Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you’re in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by tweeting them to @EssenceMag with the hashtag #AskCurlyNikki.

Check out the newest installment in CurlyNikki’s reader Q&A series:

READER QUESTION: What are your tips for the perfect twist-out?

CURLYNIKKI’s RESPONSE:  I’ve been getting magnificent twist-outs and twist-and-curls as of late and aside from the styling product, I believe my technique is very important. Below, I share my 5 tips for chunky twist-out success!
  1. For chunky results, it’s best to twist on damp, not soaking wet hair. Once you get out of the shower, gently wring out any excess water and plop with a microfiber towel for five minutes. Then apply your leave-in throughout and apply your styler as you twist. 
  2. Make sure the twists are smooth! I do this two ways. Since my hair is already detangled from the shower, I apply my styler (a pea sized amount per twist, please be light handed!) in a downward smoothing motion, with both hands and then evenly distribute the product with a comb. The comb’s teeth are neither wide, nor close together, and they help to further smooth the hair prior to twisting.  
  3. Remove the twists once they are completely dry. I cheat sometimes and take them down while the roots are still wet, but my hair shrinks a bit and sometimes, the curls can become piece-y. For chunky results, leave your twists in until they are 100% dry. I usually air dry overnight. I also sleep with a satin scarf around my crown to hold down any frizzies that may pop up during the night.
  4. Create large twists— I create 13-14 twists total— four in the back, two above each ear, four in the front (framing my face) and one at the crown.  This will give you chunkier, bigger waves and curls than medium sized twists.
  5. Fluff carefully. Using your oiled up fingers like a comb, gently rake and massage the roots.  Next rake your open fingers from the roots, halfway down your hair. This will break up the thick waves and create a more natural look.  

Products that I use are Davines Shelter as a leave-in and Ouidad’s new Hydrafusion styling cream. I am careful to be light handed with both products, and the results? Shiny, soft, airy, moisturized hair with no crunchiness or flakes. 

I hope that helps!

Nikki “CurlyNikki” Walton is a successful psychotherapist and creator of one of the most credible online sources about natural hair care, maintenance, and decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair. Visit her at her blog CurlyNikki or follow her on Twitter @CurlyNikki.