Finger Coils (Single Strand Twists) on Short Natural Hair

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From the beginning of my natural hair journey, when I Big Chopped, I’ve loved the look of single strand twists. It has become my go-to style. This is probably because it is a style anyone can rock with a mere two-inches of hair and beyond. I also love that it is something that I can do ONCE that will last for an entire week. So, it is a low-manipulation style with great staying power. Here’s how I do it …


If you want perfect coils and don’t mind spending extra time parting and dividing your hair, creating twists with a comb or the end of a rattail comb may be the best option for you. However, because I have multiple textures of hair on my head,  I like my hair to have a more natural, organic feel. I also don’t want to spend four hours twisting my hair, so I prefer to create single strand twists with the built-in hair tool God gave me … my fingers! Depending on how quickly I work, I can usually do this in 45-60 minutes.

  1. Start with freshly washed or co-washed hair.
    • Lightly blot hair dry so that it is not sopping wet.
  2. Divide out a section of your hair with a comb and use hair clips to hold the rest of your hair out of the way.
    • Or, you can do it freehand like I do: I finger part and only use my hands.
    • You can start from anywhere you would like on your head, although starting from front to back or vice versa will make it easier to ensure you don’t miss any sections of hair.
  3. Divide the section of hair that’s out into even smaller sections.
    • You can make as many smaller sections as you want, depending on the size that you want the twists to be.
    • I usually just finger part the bottom third of my hair and pin the top two-thirds out of the way. Then, I split the parted ⅓ section in half to make it easier to manage and clip the other half of the hair in the section up.
  4. Lightly mist each section of hair. You can use water or a water-based leave-in conditioner of choice. Then, seal with a light oil, and apply gel for hold.
    • Do this for each section of hair.
    • I use water and some of my homemade Eco Styler custard.
    • You will likely need to remoisten your hair with water or a water-based leave-in throughout the process to prevent your hair from drying out.
  5. With my left hand, I hold the loose section of hair. Then, with my right hand, I use my thumb and index finger to grab a smaller section of hair.
    • Grab as large or small a section of hair as you want.
    • The amount you grab will determine the size of your single strand twists.
  6. Position your index finger in the middle of the small section of hair and twirl the strands of hair around your finger, moving your finger up and down in a tight circular motion to get the hair to wrap around your finger.
    • The small section of hair will now be in a tightly formed coil.
  7. Repeat twisting the hair, working section by section until you have created single strand twists all over your head.
    • Have frizzy roots? Twist each small section of hair with the index finger of your right hand while holding the same strands of hair at the root with your left hand and gentle twirl the roots (as if creating a Senegalese twist).
    • Do both actions simultaneously, and you will have perfectly coiled (and non-frizzy) single strand twists.

* NOTE: For a more detailed example of how to do single strand twists, check out MsRosieVelt’s YouTube video: 

Products Used

  • I generally use water (or a water-based leave-in) and my homemade Eco Styler custard.
  • Recently, though, I wanted to see how well my finger coils would turn out with a non-gel-based product. So, I tried to do finger coils using water and Luster’s S-Curl No Drip Activator Moisturizer. It turned out just as good! So, this is a great alternative for those of you who don’t like to use gel (or hate the hard-crunch hold that gel creates).


  • I wrap my hair at night with a satin scarf (or use a satin bonnet).
  • The following morning, I lightly mist my hair with my DIY glycerin hair moisturizer and gingerly fluff my finger coils to refresh my style.
  • If needed, I remist my hair at night right before I go to bed and rewrap my hair in a satin scarf.
  • You may need to recoil any stray or stubborn areas. I usually have to recoil 5-7 pieces each morning. However, it literally takes me only a minute or two to do so.
  • My finger coils always last 6-7 days when I follow this method.
  • NOTE: I also got my finger coils to last 5 days using the no-gel method (water + Luster’s S-Curl). I can often stretch the style to 7 days, but it starts to look a little worn after five days, so I sometimes randomly recoil about a third of my hair on day five if I need the style to last for two more days.

Finger Coils on 2.5-inch Hair

Finger Coils on 4-inch Hair

Finger Coils on 4.75-inch Hair

Finger Coils on 5.5-inch Hair with Eco Styler Custard

Finger Coils on 5.5-inch Hair with Luster’s S-Curl


1 Comment

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

One response to “Finger Coils (Single Strand Twists) on Short Natural Hair

  1. Pingback: My 1-Year Naturalversary: 12 Months of Natural Hair in Review | Relaxed. Transitioning. Natural. Beautiful.

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