Step-by-Step Guide to Flat Twisting for Black Hair

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How to Flat Twist Hair

Flat twists are a neat way to add a new protective style to your hair repertoire. Regular two strand twists, which can hang loosely, are usually best for natural hair, but flat twists can work well on both natural and relaxed textures. Flat twists are similar to cornrows, but may be easier for beginners or those working with their own hair. Instead of working with three sections of hair, as you do with cornrows, flat twists only require two sections at a time.

To begin flat twisting hair, start with a part at the hairline.

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Part from Hairline to Nape

Proceed by parting the rest of your hair along the part you started at the hairline, all the way back to the nape of the neck. For best results, use the end of a rat-tail comb.

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Begin with a Small Section

Starting from the inner edges of the part, begin working with a small section at the hairline.

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Divide Section into Two Parts

Divide that same small section of hair into two equal parts.

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Begin Twisting

Twist the two sections of hair around each other, moving back along this parted section.

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Continue Twisting

As you twist the hair, gently incorporate hair from along the part into the twist as you work backwards. It's important to not use too much tension, because you don't want to cause pain or damage to the hair follicles with tight styling.

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Secure the Twist

If the hair you're twisting is long enough, you'll reach a point where the twist is no longer attached to the scalp. You might want to secure the twist here, but it's best to experiment and see what works for you. Here, you can use a small butterfly clip to keep the twist from unraveling. However, the thicker and curlier the hair, the better it is at holding itself together without worry of coming untwisted.

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Twist to the End

Continue twisting the hair until you reach the end. If you want to, secure the ends with covered elastics or barrettes. However, natural hair can usually secure itself without additional help.

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Repeat Across Entire Head

Repeat the flat twists over the entire head, moving outwards along the hairline. As you become more comfortable with your technique, you may find yourself wanting to create parts that direct to one side instead of straight back, for more variety.

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Keeping Twists in a Ponytail

If you don't want to let your twists hang loose, you can easily pull them back into a ponytail. Either let the ends hang freely or secure them, as shown here. This is a good option for people who want an easy protective style without many accessories.

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Two Ponytails

This is the flat twisted take on pigtails. If you have very thick hair, this style might be better than traditional ponytails; you may find it relieves some of the bulk, allowing you to create various styles without combing through massive amounts of hair every day.