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How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics

By January 27th, 202126 Comments
How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics

by NaturallyChelsea via NaturallyCurly

I bet you didn’t know that, besides the regular method of twisting, there is another way to twist your hair called rope twisting. It’s really simple and easy, yet so much better than simply regularly twisting your coils. If you haven’t already been clued in on this method, here’s a simple how-to that will have you rope twisting like a pro in no time.

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Step 1
  • First, section off a small piece of hair like you would if you were twisting normally and secure the rest of your hair so that it doesn’t get in the way.
  • Split that section into two equal pieces.
  • With one hand, twirl one section using your index finger and do the same to the other piece in the other hand and hold the sections securely to ensure that they do not unwind.

How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics

Step 2

  • Once done twirling both sections, twist them together as you would a normal twist ensuring that the twirled sections do not unwind. Once you get to the end of the twist, use your index finger to spin the hair around the finger to coil the ends and prevent them from unraveling.
  • And there you have it: one rope twist.

How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics

Rope Twist vs. Ordinary Twist
Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between rope twisting and ordinary twisting. The twist on the left is a normal one, and the twist on the right is a rope twist. As you can see, a rope twist:

  • Makes a twirlier twist because of the method used to create it.
  • Lasts longer because the hair is wound first then twisted, so it’s more bound and therefore harder to unravel midway down the twist like normal twists would do after a few days.
  • Reduces frizz because the hair is first twirled before twisted. Thus, it is tightly bound reducing frizz. Normal twists are known for frizzing out after a few days or a wash, but this method will help to combat this.
  • The twists are more stretched, hang better and are shinier.

How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics
Tina Munzu has an excellent video that will walk you through exactly how she twists using this technique. She uses the Camile Rose Coconut Water Style Setter.

Do you rope twist? What are your results? 


  • a new me says:

    I am looking for a twist style that can be done using one hand. I am starting my transition to natural hair and need something to wear, while the relaxer grows out. I have partial paralysis and thus only the use of my left hand. If anyone has an answer for this please inbox me at

  • Poetyss says:

    After reading some more of the comments, I am wondering would this be a good way to start finger locs? I have been debating on locing my hair, but I don't want to do a bc just to start them. I was content to rock my curly fro for the summer, but this post has rekindled my interest in locking…lol. Anyone know?

  • Poetyss says:

    This is the method I used when I started the transition process. ONly difference was I would finish it with a bantu knot. It made very strange, oblong twists. I hated it!! lol. But I am going to try this version this weekend. Thanks for the info. ;)

  • DecemberPumpkin says:

    this loos interesting i cant wait to try rope twisting

  • Anonymous says:

    I do this once in a while, I have 4b/c hair. the twists do look neater, but for me they tend to unravel and really lock up. for me detangling is a big hassle after rope twists.

  • Anonymous says:

    sometimes during take down, individual hairs in the two coils that make up the rope will join the two coils together so be very careful taking twists down or you could get some breakage when you try to separate coils.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've tried this several times. the problem with me, is that my hair is pretty thin so my hair doesnt look great and the twistout looks even worse! lol. and detangling takes an arm and a leg to perform! i prefer doing chunkier rope twists than smaller ones.

  • J. Wells says:

    I have tried this method on my daughter for quite a while now. It lasts longer and it does hang a lot better than regular twists. After 2 weeks I untwist them and she has another style for another 2 weeks. She gets tons of compliments and questions on how it was done.

  • Unknown says:

    Lol this is my normal method for twisting as I can't do the one everyone does and this is how I was taught how to twist.

    I didn't know there was a name for it… Interesting

  • braidsntwists says:

    I've been doing this for the longest whenever I did senegalese twists. That's the way I was taught to do them.

    The only thing, it doesn't work well for twistouts for me. So I twist the regular way for a TO.

  • Kaila says:

    I twist like this all the time, i dont think i can go back to regular twists anymore. I've been doing them for 2 years.

  • Z. Bridges says:

    Cool, I may give it a shot.

  • Anonymous says:

    huh??? I thought this was the only twisting method… what is the other one???

  • LeoLady89 says:

    I do this all the time!! lol… But theres an easier way to do it! I just make like I'm doing a regular twist, and twirl each strand as u twist them around one another… Really easy!!

  • Annie L. says:


    Tks for the info! I always coil my strands counter-clockwise which according to you would mean the next step is twisting those coils together in a clockwise motion. Also, I always wondered how exactly Senegalese twists were done….

  • uniquejamaican says:

    For those worrying about take-down, try not to leave longer than 4 weeks if your hair mats easily. When unraveling the twists, start from the ends. Also, rope twists are better for those who cowash often in twists.

  • Anonymous says:

    Question: during the takedown process, does the hair loc if these twists are worn for 1-2 weeks??
    (4b/a hair)

  • hairscapades says:

    I did a full set of Senegalese twists one time, but like Anon above, my hair is fine. So, my twists were very skimpy, so I wore them in an updo. I kept them in for about 10 days. When I took them out, I had THE MOST AWESOME twist out ever!! But, it wasn't a normal looking twists out! It looked like I had finger-coils/locks! And I wore my hair like that for another 4 days. But, like Anon above said, my hair was definitely more tangled than it was with normal twists. Patience WAS key!! But, it looked so cool!!

    This was the post I did on the twists (which are also called Senegalese twists) and the coily twist out. There are pics included for anyone interested!

    Oh, and though I haven't done a full head in a while, I use this twisting technique for my roots as it seems to anchor the twists more securely at the roots so they don't unravel. One thing I'd add about the technique is that it requires the individual pieces of the twists to be twirled the opposite direction of the actual twist. It took me a minute to get the hang of it and I still have to think about it a little when I do it. But, it's not too hard once you figure out to twirl one way and twist the other!


  • Anonymous says:

    i actually been doing this for awhile…just didn't know that there was a name for it…i love the way my hair looks when i take them down….keeps moisture longer too i'bve noticed

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural for eons and have rope twisted on occasion. In my experience on my cottony fine, type 3c-4a hair, the rope twisted hair meshes together and becomes more tangled in a shorter period of time than a regular simple twist. This might not be the case on less fine textures. As for a twistout after rope twisting, on my hair it lacked the volume a regular twistout would have, again probably due to the fine texture of my hair. I think the neater rope twist is worth the effort if your hair is dense enough and the texture is not too fine. For finer textures, a regular twist does a much better job of plumping out to achieve fullness and avoid "scalpiness".

  • TMS says:

    Here's a YouTube video of a rope twist application and twist out results.

  • Natural Beauty says:

    I'm going to have to try this. I'm adding this to my list.

  • Anonymous says:

    yes, i'm interested in the detangling as well. is that a problem at all?

  • Anonymous says:

    How do the twists look after they are untwisted?

  • Anonymous says:

    I may try it. I bet detangling will be a job once it's time to take them down, though.

  • Micheal says:

    I did this on my daughter's hair and her twist lasted way longer than the regular twist.

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