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Learn how to protect your natural hair with a two-strand twist hairstyle—plus, discover styling inspo to level up your twist out.

How To Do Two-Strand Twists On Natural Hair In 6 Easy Steps

Learn how to protect your natural hair with a two-strand twist hairstyle—plus, discover styling inspo to level up your twist out.
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Whether you’re a newbie or further along in your natural hair journey, finding new ways to style natural hair can be overwhelming. There are plenty of stunning protective styles to choose from, but many require a lengthy salon visit to achieve. That’s why we love the classic two-strand twist. This easy hairstyle can help protect your curls and coils and is easy to do from the comfort of your home—even if you’re lacking in styling experience.

To help explain how to nail this natural hairstyle at home, we tapped Matrix Artist and Texture of Change ambassador Shanique Frett. Below, you’ll learn what two-strand twists are, why they’re worth adding to your styling lineup, and discover a simple six-step tutorial for creating the look at home.

What Are The Benefits of Two-Strand Twists?

As we mentioned, two-strand twists can (easily) be done at home—a major plus for those seeking a protective style that doesn’t require a salon visit. But that’s not the only benefit of this simple style. They’re also:

  • Protective: Protective styles, as the name suggests, help protect natural hair from damage and promote healthy growth. When you’re wearing a protective style, there’s no need to rely on hot tools that can lead to split ends, dryness, and breakage.
  • Low manipulation: Unlike some other protective styles, two-strand twists are fairly low-manipulation, so they don’t put too much stress on your scalp or strands.
  • Versatile: Two-strand twists are suitable for a range of hair types, textures, and lengths. Plus, the rope-like twists set you up well to wear your hair curly afterward. “You can transition from the two-strand twists, open them, and then you have another style for another week or so,” explains Frett.
  • Long-lasting: You can actually get a good night’s sleep with twists, Frett says—they’re sturdy enough to stay put while you snooze. With proper care, you can expect your twists to hold for anywhere from two to three weeks.

How To Prepare Natural Hair for Two-Strand Twists

If you want to achieve the perfect two-strand twists, start with clean, conditioned hair. Frett strongly suggests using a clarifying shampoo to remove excess oils, dirt, or build-up. Try Mizani Moisture Fusion Gentle Clarifying Shampoo, which helps remove excess oils and product residue without stripping the hair.

It’s important to follow up your shampoo with a conditioner (or mask, depending on your needs) to help replenish hair and lock in moisture. We like the Mizani Moisture Fusion Intense Conditioning Mask, which contains cupuaçu butter, argan oil, and honey and helps nourish dry curls and coils. You’ll want to leave this rich mask in for at least 15 minutes to allow it to penetrate. Before rinsing, Frett suggests using a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle the hair and loosen any knots (this will help simplify the styling process).

How To Do Two-Strand Twists: A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Before getting started on your twist-out, you’ll need to gather a few tools. Here’s what we recommend having on hand:

  • Fine-tooth or rat-tail comb
  • Detangling brush or comb
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Styling gel or cream for natural hair
  • A blow dryer
  • Hair clips
  • Hair oil

Once you’ve got everything and you’re ready to get to work, these are the steps you’ll want to follow.

Step 1: Section your hair

Begin by using your rat-tail comb to part your hair in the middle, creating two equal sections on either side of your head. Clip one section back so it’s out of the way. Then, use your comb to portion out a one-inch section of hair on the side you plan to start with.

Step 2: Apply your styling product

Work a styling gel, cream, or foam evenly throughout the one-inch section of hair you sectioned out. We like Mizani Styling Foam Wrap for two-strand twists because it provides lasting hold and helps to keep frizz at bay. If desired, you can use a detangling brush or a wide-tooth comb to work the product throughout the hair and ensure it’s evenly distributed.

Step 3: Begin twisting

Use your fingers to split the one-inch section of hair in half and begin twisting the strands around one another to create a twisted coil shape. We recommend keeping the rope-like plait taut as you work—this will help ensure you get nice, tight twists.

Step 4: Seal the ends

Next, apply Mizani True Textures Sleek Holding Gel to the ends of your twist to help seal it and prevent the coil from unraveling. Keep in mind a little bit of product goes a long way—you can always add more later if needed.

Step 5: Repeat

Once your first twist is complete, you’ll want to follow the same four steps above on a new section of hair. Repeat the process until your entire head is completed. If your hair begins to dry, use your spray bottle to lightly dampen sections as you’re working on them.

Step 6: Dry and set

After you’ve finished doing your two-strand twists, sit underneath a hooded dryer for 15-45 minutes and allow your hair to dry completely (if you don’t have a hooded dryer, cover your hair with a bonnet and use a standard blow dryer). Finish by coating your hands with an oil like Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Original Hair Oil and lightly rubbing it onto your twists for glossy, healthy-looking shine.

How To Style Two-Strand Twists

Two-strand twists are great all on their own, but there are plenty of versatile ways to style them. Here, find styling inspiration for your next low-manipulation look.

Good hair day by @lamajbackwards

Extra-Long Twists

Weaving extensions into your twists is a fun and easy way to add length (and color, if desired!) to your protective style. We’re especially fond of how long twists look when paired with regal gold-toned hair beads.

Good hair day by @nakawunde

Two-Strand Twists and Cornrows

Alternate twists and classic cornrows for a protective style with tons of flair. We recommend stopping both your twists and cornrows at the crown of your head, then fluffing up the remaining hair and pinning it into a half-up look. Use a brush and a small amount of Mizani Edge Control Taming Gel to smooth flyaways along the hairline and combat frizz at the parts.

Good hair day by @lamajbackwards

Twisted Bantu Knots

Keep your hair off of your face by rolling your twists into intricate Bantu knots. We recommend using thicker sections of hair for your twists to nail this look.

Good hair day by @thecurlmother

Two-Strand Twist Updo

Another great way to embrace your twists and keep your hair off of your face is with a twisted updo. Simply gather your twists into a high ponytail at the crown of your head and secure it with a silk hair tie or pins. We recommend leaving a few twists out to frame your face—but how you rock your twisted pony is up to you.


Once you’re ready to put your two-strand twists to rest, gently unravel each plait for defined, voluminous coils. Let your springy curls hang loose, or use a pick to tease your hair at the roots for added volume (without disrupting your curl pattern).

NEXT UP: How To Perfect Your Wash-and-Go Routine in 4 Easy Steps

Ready to start your natural hair journey? Use our salon locator to book a consultation with an expert near you. Explore The Texture Edit for more expert advice on natural hairstyles.

Header photo credit: @bycarlamarcelle

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