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Kinky Twists | 9 Fun & Fresh Hairstyles to Try This Year

Kinky Twists | 9 Fun & Fresh Hairstyles to Try This Year

Twisted hair is in right now, but many people would argue it never left! Twists have been popping up on the heads of celebs like Solange Knowles and Gabrielle Union, bringing new attention to this unique hairstyle.

What Are Kinky Twists?

Usually worn by black women, the kinky twist is quite similar to a thick braid. Both are protective hairstyles that involve twisting strands of hair together. The main difference is that a twist is easier on the hair.

Whereas a braid is usually made from tightly weaving three or more strands together, a twist is made from gently weaving two strands together. Twists tend to be thicker than braids because the hair is allowed to expand more.

However, because of this, twists also require more maintenance than braids, which you can basically leave alone.

Just like braids, you can opt to keep things completely natural or use extensions (crochet braids) to add length. Kinky twists are all about texture, and that’s exactly why so many black women go for the style.

While larger braids can approximate the style, kinky twists can’t be replicated. If you want those large, rope-like strands of fluffy textured hair, then the kinky twist is for you.

How to Get Kinky Twists

Getting kinky twists is a fairly easy process since each twist is composed of only two strands. On top of that, kinky twists usually employ hair extensions, so the style is also low-impact. For best results, you’ll want to work with an experienced stylist who specializes in kinky twists.

  1. Start by selecting hair extensions that match your natural hair color and type. Kinky twists are usually no longer than shoulder length, but no matter your desired length, make sure you have enough extensions for the job.
  2. Next, comb your hair to remove any tangles from it so that it’s smooth to work with. You’ll now section your hair off much like you would to braid your hair. In fact, you’ll be doing some braiding, so if you braid your own hair often, you can section off your hair just like you normally would.
  3. You can also add gel to your hair now for extra hold and stability, though depending on the type of hair you have, this might not be necessary. At this point, you should have long strands of sectioned-off hair that you can work with.
  4. Grab a hair extension and hold it at its halfway point. Make a small loop with it, and pull one of your strands through the loop. Now, braid your hair in the regular fashion for about half an inch. This will secure the twist to the head.
  5. After you have about half an inch of braided hair, split your hair in half and twist it around itself. All you’re doing here is tightly wrapping the two strands around each other. Do this all the way to the end of the strand.
  6. Once you get to the end, you’ll need to seal the strand. For synthetic extensions, you can use the popular method of dipping the end of the strand into boiling water for a few seconds and then gently drying them off. Be careful!

9 Kinky Twist Examples

Now that you know what kinky twists are and how to get them, let’s take a look at some! Here are 7 great kinky twist hairstyles to inspire you and show you what’s possible with this unique style.

1. Twisted and Decorated

This is the standard kinky twist style topped off with a few decorations on the twists. This has all the hallmarks of the classic kinky twist look: shoulder-length hair, medium-thick twists, and fabulous spiraling texture. The bright decorations pop against the dark hair, providing a nice amount of contrast that also emphasizes the texture of the twists.

2. Twists With Cornrow Sides

You can also incorporate many other styles into kinky twists to create a hybrid style that gives you the best of both worlds. This style is composed of regular kinky twists with cornrows on the sides. This produces the pleasing effect of the hair gradually tapering from the temple so that the twists literally pop.

3. Natural Twists

While most kinky twists use hair extensions, it’s also possible to get the style just using natural hair. Obviously, your hair will have to be a bit longer, but otherwise it’s a similar process. If you’re on a natural hair journey and want to try something different, this is definitely a style to consider.

4. Swooping Twists

Here’s another combination of twists and cornrows that features a “fringe” of twists that swoops to one side. This is just one of the many ways to arrange and position your twists, so have fun with it!

5. Micro Twists

Black woman with micro kinky twists sits in a braiding salon smiling

Ryco Montefont/Shutterstock

Kinky twists are traditionally no longer than shoulder length, but you can go shorter if you like. These small twists resemble micro dreads, but they have a much different texture, affording you a different option if you like micro locs but want something a bit different.

6. Long Colored Twists

Young African American woman with kinky twists and red braided hair sits in business professional dress

Unique Dandridge/Shutterstock

On the other end of the length spectrum, there are kinky twists that reject the shoulder length limit and just go wild. These bright red twists are well past the shoulders, but they’re still very much kinky twists. A neat feature here is the marbling that results from the colored extensions being twisted into the natural hair.

7. Loose Natural Twists

Here’s another natural kinky twist hairstyle with large, loose twists that take full advantage of the hair’s texture. You can get a similar look with extensions, but natural hair will usually allow for a bit more fluff on the twists. A handful of decorations add even more style to this curly ‘do,

8. Extra Long Twists

This hairstyle takes the shoulder-length guideline and completely throws it out the window in favor of flowing twists. To call these twists impressive would be an understatement. This one’s for gals who like really long hair but still want that magnificent twisted texture.

9. Jumbo Twists

You can also change up the size of the twists to get a different look. These eye-catching jumbo twists are about two to three times as thick as normal twists. It’s almost like a hybrid of twists and dreadlocks that will stand out in a crowd.

Things to Consider

If you’re thinking about getting kinky twists, you probably have a few questions on your mind. While this is a straightforward hairstyle, it requires a bit of commitment, and it also might not be for everyone.

Before you jump in and ask your stylist for kinky twists, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your hair type. Generally speaking, if you have type 4a or 4c hair, you’ll have no problem getting kinky twists. 4b is also workable, but it might take a bit more effort to match your natural hair type. If you have other hair types, then you’ll want to consult a stylist experienced in kinky twists to advise you first.
  • Twists vs. braids. Since the two are so similar, you might want to make sure that you don’t want braids. The difference is subtle but noticeable, with kinky twists being more loopy and braids being more interwoven.
  • Level of protection. Both kinky twists and braids are protective hairstyles, but twists are technically more protective since they require less manipulation of the hair. 
  • Level of maintenance. On the other hand, kinky twists also require more maintenance because they unravel more easily. With braids, you can essentially set and forget them. That said, twists don’t take that much extra maintenance, but you’ll have to judge whether the difference is negligible enough for your needs.
  • Size. Twists do vary in size, but they tend to only get so thick. If you’re after a thicker style, you might want to look into braids or even dreadlocks.

Will You Rock Kinky Twists?

Now you should have everything you need to decide if kinky twists are right for you. This one-of-a-kind style has a rich heritage and an eye-catching look, and there’s a reason why it’s so popular. Are you planning on getting kinky twists? We hope so!

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