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Can we settle the age old question once and for all? When it comes to displaying your length which style comes out on top: twist outs or braid outs? Now, before I give you my opinion it is important to point out that technique is everything. Depending on your method of styling you may find that one style lengthens your hair, while another person has totally different results. So when going head to head (pun intended) here’s my assessment.

First things first: In order to compare the two styles, or any style for that matter, your hair should start in the same condition. Obviously a twist out on blown out hair will be more stretched than a braid out on freshly washed hair.  In fact, I actually believe that a braid out and a twist out have similar length results on heat stretched hair. Where you will notice the difference is on hair that is either wet or stretched with non-heat methods.

When I desire length I will go for a braid out 8 times out of ten. Braiding damp hair into about 15 sections yields a braid out that hangs 2-4 inches longer than a twist out. However, if you prefer twist outs you can add some stretching tricks of the trade. For example, in preparing for a twist out I might wrap the twists around my head as I would with my loose relaxed hair back in the day, pinning them to keep them secure. This prevents the twist from bending and keeps them stretched overnight. The key here is not to do this with wet twists if you have dense hair (like I do) because the hair will take FOREVER to dry.  If you do wrap the twist while wet I recommend sitting under a dryer for at least 30 minutes.

I have also combined the two styles. I will twist the hair for about 3 to 4 inches of a section and then braid the remaining length of my hair. I achieve more volume with this style thanks to the twisted section, while getting the added length from the braided section. The added benefit of this method is that I twist much faster than I braid so I can finish each section more quickly.

In conclusion, I find that a braided section on damp hair will yield a more stretched style than a twisted section of hair in the same condition. However, there are ways that twisted style can be stretched such that you don’t have to choose style over the other if you’re going for a more stretched look. That’s the awesome thing about our hair. It is so versatile that we can change its appearance and even length with small adjustments to our technique.

So, which style displays more of your length on your hair?


Island girl raised in the most royal of NYC's boroughs. Proud nerd, social scientist, educator and recovering awkward black girl. When not listening to NPR, trying to grow spiritually, or detangling my fro, I'm searching for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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35 Comments on "Braid Outs vs Twist Outs: Which Produce a More Stretched Look?"

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I wish I could stretch my natural hair with braids but it’s too fine. My hair comes out so limp. I twist my hair into a bun overnight instead.

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I definitely find that my hair works best with a twist out. Braid outs tend to make it shrink much more and get super tangled after just a few days when taken out. Meanwhile a twist out looks great for 2 days in the twists & then lasts up to 7 days loose with an additional 5 days possible in various up do’s.


[…] Do use braid-outs, twists, and bantu knots for beautiful protective styling: These are all styles that will work beautifully with your hair and for your hair. […]


[…] Do use braid-outs, twists, and bantu knots for beautiful protective styling: These are all styles that will work beautifully with your hair and for your hair. […]

Tami J

I twist in a circle pattern for length and in rows for volume , after twisting I put sponge rollers on the ends. When I twist near the hair line I twist in reverse, this allows face framing for me.


I prefer braid outs because it stretches my hair, makes it look thicker, and gives it more body than a twist out does. Twist outs don’t really look right on me, lol. It looks thinner, and has less body. If I was to where a twist out, I would wear it up in a puff or something c:


I have done three our four twist outs thus far and still have not achieved the desired results. Although cute, they end up looking flat when I take them out. It’s strange because my hair is thick. Therefore, I want volume. Nonetheless, I know “trial and error” (and trying different products) is the key. As this article suggests, switching up the method allows you the flexibility to gauge what works for YOU. Great article.

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Braid-outs give me more stretched hair than twist-outs. Braid-outs are my staple style for my kinky, coily, Afro-textured hair — I do 10 braids and two-strand the last inch or so.


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Braidouts have always stretched my 4c hair more that twistouts


Are braidouts or twist outs good to do if you have 4b/c hair that tends to be dry and really frizzy? I would like to do either on my hair but am afraid that it would end up a frizzy, tangled up mess. Any suggestions?


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use gel, don’t take the braids or twists out till your hair is COMPLETELY dry, do not apply water or anything water based until you are ready to stop wearing the style, use gel when you style, for conditioning or for “moisture” when your hair is in the out style, add a coconut castor oil mix to your hair focusing on the ends. But do not apply water or anything waterbased or anything with GYLCERINE or any other humectant when wearing the style/once you have taken out the braids. 4b/4c hair does not tend to thrive in twist outs/braid outs… Read more »

When I first big chopped, I preferred twist outs, but now that my hair has gotten longer (shoulder length), I prefer braid outs. Braid outs stretch my hair and for me take less time than a twist out. Plus, braid outs and twist outs look almost the same on my hair.


I never wear my hair out. I can’t deal with the tangles that follow. but my pin and tuck styles often need a lot of stretching. So on damp hair, I twist and then braid the twisted sections, then allow it to air dry. She often comes out wavy and fully stretched out.

Ugonna Wosu

from what I’ve seen, braidouts give slightly better curl definition, but twistouts give more volume and shape along with great definition as well. Twists are also easier to do and to take down.


my hair doesn’t like to be stretched…

I agree with the poster who suggested flat-twist outs. They take a relatively short time to install, but give the effect of having twisted your hair all over. Also because they are so easy to take out, you get very little frizz. However, if I’m doing a protective style, flat twist outs start to get fuzzy after a few days, so I think it’s best for a one or two day style and then taking it down. I agree with everyone who has said that braid outs are tedious to take down. Generally, the only time I do them is… Read more »

I initially thought that braid outs gave more stretch because others kept saying so. I was able to get a good comparison by taking pictures. I concluded that my Day 1 Twist-outs and Day 1 Braid-outs look the same length-wise.

So I stick to my twistouts because they are easier to do and to take out.


Braidouts stretch hair way better but twistouts are easier to put in and take out and because of this less frizz. I find if I braid all the way to the bottom, it becomes a pain to undo so I combine both.


I know this is off but I really wanna grow natural hair and I’m too scared to cut off my relaxed medium length hair! Can I still have a natural hair if I dnt relax my hair again after a year or two n wat else do I do to make it curly n kinky jst like a bohemian hair?? I need replies please. Thank you 🙂


My hair still has relaxer on it. I use 1 part Long Aid Curl Activator Gel and 2 parts Eco Styler Activator Gel with Olive Oil. I twist my hair and it comes out great. Looks natural. Sometime I have to retwist the ends to make them more curly. But overall happy with the look.


I just completed my transition of 20 months, the key to long term transition is too keep your hair moisturize and a go-to hair style.
At 18 mths post relaxer some of my hair was completely natural, so at 20 mths post the most hair I had to cut was 3 inches…well worth the wait. I have the length I wanted to be natural.

Hello there @thehappiestgurl, I understand your reluctance to making the big chop(bc) on your medium length hair. I too felt the same way the second time around. My first attempt at going natural I did the big chop and it was a huge release. But this time I went the transition route, I did bi-weekly trims and slowly took out the relaxed hair. I started doing this December 2012, and today I am about 90% natural. I have had a lot of fun creating different styles with my hair that show off both textures but have also been diligent on… Read more »
Hello dear, in answering your question, there is one thing you need to know. Any hair that has been chemically processed can never be natural again even if not relaxed again. The reason is that the cuticles of the hair would have already been broken down and cannot return to their original state. This change is permanent. Now if you stop relaxing your hair, the new hair growing from your roots will be natural and the hair further down will not be. You do not have to have a big chop straight away if that is what worries you. You… Read more »

I am slightly confused by your question. However, you just described transitioning long term. I would suggest you search on the website and read about how other peoples transitions especially those girls who transitioned for more than a year. You can slowly cut off the relaxed ends as your natural hair grows retaining length.


Let’s not exaggerate and call the debate an age-old question. No one was debating it in 1682, lol. However, I prefer twist-outs. They make my hair thicker than braid-outs, which always feel skinny and lack volume.


I agree! Twist outs look better but braid outs stretch more. In the end, I think shrinkage is our friend here if we’re looking to wear it out and voluminous. Or braid at the roots and twist the rest?


Braidouts are always best for stretching my hair.


Idk…braid outs on my hair are just ok more definition but my hair is on the frizzy side and the take down for braid outs are tedious! Twist outs for me are better and this “new” way is to flat twist my hair starting in the middle of my hair then make about 12 flat twist and BAM!…very nice take down with nice definition with Jane Carter’s nourishing and shine just a pea size will do. My PJ days are over…for now!:)


Braids outs can be tricky or “tedious” if hair is borrow or tangled together. You need “clean” parts between the 3 sections of hair that is to be braided. All I have to do is untwist the ends and pull two parts of the braid and they unravel on its on, because it was a neat braid no borrow hair.


Thanks for the tip, but I think TWA4now’s issue with braid-outs might be similar to mine–my hair is fine and tightly coiled, and it always tangles up in the braids once my hair is dry, no matter how detangled my hair is when I installed the braids. This indeed makes the take-down for a braid out a pain in my rear, so I prefer twist-outs. Different strokes for different folks 🙂


Braids out for me stretching my hair I braid til about a 1/4 is length and twist the end, i like to start on damp hair, using Cantu leave in & top it with curls cashmere curls…unravel the next day AMAZING, my curls are just poping!
Got the style for Fushions of Cultures on You Tube..