Last week I shared 5 easy quick ways to fix to a failed twist out but this week I thought I’d share a few (quite a few… 10 to be exact) reasons that your twist out is failing in the first place & what you need to do to fix it.

10 reasons your twist out failed

1. You need a trim: One of the top reasons (my number one reason actually) that a twist out fails… or appears like it has failed is because you need a trim. Nothing can ruin the appearance of a twist out more than scraggy/ dry ends that just wont cooperate because they are damaged/dead. Getting a great trim/ hair cut/ or shaping can bring your twist outs back to life in a serious way! You may want to consider if your ends just wont do what you want no matter how much oil or hair butters you put on them that it is time to let them go!

2. Hair was not properly detangled: Detangling can be a pain in the butt I know that, but if not done thoroughly you are just wasting your time trying to achieve a banging twist out. Though other styles (like perm rod sets and flexi rod sets) require more patience in detangling and smoothing to get a great set, a twist out also needs to be properly pre-detangled before twisting in order to get the right level of definition you are looking for. Whether you are twisting tiny twists into your head or putting in chunky flat twists, detangling will allow the product to smooth its way through and will make it easier during the take down process.

3. Not enough Product: Though a product doesn’t always make or break a twist out, if you haven’t coated the hair with the right amount of product (no matter which one you are using) your twist out may fall flat at take down time. It is important to read the directions and see what the recommended amount of product is to use in order to achieve a successful style.

4. Too much product: On the other extreme hand, adding too much styling product can ruin your twist out before you’ve even started. It can also make your drying time extra long (and no one has time for that). If you are twisting and see white residue as you are going along, chances are you have added a bit too much product. I know as a product junkie and as a naturalista we have a heavy hand when it comes to product use. But if you are okay with 15+ drying times, I know you wont be okay with a limp or weighed down twist out that seems almost lifeless. (unless that is the look you are going for) Sometimes a little can go a long way and that dime size they recommend on the packaging is for a reason!

5. Twists were not completely dry: Oh man oh man oh man… this is one of the biggest complaints and mistakes we as naturals make… that is almost unfixable. If you’ve used too much product, or just didn’t have as much time or heat as you thought you did, chances are when you take down your twists and they kind of fall apart slowly in a mushy mess instead of popping apart in a defined curly spiral… you will shed a tear of sadness. The best quick fix or that is usually a puff, or a goddess/halo braid. If this is what is plaguing your twist outs don’t worry… letting em dry for a few more hours or sitting under an hair dryer can help solve this issue easily!

reasons your twist out failed

6. Too much fluffing/manipulating during take down: If you notice that your twist out looks really defined when you first take it down and once you’re done with the fluffing, and picking, and manipulating it to get some maximum volume… it has died. This has happened to me all too often. I’ve pretty much learned to accept and love the fluffy afro I usually create with little to no definition because I’ve fluffed it out too much. If you are looking for a well defined twist out lay off on too much fluffing/ manipulating. It may not be as full as you want right away, but give it a few days and you’ll get a nice stretch and definition if taken care of/preserved the right ways over night. I’ve never been good at following this rule myself because I pick my hair all the way out until it is huge… but the twist out affect is pretty much gone at that point.

7. Didn’t properly twist: This one can be tricky especially if you are transitioning or just started out doing/learning your own hair. It took me months before I could even properly twist my hair at all while I was transitioning a few years ago. No matter how many Youtube videos I watched or hair events I went to, I couldn’t master the art of the twist or flat twist. (I was always pretty bad at braiding hair so I wasn’t surprised) What did surprise me was how much better I got at it as time went on. Don’t give up practicing. If your twist is too lose or too tight that is going to affect the way it comes out the next day, but once you’ve mastered the art of twisting or the technique I should say you’ll find it to be a quite easy styling process (takes me about 15 minutes to do my whole head vs perm rod sets, bantu knots…etc)

8. Your hair needs a treatment: Most of the time I find my hair talks to me thorough styling. If I need a deep conditioning treatment or protein treatment then my styles will come out limp and lifeless no matter what product I use, how much I use of it, if I just trimmed my ends or if I’ve twisted perfectly. My hair is upset with me and it is letting me know through my twist out. If you notice that your hair just seems limp and lifeless even during the washing process then you may want to check for the signs here to see whether your hair needs a protein or moisture treatment.

9. Slept without any protection: I’ve made this mistake a few times even as a pretty seasoned naturalista at this point. If you don’t put on a bonnet, satin/silk pillow case, head tie, whatever it is you use at night… if you don’t get it ready/put it in place you are setting your self up for disaster. You will wake up to find your hair has lost most of the moisture you have spent so much time adding to it, and your style will pay the price for that. Preservation at night is the final step in the process that is extremely crucial to a successful style. I know sometimes we get tired, or sometimes we want to have some night time fun with a significant other. But always try to throw that bonnet on or that pillow case on right before you lay your head down to sleep. (And try… though it can be hard… to not sleep on your significant other’s chest if you don’t have a bonnet or head tie on… you will wake up reallllly surprised!)

10.  Your hair just doesn’t like twists: Sad to say sometimes if all else has failed your hair could be sending you a tell tale sign that twists/ twist outs are just not for you. Every style and every technique isn’t always going to work for your hair. There are a few things in the natural hair community that I have seen work wonders/magic for so many others and for me they’ve left me flat on my face. If you find that your twist outs just can’t get right or aren’t full enough, try a new style. The possibilities and versatility in the natural hair community are endless so don’t feel ashamed or disappointed.

If you just don’t have the time to re-do your twists (which many of us dont) you can check out this video below of quick and easy styles you can do in a rush/on the go that will take you less than five minutes to fix that failed twist out.

5 Ways To Fix Your Failed Twist out

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Hey there! I'm Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I'm busy teaching the future of society.