Pekela’s finished look includes a few twists left intact and adorned with gold leaves.
If you care for curly clients and you only learn one technique, make it the flat twist. This classic twist-out is ideal for every curly texture, producing curls that are frizz-free and refined. ULTA Beauty Pro Team Member and curl expert Pekela Riley says, “The flat twist is the perfect, classic technique that anyone can learn. I suggest grabbing a curly mannequin and practicing. The best way to learn how to work with textured hair is to touch texture and work with texture.”
Here are more texture tips and tricks from Pekela Riley.
Curly Client 101: Are your curl skills on point? Learn from texture master and Ulta Beauty Pro Team member Pekela Riley as she demos an on-trend style complete with shape, definition and accessories at Ulta Beauty’s New York City flagship location.
The flat twist is similar to cornrows, explains Pekela, but instead of twisting three strands, you twist two strands on base. “Be intentional in your direction, based on how you see the client wearing the style,” she says. “In this look, the side braids are actually horizontal twists, left intact without unraveling and created as a design feature.”
1—The model’s hair type is classified as 4c in its natural state—tightly coiled without a defined curl pattern. To begin, Pekela shampooed and conditioned the hair. She applied Mizani Curl Defining Pudding, a cream that provides moisture, before detangling. “I prefer a cream-based product rather than a gel,” she explains, “because a gel contains more water and has the potential to revert the curl to its original tightness. Be sure the hair is properly detangled before beginning any set. This is one area where you cannot take shortcuts. Be thorough and patient. Start at the ends and work up—never place the comb at the base and try to comb through to the ends. Use a large detangling comb and a leave-in conditioner.”
2—Next she blew dry the hair in order to stretch, but not completely smooth, the curl.
3—She sectioned the head into medium-sized sections and divided each section in half. “The thicker the hair, the smaller the sections should be,” says Pekela, “but don’t make them too small or you’ll create a tiny, zig-zag pattern that will look frizzy.” She twisted each section from scalp to ends. “This hair type will stay in place with the cream,” Pekela explains. “If there is heat damage on the ends, you can pop on a small perm rod to create a bit of curl.”
4—Once the entire head was set, the client was placed under the dryer for at least an hour. “The longer the better,” says Pekela, “because It’s important for the hair to dry completely. It can’t be 80 or 90 percent dry; it has to be 100 percent dry. Often girls will leave the salon with the twists intact and wear them for a few days before removing them.”
5—When the hair was dry, Pekela applied a small amount of Mizani Supreme Oil to her fingertips and unraveled each twist in the opposite direction in which they were established. “The oil will help prevent frizz,” she says. “If you run into a snag, be gentle so you don’t disturb the set.”
6—Once complete, she gently massaged the scalp with her fingertips to create volume. “Don’t pull on the ends,” she advises. “Just focus on the roots to avoid disturbing the texture or creating frizz.”
7—As a finishing touch, Pekela applied a small amount of Mizani HRM humidity resistant mist. “This style is easily affected by humidity,” she notes. “This hair spray will protect the hair but keep it soft. If the client is careful—gathers her hair into a loose topknot or ‘pineapple’ at night, wraps it in a silk scarf to sleep—this flat twist should last for at least a week and up to a week and a half.”