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How to Do Mini Twists on Natural Hair: Maintain, Wash, and Moisturize

Title image with the writing mini twists, the complete no-nonsense styling guide. The only guide you'll ever need for mini-twists.

Mini twists are always trending! The versatile style is perfect for a casual day at the beach or for the most formal occasion.

The style is also very easy to do and offers various styling options. In this article, we will give you a step-by-step explanation of how to do mini twists, helpful information on twist maintenance, and more. 

What are Mini Twists?


Mini twists are a skinny, twisted, long-term protective style where the size of the twists resembles the size of a No. 2 pencil.

The original creator of mini twists is unknown; however, these small twists are a variation of Senegalese twists, the style is often confused with Senegalese twists.

What differentiates mini twists from traditional Senegalese twists is that, instead of parting and twisting medium to large sections of your hair, you part and twist very small sections (i.e., creating mini twists).

Some twists are so small that others may not realize that they are twists. They’re often confused with mini braids.

The Best Way to Do Mini Twists

There are several steps you should take when installing mini twists on your hair or someone else’s hair. In this section, we will fill you in on each of the steps.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you get started, make sure that you get all of the necessary supplies. 

You may need: 

  • Non-sulfate shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Ultra-moisturizing deep conditioner
  • Rat tail comb 
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Detangler
  • Hair butter
  • Blow dryer (optional)
  • Rubber bands (optional)
  • Ponytail holders and/or clips

Prepare Your Hair

The next step to take when installing mini twists is to make sure that your hair is adequately prepared. Take the following steps to prepare your hair for this protective style. 

Wash Your Hair Thoroughly

Since your hair will be tucked away for a week or more within your mini twists, it’s important to make sure that your hair is thoroughly washed.

Using a sulfate-free shampoo, scrub your scalp and cleanse your hair thoroughly. If you use a sulfate-laden shampoo, it may strip your hair of all of its natural oils.

Condition Your Hair

Condition your freshly washed hair with a moisturizing conditioner. The more moisturized your hair is before twisting it, the better.

For deeper moisture, use a deep conditioner. Deep conditioners with aloe vera, nourishing oils, and humectants will help to keep your hair in good condition while it’s in the twists.

Detangle Your Hair

Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to gently remove the tangles from your hair. To minimize pain and manual breakage, apply a slippery detangler.

Stretch Your Hair

Once your hair is clean and detangled, it’s ready to be stretched. When your hair is stretched, it will be easier to work with, and you’ll enjoy a more elongated result.

To stretch your hair, try one of the methods below:

Stretch Your Hair With Braids

How To Stretch 4c Natural Hair | TM Hair Products

While your hair is still damp, part it with a comb, or your fingers, into several large sections (at least two sections will be necessary).

Three-strand plait all of the sections down to the ends and then secure them with rubber bands.

Allow your hair to dry completely, and then take the braids down. Watch the video above for a demonstration of stretching your hair with braids. 

Stretch Your Hair With a Blow Dryer

My 5 STEP Moisturizing Blow-dry Routine | Epitome of BRI

With your blow dryer on the lowest heat setting possible, dry your hair as you comb it. If you plan on using any heat, use a heat protectant beforehand.

For a detailed, step-by-step tutorial watch the video above demonstrating this blow-drying process. 

Band Your Hair

NO MORE TANGLES SIS! | How I Band And Stretch My Natural Hair

Part your hair into two or more sections and wrap rubber bands around each section until you get to the ends. The video above demonstrates the technique on how to band your hair for stretching. 

Note: You don’t need to get your hair bone straight. It should only be stretched enough to make it easy to part and braid. 

How to Install Your Twists 

Now that your hair is ready for twisting, let’s get to the best part – the twisting process!

You’ll be happy to know that the twisting part is straightforward. Follow the steps below to create the perfect twists: 

1. Section Your Hair

Section your hair into four large sections and secure each of them with ponytail holders. This will make your hair easier to work with during the twisting process. 

2. Part a tiny section of hair

Choose a section, remove the ponytail holder, and then part out a small square section of hair. The section can be whatever size you want it to be, but a useful guideline is to make it from ¼ inch to ½ inch in size. 

3. Oil your scalp

After you’ve parted your first section, you should oil your scalp. A thirsty scalp is more prone to flaking and itching.

4. Apply a Moisturizer

We recommend using a butter so your hair won’t revert to its natural state before you’ve twisted it.

You can use shea butter, mango butter, coconut oil, or any other oil or moisturizer that won’t revert your hair. Apply it from root to tip so that every strand is coated. 

5. Begin Twisting

For the cleanest mini twist results, twist your hair using the following instructions: 

  • Split the section of hair you intend to twist into 2 equal sections.
  • Grab both halves of the section. 
  • Twist both sections of hair to the right. 
  • Overlap the right section over the left section. 
  • Repeat the previous two steps until you have reached the ends of your hair. 
  • Once you get to the end of the twist, use your fingers to create a coil to secure the ends. 
  • Repeat the above steps all over your head. 

The above steps will help you to create a twist that won’t frizz prematurely.

The hand motions required to do the twist may seem awkward at first, but you will soon become comfortable with them. 

If you’re worried about your twists not being secure at the root, three-strand braid your hair before you twist it down to the ends.

How Long Does It Take to Install Mini Twists?

The amount of time that it takes to install mini twists depends on the following factors: 

  • The length of your hair
  • The size of your twists 
  • How quickly you can twist 

On average, it can take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days to complete your mini twists.

If you want larger twists and you have short hair, you may only need to set aside a couple of hours to do your twists.

On the other hand, if you have long hair and want teeny-tiny mini twists, then you may be doing your hair for several days. 

How to Maintain Mini Twists on Natural Hair

Mini twist maintenance should be taken seriously, as it directly affects the health of your hair and the longevity of your style.

Improperly maintained twists may look frizzy, dry, and can even start to lock up (i.e., turn into dreadlocks).

If you want to keep your twists looking fresh throughout the duration of the style, do the following: 

Wash Your Scalp and Hair With a Deep Cleansing Shampoo

To keep your scalp buildup-free and your twists looking great, you should do your best to keep them clean. You may need to wash them as often as once per week

Keep Your Twists Looking Good With a Touch-Up

If your twists are looking unkempt after a couple of weeks, you can take down a few and redo them. Touch-ups are usually done on the twists around the hairline. You’d be surprised at how fresh your hair looks after a touch-up. 

Keep Your Twists Moisturized

Just because your hair is in a protective style doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need moisture. Now and then, you may need to spray your hair with a moisturizer or water-based leave-in conditioner.

Whenever your hair starts to feel dry, give it a mist of moisture. Dry hair will become brittle and break off, so it’s imperative to provide it with moisture as needed.

Protect Your Mini Twists at Night

To keep frizz at bay, cover your hair up at night with a silk or satin bonnet. You can also wear mini twists under a satin scarf at night to keep your style frizz-free. Protective styling is about more than wearing different styles to protect your ends as your hair grows. To learn more about hair growth, read this previous article about how to really grow long hair.

How Long Do Mini Twists Last?

Mini twists can last for several weeks. However, they have the potential to lock, like dreadlocks. Therefore, it’s not advised to leave your mini twists in for longer than approximately four weeks.

How Much Do Mini Twists Cost?

If you’d rather not do your own mini twists, you can go to a stylist and have them done professionally. The cost of mini twists will vary based on how long it’ll take to install them. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a full head of mini twists. 

How Do You Make Mini Twists Look Fuller?

If you’re not careful, your mini twists can look sparse, showing a lot of your scalp. If you want to make sure that your mini twists look full, keep your sections small.

This will ensure that your mini twists cover your parts. You can also spray them down with water after styling to help them puff up and look fuller. 

Do Mini Twists Grow Your Hair? 

Just like any other protective style, mini twists have the potential to grow your hair since your hair won’t be manipulated for an extended amount of time.

However, you’ll only reap the benefits of this protective style if you care for your hair while it’s in the style. If you do your mini twists and then ignore them, they may get so dry that they begin to break. 

Pros and Cons of Mini Twists

No style is perfect, and mini twists are no exception. Knowing about the pros and cons of mini twists can help you decide whether the style may be a good fit for you. In this section, we will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly. 


Check out the below list of mini twist pros:

  • Long-lasting. While mini twists don’t last as long as some protective styles, they can still last up to a month with proper maintenance. 
  • Beautiful aesthetic. Mini twists are lovely and go well with any face shape. 
  • Easy to take down. If you install your mini twists without three-strand braiding the roots, taking them down will be a breeze. 
  • No stress on edges. Some styles, especially those that require attaching extension hair to your own, can be hard on your edges. Mini twists are generally done without extension hair, so they are very gentle on your edges. 


Here are the biggest cons of mini twists:

  • Mini twists get frizzy, and this is a con for people who like sleek styles. 
  • Potential unraveling. If you have a looser hair texture, you may experience some unraveling, which can be frustrating. 
  • Lengthy installation. Depending on your hair’s length, you’ll have to set aside several hours (or even days) to do your twists. 

For many people, the pros of mini twists outweigh the cons, but you’ll have to determine whether that’s the case for you. 

Dos and Don’ts of Mini Twists


If you’ve decided that mini twists are going to be your next protective style, wait a minute! Read the following dos and don’ts to avoid some rookie mistakes that people make with their twists. 


Keep the following “Dos” in mind: 

  • Do your mini twists on clean hair. If you install your twists on dirty hair, your twists won’t come out as shiny and beautiful as they could.
  • Do take your twists out after four weeks to keep your hair from turning into dreadlocks. 
  • Do apply moisturizer to your hair before twisting it to stave off dryness and breakage. 


Avoid the following Don’ts for the best results: 

  • Don’t neglect hair protection. Always sleep with a silk or satin bonnet. 
  • Don’t rush as you part your hair, as uniformity is key for mini twists. Take the time to get the parts straight for the best results. 

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Are Mini Twists a Good Fit for You? 

After considering the pros, cons, and other information found in this article, you may have an idea of whether mini twists are a good fit for you.

However, the only way to know for sure if mini twists will work for you is to give them a try. We hope that the hair care tips in this article are useful to you as you scope out styling options for your natural hairstyle!