Should I Twist My Hair?

Young beautiful blond hair woman with braids
© Cheschhh | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

There are so many hairstyles you can do by twisting your hair, from simple braids to kinky dreadlocks, which require more skill, time and patience. Twisted hairstyles can be fun, elegant and save you from bad hair days. But they can also damage your hair if you’re not careful…

How can twisting damage hair?

First of all, let me point out that everything we do to our hair, including washing and combing, damages it. So it’s not surprising that twisting hair can cause chipping of the cuticle and even breakage too. But while some damage is normal and inevitable, too much mishandling can cause problems. A 2005 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, has discovered that “at low and moderate twist levels, the tensile mechanical properties of human hair are recoverable”. In other words, the hair can relax back to its original length without causing problems. At high levels of twisting, this doesn’t happen and so, breakage can occur. In the worst cases it could also lead to alopecia (hair loss).

How to prevent twisting damage

Unfortunately the results of this study don’t help us much because we have no way of knowing, when we are styling our hair, how much force we’re using. Yet, there’s no reason to become paranoid and stop twisting our hair. A lot of women are wearing twisted hairstyles without bad consequences. The key is not too twist your tresses too tightly. When this happens, they cause too much pressure on the scalp, causing hair to break. But if you’ll keep them loose enough, instead, you (and your hair) will be fine.

Do you twist and braid your hair?

6 Comment

    • Ana, I don’t think it will cause much harm if done only now and then, but I can see why some people prefer to be on the safe side anyway. :)

    • Deborah, it’s a shame that hair is so fragile that pretty much anything can harm it, but if with the proper precautions we can still wear these hairstyles every now and then. :)

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