a lot of things when it comes to hair, you don't know until you try.

Twisting Dry Hair

If you like twisting on dry hair, that's another good option, especially for reducing shrinkage. Typically, if you end up doing a twist-out on hair that was dry twisted, your final style may be wavier and looser than if you twisted on wet hair. Applying a product with some hold helps alleviate frizz and gives you more control while twisting dry hair. A potential drawback to dry twisting comes into play if your hair is extremely thick or kinky. If working with dry locks causes you to pull too much or there's simply too much tangling, start with damp hair instead. You may find working with very wet hair is the best option, too.

Experiment to See What Works Best for You

No matter method you prefer, you may find switching it up now and then a satisfying way to play around with different outcomes.

For times you want tight, incredibly crinkly twist-outs, start with wet or very damp hair. When it's a looser look you're after, begin dry. There's no right or wrong when it comes to this question; it all depends on what you want your final results to be.