By Terez Howard

Flat twists, which resemble cornrows, are a beautiful hair style for any natural girl.  Instead of using three sections of hair, as you would when creating a braid or cornrow, only two are used, similar to two strand twists.  The only difference between flat twists and two strand twists is that flat twists lay against the scalp.

Flat twisting your natural hair makes for a great protective style, which means that the ends of your hair are protected.  Protective hair styles help your hair to retain length.  Flat twists and a flat twist-out also are hair styles appropriate for women transitioning to natural hair.  The two different hair textures blend as one with this natural hair style.

You can learn how to flat twist natural hair by practicing.  Your curly, coily black hair texture might make flat twisting a challenge.  (It was for me).  But you can learn to perfect this style by experimenting with products and by using a firm hand.

A Step By Step Flat Twist Tutorial

1.  On clean hair, covered with product, plan out your flat twist style.  Part of the beauty of flat twists comes from the straight parts.  You first have to know what you are doing.  Look at a picture or have clearly in mind what you would like your end result to be.

2.  Use the pointy end of a rat tail comb to part your hair.  Damp hair can make parting easier than dry hair, which lacks the slip that damp hair has.

3.  Secure the rest of your hair with a hair band or clip.  If you skip this step, you will lose your parts.

4.  Take a small section of hair located at the top of your row.  It should be about 1/2 inch in width.

5.  Divide this hair into two sections, as if you were getting ready to create a two strand twist.

6.  Twist the left section over the right once or twice to start.

7.  Grab small amounts of hair as you go down the row, continuing the left over right twisting motion.

8.  Secure the hair with a band or clip.  Twirl it around itself, or put a bantu knot on the bottom.  If you fail to secure your natural hair in some way, the flat twist will gradually loosen and look puffy.  Some loosening is inevitable, but if you don’t secure the ends in one of the ways noted above, your flat twist will turn out unkempt.

Flat Twist Tips

  • To create neat-looking flat twists, you must have a firm hand.  That means you must use your fingers to keep your flat twist tight against the scalp.  If you flat twist far from the scalp, you will end up with a puffy twist.
  • With coily hair texture, the secret to fabulous flat twists lies in the product.  I found that clear gel helped my shrunken hair to stretch, thus making it easier to flat twist.  Short naturals should especially seek out a product that makes the hair flexible enough to stretch into a flat twist.
  • Smaller flat twists are easiest for beginners.  If you start out with too much hair, you will have difficulty keeping the strands separated properly.  By parting out small rows, you will have an easier time flat twisting your natural hair.
  • To create a flat twist-out, gently remove flat twists with your index finger. If you pull them out too hard, then you will lose the curly texture they created. After you remove the twists, finger comb your hair to get rid of the parts and style.

Basic Flat Twist Hair Styles

  1. Flat twist hair straight back.
  2. Flat twist the upper half of your hair and secure with Bantu knots. Leave the back out in a puff or do a roller set.
  3. Flat twist the lower half of your hair up into a pony tail afro puff.
  4. Flat twist the sides of your hair toward the center.  Secure the twists with bobby pins to create a french twist.
  5. Remove flat twists for a flat twist-out, resembling a curly afro.


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