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Style Icon Sasha

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?

Gen

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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~Toy~

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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lesliemac23

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.

trackback

[…] 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. […]

trackback

[…] 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.

Someone

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:

Shamel

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.

Raleigh Paskey

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mangomadness

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.

Ail

19a­M­ag­nif­i­cent goods from you, man. I have under­stand your stuff pruiv­oes to and you’re just extreme­ly great. I actu­al­ly like what you have acquired here, real­ly like what you’re stat­ing and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoy­able and you still care for to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is real­ly a won­der­ful web site.

Ebony

Braid­outs have always stretched my 4c hair more that twistouts
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stephanieb

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?

Julio

1a3­Great goods from you, man. I’ve under­stand your stuff proiveus to and you are just extreme­ly excel­lent. I actu­al­ly like what you’ve acquired here, cer­tain­ly like what you are stat­ing and the way in which you say it. You make it enter­tain­ing and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actu­al­ly a tremen­dous web site.

monisola
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 so… Read more »
Caramelcurls

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.

Vanessa

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.

luminous

my hair doesn’t like to be stretched…

Candice
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 »
Tisha

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.

Rain

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.

@thehappiestgurl

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 :)

Annie

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.

Bobby

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.

transitiongirl
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 »
Beatrice
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 can… Read more »
Chelsea

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.

honeybrown1976

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.

penelope

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?

Mercy

Braid­outs are always best for stretch­ing my hair.

TWA4now

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!:)

Bobby

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.

Dananana

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 :)

Bobby

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..

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