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Unlike cornrows which are basically braids laid closely to the scalp, flat-twists are two-strands...laid closely to the scalp. Because only two strands of hair are needed to achieve this style, it's far easier to do and achieve by even the most novice self-care professional.
Like cornrows, flat-twists can be done on both natural and relaxed hair and it can be combined with other styles such as Bantu Knots, curls, rod-sets, the Afro or whatever else you can imagine.
First decide the flat-twists pattern you want to achieve. Will they be in straight rows as with traditional Cornrows? Diagonal rows? Zig-zag rows? If you're a novice, try to do straight rows first. They may not end up straight but a little imperfection is character building ;-)
Before we begin, the key to this style is even, tight
two-stranding close to the scalp. I say "even" with respect to the overlap of each individual strand of hair when doing the twists, not "even" in terms of the distance between the rows. If you two-strand losely, the twists won't lay flat and may become undone.
You can start with dry or slightly damp hair. Lightly oil your hair to give it a touch of sheen. Have some non-alcohol or water-baed styling gel, aloe vera jelly or design creme handy. Either of these styling aids will help smooth fly-aways and extend the life of the flat-twists.
Start your first row by parting a section of hair from the front of your scalp to the nape of your neck. Secure the rest of the hair with an elastic or hair clip.
In this row and toward the front of your scalp, grab a small section of hair. Remember, the larger the section and the thicker your hair, the larger the resulting flat twist.
Divide the section into two-strands or two-clumps of hair. Well call them Section1 and Section 2. Overlap them. When Overlapping, try to do this tightly but not so tight as to damage your hair by pulling it out of your scalp :-P
Once you have overlapped the first sectioned portion, grab another clump or section of hair from the row by combining it with Section 1. Overlap it with Section 2.
Then grab another clump or section of hair from the row by combining it with Section 2. Overlap it with Section 1.
Hopefully you get the idea. Section 1 goes over Section 2. Section 2 goes over Section 1 until you reach the nape of your neck or the end of the row.
Secure the twists with an elastic then start your next row using the same above procedure.
For more information on proper hair care and for a salon quality products for all hair types, textures and ethnicities, visit http://www.naani.com.
Photos coutesy of SalonBaptiste.com, a Georgia-based Salon. Visit them online.