One of my current favorite protective styles is the 2 Strand Twist bun. It’s super easy to do, it’s also very low maintenance, and it can be very versatile! I also really appreciate this style because my hair is a lot less tangled when wash day comes, which leads to less breakage! Below, I provide a Step by Step Pictorial on how I create the look and how I maintain it for 1 week.
Step 1: Shampoo, Deep Condition, and Detangle Hair
I shampoo my hair once a week. I am currently using the below products for wash day:
- Shampoo: I usually shampoo my hair in 2 to 4 sections (the more tangled, the more sections) and I work up a good lather, making sure to massage my scalp and ensuring that I am removing any build-up from the week. Shampoo: Allafia Everyday Coconut Shampoo ($15 on Amazon, but I got it on sale at Whole Foods for $8).
- Detangle: After shampooing, I detangle my hair in the same two sections after applying my detangling conditioner. I apply enough conditioner required to help with slip (depends on how tangled my hair was). First, I finger detangle my hair by pulling apart any tangles that I feel. Then I rake my hair with my fingers to eliminate any large knots. I repeat this on the other side of my hair. Detangling Conditioner: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle MOIST ($4 @ most drug stores and supermarkets)
- Deep Conditioner: After I’ve detangled my hair, I apply my deep conditioner to one side of my hair by raking it through my hair with my fingers on each side. I braid each section and leave the deep conditioner in my hair for 3-5 minutes. Lastly, I use a wide-tooth comb for a final detangling while rinsing out the deep conditioner. I braid each section after rinsing out the deep conditioner. Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner ($10.99 @ most drug stores and supermarkets)
- Wrap Hair in Old T-Shirt: I use an old t-shirt to dry my hair to eliminate frizz and unnecessary breakage that can be caused by the little rings in a regular towel. I have also found hairs in my microfiber towels, so I just stick to an old t-shirt once I am done with the shampoo and conditioning process.
Step 2: Separate hair into Sections for Twisting
I have used different techniques when separating my hair and adding product.
- One technique I have used is to separate my hair into sections using my fingers and applying my styling products to my hair in each larger section and then twisting, which is what I did here. This way is quicker, but you are less likely to saturate your hair in as much product as you would with the next technique.
- Another technique is to separate each large section and then separate each section into the smaller sections you will need to twist each twist. If you plan to wear your hair in a twistout at the end of the week, I would suggest this technique to ensure more definition of your twists. Either technique works, it just depends on your preference.
Step 3: LCO (Leave-In, Cream, Oil) Method
Whether you decide to apply product to the large sections of hair or each smaller section for each twist, you will use the same technique. I employ the LCO method when applying products to my hair. This means that I first apply Leave-In, then a Cream, and lastly an oil to seal my hair. (For some, L stands for “Liquid” and for others, L stand for “Leave-In.”) This process allows me to retain the most moisture while my hair is in this style.
- Leave-In: I first apply leave-in conditioner to my section. (Dime size if doing individual sections or quarter size for larger section application.) Leave-in: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Curl Nourish Butter Cream ($6.99 @ CVS)
- Cream: Repeat same as for Leave In. Cream: Doo Gro Triple Strength Growth Lotion ($6.50 or less at most stores)
- Oil: Apply a few droplets on each section, focusing on the scalp and ends of your hair. Oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the cold months and Grapeseed oil for warm months ($5.99 at most stores)
Step 4: 2-Strand Twist Hair In Sections
Once you have applied the product to your respective section of hair, use the wide tooth comb to distribute the product throughout the hair evenly. Once you are ready to twist the hair, use the orange comb to ensure that the product has been evenly distributed throughout hair for each twist.
- Take each section of hair and apply a small amount of Jam Conditioning Gel ($4 @ most stores) close to the roots and two-strand twist the hair. (This is a technique I learned from watching people get box braids). Jam’s consistency is very similar to edge control, but a little less sticky. I use regular hold Jam, there is also Super Hold, which is even more comparable to most edge controls and a lot less expensive.
- When twisting in the front of your hair, apply a bit of Jam to your edges and brush with a tiny brush to give hair a sleek, finished look
- If your hair begins to dry before you have twisted the hair, spray hair with water.
Step 5: Pull Hair Back into Desired Hair Style
Carefully, pull back hair into ponytail for your hair style. If some of your twists are barely able to be captured by the ponytail, do not stress the hair by forcing it into the ponytail. This will lead to breakage (speaking from experience, here). Instead, simply use a bobby pin to secure the hair close to the ponytail.
Step 6: Stretch Twists Using Banding Method (Optional)
If you desire, you can stretch your twists by using the banding method. This is completely optional, depending on the length of your hair and the style you desire. Simply apply small ponytail holders going down the length of your twists. I typically leave my hair banded for a couple of hours before removing them.
Step 7: Style Hair
I tend to not wear my hair down when in twists because I do not want to expose my ends. Because my hair is close to my shoulders when twisted, my ends could rub against my shirt or shoulders, which could lead to split ends and breakage.
Step 8: Maintenance
In maintaining this style, I do the following:
- I apply Jam to slick down my edges and nape area in the morning before I begin the day.
- To keep my hair moisturized, I spritz my hair with a spray bottle of water + oil and I spray a small amount of Garnier Fructis Curl Renew Spray Reactivating Milk Spray ($3.50 @ Most Stores).
- At night, I tie my hair down with a scarf AND a satin bonnet. I double down because the scarp keeps my hair smooth and flat and the bonnet slides against the scarf to prevent it from sliding off while I sleep. I recently bought a Slap Cap to replace my bonnet. The jury is still out on whether I recommend it. *Stay tuned for my review on the Slap*
I hope this pictorial helps! Please let me know if you have any questions about this protective style. I hope to do more pictorials and eventually video tutorials as time goes on and I continue to figure this whole blogging thing out. Thanks for reading and please leave feedback!
xoxo – Ash