Three-Strand Twists (I finally Did it!)

First of all, let me say that the concept of a three-strand twist has intrigued me for some time. I first learned of such a thing on in the Napptural Hair Workshop forum where lo and behold, there was a seven page thread of folks inquiring and posting pics of how to twist rope with three strands. But, there were no pictures to be had of anyone who had successfully mastered doing a three strand twist. I think someone did eventually post pics along with written directions. I think at that point I understood the concept but couldn’t quite master the technique on my own hair — my fingers kept wanting to make a braid — not a twist.

With this do, the top and sides are two-strand flat twists. I’m
holding a two strand twist so you can see the results of the two
different techniques. As you can see a two-strand twist is much
looser in construction than that of a three-strand twist, which
looks much more like that of a rope.

Fast forward to today. I’m sitting in my car, in my driveway, watching the rain come down in 50-degree weather in December while listening to my new Fantasia CD. Anyway, I’m playing with one of my twists like I always do when for some reason I decide to see if I can do a three-strand twist. I’ll be darned. It came out beautifully. The trick is definitely figuring out how to keep the three strands going around in a circle and resisting the urge to take one through the middle like you would a braid. So I took another one down to see if I could duplicate my efforts. Yep. Whoa sis…I’m excited now. Wake the kids call the neighbors I done did me some three-strand twists.


Well now I decided to retwist my entire head…it was due for a touch up anyway. Now this took some time. I started in the back on the left. It got harder as I reached the middle and it was quite a challenge when I got to my right side. You see, I tend to twist in the opposite direction depending what side of my head I’m working on. Doing two-strand twists poses no problems doing that…three-strand twists are a different story. Had to reorient myself on how to get the hair going in a circular motion in the opposite direction. Let me tell you this whole three-strand twist thing started feeling like waaaaay too much work.

In the end, it turned out really cute. These days, I’m still wearing my Flat Twist Half Bun hair style. Same one I’ve been wearing for most of the year. And the thing is, I absolutely have no desire to change my hair at the moment. But I figure that’s ok. Heck, I wore a Bob for three years, guess I can wear this one for another two years. But more than likely, I’ll go back to doing my trusty two-strand twists. lol! 

Pros: Cute. Something different. Elongated the twist. Feels sturdier. Makes the best twistouts ever!

Con: Takes waaaay to long to do. Hard time maintaining technique towards the middle and on the right side. Fingers cramped. Hands cramped. Hands feel swollen several hours later.

Questions: How well will they hold up? Will they be harder to take down? Will I have more or less issues with tangling especially at the ends?

Verdict? Shrinkage still a major factor. Sooo, I’m really not sure that doing these will be worth the effort again.

6 Responses to “Three-Strand Twists (I finally Did it!)”
  1. caligurl says:

    This is my first comment [hopefully, I posted it correctly]. But I love your website. Thanks for posting so much information. You’ve motivated and inspired me to set a goal of being heat free. I’ll use the flat twists styles to accomplish that. I feel the flat twist bun and ponytail are professional enough to wear in the office. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. nappyme says:

    Hi Caligurl! Congrats! I had to go through that mental transition too. But I’ll tell you, once you become 100 percent comfortable with wearing your nappy hair, you’re going to find that your concept of acceptable styling of totally natural hair will expand exponentially.

    As time goes on, you’ll also discover that WE’RE the ones who place these restrictions on ourselves about what’s professional and what’s not professional with regards to how we wear our hair. White folks are paying less attention to our hair than we think. We’re the ones that are so caught up in the “My hair has to be straight to be acceptable” mindset.

    But good luck with your change of ‘tude! I’ve been wearing my hair out of microbraids for 17 months now. It took me a minute to find styles I felt were acceptable, and I’m glad you finally did too. Just don’t be afraid to experiment. Ok?

    Thanks for stopping by Nappturology 101. Come back soon!

  3. morayo ogun says:

    you were too busy xplaining how it begun and how you came of the idea that you forgot to show us all how it is ment to be done. please please could you show us how and could you do it very detailed! ta…

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Morayo,
    Welcome to NPP101. Here’s a link to a video that shows you how to do three-strand twists. It’s a little dark, but I think you can get the jest of what the young lady is doing. The object is to create three sections and the twirl them around in a circle being careful not to pull any of the sections through the middle as if to braid. That’s about the best I can do in terms of ‘splaining how to do them, the rest you’ll have to get from the video tutorial.

    Good luck and enjoy!

  5. Mooks-hair says:

    Yes, I found this same youtube video last week and I was in Awe.
    I agree that they take longer than with 2 strands but the biggest difference is that it doesn’t loosen/unravel as easily.

    Which is great if you are twisting or transitioning hair. (I’m currently transitioning.)

    I only had to watch her video twice and I had it figured out. It is very easy to do. I have not tried to do a head full of these yet and I can see how your hands could get tired doing them. But that happens with braids too.

  6. nappyme says:

    Hi Mooks-Hair!
    You’re right once you SEE how to do it, they are easy to do. And you’re right, your hands would probably suffer the same fatigue from doing briads.

    That’s why I wouldn’t torture my hands trying to do a head full of braids either. LOL!

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