How to Start Locs with Two-Strand Twists: Step-by-Step Guide

Two-strand twists dreadlocks
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Two-strand twists are a popular method of starting locs because it’s simple and gives you the same look as traditional dreadlocks. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting your dreads with two-strand twists.

Can two strand twists turn into locs? 

Yes, two-strand twists can turn into dreadlocks. This method is a popular way to start locs, especially for people who have afro-textured hair.

What hair type works best if I want to start my locs with two strand twists?

The two-strand twist method is often recommended for people with afro-textured hair. This hair texture can hold the locs in place better.  

If you have very fine or thin hair, you may want to use a different method, such as crochet or twist and rip. 

The best method for starting locs will largely depend on your hair type.

How long does my hair need to be for two-strand twists locs?

In order to do two-strand twists, you should have a minimum 2 inches of hair. However, the results will be different depending on the length of your hair thereby affecting the appearance of the hairstyle.

With short hair, you may end up with mini twists. They will also require more maintenance initially because the ends are more likely to loosen up and come undone. 

If you have medium length hair that is at least 6 inches long, the twists will remain intact longer. Another benefit is that since they’ll still be relatively short, the awkward phase that occurs during the baby locs stage may be less noticeable.

If you have longer hair, you can expect overall less maintenance because you won’t have to fight constantly with the twists unraveling. 

Regardless of the hair length you start your locs with, keep in mind that they will shrink during the first few months. It’s a natural part of the formation of the dreadlocks. 

If you want to retain your long hair for aesthetic reasons, you can add loc extensions until your natural hair has grown to your desired length.

Starting locs with two-strand twists

How to start locs with the two-strand method

To start locs using the two-strand twist method, you will need to follow these steps:

1. The first step is to start with squeaky clean hair. Wash your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue. Then, wrap it in a microfiber towel until it’s no longer dripping wet. It is best to start with clean, damp hair because it will help your twists remain hydrated and set in place longer than if you were doing it on dry hair. It will also reduce frizz and prevent hair loss since wet hair is a lot more flexible and easier to manage.

2. Section your hair into small, equal-sized sections. You can use clips to keep the sections separate. The sectioning at the root should be about the size of the dreads you want once they’ve matured. Note that the size of your locs will change quite a bit as they mature. Dreadlocks started with two-strand twists will get thicker over time, so if they appear thin at first, be patient— they’ll get bigger. 

3. Take one section of your hair and divide it into two equal strands. Overlap the ends of each section and twist them together until they form a single strand. Start at the root and work your way down to the ends. The tighter you twist the hair, the neater your locs will be.

4. Make sure to keep the twists close to the scalp. Once you reach the end of the section, coil the ends around your finger to merge the hair, and use a hair tie or clip to secure the twist in place.

5. Repeat the process with the remaining sections of hair, until you’ve worked your way around your entire head. Twist each section to form its own loc.

6. Let your hair to air dry completely. Once the locs have set, you can loosen them slightly by gently pulling on the ends. This will help to prevent the locs from looking too tight and neat, and reduce pressure on your scalp.

7. Maintain your locs as needed. In the early stages, you will need to retwist the ends of your locs to keep them from unraveling. It can take several months for the locs to fully form and mature. As for the new growth, you may want to interlock your roots as your hair grows, or you can pull the excess hair into the loc with a crochet hook or locking tool. If you want to apply product to keep your scalp moisturized or your two-strand twists in place, I recommend using pure aloe vera gel. Do not use store-bought gels, wax, or hair butter.

How do you take care of your locs that were started with two-strand twists?

The same hair-care tips apply for all dreadlocks, regardless of the method you used to start them. I recommend you to:

1. Keep your dreadlocks clean. Dreadlocks need clean hair to grow and mature properly. Wash your dreadlocks once a week to keep them clean and free of buildup. Use a residue-free dreadlock shampoo and avoid using conditioner, as it is counter-productive to the loc-forming process. During the first few months of your loc journey, consider using a mesh cap (or pantyhose) over your dreads when you wash them. This will help to keep them in place without unraveling too much. 

2. Keep your hair moisturized. Dreadlocks can be prone to dryness, so it is important to keep your hair moisturized to prevent breakage and promote healthy growth. Use a moisturizing spray to keep your hair hydrated. I make my own lightweight moisturizer by mixing distilled water with my favorite essential oil. For some DIY moisturizer ideas, click here!

3. Avoid using heat. Excessive heat can damage and dry out your dreads, so it is best to avoid using heat styling tools as much as possible. It’s better to air dry your locs, however if you must use a blow dryer, use the low heat setting.

4. Protect your hair with a scarf, silk cap, or durag.

5. Avoid using chemical products. Most store-bought hair products are harmful to dreadlocks because they are oftentimes heavy products that are prone to leaving residue. Use natural products only or read product labels before making a purchase. 

How do you keep two strand twist starter locs from unraveling?

Here are a few tips to help keep two-strand twist starter locs from unraveling:

1. Use pure aloe vera gel to hold the twists in place.

2. Retwist the ends of your starter locs as needed. It’s common for them to start unraveling, but when that happens, just retwist them and remember to coil the ends around your fingers to merge the two sections of hair into one.

3. For the stubborn locs that unravel regardless of what you do, use bobby pins or hair clips to pin them up. Otherwise, use small elastic bands (or a rubber band made for hair) to secure the ends. Keep in mind that clips and rubber bands should be used for a short period of time (two days at a time tops!). In the case of rubber bands, if not removed, they can get ‘sucked into’ the dreadlock as the twists mature.

4. Protect your hair at night. To help protect your starter locs while you sleep, consider wearing a satin bonnet, silk sleep cap, or wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf. You can use a durag or scarf throughout the day as well.

How long does it take two strand twists to loc?

It can take several weeks to a couple of years for two-strand twists to fully mature and form into locs.

The length of time it takes for two-strand twists to turn into locs can vary depending on a number of factors, including the texture and thickness of your hair, the size of the twists, and the type of product you use to maintain your locs.

While some people may notice that their twists start to form into locs within just a few months, it may take longer for others. Trust in your process and don’t compare your dreads to anyone else’s. 🙂 

Be mindful that it can take a few years for the twist pattern of the two strand twists to disappear. To make your locs smoother, try the palm rolling method.

Advantages of starting your locs with two strand twists

Some advantages of starting your locs with two-strand twists include:

1. Defined, neat appearance: Two-strand twists can create defined, neat-looking locs, especially when compared to other methods that may result in looser, more free-flowing (aka messy) locs.

2. Control: With two-strand twists, you have more control over the size and shape of your locs. You can use smaller sections for thinner, more defined locs, or larger sections for thicker, more natural-looking locs.

3. Ease of maintenance: Two-strand twists are relatively easy to maintain, as you can simply re-twist the hair as needed to keep the locs neat and tidy.

4. They look very similar to locs from the start: With two-strand twist, your hair will look like a close version of dreadlocks from day one. Whereas if you start your locs using different methods, like freeform locs or backcombing, your hai will most likely look like a huge loopy mess until they mature into dreadlocks.

Disadvantages of starting your locs with two strand twists

Some potential disadvantages of starting your locs with two-strand twists include:

1. It doesn’t work on all hair types: As before-mentioned, two strand twist locs work best with kinky, coiled, and curly hair — that is, Type 4 hair. These hair types are able to hold the two-strand twists in place best. It’ll be impossible to maintain two-strand twists with silky, straight hair.

2. Additional styling time: Two-strand twists may require more styling time compared to other methods, as you will need to re-twist the hair every few weeks to keep the locs neat and tidy.

3. Potential for unraveling: If the twists are not secured properly, they may unravel or become loose over time. 

4. Possible discomfort: Some people may find the twisting process uncomfortable, especially if the twists are pulled too tight or if the hair is dry. 

5. Limited styling options at first: You may have limited styling options compared to other hairstyles, as you will need to be careful not to disrupt the loc-forming process.

6. Your locs will have a twist pattern for a while: It may take a couple of years for your dreads to completely lose the texture created by the two strand twists. 

Frequently asked questions:

Is it better to start locs with two strand twists or comb coils?

Both two-strand twists and finger coils can be effective methods for starting locs. The method that is best for you may depend on your personal preference and the specific needs of your hair.

The two-strand twist style involves dividing a section of hair into two strands and twisting them together to form a loc. This method can be a good option for people with afro-textured hair, as it can help to create neat, defined locs.

The comb coil method, on the other hand, involves rolling a section of hair into a tight spiral shape and securing it in place with a product or clip. Coils can create a more natural, free-flowing look and may be a good choice for people with looser curl patterns (so long that the hair texture is able to hold a tighter twist).

Do two strand twists make thick locs? 

Two-strand twists may make thicker locs compared to other methods of starting dreadlocks, such as the single twist or crochet method. This is because each loc is created from two strands of hair rather than just one.

However, the thickness of your locs will also depend on the texture and density of your hair, as well as the size of the twists you create. 

Those with thick coarse hair will naturally have thicker locs than those with thinner hair, regardless of the method used to start them. 

As a general rule of thumb, don’t part your roots any larger than the size of the locs you want. The larger the twists you create, the thicker your locs will be.

If you’re unsure how big to start your locs, remember that it’s always easier to make them thicker than it is to make them smaller. 

For example, if your dreads have matured and are too thin for your liking, you can always combine two into one, thereby doubling their size. On the other hand, you can’t cut locs in two, so if your locs mature thicker than you wanted them to be, there’s no way to make them thinner other than starting the process over.

Is it better to do two-strand twists on wet or dry hair? 

It is generally recommended to do two-strand twists on damp or wet hair. This is because wet hair is more pliable and easier to manipulate, which can make it easier to create neat and defined twists. Additionally, twisting your hair when it is wet can help to set the style.

If you prefer to twist your hair when it is dry, you may find that it is more difficult to get neat and defined twists. Dry hair can be more prone to frizz and flyaways, which can make it harder to achieve a smooth, polished look. You may need to use product or take more time to twist your hair in order to get the desired results.

In any case, it is a matter of personal preference whether you choose to twist your hair whether it is wet or dry. Some people find that they get better results with one method over the other, while others may have success using both methods. Feel free to experiment in order to determine what works best for you and your hair type.

Should you do your own two-strand twists or get them professionally done?

It is up to personal preference whether to get two-strand twists done professionally or to do them yourself. 

Here are some things to consider when deciding:

  • Time: Doing your own two-strand twists can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of hair or if you are new to the process. If you don’t have the time or patience to do them yourself, you may want to consider getting them done professionally.
  • Skill level: If you have experience doing your own two-strand twists and feel confident in your ability to do them, you may prefer to do them yourself. However, if you are new to twisting your hair or are unsure of your technique, you may want to consider getting them done professionally to ensure that they are done correctly. Also, going to a professional may ensure that the roots are evenly dived, whereas trying to part your roots yourself can be difficult (unless you have someone who can help!). Two-strand twists are one of the easiest methods for starting locs, so if you’re considering to do them yourself but don’t know how, there are a lot of YouTube tutorials you can check out.
  • Cost: Going to a professional loctician will obviously cost more than doing the two strand twists at home.

Considering that dreadlocks are a long-term commitment (for many), it’s best to start them off correctly. If you’re unsure about your ability to start them yourself, it might be a good idea to have them started by a professional, and ask them for tips on how to maintain them yourself going forward (unless you want to return to a loctician every 6-8 weeks).

How to make two strand twists loc faster

Let me first make it clear that there is no magic dreadlock accelerator product out there— if you find it being promoted somewhere, it’s false advertisement. The locking process takes a long time, regardless of the texture of your hair. 

There are a few steps you can take to help your two-strand twists mature into locs a little bit faster:

1. Use aloe vera gel to help set and hold the twists in place and keep them hydrated. Check out these DIY moisturizer recipes and spritz them daily to give them an extra boost!

2. Spritz salt water once a week to encourage the matting process of your locs.

3. Twist your hair every 6 to 8 weeks. Keep your twits maintained to prevent unraveling and reduce frizz.

4. Avoid combing or tight styling. Combing or brushing your twists can disrupt the loc-forming process and may cause them to unravel. Styling your hair too tight or over styling can put a lot of pressure on your scalp and cause long-term hair loss (traction alopecia).

5. Protect your hair while sleeping. Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase can help to reduce friction on your hair and prevent the twists from unraveling while you sleep. You can also use a satin or silk scarf or bonnet to protect your hair. It also helps to keep lint at bay.

6. Avoid using too much heat. Heat styling, such as blow-drying, can damage your hair and may cause the twists to unravel. Try to avoid using heat as much as possible.

7. Be patient. Just like all the other various methods for starting locs, it’ll take a long time for them to fully mature. Be patient and allow your hair the time it needs to form into dreadlocks.

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