Braid Outs vs Twist Outs: Which Produce a More Stretched Look?


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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 thoughts on “Braid Outs vs Twist Outs: Which Produce a More Stretched Look?

  1. Pingback: On Natural Hair | I, Adaora

  2. 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.

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