How to Preserve a Twist-Out Overnight – The Complete Guide


You get all dolled up for a night on the town, rocking the perfect twist-out and looking like the portrait of sass. When the party’s over you still want to preserve your perfect hair, preferably for a few days to justify all that hard work. Retwisting every strand is a pain. But relax…there is an easier way to do it and these are the tips that work.

Twist-Out Hair Needs Moisture

First, keep your hair hydrated for every goodnight and every good morning. Moisturizing before bed is a must to maintain twist-out hair. Use a moisturizing agent or simply spray your hair with water before preserving the do.

When you wake up the next morning, shake it freely and then lightly mist your hair again. Some people need even less moisture and prefer to shower-steam their hair, which also works.

I’ve personally had the best luck using Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey (Link to Amazon).

Protect Your Hair

Wrap your hair in a bonnet or a scarf so that you can cover it and keep in the moisture. Naté Bova, a stylist at Warren Tricomi Salon, recommends a satin scarf or a “silky” bonnet around your head to prevent frizz and keep the curls fresh for a couple of days. I personally use this Large Silk Hair Scarf (Link to Amazon) as my go to head wrap of choice. It’s long enough to cover and protect your hair at any length, and it comes in many pleasing designs.

Avoid Sweating

Sweating at night could cause your twist-out to look old and tangled. Either turn the AC up or think about adding more protection by way of a satin pillow. A satin pillowcase allows your hair to “breathe” and may be effective when combined with a bonnet or scarf.

Embrace the Pineapple

Not the absorbent and yellow and porous kind you see, but referring instead to the process of creating a high ponytail on top of your head. “Pineappling” your twist-out hair prevents frizz and knotting, which typically happen when you lie on a pillow flat for hours on end.

Simply take a scrunchie or scarf and pull all of your hair into a high ponytail towards the front of the crown. Put the hair-tie over the base and then let half the curls fall to the right and the other half to the left. When you wake up, remove the scrunchie and shake out your hair.

All’s Well When the “Ends” Are Well

Sealing hair, especially the ends, can protect curls, reduce frizz, and improve overall hair health. Sealants lock the moisture in because of specially added nutrients, which increases length retention and gives your hair a softer look and feel.

Seal the ends by applying oil or butter.  Natural oil-based sealants might include:

  • Coconut
  • Grapeseed
  • Olive
  • Avocado
  • Castor

Butters might include:

  • Shea
  • Mango
  • Avocado
  • Muru
  • Cupuacu

The main difference is that butter tends to be heavier than oil and that could be significant in colder temperatures. You want heavier in the winter, lighter in the summer. Some YouTubers also speak highly of aloe vera juice, since it’s very healthy for hair.

Scrunch a little bit of oil (not too much) into your ends to avoid the evaporation that happens overnight.

The Decision to Retwist or Sleep It Off

Most of these tips work if you are avoiding the chore of retwisting your strands every night. But most hair experts agree, days-after curls will lose their shape. Retwisting them before bed every night will help you maintain twist-out shape for a few more days.

Before you twist, however, make it a point to:

  • Retwist your strands in larger “chunks”, to avoid the chore of spending hours on mini-twists
  • Coil the ends of your hair around your finger to avoid the frizzy look that occurs when you twist down to the edges.
  • Avoid twisting dry hair – better-moisturized hair keeps its shape longer
  • If your hair is harder to “tame” consider mixing butter (for moisture) and gel (for shaping)
  • Avoid alcohol-based gels, since these products naturally dry hair faster.
  • The shorter your hair, the better choice it is to retwist it nightly.

According to BGLH Marketplace, twist-out hair should be separated into two or maybe four sections at the most. Separating the twist-out beyond these standards usually causes a frizzy look and shorter-lasting twists.

In closing, bear in mind that every individual’s hair is different and not all treatments will result in identical results. Generally, the less you manipulate your hair, the fewer problems you will have with breakage, as well as frizz, and dryness.

Remember to avoid heavy tension. It’s better to keep things a little loose than too tight. You can also experiment by retwisting one night, then going a night without re-twisting to see how the shape and longevity compares.

Take a look at how May does it in her Make Your Twist-Out Last video for some visual ideas:

You’ve worked hard on your twist-out! Make it last overnight by applying these healthy hair tips and keep your fan club talking about that sassy do.

Tiara Croft

Tiara is an avid sleeper and fully dedicated to her work and research. Most often this includes, but is not limited to, napping, testing how many hours in one night that she can sleep, trying new sleep methods and constantly changing sleep positions. Tiara's main focuses are on dreams and how we can achieve the best natural sleep possible. As a sufferer of insomnia and other sleep-related disturbances, Tiara loves to dig deep into the subconscious to ask all the questions that can help us better understand what happens when we sleep.

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