If there is one natural hair hack that many people will tell you about growing out natural hair is to keep it in twists for longer periods of time.There is a lot of documented proof on social media that twists do effectively help retain length when it’s kept for long periods of time.
I have seen plenty of success online and I was 100% convinced that since I have natural hair too this should work on me as well.
The only challenge is rocking different styles on twists for different events but once you get the hang of them, you should be good to go. Buns pins, even flat twists too!
Keeping natural hair in twists helps with length retention and as your hair grows out it breaks less as the twists are stretched and you do not have to retouch the hair everyday.
Seems pretty simple, right? Well not when you have my natural hair.
I have been following a few (actually a lot) of natural hair influencers who go by this rule and I seem to be the exception of this rule.
For 4 months I kept my hair in mini twists, washed and conditioned every 2 weeks moisturized and sealed and left it alone and I just saw more and more broken pieces on my bathtub, so why is my natural hair not retaining as promised?
The biggest mistake I did: do minitwists
Mini twists aren’t for all of us and for my mixed 4c hair. (I don’t like typing my hair but here we are), 99% of all my ends were exposed. But because Youtube told me that this is what grows natural hair I still thought although my hair is showing all my ends in each twist, I will still be retaining hair. But I didn’t.
Month in, month out, I washed my hair in the twists. I drenged them in the leave in conditioner, I sealed them with heavy oil but still when it was time to do the length check, I still had the same length I had before. So it’s pretty clear that the exception on mini twists is making them so small than all your ends are exposed.
Yes I was a little obsessed but that’s what Youtube promised me so why isn’t there any results?
Minitwists left my ends exposed to breakage
The more I had these mini twists the more I had exposed ends. When I wore them out this was no different than actually wearing my hair out. What is the point of a protective style if the ends are just as exposed? Mini twists aren’t ideal for retentioin if the The more I had exposed ends, the more brittle they became. The more brittle they became, the more the ends needed the trim. The more I trimmed (and still kept the hair in these mini twists) the more I had to trim and the more length I lost. See the problem?
Sealing helped – a bit
Well it did, the first 2 days but then I had to get a heavier sealant, castor oil and eventually had to get grease (petroleum jelly) which needs 2 washes to get rid of. It wasn’t half bad and I’m not completely against petroleum if used correctly and this is why:
Petroleum usually seals moisture for about 4-6 days so the moisture retention is great for my hair to remoisturize but since the ends are exposed I found my self having to lightly shampoo to get the more moisture in. It’s all a big mess really.
But my ends were not as brittle and as quickly as it was but I was shampooing at lot more.
At some point I found myself almost scissor happy. Trying to fix this mess I caused on myself. Forcing myself to believe that mini twists are good for my natural hair. So I went ahead and trimmed and left the twists in. Because it was too hard to let the idea go, there are so many influencers who grew natural hair this way, surely it is supposed to work for me. It didn’t.
My solution – Try Chunkier Twists
Eveentually after 4 months and length checks I finally gave in. I took the twists down. Did a proper wash day and left my hair for 2 weeks in chunky twists. Feeling discouraged and fustrated. I unraveled my twists and look, my hair was still as supple and as moisturized as I did it before. Yes I used petroleum like i did before but I didn’t have to force myself or my hair to behave a certain way.
So I guess I am one of the 0.1% of naturals who can’t grow natural hair in mini twists but chunky twists are for me. Besides they take 10 minutes to do and there is plenty of tutorials to do updo’s with them!