Does Twisting Your Hair Make It Grow Faster and Longer?

A pretty black girl wearing loose two-strand twists with hair extensions to create more hair length for her 3B curls.

Two and three-strand twists are two of the most popular hairstyles for women with natural hair, and it’s easy to see why!

They’re long-lasting and versatile; some people say they can even help your hair grow! But is that really the case? Does twisting your hair make it grow?

If you want to find out for sure, just read on! In this article, we’ll examine whether twisting hair helps it grow.

Does Twisting Your Hair Make It Grow?

While twists are popular as a hair growth-boosting hairstyle, they don’t exactly make your hair grow. Twists have no effect on how fast your hair grows, and twisting your hair won’t make it grow.

Two-strand twist can make it easier for you to retain length. This is because twists have the potential to be a protective style. Protective styles are designed to reduce manipulation and mitigate hair breakage by protecting your hair (especially the ends).

When you wear your twists for multiple days, you’re giving your hair a break from the stress and friction associated with styling (i.e., manipulation). You aren’t brushing, combing, or flat ironing it for days at a time.

With less manipulation, you’ll experience fewer split ends, breakage, and shedding – indirectly leading to more hair growth (or length retention).

A friendly young black woman with healthy hair wearing twists on her 3B long hair strands styled with coconut oil.

Do Twists Damage Your Hair?

Whether or not your twists are a protective style depends on how you install and maintain them. When installed improperly, your twists can do more harm than good.

If you install your twists too tight, it’ll put too much tension on your roots.

And unless you undo your twists and loosen them, there’s a significant chance that your hair will break off or fall out. The good news is that this is easy to avoid. 

Just make sure your twists don’t pull at your scalp.

When you finish your style, your scalp might feel a little bit tight. However, they should never be painful or uncomfortable.

Once your hairstyle is finished, you should continue caring for your hair like you did when it was loose. That means regularly washing, conditioning, and moisturizing your hair. 

A black female wearing loose twists has edges styled with natural oils and alcohol-free moisturizing techniques.

How Long Should You Leave Twists In?

How long your twists last depends on factors, including how well they were installed and maintained. However, they usually last for as long as two to six weeks.

Once you start seeing new growth, product buildup, or excessive frizz, it’s time to take the twists out. Then, give your hair and scalp a week or two to breathe.

In the meantime, use plenty of fortifying and hydrating products to help strengthen your strands. After a week or so has passed, you can put your twists back in and continue reaping all the benefits.  

What Happens When You Leave Your Twists in Too Long?

While leaving your hair in twists can help you reach new lengths, it can also lead to hair loss. In fact, leaving your twists in too long can cause breakage and damage.

This is because products, oils, dead skin cells, and shed hairs can build up in your twists. They form tough-to-remove clumps of matted hair that can get so tangled that you may lose hair during the detangling process.

Some even resort to cutting out the knots and tangles. 

Even if you keep your twists clean, leaving them in longer than recommended can damage your hair. As your hair grows, the new growth puts pressure on your twists.

That can cause breakage and hair loss, completely undoing all of your hard work. In a nutshell, leaving your twists in too long transforms them from a protective style to a harmful one. 

A woman wearing thicker, chunky twists has a great smile while wearing a green blazer and a black turtle neck.

How to Prepare Your Hair for Twists

Twists can be an effective way to grow your hair longer and stronger. For the best results, you should use all of your time wisely.

And that includes taking advantage of the time before, during, and after your twists.

Want to learn more? Here are our top tips for preparing your hair for twists, braids, or any other protective style. 

Do a Deep Conditioning Treatment

Although twists are protective, installing them puts some stress on your hair. Between the brushing, combing, and detangling, you can end up causing breakage and hair loss.

So to prepare your locks for the style, give your hair a nourishing deep conditioning treatment.

Deep conditioners are packed with beneficial ingredients that strengthen and hydrate your strands. They’ll help prevent damage and keep your twists looking smooth and shiny. 

A black lady covering her face wearing tight twists in a style that looks like box braids more so than other hairstyles.

Give Your Hair Some Protein

Like deep conditioners, protein treatments help fortify your hair for the upcoming style. When you use a protein treatment, the protein molecules bond to the ones in your hair.

They strengthen and harden your hair’s outer layers, making them smooth and damage-resistant. And because all of the holes and gaps along your hair’s surface are filled in, they have a much easier time retaining moisture.

Protein can make your strands a little brittle, so aim to do your protein treatment a week or so before your twists. 

Get a Trim

Trims are essential when it comes to a pre-protective styling routine. So, if you’ve been skipping a much-needed trim, you should get it before you install your hairstyle.

In addition to making your twists look neater and more polished, a trim can help prevent damage.

The process of twisting your hair can exacerbate your split ends and make them travel further up the strand. Additionally, getting a trim before your twists will make them easier to remove and prevent tangles. 

A happy young black woman wearing relatively thin micro twists moisturized with flaxseed gel and good fats.

Wash Your Hair

Before installing twists, you want to cleanse your hair and scalp as thoroughly as you can. Twists block access to your hair and scalp. So even if you wash them, you’ll probably leave skin flakes, dirt, oils, and product behind.

Starting with a clean base will decrease the need for you to wash your twists later on and help ensure that your hair and scalp are in the best shape possible.

And the benefits don’t end there! Twists installed on freshly washed hair look better, last longer, and are less likely to cause damage.

Should You Twist Wet or Dry Hair 

Whether you twist your hair wet or dry depends on your preferences. Twists done on dry hair tend to shrink less and create a wavier pattern when you take them out.

Alternatively, twists on wet hair hold their shape well and look neater.

And although your hair will probably be in a shrunken state, you’ll have perfectly defined curls when you take out your twists. 

Twisting wet hair is also easier, and your hairstyle will last significantly longer. The primary downside of twisting wet hair is that it can lead to damage.

Your hair is weakest when wet, so it’s more likely to break off. Wet twists also take forever to dry, and you probably don’t have time for that. 

As you can see, twisting wet or dry hair comes with a list of pros and cons.

But one way to get both benefits is to twist your hair while it’s damp. You’ll be able to retain more length and definition, and damp strands are significantly less fragile than sopping wet ones!  

A cute young African American female wearing looser twists created with Senegalese twists braiding techniques.

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To sum things up, twisting your hair won’t make it grow. They can, however, make retaining your hair growth significantly easier. Ultimately, it all depends on how you twist and care for your strands.

And by following the tips and tricks we’ve gone over in this article, you can use your twists to help your hair thrive! That said, we hope the information we’ve gone over today is just what you were looking for!

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