10 Top Styling Products for Twisting Hair

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If you have curly hair, you’re probably no stranger to twist-outs.

This is a natural hairstyle that’s achieved by twisting your hair. The style is perfect when you’re transitioning from relaxers or transforming your curls and coils.

A twist-out is most popular with people who have natural type 4 hair.

A yellow hair mask in a small white jar and a hair brush beside it

But now more people with different hair types and textures are trying them out because the method gives them beautiful spiral curls without the use of damaging tools and chemicals.

However, to get the top twist-outs, you’d need the right products for twisting hair.

And to help you with that, we’ve listed the top products for twisting natural hair that are effective in defining and holding your twist-outs.

Let’s start with our top three.

Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard
Editor's Choice
  • Enriched with shea butter and olive oil
  • For naturally textured and relaxed hair
  • Tames frizz and conditions the strands
  • Defines and shapes the curls
Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter
Premium Pick
  • Enriched with sweet almond milk and honey
  • For all hair types
  • Nourishes the hair and prevents shrinkage
  • Makes curls last
Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel
Budget Pick
  • Contains shea butter and essential oils
  • For curls and coils
  • Provides a good hold for twist outs
  • Controls frizz and moisturizes hair

What Are Twists?

If you carefully observe your hair, you’ll notice that the curl pattern and texture of your strands are not really uniform. 

For example, even if you have type 4 hair, you’ll see that some of your strands are less curly than others.

Twists can help unify these textures. The process of creating twists involves dividing your hair into sections, twisting each of them with the help of twisting products, and then letting them dry and set for 3 hours or more.

The waiting time lets your hair hold the shape of the twist you created. The longer you leave the twists on, the more curled your hair will be.

After unraveling the twists, you’ll get your twist-out hairstyle, which is what the result of hair twisting is called.

The best part about doing twists is it’s pretty easy. You don’t have to be a braid expert to do it, and you don’t even need to visit the salon to get the look.

Types of Twists

Now the way you twist the hair depends on how you want the twist-outs to look. It can be customized according to your particular curl pattern, hair length, and style preference.

Single-Strand Twists

This style is also known as finger coils. It gives you luscious, glamorous spiral curls.

However, single-strand twists require a lot of time, effort, and curling gel to be effective. Furthermore, it works best when done in small half-inch sections.

Two-Strand Twists

This is the most common twist hairstyle. It gives you beautiful zigzag curls that add body to your hair.

Flat Twists

If you want well-defined curls from the roots to the ends, go for a flat twist. This will help stretch out your strands, which is beneficial for those with poorly defined and overly tight or coiled curls. 

What To Look for in Hair Twisting Products

Before we share our favorite products for twisting hair, let’s look at what you should look for to help you find the top ones.

After all, they can make all the difference in your twist-outs. And the star of the show is the curl-defining cream, which works as both a moisturizer and a curl holder.

Here are some of the things you should look for when buying hair-twisting products:

1. Type of Product

There are typically two types of products for twisting hair: gel and cream.

Both can define your curls and twists, but gels typically provide more hold while creams offer more moisturization. 

So if you want a longer-lasting product that’s focused on superior frizz control, go for gel. But if you want something gentler that makes your twists feel smooth, go for cream.

Take note that there are less common types of hair-twisting products like setting lotion and butter. 

Both types deliver the moisturization and hold that creams and gels do, but they may have more of a heavy feel. So it’s crucial to look for a twisting setting lotion or butter that’s lightweight. 

You may also encounter pudding and custard products, which are more similar to curl-defining creams in texture and formula.

2. Moisturizing 

The most important feature to look for in a good twisting product is moisturizing ingredients. Look for ingredients that keep your hair soft, smooth, and healthy and ensure detangling your locks is easy!

Some good moisturizing ingredients include shea butter, argan oil, honey, hibiscus, and natural essential oils.

3. Long-Lasting and Lightweight Formula

It’s important that your product helps hold your twists in place. After all, that’s why you’re using it in the first place.

The hair-twisting product you choose should last for at least two to three days without needing reapplication.

Make sure as well to choose a twisting product with a lightweight formula because heavy products can weigh your hair down.

4. Free of Harmful Chemicals

When choosing a hair product for your curly hair, it’s always best to choose products that don’t contain harmful chemicals like sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, or mineral oils, which can damage your curls in the long run.

All-natural ingredients are a great choice when looking for hair twist products.

The 10 Top Products for Twisting Hair

1
Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard

What do you do with unruly and frizzy natural hair? Control it with the moisturizing humectants found in Aunt Jackie’s natural hair product.

Primary Benefits: Tames frizz; defines and shapes curls; moisturizes and conditions the strands

Features:

  • Enriched with shea butter and olive oil
  • For textured hair
  • Shea butter scent

For long-lasting, bouncy, spiral curls, use Aunt Jackie’s Curl Lala Defining Curl Custard.

 

If you’re looking for the top natural hair twist products, Aunt Jackie’s has a lot to offer. But our favorite among this brand’s products is the Curl Lala Defining Curl Custard.

It looks and smells delicious, gives you touchably soft and light curls, and contains shea butter and olive oil, which are known for their moisturizing properties.

This means the product will give your hair the hydration it needs without making it look flat and feel greasy.

And when the strands are moisturized, there will be less frizz and more defined curls.

Plus, it’s a versatile cream that you can use for both thick and fine hair.

Solve your dryness and frizz problem with Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard.

2
Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

Beautiful twist-outs need lots of moisture and manageability, which is exactly what this curling gel from Cantu has to offer.

Primary Benefits: Controls frizz; moisturizes and conditions hair; shapes and holds twists and braids

Features:

  • Contains shea butter and essential oils
  • Cruelty-free
  • For curls and coils
  • Shea butter scent

For soft and shiny twists, braids, and locks, use the Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel.

 

Cantu designed this creamy gel formula with curls and coils in mind.

The brand knows how fragile and prone to dryness textured hair is. That’s why the Twist & Lock Gel is formulated to be great for waves, curls, and coils.

It contains no harmful chemicals that can dry out your hair, only hydrating and nourishing ingredients like olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and avocado oil, among many others.

With all these hair-loving ingredients, you’ll be confident that this product moisturizes and nourishes your strands.

And the best part? Cantu not only cares for natural hair, but the company also cares for women of color. It gives Black and Latina women the resources they need to help them become entrepreneurs and leaders.

3
Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter

If you’re not a fan of hair butter because it’s too thick, you can try this one from Camille Rose which is considerably lighter.

Primary Benefits: Nourishes hair and elongates the strands; creates beautiful soft curls that last for days

Features:

  • Enriched with sweet almond milk and honey
  • For all hair types
  • Sweet nutty fragrance

Butter up your twists with the Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter.

 

Ever since the Curly Girl Method became popular, lots of manufacturers have formulated hair products with natural ingredients.

And one of the front-runners in creating natural curl products is Camille Rose.

The brand’s styling butter is made of natural ingredients that are safe to leave in your hair even overnight.

But the top ingredients in the Almond Jai Twisting Butter include the following:

  • Honey — Softens and smooths the hair
  • Almond extract — Conditions the hair and scalp
  • Aloe vera — Keeps moisture in the strands and promotes hair growth

This is a really effective product for twists because it deeply moisturizes and holds curls — so much so that some users find they don’t need to reapply it for up to two days!

And while this product is a butter formula, it’s lighter than most hair butter products, so it can be easily absorbed by the strands. This means it won’t just sit on top of your strands and leave residue.

However, this consistency is the reason why this is top used for twisting hair and not as a leave-in conditioner or detangler.

4
Design Essentials Natural Twist & Set Setting Lotion

Design Essentials offers the easiest hair-twisting product you can use. This product comes in a liquid formula that you can simply spray onto your strands.

Primary Benefits: Creates shiny, long-lasting curls; provides a medium hold to your twists; helps detangle the strands

Features:

  • Infused with almond and avocado extracts
  • For all curl types
  • Natural refreshing scent

For easy and non-greasy twists, try the Design Essentials Natural Twist & Set Setting Lotion.

 

Lock in your beautiful twists and locs with Design Essentials Setting Lotion. It’s a spray-on hair-twisting product that gives you shiny, long-lasting twist-outs.

The formula is infused with avocado, which strengthens the hair shaft, and almond, which nourishes the hair, ensuring, your strands will experience less breakage and more shine.

What’s more, this product has a light formula that helps you detangle your locks easily and makes them more manageable.

It also reduces your waiting time because it sets and dries fast with a soft medium hold without causing flakes or buildup.

And because the product is alcohol and sulfate free, it’s safe to use on color-treated hair.

5
Pantene Gold Series Curl Defining Pudding

When we see “gold” on the label, we instantly set high expectations, and Pantene did not disappoint. This curl-defining pudding is the gold standard for moisturizing products, developed by scientists and perfected by stylists.

Primary Benefits: Lightly holds twist-outs; reduces frizz; locks in moisture

Features:

  • Infused with argan oil
  • Pro-vitamin formula
  • For dry curly hair
  • Light scent

Create soft, hydrated twist-outs with the Pantene Gold Series Curl Defining Pudding.

When your curls are moisturized, they’re more well-defined and frizz-free.

That’s why Pantene created the Gold Series, a revamped version of their classic Pro-V formula.

It is now infused with argan oil for more effective moisture-locking power. Plus, it has no parabens or sulfates. 

With regular use of the Gold Series products, you’ll have stronger, more well-nourished hair with a formula that doesn’t weigh down your strands and is perfect for wash-and-go styling.

So if you’re looking for what product to use to twist natural hair without making it feel heavy, you can try the Pantene Gold Series Curl Defining Pudding.

6
African Pride Black Castor Miracle Braid, Loc, & Twist Gel

If you want extra hold for your twists, try this gel from African Pride, that holds curls without making your hair hard or sticky.

Primary Benefits: Smooths unruly hair; boosts shine; hydrates and repairs dry, damaged strands

Features:

  • Contains black castor oil and coconut oil
  • For type 3 and type 4 hair
  • Coconut scent

For long-lasting natural hairstyles, use the African Pride Black Castor Miracle Gel.

 

Form and maintain your twists with African Pride Black Castor Miracle Braid, Loc, & Twist Gel.

This product protects and seals the hair, so you won’t have a problem with getting frizzy curls once you unravel.

What’s more, it contains moisturizing ingredients that deeply condition and repair the strands and nourishes the scalp.

In addition, this African Pride gel has no sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or petrolatum.

You can regularly use this product for twisting without damaging your strands. 

The only drawback we noticed about this product is it leaves a white residue if you apply too much. So it’s best to start applying only a small amount of it, then add more as needed.

7
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

The best hair care product for curly hair is made with all-natural ingredients, like this curl smoothie from SheaMoisture.

Primary Benefits: Reduces frizz and adds brilliant shine; makes curls soft and silky; conditions hair without weighing it down

Features:

  • Infused with silk protein and neem oil
  • No animal testing
  • For thick, curly hair
  • Coconut and hibiscus scent

If you want soft, silky, and well-defined twist-outs, use the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

 

SheaMoisture provides soft and bouncy curls and helps maintain a beautiful spiral shape for days. 

With its all-natural, sustainably produced ingredients, this product is curly girl-approved.

It has a blend of the following ingredients that will give your twists maximum hydration:

  • Neem oil leaves your strands shiny
  • Silk protein softens hair
  • Organic shea butter moisturizes and conditions your locks
  • Coconut juice and oil hydrate and protect your hair against breakage

This styling cream is rich and thick, but it won’t cause product build-up.

However, because of the thicker consistency, the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is not recommended for fine and low-porosity hair.

8
Softsheen-Carson Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Curl Defining Creme Glaze

One of the problems of curly and coily hair is shrinking, which is why this curl cream strives to give you naturally elongated twist-outs.

Primary Benefits: Moisturizes and nourishes hair; elongates the strands; defines loose curls

Features:

  • Contains mango oil and bamboo milk
  • Anti-shrinkage recipe
  • For curly and coily hair
  • Sweet, fruity scent

For longer, more moisturized curls, use the Softsheen-Carson Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Curl Defining Creme Glaze.

 

Defy shrinkage with Softsheen-Carson’s Au Naturale product line.

It has a specially crafted recipe made with mango oil and bamboo milk that helps promote a healthy scalp while moisturizing dry ends.

By doing so, your hair will be less prone to breakage and will grow healthier, helping you grow out your hair easier.

Now the Au Naturale line includes the Curl Defining Creme Glaze, which gives your curls lightweight moisture, definition, and medium hold.

When you use this for your twists, you’ll unravel healthy-looking, frizz-free, bouncy ringlets.

9
Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-n-Shout Cream

This product doesn’t just have an intoxicating blueberry scent; it also cares for your hair with the fruit’s nourishing properties.

Primary Benefits: Adds shine and definition to your curls; has a long-lasting fresh scent; repairs damaged hair

Features:

  • Formulated with blueberry extract and mango seed butter
  • For curly and damaged hair
  • Blueberry scent

Say goodbye to dull, lifeless curls with the Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-n-Shout Cream.

 

Curls of all ages can twist and shout with this curl-defining cream. It’s a natural product that’s mild and safe, even for children.

It has no sulfates, silicons, parabens, artificial colors or fragrances.

Instead, it contains a powerful antioxidant: blueberries! These fruits work together with a vitamin B and C complex to promote hair growth and restore damaged hair.

Not only that, but the Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist-n-Shout Cream also has other natural hair-nurturing ingredients.

  • Shea butter moisturizes the strands
  • Grape seed oil reduces frizz and hair damage
  • Coconut oil and safflower oil adds sheen to the hair

With those ingredients, this product can give you structured curls without frizz and dryness.

10
As I Am Twist Defining Cream

The As I Am Twist Defining Cream gives you defined and healthy curls styling your hair while caring for your strands at the same time.

Primary Benefits: Makes hair smooth and shiny; produces well-defined twist-outs; minimizes frizz

Features:

  • With natural oils
  • For highly textured hair
  • Light tropical scent

For healthier hair growth and beautiful twist-outs, use the As I Am Twist Defining Cream.

 

Every time you use the As I Am Twist Defining Cream, you help your hair grow stronger and healthier. And it all begins with the scalp.

The product contains powerful ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, phytosterois, sunflower oil, and amla fruit extract that work together to boost the health of your hair follicles making your scalp and hair hydrated and healthy.

Aside from that, this styling cream has sugar beetroot oil and shea butter that moisturizes your strands and makes them shiny.

As I Am Twist Defining Cream can hold your twist-outs while keeping your hair soft for three to four days while reducing frizz. 

However, this product is not as moisturizing as it claims to be. While it does give the tresses a little moisture and shine, don’t expect plenty of hydration.

How to Get Twist-Outs

At first, creating twists may seem like a tiresome process, but it’s not all that different from what you’re likely already doing on wash day if you have naturally coiled hair.

There are just additional steps to getting a well-defined twist-out.

Step 1: Start With Clean, Detangled Hair

When twisting your hair, you would need to apply styling products. As such, it’s best to remove oil, dirt, and product buildup beforehand, so you can work with a clean slate.

Shampoo using a gentle yet effective cleanser. Go for sulfate-free shampoos or cleanse your hair with conditioner (co-wash).

After cleansing, condition your hair and detangle it. These steps will make your twists look sleek and shiny.

Step 2: Protect Your Strands

Once you’re done with washing, wring out the excess water and apply your leave-in conditioner. 

This is like a primer for your curl products and also helps calm the frizz and lock moisture in your strands.

Step 3: Do the LCO/LOC Method

Doing the LOC or LCO before twisting is beneficial for extremely dry hair. You can add hair oil and curl cream to the process for more hydration.

After the leave-in conditioner, apply oil before applying your twisting cream if you have highly porous or damaged hair. 

Step 4: Part Your Hair Into Sections

Divide your hair into large workable sections. You can go for four to six sections; the number will depend on the thickness of your hair.

These will then be split into one subsection while twisting.

Step 5: Apply the Twist-Defining Cream

Release one section and generously add your chosen curl-defining cream or gel product for twisting hair.

Step 6: Twist Your Hair

After applying the cream in one section, get a small subsection (about an inch) and twist it.

For single-strand twists, grab a section of your hair at the mid-shaft using your thumb and index finger. Then twirl the strands around your finger in either an inward or outward direction while working down the tips.

If you’re doing a two-strand twist, split the subsection in half, then wrap the two pieces around each other from the roots to the ends.

After this, secure the twist by twisting the strands around your finger in the direction of the twists to make them end in a curl.

For flat twists, mark one main section, then scoop up all your hair and twist it over the main section as close to and as flat against the scalp as possible.

Then continue to grab new sections and pull them into the twist (like you would a French braid) tightly until you reach the tips.

Step 7: Dry and Maintain Your Twist

If you twisted your hair while damp, give it at least an hour to air-dry.

Some people leave their twists on overnight to get the most defined curls.

If you want to try this, make sure that your hair is wrapped with a silk or satin scarf while you sleep to avoid ruining the twists.

Step 8: Unravel Your Twists

Before you begin unraveling your twists, gently smooth them out or spray a lightweight oil onto them. You can also grease your fingers with oil. These steps will prevent frizz.

Next, carefully untwist your hair. Make sure to start with the bottom sections.

Once done, you can fluff out your hair by running your fingers through your hair for extra volume.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make A Twist-Out Last?

If you want to make your twist-out last longer — say for a week — follow these tips.

First, twist damp hair, not dry hair. You can either do it a few minutes after you shower or mist water on your hair before twisting.

Then wait for your hair to dry completely before you unravel the twists.

And once you’ve unraveled them, avoid touching your twist-outs and protect your hair with a silk or satin scarf while you sleep.

Can I Use Oil for Twisting?

Yes. Hair oils, especially heavy ones, are great products to use for twisting natural hair. Coconut oil is one of the crowd favorites for this.

Have a Good Twist-Out Day

Now that you know the products and steps for creating twist hairstyles, you can get the top twist-outs for your crown.

But remember that finding the top product yourself is not a one-shot thing. You may have to go through different items from our list before you find what really works well for you,

Rest assured, these featured products for twisting hair are effective and well-loved by fellow Naturalistas. 

What other products can you use for curly hair?

Check out our recommendations

Author

  • Michelle Alejandro

    Michelle has had a lifelong love affair with makeup. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications /Journalism, she began an illustrious career as a writer. Michelle penned a beauty and lifestyle national newspaper column for over a decade and became the Beauty Editor for Chalk Magazine and Editor-in-Chief for Metro Weddings for over nine years, working with some of the biggest makeup artists and trusted beauty brands in the business. During this time, she also completed a course in Creative Artistic Makeup Design and worked as a freelance makeup artist, beauty editor, and writer.

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