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Mini Twists on Natural Hair: A No-Frills, No-Twist Guide For 2024

“What am I going to do with my hair?” If you are a naturalista, chances are you’ve exclaimed this question out loud to your mirror, comb, or shower drain on countless occasions.

During summer, especially, it’s hard not to lose patience over the state of your hair. Pool parties? Beach trips? Those sadly take a backseat because you can’t risk salty water, humidity, and extreme heat wreaking havoc on your already-delicate strands.

What now? Before you call your BFF to cancel that alluring holiday vacation, take a moment to scour through your TikTok feed.

Nine times out of ten, you’ll stumble upon the latest and greatest protective style in town: mini twists. The natural hair community isn’t going gaga over them for nothing; they are low-maintenance, more durable than regular twists, offer endless styling options, and keep hair growth locked in. What’s not to love?

Learn how to apply mini twists the right way. No drama. No trauma. Just simple, painless haircare.

What are Mini Twists?

If box braids had a cousin, this would be it. The only difference is that mini twists solely use natural hair. It’s perhaps the most indulgent protective hairstyle out there, involving two-stand twists created in small, segmented portions of the hair.

Does that mean you’ll need a couple of hours to complete this hairstyle? Probably. But when the alternative is overly manipulated hair and missed pool days with your BFF, you are better off exercising some patience. You’ll want to tune in to your favorite Netflix show while at it (Cable Girls, anyone?).

How to DIY Mini Twists at Home

The whole point of opting for this style is to skip the occasional trip the local braider. And with the current economy, nobody can say no to an unspent dollar or two! With that said, it’s time to get your hands dirty. 

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What you need:

How To Do Mini Twists: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Start on Freshly Washed Hair

As the adage goes, the lifespan of your twists is majorly dependent on the pre-twist process. That is, washing your hair, prepping your scalp, and what not.

To that end, start by giving your tresses and scalp a proper cleanse. Once that’s done, apply a deep conditioner and leave it in for at least 20 minutes. Creating the perfect mini twists requires exerting a bit of tension on your curls; well-conditioned hair can comfortably withstand the pulling and tugging without breaking.

Step 2: Work Out a Few Doable Sections

The real work starts here. Use a parting comb to gently section your hair into several large sections. Then, secure each segment with a hair clip. But before all that, you might want to spray in a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair from getting dry over time.

4-8 sections should suffice. Now we hear you asking, “What about those of us who skipped geometry class?” Well, great news: there’s no limit to the number of sections you can work with. Let your hair’s length and thickness be your guide.

Step 3: Begin Twisting

When it’s time for the rewarding marathon, a.k.a. mini twists creation, take caution for a messy or wrong technique that can damage your hair. 

Go with a product-aided style as opposed to the finger-guided methods of installing mini twists—and your paracetamol stores and scalp will be eternally grateful.

Take out a section, split it up, and work on that. Again, you’ll want to use a leave-in spray to attain sufficient slip for detangling. Within the lose section, grab a smaller section, about 1-2 inches, and proceed to apply a pea-sized amount of styling gel on it. This is important for preparation purposes, and helps to define your curls.

When twisting, the correct way to go about it is to first segment the part you’re holding into two even sections, then wrap them around each other in clockwise motion until you reach the ends. 

While it’s tempting to “borrow” hair between sections, don’t. It’ll make taking out the twists an absolute nightmare. That’s why it’s prudent to ascertain your sections are even and full before twisting.

Step 4: Secure Your Twists

For this step, all you need to do is twirl the ends with your fingers once the twist is done. This will help to keep your twists in place and add more days (or weeks!) to their lifespan.

Step 5: Repeat for All the Remaining Sections

Now, repeat Step 3 and 4 for all the large sections you created. Don’t be boring, though. For the sections near the perimeter of your face, consider switching it up to three-stand twists. By the time you’re wrapping together the final strands, your twists will be looking super snug, neat, and tight, so much so that your BFF will be impatiently asking for a referral to your stylist (plot twist: you are the stylist).

Maintenance 101: What to Do After Creating Mini Twists

With the twisting process complete comes the question: “How will I sleep?”

We all dread that “new-hairstyle” pain and strive not to toss and turn in bed for the next couple of days or so.

Regardless, the end of the twisting phase marks the beginning of the maintenance process, which, if done correctly, should have your mini twists looking fresh and shiny for longer.

To do so:

1) Give Your Twists and Scalp Some Regular TLC 

If you intend for your twists to hit the four-week mark and beyond, then this best-practice is a no-brainer. No matter how well you think you installed your mini twists, product buildup is difficult to keep at bay overtime and, if left unattended, could leave your hair looking bad and smelling worse.

At least once every week, wash the braids properly. It’s simple: fill your spray bottle and a leave-in, then spritz it over your precious hair from roots to ends and make sure it’s properly saturated.

To remove any excess water, use a microfiber towel. Steer clear of regular bath towels. While they’re absorbent, they soak up too much water—yes, that’s possible.

They strip too much moisture from your hair, leaving you with rough, dry, and frizzy tresses. And that’s not the worst of it.

Once you finish cleaning and drying your twists, seal them off with a lightweight oil (think: almond or jojoba oil) to lock in moisture.

2) Cover Them Up at Night

Even your beautiful-looking mini twists need and deserve warm covers at night—just not the same ones you’re using. Exposing your hair to the incessant friction between it and your beddings could have not-so-pleasant repercussions on its general health and appearance. Before you know it, you’ll be staring at frayed, moisture-less twists that are on the verge of breakage; all within a space of a week or less.

With that in mind, invest in a satin scarf for tying down your twists at night. Its softness eliminates the said friction while keeping moisture locked in for long stretches of time. If money allows, throw in a silk pillow and a satin pillowcase as well—it’s the kind of pampering that will have your hair singing your praises.

3) Make Hair Oil Your Ally

If your mini twists won’t complain of nightly disturbance, they’ll probably protest about the length of time you’ve had them on. And their way of complaining is unmistakable, and, quite frankly, intolerable: odor. 

 

To keep your new hairstyle free of odor, make it a habit to massage your scalp with oil two to three times a week. A stylist spray or hair mist are also great alternatives. In other words, look for moisturizing products packed with hair nourishing ingredients.

4) Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Literally. After all, isn’t the whole point of a low-manipulation hairstyle to help you get through your days without spending half of the time thinking about or attending to your strands?

Excessive hair touching leaves your gorgeous mini twists prone to frizz and drying. Needless to say, that is, by far, the quickest way to shorten their lifespan.

The Takedown: How to Remove Mini Twists Correctly

Unpleasant as it is, it must happen at some point. When time comes to bid goodbye to one of the most eccentric hairstyles you’ll ever rock, be careful not to make a mess of it. You know what they say about finishing strong.

The whole removal process can take anywhere between a few hours and a few days, depending on the number of twists and the intricacy with which they were woven together. As a best-practice, section the hair into 4-8 sections, spray water on every portion, and use oil (or any product with good slip) to remove each twist. The goal is to protect your hair from the damage that typically ensues when twists are removed haphazardly. 

How to Style Mini Twists

And now here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for—time to make a killing with ‘em mini twists!

But before you pull that new look you’ve spotted on YouTube or the vastness of Instagram pages, appreciate that your twists (as fabulous as they are) can only be styled so much. Some styles may stunt hair growth, easily create fly-aways, interfere with your hair’s natural texture, or worse, pull some of it out.

Thus, choose a style that treats with your hair with as much care and meticulousness as you do. That said, let nothing take away from the wealth of mini twists styling options at your disposal:

1) Accessorised Mini Twists On Natural Hair

Accessorised mini twists on natural hair
@_harrisjanae_

2) Mini Twist On Natural Hair Up Do

mini twists on natural hair up do
@syeda_bombom

3) Mini Twists On Natural Hair In Space Buns

mini twists on natural hair in space buns
@syeda_bombom

4) Low Bun Natural Hair Mini Twists

natural hair mini twists in a low bun
@likho.nonyongo

5) Low Bun Natural Hair Mini Twists

Low Bun Natural Hair Mini Twists
@likho.nonyongo

6) Middle Part Mini Twists

@the.natural.breona

7) High Bun Mini Twists On Natural Hair

high bun mini twists on natural hair
@roothie__

8) Middle Part Mini Twists

@the.natural.breona

9) Side Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair

Side part mini twists on natural hair
@teerachelle_

10) Middle Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair

mini twists on curly natural hair
@curlelia

11) Side Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair

Side Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair
@teerachelle_

12) Middle Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair

 Middle Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair
@curlelia

13) Side Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair

Side  Part Mini Twists On Natural Hair
@garshellm

15) Half Up Half Down Mini Twists On Natural Hair

Half up half down mini twists on natural hair
@_harrisjanae_

Regardless of whether you have curly hair or 4c hair, mini twists are a great low manipulation natural hairstyle.

Which one of these mini twists hairstyles will you be trying?