brunette woman with afro hair styled into a flat twist halo braid updo

Flat twist hairstyles: Meet this naturalista favourite & discover our favourite looks

Natural hair newbie? The flat twist is about to become your go-to styling method.  

Are you a newly-converted naturalista on the hunt for easy DIY hairstyles? Or perhaps you’ve always worn your hair in box braids and are looking for a fresh new way to wear your natural hair? Let us introduce you to the flat twist, a must-try style for curly-haired girls.

If you’ve never heard of flat twists or you’ve seen them but don’t know much about them, let us break it down for you. Keep on reading for all you need to know about this black hair go-to and you’ll wonder how you ever did your hair before!

Find out why the flat twist is a naturalista’s best friend


streetstyle shot of a woman with dark afro hair in a flat twist halo braid style
Flat twists vs. cornrows – Is there a difference? Credit: Dvora

What are flat twists?

Think of flat twists as the sister style to cornrows, similar but slightly different. And like cornrows, they’re a protective hairstyle which is braided close to the scalp.

However, instead of the braid being formed of 3 separate strands, it’s made up of just 2, twisted together tightly (or flat) against your head. To learn how to flat twist your mane, just follow the steps below…

How to flat twist your hair:

1. It’s best to twist on wet strands, so start by washing your hair. Or, if you don’t have time to properly wash your hair, you can also use a spray water bottle to lightly dampen your tresses.

2. Next, protect your strands using the LOC method. First apply a leave-in conditioner for hydration before following up with an oil to seal in your leave-in. Finally, complete the process by using a rich, cream-consistency leave-in to lock in all of this moisture. This will also leave your hair feeling softer and more nourished (yay!).

3. Use your fingers to gently comb through your curls and undo any tangles.

4. Then divide your hair into sections. The smaller you want your twists, the more sections you’ll need and vice versa.

5. Time to twist! Taking one section at a time, divide the hair into 2 equal sections. Take the lower section and twist it over the top piece and repeat, pulling in more hair to the lower section every time you twist (as you would with a French braid). Continue twisting until you reach the end of your hair and repeat with your other sections.

Tip: For a neater finish, remember to try and keep your twists as close to your scalp as possible by pulling tightly on your hair as you go.

6. Some people find that their natural texture means they can get away with not using a hair tie to keep their twists in shape. But if you are worried about your flat twist unravelling, you can finish up by using a bobby pin to tuck the ends in securely.

7. Then just allow your hair to air dry and you’re done! (Remember to wear a silk scarf overnight if you plan on sleeping in your twists, to protect your style).

back shot of a woman with her afro hair in a flat twist halo braid style
Flat twist updos are a perfect way to style your hair during the day for work. Credit: Dvora

Flat twists can be used to create multiple different looks

Thought there was only one way to work flat twists? Wrong-o! Once you’ve mastered the basic flat twist method, you can use it to create a variety of different hairstyles.

Keep things simple with a full head of cornrow-style twists or create an elegant updo, like the halo braid above. You can even play around with looks from pigtails to chic chignons and even retro rockabilly pompadours — you’ll never run out of looks to try!

Editor’s tip: Once you’ve worked your hair into your chosen hairstyle, use a gel like the VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel to clean up your edges and smooth down any baby hairs for a perfectly-polished finish.

black runway model with flat twist out curly hair
Get defined, runway-ready curls without using heat. Credit:

Do a flat twist out for heatless curls

Want to know the best thing about flat twists? They’re actually 2 hairstyles in 1! Confused? Let us explain. It’s not just the flat twists themselves which make for a super cute style, but the curls you’re left with once you unravel your twists the following day, too!

If your hair is naturally curly but you’d like your curls to have more shape and definition, the flat twist out method can help you achieve a more uniform, controlled curled pattern.

To give this heat-free curling method a try, start by following our flat twist method as set out above. Then, carefully unravel each of your twists one by one to reveal your gorgeously kinky curls — totally heat free!

Editor’s tip: Make sure to apply some oil (like the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment) to your fingertips as you undo your twists. This will help to maintain the integrity of your curls and give them even more definition.


If you enjoyed these flat twist hairstyles and you’re open to trying other braiding types, too, be sure to check out our Black Hairstyles page when you get a chance. There you’ll find a never-ending supply of natural hair styling inspiration, so you can fly the natural hair flag in style!

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